Earlier today, we distributed the first external beta code drop of Notes/Domino Social Edition to our Design Partners. This is also the third code drop of the Notes/Domino 8.5.4 beta release, but the first to start adding the key new Social Edition features.

Design Partners are still covered by a non-disclosure agreement, so you won't hear from them quite yet on what's new. To give you an idea of what they're now playing with though, it's what we described in various sessions at Lotusphere 2012.

This is the first build where the Notes browser plug-in, which allows the use of Notes client applications in a web browser without the Notes client needing to be installed, is officially ready for testing. The release has only been in Design Partner hands for a few hours and I am already receiving "OMG" emails :-). Note, starting with this build, we have simplified the name of that plug-in --  we had been calling it something like a "Notes Application Player Plug-In for Windows" and now we are just saying "Notes browser plug-in". Also we are building that for Internet Explorer and Firefox; I know my Lotusphere slides showed we hadn't decided which two browsers to focus on first.

There are several other enhancements in the code drop 3 build, including completely updated iNotes calendar forms, abbreviated dates in the inbox, SAML support, and a number of XPages enhancements.

We expect the next code drop - likely about six to eight weeks from now - to be more broadly available to beta program participants, and also to include updates to Notes Traveler.

As indicated at Lotusphere, we plan to ship Notes/Domino Social Edition and the Notes/Domino 8.5.4 release by the end of 2012.

Here is a screen shot of the new iNotes calendar workflow UI:

Image:First beta of Notes/Domino Social Edition now out to design partners

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