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Domino to J2EE: How to know if you should migrate

When is a migration to J2EE from Domino a reasonable choice?

Based on my conversations with IBM/Lotus experts, my own experience and discussions with other experts, there are a lot of reasons NOT to migrate. But instead, to use iFrames to pull into WebSphere Portal, or to use J2EE at the back-end of Domino front-ends, or to even (gasp) do nothing.
This is an excellent question, and there are four questions you should ask yourself, to determine whether you need to migrate or not.

  1. Are there performance/scalability problems with my Domino application?
  2. Are the business processes in my Domino application outdated because business requirements have significantly changed?
  3. Does my Domino application contain information that we need to collaborate on with customers, suppliers, or third parties who do not necessarily have Notes?
  4. Am I lacking cross-system reporting capabilities involving information that is not only in Domino?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then consider migration. Let nobody fool you with iFrames. Visual integration in the same browser does not give you much, because you don't benefit from the portlet communication mechanisms. Using J2EE at the backend of Domino frontends would definitely be more expensive than migrating the application. Finally, look into third-party solutions to automate the migration process, as otherwise migration could be very costly.

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This was last published in August 2004

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