The crystal ball continues to shine -- or shadow, depending on how you look at it. We asked searchDomino's experts to gaze into Lotus' future and offer their predictions for Lotus Notes/Domino in 2002.
Editor's note: This is the second installment of our 2002 Lotus Sound Off expert predictions series.
Jens Bruntt - senior consultant, Convergens:
- On printing: 2002 will be the year that Notes prints. Oh yes, the way we have always wanted it, in the background or in the foreground, with proper footers and headers. We will be able to include tags in the body text of documents that insert the number of pages in the document, and indicate which page is currently printing. Iris has been developing this for about 10 years, so it will be perfect the first time.
- And we'll have XML round-tripping galore. In 2002 we will see inclusion of methods for the NotesDocument class that allows us to render a NotesDocument as XML. We will also see methods that will allow us to render XML documents into NotesDocuments. A document that does the round-trip - "Call doc.RenderAsXml" and then "Set newDoc = xmlDocumentParagraph.RenderToNotesDocument" - will appear exactly the same in the new document, no information lost at all.
Brian Mahoney - technical consultant and developer:
- Lotus will continue to be absorbed into IBM and may begin to disappear. The biggest example of this is the folding of the Lotus Support site into IBM's sites. Resources that were readily available through the Lotus Support site are now difficult to get to or impossible to find through the IBM site.
- Domino may loose ground to other products. Since IBM is not generally marketing Domino but is pushing WebSphere and other products, I think the Lotus products may start to fade into the sunset or be absorbed and presented as part of other IBM products.
- Tight business atmosphere and cost aversion may actually help Domino in shops that already have it installed. Additionally, since they are currently beating Outlook in TCO, they may gain some ground.
Chuck Connell - president, CHC-3 Consulting:
- Rnext will ship on December 35th, 2002. Yes, it will be delayed again and again, and Lotus/IBM will ship it as late as they can.
- Lotus/IBM will commit to another change to the Domino/Notes release process to improve quality. This will be the 537th time they make this commitment.
- We will see an upswing in large corporate purchases of Domino/Notes as the tech economy slowly improves. (These are the purchases that really drive the Domino/Notes world.)
Steven Gerhardt - certified IBM and Lotus developer, Ixion:
- As we've seen in the past few years, the merge of Lotus software into the IBM portfolio will continue to evolve into a tighter marketing pitch. From a marketing perspective, IBM has made some good strides this year to bundle the software products into a more consumable package from which customers can understand the pitch, advantage and application.
- I don't believe large migrations to R5 will be any stronger than they have been in the previous two years. Although Rnext is still off in the distance, the down economy is a good excuse to just wait for its release, when the money may well be back in the coffers for the project.
- "Collaboration" will be heard more and more, as IBM continues to sell the Lotus software brand away from strict e-business and e-commerce solutions. Lotus Domino is capable of many of the Web-integration pieces, but the brand and message is convoluted when mixed with WebSphere.
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