Facts about Domino & Notes by HCL Digital Solution

30 years of market presence is a period in which many reports have room. Here’s a quick summary of the only true collaboration platform: Domino HCL Notes.
Domino HCL Notes: Der Held ihrer Zukunft

Your next chance to get to know the Domino HCL Notes world is on 28.11. Domino Day in Cologne.

What is Domino?

Domino is a server platform – actually the only true groupware platform. Domino HCL Notes includes the application(s), the user directory and messaging for the perfect collaboration in the company.

To do this, Domino provides a secure, fully-featured application and email environment with calendar and task management for every business. For example, the Calendar application can manage appointments and send invitations to attendees. In addition, it is possible to check the free times of the participants as well as to reserve rooms and equipment (e.g. projector, flipchart, company car, etc.).

Users access the data via Notes client, web client (browser), iPad or even smartphone. Shop all Domino HCL Notes.

An important distinction:

Domino is a document-based database management system (DBM system) and not a relational system, such as SQL, DB2, or Oracle. Nevertheless, data synchronization between the two DBM systems is easily possible.

The Legendary Beginning

From 1984, Ray Ozzi and his team at Iris Associates (later Lotus Development Corporation) developed the Groupware software Notes Domino. It was launched in 1989 with 1.0. It was distributed as Lotus Notes Domino until 2013, and then as IBM Notes Domino until July 2019. Since then, it has been called HCL Notes Domino.

For years Notes Domino was loved by the German companies. This is also attested by the largest user association in the world, DNUG from Germany. Nevertheless, many companies had already abandoned Notes Domino because IBM had not been able to do enough for too long. It seemed uncertain whether Notes Domino would be further developed and thus modernized.

But since 2018, Notes Domino has blossomed with fresh enthusiasm – triggered by the creative actions and reliable planning of HCL Digital Solution. According to HCL, 18,000 customers worldwide with 50 million users will work with Domino HCL Notes in 2018.

Domino HCL Notes Family

Basis for administration

  • Domino Server – runs on almost any operating system such as AS400, Windows, Linux etc.
  • Administration – Client for admin

How to work with applications on the Domino server

  • Notes Client – offline application client
  • iNotes – Use email, calendar, tasks, resources in the browser
  • Nomad – Client for iPad
  • Traveller – Mobile access app for email and calendar features

Foundation for developing software on the Domino server

  • Designer – Application Development Client

The Great Strength of Domino

One of the greatest strengths is Rapid Application Development. Translated, this means that Domino allows the development of applications with little effort. Fourth-generation languages are also used.

Basically, Domino HCL Notes allows extensive databases for various contents, whereby the data as well as any file attachments can be stored directly together with the application logic. In addition, Domino already supplies ready-made standards.

Out of the Box by Domino HCL Notes

  • Security: extensive authorization management up to the document level
  • Offline capability: use even without server connection – change matching occurs after the server and client are reconnected
  • Messaging: email, calendar, task and resource management,
  • Full-text indexes for easy and fast search
  • Finished applications can be easily replicated from the server to clients
  • Support for many services and protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, POP3, IMAP, RSS, and others
  • Native database interfaces: a few commands and Domino HCL Notes has access to Oracle or via ODB to MySQL.

These standards do not have to be programmed extensively and thus make Domino a low-code platform. Individual applications – as the example of GEDYS IntraWare CRM software shows – can be perfectly merged with standards such as e-mail, contact, calendar and tasks and enable company-wide collaboration.

The special features of a CRM system are described in the article What is a CRM system?.

Compared to other development environments, Domino HCL Notes enables cost savings in development, maintenance, and administration. Collaboration applications can be developed quickly and tailor-made for any business process. For the best teamwork ever.

Administrators have to love Domino for this

Domino addresses the wishes of the administrators in a comprehensive manner.

Domino is exceptionally safe

With built-in extensive permission management, the visibility of the information can be accurately configured and made inaccessible to unauthorized persons (including administrators) by secure encryption.

