By Dan Velasco
This is more than just an ordinary article; it's actually the basis for a speech I'm giving on Thursday, November 14, 2002 to a user group meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area. I promised to give a speech talking about trends and technologies affecting the future of Lotus Notes and Domino development. Me and my big mouth. Not long after I promised to give the speech I realized that I don't necessarily have a clear picture of where this all is heading. My crystal ball has a crack in it.
So, I'm shaking in my boots, thinking I volunteered to be some kind of prophet and not knowing exactly what to say. What if I say the wrong thing in front of this group of extremely intelligent fellow professionals? What if I predict something that doesn't come true? What if I say something contrary to someone else's experience and opinion?
My ever-rational wife talked me down from my imaginary ledge, asking me exactly what I wanted to accomplish with my presentation. Leave it to her to try and force me to make sense of it all. What I ended up realizing, with a little wifely guidance, is that what I really wanted to do was to share some of my experiences and information that I've gathered by thinking and writing about the IBM/Lotus world for over four years now. Once I realized this, I relaxed, because that is something I'm very comfortable doing. After all, I sit down every week and do exactly that, writing a tip that goes out to an estimated 40,000 fellow professionals.
Now that I realize I don't have to write some Nostradamus-like quatrain predicting the future, I can just sit down and talk freely with you and give you some of my ideas about what exactly is changing in the world of Lotus Notes and Domino development. I'll also tell you what I think you can do to keep on top of and ahead of the changes that are occurring. After all, when all is said and done, it will be up to you to decide what your own vision of the future is and what your own destiny will be.
What has changed and is changing?
The best document I've read to date on where Lotus is heading in terms of development is the white paper published in August called "Technical Strategy and Domino Developers' Roadmap." You can find this white paper at http://lotus.com/news/news.nsf/link/Dominoroadmap. Read this to get an idea straight from Lotus about where this is all headed. Their picture of the Road to the Future (reproduced in Figure A) will also give you a visual metaphor for where this is all heading.