DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT DOMINO HCL NOTES?
Facts about Domino & Notes from HCL Digital Solutions
30 years of market presence is a period of time that has room for many announcements. Here is a brief summary of the only true collaboration platform: Domino HCL Notes.
What is Domino?
Domino is a server platform – in fact, the only true groupware platform. Because Domino HCL Notes includes the application(s), the user directory and a messaging for perfect collaboration in the company.
To do this, Domino delivers a secure, full-featured application and email environment with calendar and task management for any organization. For example, appointments can be managed and invitations sent to participants in the calendar application. It is also possible to check the free times of the participants and reserve rooms and equipment (for example, projector, flipchart, company car, etc.). Users access the data via Notes client, web client (browser), iPad or even smartphone. Everything from Domino HCL Notes.
An important distinction:
Domino is a document-based database management system (DBM system) and not a relational one, such as SQL, DB2 or Oracle. Nevertheless, data synchronization between the two DBM systems is easily possible.
The legendary beginning
Starting in 1984, Ray Ozzi and his team at Iris Associates (later Lotus Development Corporation) developed Notes Domino groupware software. In 1989, it went on the market with 1.0. Until 2013 it was distributed as Lotus Notes Domino, then – until July 2019 – as IBM Notes Domino. Since then it has been called HCL Notes Domino.
For years, Notes Domino was loved by German businesses. The largest user association in the world, DNUG from Germany, also testifies to this. Nevertheless, many companies had already given up on Notes Domino because too little new came from IBM for too long. It seemed uncertain whether Notes Domino would be further developed and thus modernized.
But since 2018, Notes Domino has blossomed anew with fresh enthusiasm – triggered by HCL Digital Solution’s creative actions and reliable planning. According to HCL, as of 2018, 18,000 customers worldwide with 50 million users are working with Domino HCL Notes.
Domino HCL Notes family
Basis for administration
- Domino Server – runs on almost any operating system such as AS400, Windows, Linux
- Administration – Client for the admin
Basis for working with applications on the Domino server
- Notes client – offline capable application client
- iNotes – use email, calendar, tasks, resources in the browser
- Nomad – Client for the iPad
- Traveller – app for mobile access to email and calendar functions
Basis for developing software on the Domino server
- Designer – Client for application development
The great strength of Domino
One of its greatest strengths is rapid application development. Translated, this means: Domino allows the development of applications with small effort. Fourth-generation languages are also used. Basically, Domino HCL Notes allows extensive databases for various contents, where the data as well as any file attachments can be stored directly together with the application logic. In addition, Domino already provides ready-made standards.
Out of the Box from Domino HCL Notes
- Security: comprehensive authorization management down to document level
- Offline capability: use even without server connection – changes are synchronized after reconnection of server and client
- Messaging: email, calendar, task and resource management,
- Full text indexes for easy and fast searching
- Ready-made applications can be easily transferred from the server to the clients via replication
- Support for numerous 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 in a complex way and thus make Domino a low-code platform. Individual applications – as the GEDYS IntraWare CRM software example shows – can be perfectly merged with standards, such as e-mail, contact, calendar and tasks, and enable company-wide collaboration.
Compared to other development environments, Domino HCL Notes thus enables cost savings in terms of development, maintenance and administration. Collaboration applications can be developed quickly and customized for any business process. For the best teamwork ever.
That’s why administrators love Domino
Domino fulfills wishes of admins comprehensively
Domino is exceptionally secure
With the integrated comprehensive authorization management, the visibility of information can be precisely configured and made inaccessible to unauthorized persons (including administrators) through secure encryption.
Approval processes can be mapped via hierarchy levels. The associated information is made available to authorized persons at all times. The associated Domino server provides the cost-saving infrastructure with comprehensive security levels.
This fully integrated public key infrastructure (PKI) is another key feature of the Domino server. The Notes user ID required for the user to work includes certificates, a public key, and the matching private key. If necessary, the key required for symmetric encryption is also available. This means that the otherwise complicated administration of user IDs is already integrated in Domino.
A new feature in Domino 10 and later allows access permission to be granted and revoked via a single admin setting.
Monitoring and repair directly in the package
For the admin, Domino provides its own monitoring at the same time: Domino Domain Monitoring informs and notifies the admin about errors in the entire Domino infrastructure (not just one server). An automatic repair function then also facilitates the solution of the problem.
Domino servers run stable
Once installed and started, the Domino server runs and runs and runs. And he doesn’t have big demands on the operating system either. Thus, it becomes a reliable partner for every admin.
Excursus: What is meant by replication?
Replication is a process for automatic comparison of different instances of of distributed database systems.
Such instances here are, for example, Notes client and Domino server. This function is of particular importance for the offline functionality of Domino HCL Notes. Because this allows applications and data to be used and edited even without a Domino server connection. Only the changes are then automatically synchronized between client and server by means of replication, so that there is no loss of data.
