Customer: Notes 8 has been released, what should I do now? Evaluate Portal

Answer: Evaluate WebSphere Portal

I know it sounds strange, but if you don’t truly know what Portal is and what it can do, then you really don’t know what Notes 8 is. Since you’re probably not going to rush out and deploy Notes 8 immediately, now’s the time to understand the Portal environment and it’s capabilities. To me, it’s similar to companies that deployed Notes as an email platform and never really looked at or discovered what they could do with it from a development perspective. Certainly there’s value in Notes as strictly a mail platform, certainly around the security and virus aspects alone. Right or wrong, a lot of companies found themselves evaluating the licensing down the road and wondering why they were paying so much for strictly mail.

I think a similar situation occurs with Notes 8. You can deploy the Notes 8 basic client, at which point, I think a decision is being made (consciously or otherwise), to relegate Notes to legacy status. However, blindly upgrading to the Notes 8 standard client isn’t necessarily the right answer either. For one thing, when you install Domino 8, it’s going to ask about your Portal server, as it wants to install templates on it. While I’m sure you’ll be able to retrofit that later, I’m not sure I want to mess with that down the road. So, if you’re going to take full advantage of the Notes 8 world, you’re going to have sidebar items in the client and you’re going to have composite applications that leverage the entire IT enterprise rather than silo’d Notes applications. And this is where you need to understand what Portal is, what the Lotus Component Designer is, and how these things play together.

So, what’s your next step for Notes 8? Understanding the entirety of the Notes 8 platform which means understanding Portal’s role in it.