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Using WebSphere for 'smaller' Domino applications

I would like to hear examples of applications moved from Domino to WebSphere/J2EE. There is so much hype around WebSphere, how is it being used for "smaller" applications?
The vast majority of Domino applications work just fine. So unless you have a compelling business case to move a Domino application to WebSphere, the loss of Domino Designer RAD and collaborative framework capabilities can hardly be justified from a TCO perspective. However, there are Domino applications that would certainly benefit from moving to a J2EE/RDBMS environment, namely ones that have severe performance/scalability issues. This mostly happens in large corporations where application complexity and volume of data have outgrown Domino over the years. Here's a customer case study.

A large bank had a custom CRM application built in Domino containing approximately 165,000 contacts, an even larger number of deals and an even larger number of activities. Categorization needs meant that this Notes apps had a large number of views. This was a four-year old Notes app where data volume has outgrown Notes capabilities to perform. As a result, sales people where receiving phone calls from clients and it would take them two to three minutes just to open a view/document to access the information relative to this client. For the record, the server was running on a 4-CPU box with a lot of memory. Furthermore, management wants sales forecast reports with all the analytical slicing and dicing that required an OLAP tool such as Business Objects, and naturally the data needed to be stored in an RDBMS. So the bank built scheduled agents to push the data to a relational back end for the sole purpose of reporting.

These are just the two main issues in a laundry list of issues. But, you can already see that CRM data is highly relational in nature and the fact that it is artificially stored in Notes added a scalability issue because of LotusScript running to perform artificial joins which would have been natural in SQL. This application was obviously a good candidate for migration to a WebSphere/RDBMS environment. After migrating the application and data, the response time shrunk from two to three minutes to a few seconds on average. As expected, the ROI from the productivity gain of 3,000 sales reps using the new application on a daily basis was well worth the move.

This example is typical of applications that I've seen people move from Domino to WebSphere. In my experience, moving "smaller" Domino applications to WebSphere is generally harder to justify -- except perhaps for those "satellite" Domino applications where Domino is being used for "front-ending" back-end systems, and where WebSphere Portal would be a more natural choice these days, especially if your company has already invested in WebSphere Portal.

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