WebSphere is a world of trouble, Domino readers say

Find out what IBM WebSphere is and read about the challenges some Lotus Notes Domino shops are experiencing with their WebSphere implementations.

Every month, without fail, one of our most popular Ask the Expert answers is "What is WebSphere?" Our recent annual reader survey revealed that only 25% of you are actually using WebSphere in your organization right now, so we're a bit baffled by all the interest.

To give us some insight, we recently asked SearchDomino.com readers what all the WebSphere fuss is about. Are you just curious or are you considering a WebSphere implementation? Does IBM need to do a better job of explaining its WebSphere product? What kind of information do you need about the product? Those are the questions we asked. Here's what a few of you told us.

Want to weigh in on the WebSphere conversation? Email us your thoughts at editor@searchdomino.com.

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READER COMMENT 1:

WebSphere is insanely complex, especially when compared to Notes/Domino. I've looked at WebSphere several times over the past five years, and each time concluded that it makes no sense for an SMB. IBM has still not made any case for WebSphere except in large organizations.

My employer is looking at WebSphere again as part of a portal initiative. It may be able to sell the vision at the strategic level, but it sure can't sell it to the developers who have to live with it.

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READER COMMENT 2:

I think one issue is that the group that supports WebSphere has no interaction with the group that supports Domino. I don't even know who supports WebSphere at the bank I work at. I know it's out there because I see it at change-control meetings approving upgrades. In larger organizations, this is an even bigger issue.

So the direction we're going in makes sense in theory. But, in practice, there's a great gap in leveraging both pieces of software. I'd imagine it would take a senior executive's forward thinking to initiate this type of SOA initiative.

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READER COMMENT 3:

Learn more about WebSphere from the following resources:

WebSphere Portal Primer

WebSphere Portal Learning Guide

Security considerations for a Domino WebSphere system

IBM WebSphere Reference Center

I work for a Fortune 500 company that has installed a corporate portal using WebSphere within the last year. This portal is now spawning off divisional and departmental portals. Some work is being done in creating new applications with WebSphere, but not a lot.

I work in a Domino development group, and a few years ago we thought that might be our future. But it became very clear to us that the learning curve was steep. In the end, the time and effort necessary to develop new applications in that environment was significantly more costly than Domino.

Our inventory of Domino databases throughout the company is well into several thousand, so our focus has shifted to thinking in terms of serving up Domino content in these new portals.

From our standpoint, this is one of the key messages that IBM has not gotten across to its existing customers. Our WebSphere team has gone down a path of allowing any and all content to be placed within the portals. This course of action has contributed to performance issues.

Our group is trying to paint a picture of less content actually contained within the portals themselves and more content severed up in other applications, like Domino databases. This seems to be the direction that IBM is trying to go with all of their new products, but it seems that the message is getting lost.

Do you have comments on this article? Let us know.

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