Thursday, August 23, 2007

All about Lotus Notes

IBM Lotus Notes

Lotus Notes is a client-server, collaborative application owned by IBM Software Group. IBM defines the software as an "integrated desktop client option for accessing business e-mail, calendars and applications on [an] IBM Lotus Domino server."


The Notes client is mainly used as an email client, but also acts as an instant messaging client (for Lotus Sametime), browser, notebook, and calendar/resource reservation client, as well as a platform for interacting with collaborative applications. People who support the Notes client regard the easy interoperability of all of these roles as a major advantage in multiple-application business environments. In the early days of the product, the most common applications were threaded discussions and simple contact management databases. Today Notes also provides blogs, wikis, RSS aggregators, CRM and Help Desk systems, and organizations can build a variety of custom applications for Notes using Domino Designer.
IBM Lotus Notes 7 customized Welcome Page.
Lotus Notes Page in Lotus Notes 6.5
Lotus Notes Release 5 client workspace

The Notes client can be used as an IMAP and POP e-mail client with non-domino mail servers. Recipient addresses can be retrieved from any LDAP server, including Active Directory. The client also does web browsing although most people configure it to launch their default browser instead.

Features include group calendaring and scheduling, SMTP-based e-mail (HTML based e-mail is available to Java developers), NNTP-based news support, and automatic HTML conversion of all documents by the Domino HTTP task.

Notes instant messaging allows you to see your coworkers online and have chat sessions with them. A chat session can be with one person or multiple people (an instant meeting).

In its latest version (7), Notes provides a web services interface. Domino can be a web server for HTML files too; authentication of access to Domino databases or HTML files uses Domino's own user directory and external systems such as Microsoft's Active Directory.

A design client is available to allow rapid development of databases consisting of forms, which allow users to create documents; and views, which display selected document fields in columns.

In addition to being a "groupware" system (e-mail, calendaring, shared documents and discussions), Notes/Domino is also a platform for developing customized client-server and web applications. Its use of design constructs and code provide capabilities that facilitate the construction of "workflow" type applications (which may typically have complex approval processes and routing of data).