IBM announces iTunes Client for Lotus Domino

This is breaking news from the IBM Lotus Technical Forum in Karlsruhe: an iTunes client for Lotus Domino. Well, ok, IBM only announced an RSS feed template for Lotus Domino. But adding MP3 files to Notes documents and exposing the view as an RSS feed gives you – yes! – a podcast right from your Notes database. Lots of applause for this new feature from the crowd in the congress center.

Everybody seems to be in a good mood over here. Excellent presentations from Craig Hayman, Ron Sebastian, Kevin Cavanaugh and Ed Brill – lots of applause. Compared to the typical german audience I would call this „a fever of excitement“ – even there was not really an unexpected announcment.

So what did IBM announce today besides the iTunes client:
– Lotus Notes 7.0.2 will run on Mac OS – this was allready announced at Lotusphere. And it will be shipped with integrated Sametime presence awareness.
– Full Linux Support for Lotus Notes was announced at Lotusphere as well. It will run as a plugin in the Workplace Managed Client and will be shipped in June. According to IBM over 8.000 people at IBM use Lotus Notes now on Linux.
– As announced last week, IBM showed the SAP Templates for Lotus Notes. Five of seven templates will be ready to ship immediatly. Interesting demo scenario: Take the functionality of the new templates, run the database on a Domino 7 server, expose the code as a web service, let the code consume by the Blackberry Enterprise Server, and push your app out to the Blackberry Handhelds – and there you have mobile SAP client build in a few minutes.
– Sametime 7.5 is on the track and will be shipped in this summer. First thin I learned: they use the same codec for telephony integration that Skype uses. So theoretical integration should be easy – theoretical. Second: The Sametime 7.5 client understands now a kind of formular language! Yes, it looks like the good old formular language that lately raised from the dead in Workplace Designer. For example users can define own functions to automate an import from a specific range of cells from a spreadsheet into a chat. This was new to me and is not availabe in the Sametime 7.5 beta I use today.
– Lots of new features in WebSphere Portal 6 we will announce in our own Portal 6 Launch

And what about Hannover? One year ago Ambuj Goyal announced Hannover at the first IBM Technical Forum. Six months ago Kevin Cavanaugh showed live code as well as the good old tile wall – and Open Document Format (ODF) support was announced. At this years Lotusphere in January we could test some of the functionality. And now in Karlsruhe Hannover became an Office Suite: Hannover aka Lotus Notes 8 will have build in editors for spreadsheets, word processing and presentations which by default work with ODF format. If people still want to buy MS Office, they can. The editors will support the proprietary format too.

So Hannover is Lotus Notes – and a lot more. It will grow from a plattform for collaborative applications to an open plattform for composite applications. For the first time in 16 years Lotus Notes will do more than just talk to Domino. IBM has the vision to make the Eclipse based Hannover aka Lotus Notes the preferred SOA client.

Of course Lotus Notes will be backwards compatibel. „If Notes applications don´t run in Hannover, it´s a bug“, Mike Rhodin said. Unfortunatly we will have to wait a long time until we can try to prove this. Hannover will be shipped in Q1 2007 first half of 2007, as well as my personal favorite piece of software: the Activity Explorer. Some parts of that great technology are available in the Workplace Managed Client, but the best is yet to come. Browser access, Firefox plugin, Office support, Lotus Notes plugin. I expect Activity Explorer to save my life. I gave up cleaning up my inbox. „Gone are the days when people got excited when they heared that familiar sound ‚You Got Mail!’“, Ed Brill said. He was so right.

I enjoyed this first day very much. I visited very good sessions with excellent speakers – and had a good time with the usual suspects 😉

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