In addition to new entitlements and new features, Notes/Domino 8.5.3 has a completely re-written set of license agreements. Earlier this year, IBM legal and operations commenced a set of activities to simplify IBM software licensing. The goal was to make the license text much clearer in terms of what is NOT allowed, as opposed to trying to document what IS allowed. We got rid of a lot -- historical clauses, positive and negative opposites, extraneous terminology. Thus, the new licenses are a lot simpler and cleaner. They are also starkly different, so I wanted to summarize what is truly changed vs. what is simply expressed differently than in the past.

The main change to the Notes/Domino 8.5.3 license terms revolves around the Express offerings. One of the areas in which we have had feedback in the past is that it is hard to determine what kind of organization is actually eligible to buy and deploy Domino Express. The terminology used to define that eligibility has changed somewhat over the years that the Domino Express products have been available, but the last several versions have defined eligibility around an organization which employees 1000 or fewer people.

Since that is hard to track and audit, in Domino Collaboration Express and Domino Messaging Express 8.5.3, we have changed the eligibility metric to a technical restriction, of no more than 1000 users per Domino domain. This means that any size organization can purchase Domino Messaging/Collaboration Express, as long as they factor their deployments into Domino domains of 1000 or less. Clearly, Express is still intended to be our family of products for small and medium-sized businesses, thus that 1000 user restriction per domain mirrors original intent, in a clearly-measurable way.

Because the Messaging/Collaboration Express restriction is no longer explicitly around the size of organization, I couldn't pursue a previously sought-after goal of allowing anonymous access to Domino Collaboration Express servers. We would be suddenly in the web server market at approximately US$160 per server, an unintended consequence. On the other hand, nor could I change the term of the Domino Utility Express product at this point -- we thought about changing the metric for the Utility Express offering, but a technical restriction would immediately have put a number of customers out of license compliance. For Utility Express, thus, the restriction is still based on 1000 or fewer employees in the buyer's organization.

There is an error in the Domino license, unfortunately. The Domino Utility Express server includes a statement that each authenticated user requires a CAL, which is actually not the case with the Utility Server offerings. We will be fixing this error via a separate announcement, and the first fixpack will have the correction.

Otherwise, the new license is pretty simple. It mostly says what you can't do, it tells you what other programs you are licensed to use and which parts of them, and it includes standard terms common to all IBM software. I hope this makes your license management easier.

Here are links to the new license agreements online (pretty handy Domino application, really...)

2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Collaboration Express 8.5.3 5724Z10
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Designer 8.5.3 For Developers
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Designer 8.5.3 5724Z08
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Enterprise Client Access License 8.5.3 5724Z08
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Enterprise Server 8.5.3 5724Z14
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Messaging Client Access License 8.5.3 5724Z09
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Messaging Express 8.5.3 5724Z10
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Messaging Server 8.5.3 5724Z14
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Utility Express 8.5.3 5724Z14
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Utility Server 8.5.3 5724Z14
2011/10/04 IBM Lotus Domino Utility Server for LotusLive Notes 8.5.3 5724Z14

Since these new agreements are first appearing in 8.5.3, and are the first wholesale rewrite we have done in many, many years, I am expecting questions about the new wording or terms. Feel free to leave those here, or you can email me (ed_brill at Since we are just launching today, it may take my team and I some time to respond, but we are happy to help.

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