In just a few minutes, Ambuj Goyal will
deliver the keynote session at DNUG/IBM
Lotus Technical Forum. Since
I can't seem to get wifi to work for me in the Glashalle, and thus can't
blog the keynote "live", I stepped out after rehearsal to pre-blog.
The main announcement in Ambuj's keynote is "Hannover", the code name for the next major version of the IBM Lotus Notes client (post-7.0). "Hannover" has three objectives:
- Deliver unprecedented productivity through a compelling, activity-based user interface
- Introduce a new class of "composite" applications; delivering innovation by extending Notes applications in unison with a J2EE-based platform of packaged and custom applications
- Build on fifteen years of Lotus Notes
in-market leadership by protecting and leveraging existing customer investments
in Lotus Notes and Domino.
I'm pretty jazzed about "Hannover". First, it demonstrates that IBM is serious about continued investment in Lotus Notes. The value proposition of Notes will expand beyond being a Domino client -- "composite" applications combine new and existing Notes applications, web services and WSRP, and a service-oriented architecture to deliver more capabilities in Notes than ever before. Second, it shows that Notes has a long life ahead, and that Notes will continue to be a premier desktop application, with rich functionality and even better usability (and some eye candy for good measure!). Third, the "Hannover" release will deliver new innovation, new business value, and new productivity by blurring the lines between communication and activities, truly moving towards the vision of "contextual collaboration".
OK, so now to anticipate a few questions --
- "Hannover" is the next feature release of Notes after 7.0. A ship date isn't being announced today. Technical previews of this release are targeted for early 2006. Notes/Domino updates have been shipping on a 12-18 month cycle since 6.0, and the intent is to continue that.
- "Hannover" is targeted for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux client platforms.
- "Hannover" is Notes, based on the IBM Workplace client technology. We've been discussing this conceptually since Lotusphere 2005. It will do everything that Notes has always done, but leverage the new client architecture. This inevitably leads to questions about how customers will upgrade to that client environment. It's too soon to lay that out in detail, but the intention is to make that transition seamless, using tools like the existing SmartUpgrade process.
- A lot of what you are seeing in "Hannover" is evolution of the soon-to-be-shipping Notes plug-in for the Workplace client technology -- already part of Notes 7.0. So even "today" (next quarter), you'll be able to integrate Notes with other Workplace client apps, including Activity Explorer, Workplace Documents, etc.
- No, you can't get a "Hannover" beta tomorrow and I'm not yet ready to do demos for your CIO. But check out those screenshots, baby....