Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why you need to know about the IBM XWork Server


By Mick Moignard

Part of the just-announced Notes and Domino 8.5.3 launch, is a new server offering, the IBM XWork Server. And you should pay attention to it.

Under the covers, IBM XWork Server is a Domino 8.5.3 server. There's nothing removed, except the Lotus name, and nothing added, except a new icon and a new splash screen. It's ready to go to work on your XPage apps just as soon as you are.

All the changes are in the license conditions, and the price. The whole idea is to get your XPage apps out to the world, whether that's your corporate world or the Internet, for less money and, particularly for application-selling business partners, less hassle.

Remember, as if any of us need reminding, that Domino -- and XWork -- is unique as an application server because it's all in one box. App security, user authentication, server management and the leading tried, tested and proven NoSQL database, all there for the asking, no extra software or hardware involved.

That's still a major USP for Domino, and one that XWork Server enables you to leverage, simply, easily and with no new skills to learn.

Pricewise, it's $2000 US per year. That's $2000 per server, per year, including maintenance. That's per server install. There's no PVUs, nothing. Just $2000 per year. (What the price is outside the US, I don't know, but I'd hope and expect it to be somewhat similar).

For that, you can use it for an unlimited number of users, whether they're authenticated or not, no CALS involved (unless you use a Notes client to access the app, but then you've probably got a CAL for that already). Too good to be true? Well that depends on whether the license restrictions get in your way.

Firstly, you can run up to four applications on it, with up to four databases each. There were quite some discussions in the pre-launch call about this, but it's pretty clear that the four apps/four databases each is not a flexible feast and should not be bent into three apps and 13 databases, for example.

The databases can include mail-in databases, and the app can send mail itself, too. System databases don't count towards either the four or the 16 total, but conversely, if you run a Dominoblog app, that's an app in itself unless you can really show that it's part of a larger whole such as a complete Customer Service app.

Indeed, the Blog template along with the Teamroom, Document library and Discussion templates are branded as part of Social Business, and all of them potentially count as an app per instance. But should all these limitations be too much, you can buy an extension. That will entitle you to a total of eight apps on the server, and up to eight databases per app. As far as I can tell, you can't go beyond that.

You also can't host mail on that database. If you have authenticated users using the server, they can't have mail accounts on it, but you can use mail-in databases as part of the apps on the server. Each one contributes to the databases-per-app total.