Approval processes can be mapped using hierarchy levels. The associated information will be made available to authorized persons at any time. The associated Domino server provides the cost-saving infrastructure with comprehensive levels of security.

This fully integrated public key infrastructure (PKI) is another central feature of the Domino server. The Notes user ID required for the user’s work includes certificates, a public key and the appropriate private key. If necessary, the key required for symmetric encryption is also present. This means that the otherwise complicated administration of user identifiers at Domino is already integrated.

With a new feature starting from Domino 10, access permission can be granted via a single setting of the admin and can also be revoked.

Monitoring and repair directly in the package

Domino’s provides its own monitoring for the admin: Domino Domain Monitoring informs and notifies the admin about errors in the entire Domino infrastructure (not just one server). An automatic repair function also makes it easier to solve the problem.

Domino servers run stable

Once installed and started, the Domino server runs and runs and runs. And it doesn’t have much to do with the operating system. This way, he becomes a reliable partner for every admin.

Excursion: What is meant by replication?

Replication is a process for automatically matching different instances of distributed database systems.

Such instances are, for example, Notes Client and Domino server. This feature is particularly important for the offline functionality of Domino HCL Notes. This allows applications and data to be used and edited even without a Domino server connection. Only the changes are automatically matched by replication between the client and the server, so that no data loss occurs.

Slightly different, but just as helpful, is the process of synchronization. This does not reconcile different database instances, but synchronizes the data between different applications. For example, a CRM and ERP system can work on the basis of uniform data sets.

What were the new features of Domino v10?

On 09.10.2018, HCL presented the new Domino V10 in Frankfurt. This event was eagerly awaited and generated a lot of response in the press.

The improvements to Domino HCL Notes V10 focused on total cost of ownership (TCO), usability and application development. The following points show how the optimizations work in detail.

  • Improved security features
    Among other things, the size limit of the databases will be increased to 256 GB, an automatic NSF/Database Repair function will be introduced, and automatic replica sechronocity will be improved.
  • Easier integration of the Domino server
    Simplify Active Directory integration, improve ID/Vault management, and SAML IDP upgrades for SSO simplify work for Domino administrators.
  • Ease
    Domino V10 is intended to increase usability. Therefore, there are many improvements in compatibility (including cross-device Sametime chat) and integration (Notes client on iPads).
  • Application
    Easier and faster development for Domino with support for modern standards such as Node.js and Bootstrap 4.

Functions in the spotlight

There is a future, a clear strategy and a passion for the product. The future is domino esonated by Domino HCL Notes with:

  new iPad client called Nomad

  new development tools for web designers & amateur developers

  greatly improved operating comfort

  Processing larger amounts of databecause the size limit of an nsf file has been increased from 64 GB in v9 to 256 GB in v10.

  AppDev Pack with access to the world of JavaScript and Node.js

  Domino Mobile Apps that improve mobile device support

  good news for your wallet:significantly reduced total cost of ownership and easier integration into the Microsoft ecosystem

Where is Domino heading?

HCL has a transparent information policy and has always remained true to its forecasts. The goals for software development for the next few years are just as strict.

In September, the Domino Mobile Apps were introduced. But it’s all over the place now. Read our blog article “HCL Roadmap: What is the future of HCL Connections and what is the HCL Connections development team working on?”

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the entire product range around Domino HCL Notes V11 awaits us with new releases – as planned from now on once a year, with inter-spread feature packs expected once a quarter. In addition, HCL continues to support Domino on IBMi.

On 4.12.19 HCL presents Domino, Notes and Sametime V11 as well as Connections V6.5 in Tokyo. More details and registration for the live webinar for Domino HCL Notes can be found on our HCL Notes-Domino-Blog.

