By far, the number one question I've received since we announced changes to the Notes/Domino licensing structure last week has been:
How do I use Domino Designer with Domino Collaboration Express?

This question comes up because under the "old rules", you could not combine Domino Express and Notes/Domino client-server licensing in a single deployment.  Domino Designer, as a stand-alone product, could be used against any Domino Enterprise Server -- Express or non-Express.

With the change for standard licensing to a Client Access License model, I have been asked numerous times, how do I build/deploy an application in a Domino Collaboration Express environment?  The answer requires you to play a little bit of connect-the-dots in our new license agreements.  I would like to make this clearer and will get a public FAQ posted to do so.  Meanwhile, here are the dots.

The Domino Collaboration Express 8.5.1 license agreement says that you can deploy the Domino Enterprise Server.  It is subject to specific restrictions, such as no clustering.  It also requires you to buy a Domino Collaboration Express license for "each Authorized User who accesses the Program".  That means every user.  However, that doesn't say that the Domino Collaboration Express license is the only license you can buy for each such user.  In both the old and new model, that means that a developer accessing a Domino Collaboration Express server from Domino Designer needed to buy something else.  In the old model, that was a license of Domino Designer -- yes, on top of their Domino Collaboration Express license.  In the new model, that is a Domino Enterprise CAL -- yes, on top of their Domino Collaboration Express license.

The Domino Enterprise CAL license agreement says that you can use IBM Lotus Domino Designer, and it says that you can create or modify Domino applications.  It also says that you can access a Domino server (Messaging/Enterprise/Utility).  

So, as long as each Domino Collaboration Express user is covered by a Domino Collaboration Express license, you can also buy a Domino Enterprise CAL for any users who need to use Domino Designer with the Domino Collaboration Express server.

It is only in the Domino Collaboration Express model that this "double license" would be needed for a user who is both accessing the Collaboration Express servers and using Designer to build apps for it.  In the regular Domino Enterprise/Utility Server environment, the Domino Enterprise CAL covers both the user's right to use Domino as well as their right to use Designer and build apps.  Some will say that this penalizes Collaboration Express customers from benefitting from the new free distribution of Domino Designer.  I think that's a fair criticism, but Express licensing has a series of restrictions that result in its price being significantly less than Notes (or the new Enterprise CAL).  I said in comments on another thread that my team and I deliberately did not want to make any changes to the Express licensing structure as part of the 8.5.1 effort; this is a tradeoff we made to address the majority situation.  Consider this my public acknowledgement that we created an unintentional point of confusion here, and will look at ways to clarify, beyond this blog post.

Update: As prompted by the comments, if the Domino Collaboration Express customer has one or more licenses of Domino Designer already, and is under maintenance/S&S for that/those license(s), the Designer licenses will be converted to Domino Enterprise CALs in February, 2010.  There is no need to purchase yet anything additional other than staying on maintenance for those Designer licenses.

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