Thursday, December 1, 2005

An interview with Nigel Cheshire on Notes software integrity

THE DOMINOPOWER INTERVIEW

By David Gewirtz

We continue our series of interviews with Lotus Business Partners. This week, I had the opportunity to interview Nigel Cheshire, CEO of Teamstudio, a company that specializes in developer tools for Lotus Notes and Domino.

David:

Please introduce yourself and tell us your role at Teamstudio?

Nigel:

I've been in the software industry for more years that I care to discuss, starting out in the world of mainframes and punched card readers. I learned most about software engineering at Data General Corp., where I worked on their messaging systems and office automation. Anyone remember PL/1?

I started with Lotus Notes in 1991, and formed Teamstudio in 1996 to help organizations improve the integrity of the software applications they are developing with Notes. I started to develop an interest in the whole area of software integrity when I left Data General (where a single bug in a production application was a BFD [we'll leave it to the readers work out what BFD is an acronym for]) and moved into the world of Windows 3.1 and Word for Windows 1.0.

David:

What's the background of Teamstudio? Wasn't the company once called Ives?

Nigel:

I originally started Teamstudio as a wholly-owned subsidiary of a consulting firm that I had co-founded, Ives & Co. So to start with, we were called Ives Development. Ives & Co was subsequently acquired by Aspective, and we changed the name of Ives Development to Teamstudio. Everyone knew us as "the Teamstudio folks" anyhow.

David:

What's your impression of R7?

Nigel:

R7 is really about making Domino enterprise-ready. Of course there are changes to the client and designer, but the primary focus is on performance and scalability enhancements within the server. They've also improved administration by, for example, implementing policies to help control and manage your client settings.

The design environment enhancements were relatively minor, but include improved support for Web services and support for shared columns in views -- something developers have been asking for as long as Notes has been around!

So R7 wasn't a huge deal from our position, but would be significant for an enterprise customer.

David:

How have you updated your product line to reflect R7?

Nigel:

Yes, we just released Edition 22 of the Teamstudio suite, and this adds full support for R7. Our policy is always to deliver a compatibility release as soon as we can (often this will coincide with the Lotus release), then to follow up with a release that includes features that take advantage of the new aspects of the Lotus release.