Somewhat different, but equally helpful, is the process of synchronization. In this case, different database instances are not synchronized, but the data is synchronized between different applications. For example, a CRM and ERP system can then work on the basis of uniform data records.
What innovations came with
On 09.10.2018 HCL presented the new Domino V10 in Frankfurt. This event was highly anticipated and generated a lot of press coverage. For the Domino HCL Notes V10 enhancements, the main focus was on total cost of ownership (TCO), usability and application development. The following points show the effect of the optimizations in detail. There is a future, a clear strategy and a passion for the product. The future is Domino HCL Notes.
- Improved security features
Among other things, the database size limit is increased to 256 GB, an automatic NSF/database repair function is introduced, and automatic replica synchronization is improved.
- Easier integration of the Domino server
Simplification of Active Directory integration, improved ID/Vault management, and SAML IDP upgrades for SSO simplify the work for Domino administrators.
- Operating comfort improved
Domino V10 is designed to increase usability. As a result, numerous compatibility (including cross-device Sametime chat) and integration (Notes client on iPads) improvements are included.
- Application Development
Easier and faster development for Domino with support for modern standards like Node.js and Bootstrap 4.
Development tools for web designers & amateur developers
Easier Integration into the Microsoft ecosystem
Domino Mobile Apps, for better mobile device support
iPad client named Nomad
Processing of larger amounts of data Size limit of nsf files increased from 64 GB to 256 GB
Where is Domino heading?
HCL follows a transparent information policy and has always remained true to its deadline predictions. The software development goals for the next few years are just as strict.
Domino Mobile Apps were first introduced in September. But it’s now blow by blow. Read our blog article “HCL Roadmap: What does the future hold for HCL Connections and what is the HCL Connections development team working on?“
In Q4 2019, the entire Domino HCL Notes V11 product range awaits us with new releases – as scheduled once a year from now on, with interspersed feature packs expected once a quarter. In addition, HCL continues to support Domino on IBMi.
On Dec. 4, 2019, HCL in Tokyo presented Domino, Notes and Sametime V11 as well as Connections V6.5. More details about Domino HCL Notes are available on our HCL Notes Domino blog.
Domino costs and benefits
The cost-benefit ratio of Domino 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 due to the fact that the Domino server comes with many things that have to be financed additionally with alternative models, such as SQL server, Internet information server, Exchange server or Teamfoundation server.
In addition, Domino can be used to create directly integrable applications at low cost, eliminating the need to purchase and integrate additional software.
Language versions for Domino HCL Notes
Starting with the launch of Domino V11, the following language packs will be shipped immediately with each release.
Pros and cons
Computerwoche from Switzerland has looked into the topic of Notes Domino and written the article “Good reasons for and arguments against Notes“. A good occasion to share our experiences with Domino.
Access management is much easier than usual with Domino and is controlled by the system itself. Digital signatures enable approval processes at low cost.
Asynchronous replication can be used to create instances of an entire application on local machines. Thus, it is possible to work with the application even without an Internet connection.
Rapid Application Development
Cost-effective development of e.g. department-specific applications that 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.
Attention data consistency
Due to the distributed storage model, replication conflicts may occur, which then have to be resolved manually.
No real time data
Likewise, due to the distributed memory model, only the state of one node can be determined at a time, making real-time data impossible.
Web development obsolete
The business logic runs exclusively on the server and not, as is now common, to a large extent in the browser. This makes it difficult to combine modern developer stacks.
Currently waiting for the integration of Office products, but not yet satisfactorily solved.
In other systems, data may be lost in such cases because priority is simply given to the last save.
There are settings that ensure ad hoc replication. If you have any questions about Domino settings, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HCL is constantly working on modernization and better integration capabilities of Domino. Optimizations are therefore to be expected in the near future in web development and third-party integration.
Please also read the interview by Dr. Thomas Zeizl in DV-Dialog.
Questions about the license model?
We provide answers to the different models and are authorized to sell licenses from HCL.
Who is HCL Digital Solutions or HCL Technologies?
HCL does not (yet) have the name recognition 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 HCL employees work from offices in Eschborn, Munich & Zurich. HCL has already demonstrated that it will specifically drive the Notes Domino theme.
- After initial skepticism, one can now see how serious HCL Digital Solution is about Domino. The HCL development team has been greatly expanded – also with know-how carriers from the IBM development lab – and has so far always met 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 offers extremely good support for user and software development companies.
- To align Domino with today’s and tomorrow’s needs, HCL establishes question and answer sessions with customers, users, developers and professionals. While in the past Notes Domino was pushed through by special requirements of a few major customers (via the corresponding pressure on the sales people), HCL first listens to all voices to prioritize new features.
- Special Domino experts – such as Daniel Nashed – are 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 to continue working on the great story.
- Regular HCL Factory tours provide information – most recently with the developers in the USA.
The GEDYS IntraWare service
Performance optimization of existing Domino infrastructure: The infrastructure of existing business applications can be made future-proof and efficient. With a modernization of Domino 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.