Tuesday, October 1, 2002

New Lotus products tackle collaboration, learning, and knowledge sharing


By Steve Niles

This month, Lotus at long last announced the release of Lotus Notes and Domino 6. However, that was far from the only important new product announcement they made on October 1. Also announced on that day were IBM Lotus LearningSpace - Virtual Classroom, IBM Lotus Sametime 3, and IBM Lotus QuickPlace 3. All of these products are designed to be steps forward in supporting the fields of collaboration, learning, and knowledge sharing across organizational, geographical, and technical boundaries.

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 6

Early deployment and beta programs for Release 6 have been running for more than a year. The resulting feedback from business partners and customers has been taken into account in the design of the new software, and the long awaited IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 6 (at http://www.lotus.com/domino6) includes more than a thousand new and enhanced features designed to help improve productivity and reduce overall cost of ownership. The software includes new cost-management features and functions, new policy-based administration and client-upgrade automation tools, and new information control features like improved mail archiving, mail journaling, and new spam control.

Version 6 is also touted to have closer alignment with IBM's entire software portfolio, as well as greater support for Microsoft's Active Directory. The hope is that this will allow customers to blend Notes and Domino 6 into their current infrastructure to help maximize business benefits. You should also find support for open standards initiatives such as J2EE, Linux, and XML.

The key enhancements made to Lotus Notes and Domino 6 include:

  • Simplified user interface and virtual elimination of end user configuration requirements;
  • Increased inbox and information management productivity with new attachment handling options, replication improvements, color-coded views, and drag-and-drop capabilities, while on or offline;
  • Improved ease of use for Microsoft Office users through toolbars, new templates, and dialog boxes;
  • Calendaring functionality with features that include Executive Calendar management, multiple time zone support, and online e-meeting technology;
  • Improved mobility and wireless access via supported PDAs, pagers, and WAP-enabled mobile phones;
  • Heightened reliability, scalability, performance, and security through improved transaction logging, clustering, network compression, replication, and increased support of security standards;
  • Tools for simplifying IT management tasks such as Smart upgrade for centrally updating your client environment and policy-based management for creating and managing end user settings and configurations such as user registration, password, and security controls and email archiving;