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Domino vs. Exchange: It's time for a truce

I've always found the energy placed into the Domino vs. Exchange debate wasted, given the fact that most of my customers tend to use either platform for mostly e-mail and not the more advanced collaborative features that are available.

Yet, it seems that the debate tends to focus on those unused features. To me, the question is not, "Which product is better?" -- The question should be, "Which product has the best "fit" for an organization?"

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Let's face it, they both suffer from a number of problems. Exchange still stores its server data in only one place (tsk, tsk). Domino still doesn't have a really effective method for centralized ACL management. Exchange suffers from a number of bizarre problems related to security and Active Directory. Domino has an ambiguous future. Both platforms have a well-earned reputation for being very difficult to deploy in complex environments. The list goes on, and nobody really wins.

However, despite all of the inherent problems in Domino and Exchange, they both have very useful capabilities. With a qualified IT professional, organizations can make informed choices about which product will do the following:


  • Solve immediate and future business problems
  • Allow organizations to leverage their technology investments
  • Be accepted by their users
  • Be supported by their IT resources
  • Provide a demonstrable ROI

It's a shame that we expend so much energy on picking a "winning horse." We do it with every category of technology (Domino vs. Exchange, Netware vs. Windows NT, Mac vs. PC, etc.). At the end of the day, rather than saying, "This product is better than that one," I'd like to be able to say, "This product is the best fit for our organization. It does the job and we're happy with our choice."

 Tom Wahl is an independent senior IT consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia. The majority of Tom's work is focused on project management, management consulting, infrastructure deployment and groupware.

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