Domino 11 und danach

Costs and benefits of Domino

Domino’s cost-benefit ratio is unbeatable. The Forrester study shows you why.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has been extensively optimized with Domino HCL Notes V10. This is simply because the Domino server brings a lot of things directly, which must be additionally funded with alternative models, such as SQL servers, Internet information servers, Exchange servers, or Teamfoundation servers.

In addition, Domino can create directly integrated applications at low cost that eliminate the need to purchase and integrate additional software.

Read a comprehensive study Total Economic Impact™ by Forrester from January 2019.

Language versions of Domino HCL Notes

From the launch of Domino V11, the following language packs will be delivered immediately with each release.

Pros and cons

The Computerwoche from Switzerland dealt with the topic Notes Domino and wrote the article “Good Reasons for and Arguments Against Notes“. A good occasion to incorporate our experience with Domino.


Access management is much easier than usual with Domino and is controlled by the system itself. Digital signatures enable approval processes at a low cost.

Attention data consitence

The distributed storage model can cause replication conflicts, which must then be resolved manually.

Best Practice

Other systems may lose data in such cases because priority is simply given to the last save.

Offline functionality

Asynchronous replication allows you to create instances of an entire application on local machines. This way you can work with the application even without an Internet connection.

No real-time data

Similarly, due to the distributed storage model, only the state of a node can be determined at a time, which makes real-time data impossible.

Best Practice

There are settings that ensure ad hoc replication. If you have any questions about Domino settings, please contact support@gedys-intraware.de

Rapid Application Development

Cost-effective development of e.g. department-specific applications, which are nevertheless integrated into the company’s IT strategy. (keyword: low-code platform)

Low Total Cost of Ownership

Domino requires far fewer administrative resources (both servers and people) than usual.

Web development obsolete

The business logic runs exclusively on the server and not, as is now customary, to a large extent in the browser. As a result, modern developer stacks are difficult to combine.

Third-party integration

We are currently waiting for the integration of Office products, but have not yet been satisfactorily resolved.

Best Practice

HCL is constantly working on dominoes’ modernization and better integration capability. For web development and third-party integration, optimizations are therefore expected in the near future.

You can also read the interview by Dr. Thomas Zeizl in the DV-Dialog. And be sure to attend the live launch event.

Questions about the license model?

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    Oliver Niedner

Oliver Niedner

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Who is HCL Digital Solution or HCL Technologies?

HCL does not have the reputation of IBM, but has long been established in the German-speaking world. For example, a strategic partnership with Deutsche Bank has been in place for ten years. Headquartered in India, the company operates in 44 countries worldwide. 600 employees of HCL work from offices in Eschborn, Munich and Zurich.

HCL has already demonstrated that it will target the Notes Domino topic.

  • After initial skepticism, you can see today how serious HCL Digital Solution is with Domino. The HCL development team has been greatly expanded , including with know-how carriers from the IBM development lab – and has always kept to its planning specifications.
  • Managing Director in the DACH region Tom Zeizel has made it clear that his stated goal is”to make sales with Notes Domino”.
  • HCL provides excellent support for user and software development companies.
  • To align Domino’s with current and future needs, HCL establishes question rounds with customers, users, developers and professionals. While in the past Notes Domino was pushed through by special requirements of fewer large customers (through the corresponding pressure on the sellers), HCL first listens to all voices to prioritize new features.
  • Special Domino experts, such as Daniel Nashed, will be awarded the title Champion together with IBM. In the future, Masters will be awarded.
  • With creative events and a comprehensive collaboration portal, HCL addresses the Domino community in DACH and worldwide and motivates them to continue working on the great story.
  • Regularly inform HCL Factory tours – last but not least with the developers in the USA.

The service of GEDYS IntraWare

Performance optimization of existing Domino infrastructure: The infrastructure of existing business applications can be designed to be sustainable and efficient. With a modernization of Domino’s applications and unique service. Whether individual applications for business processes or ideal infrastructure – we are happy to advise and support you and your Domino HCL Notes.