Monday, February 1, 2010

Lotusphere 2010: Hot fixes and cool news for Notes, Domino, and LotusLive


By Mick Moignard

In the meantime, the individual product lines continue to move forward, and I'm sure you'd like to know what's coming up next.

Getting your fix

For Notes and Domino, the immediate future is consolidation and tidy-up, rather than new features. Firstly, there's 8.5.1 Fix Pack 1, imminent. So imminent that by the time you read this, it may well be available. [It is, here's the download link. --Ed.] There are some Windows 7 and Mac OS X-specific fixes, a long list of client and server fixes, a few Designer fixes, and a bunch of iNotes fixes. All are considered "low-risk, high-impact fixes to help customers safely avoid known issues."

And here's something interesting, as well:

This is the first Domino Fix Pack to include iNotes Client fixes by incorporating a new Forms85.nsf file. In prior releases, due to localization of Forms85.nsf, iNotes client fixes could not be included. As of Domino 8.5.1, all localization is self contained in Forms85.nsf allowing iNotes client fixes to be included in Domino Fixpacks for 8.5.1 and above.

Features in 8.5.2 and beyond

There's Traveler for Android coming along at some point, as I already mentioned last week.

Then there's 8.5.2, due later this year. Ed Brill tells me that this is a bug-fix maintenance release only, no new features. But in one of the XPages sessions, a number of new XPages/Designer items were announced, though to be fair, most of these are aimed at making Designer more functional and useable than they are new XPage runtime features.

Items heard about during the week include extending the Eclipse LotusScript editor to cover Database scripts other places where LotusScript is found, native Radio and Checkbox controls (currently you drag in a combobox and change it afterwards), signing databases directly from Designer, and exposing Dojo properties via a tab for many controls.

Also discussed at various times were REST APIs for Domino, links to the Social Analytics engine from Vulcan, links for the use of Source Code management systems among others. Wwhether these would make it to 8.5.2 was much more tenuous.

Expect to see these in the next major release of Notes, which will be a little time coming. There's a number of reasons for that. Brill told me that many customers have asked for a bit of breathing space to absorb, deploy and exploit 8.5 before starting a new update cycle. That message seems to have gone down well among people I spoke with.

Then, of course, there is the project Vulcan work, where Lotus themselves need time to see how to turn that vision into reality.

One thing that has been put back, or even shelved completely, is Directory Independence. Originally planned for 8.5.1, this fell out of that release, mostly because of continuous scope-creep in the development cycle which started to lead to feelings that it was overtaking the whole business benefit. However, some of the work done is driving new features in LotusLive, so it's not all wasted nor gone away completely.