Thursday, August 14, 2003

Lotus Workplace Questions

After a bit of thinking last night (and in the shower this morning), there are a couple of things that were not mentioned or commented on in yesterday's Roadshow.

Platforms - I assumed that Lotus Workplace will run wherever WAS and DB2 run today. Perhaps not. Workplace Messaging's system requirements (I'm always glad to see .nsf in the URL) state it only runs on AIX and Windows. What happens for 1.1? Is there a roadmap for other platforms?

The "rich" Workplace client is based on the Eclipse framework and will be targeted at Windows and Linux desktops - there is another.

Installation and Deployment - I know the current installation of Workplace Messaging is a dog's breakfast of separate installs and batch files. This might be acceptable for a 1.0 product, but makes the product look like a bunch of stuff just thrown together.

Lotus Workplace needs to install and deploy as a single product, like Domino does now.

The Domino-using organisations that I have worked for have all been geographically dispersed with 50 - 450 locations - all connected with relatively slow links (64-128K). These links are going to be running at these speeds for the forseeable future so a consolidated data centre is not a viable solution for all users. Sites also need to be able to work independently, so a local server (or cluster) is required.

If Lotus Workplace will not scale to at least 500 servers in a single domain, then it will not be a plausible replacement for Domino in these organisations. I need to be able to manage and deploy policy, templates and portlets across all servers.

Backup -I assume there will be a Tivoli product specifically for Workplace. I can't imagine that manually synchronising WAS and DB2 backups and restores would be a trivial process.

By the way, someone told me yesterday that there is no Tivoli Data Protection for Domino on linux?

Database - I'm not sure how deeply DB2 is buried under the hood in Workplace. Jeff Calow mentions the fact that the plan is to eventually support at least Oracle as an alternate dbms.

Why not use something like Lotus Domino JDBC driver to let us that have Domino infrastructure get a bit more life out of it.

The cynic in me tells me that Domino is not strategic, and there are all those DB2 license to be selling, but again, for a distributed network, I don't want to deploy and manage hundreds of DB2s if I don't have to. Or is support of standard like JDBC less important then getting DB2 into all those Domino sites.

Summary - There is a lot of good things that can be said about Lotus Workplace, but there are still these sort of questions to resolve. At this stage, I'm assuming that someone at Lotus has got answers for these and similar questions.

Time will tell.

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