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IBM Notes/Domino 9.0.1 Feature Pack 8 Preliminary Release Notice
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Daniel Nashed    

Today IBM released the first official information about Feature Pack 8 for Notes and Domino 9.0.1

The Preliminary Release Notice provides detailed information about the first feature pack which is currently listed with status "gold candidate".

Here are the release notes, with some comments from my side. (comments in blue).

Things to Note:
  • NBP replaced with ICAA - There is no NBP (Notes Browser Plugin) shipped with 9.0.1 FP8. This has been replaced with ICAA (IBM Client Application Access). For more information, see IBM Client Application Access V1.0.1 documentation
  • Notes Client on Linux - There is no Notes client for Linux shipped with 9.0.1 FP8. This client platform has been discontinued and customers are encouraged to move to Windows or Mac.
  • Domino Server on Linux32 and AIX32 - There is no Domino Server for Linux32 and AIX32 shipped with 9.0.1 FP8. This server platform has been discontinued and customers are encouraged to move to the 64-bit platforms. Windows 32 bit remains a shipped and support platform.
  • Windows Server 2016 Support - (SPR #SVROAEPS4R)

It was an expected and announced move from the browser plugin to a stand-alone application because vanishing support for the type of plugins IBM is using.

Windows Server 2016 support is an important update for customers on the Windows platform. And Windows remains the only platform with 32bit support.
Background is probably that applications like Sametime are still leveraging on the Windows 32bit Domino platform.

But for all other platforms including Linux moving to a 64bit only implementation only makes a lot of sense. For AIX customer should have moved already to native 64bit because of the limits of AIX segmented memory model.
For Linux most customers running mail and application servers and Traveler have already moved to native 64bit.

The Linux client for SLED has been discontinued earlier. And there have been some discussions and rumors.
But dropping the Linux client support with FP8 completely was a surprise for me.

New Features in IBM® Domino® 9.0.1 Social Edition Feature Pack 8

The documentation in Knowledgebase will be updated with these new features to coincide with the ship date of 9.0.1 FP8

1) Optionally Move Views outside of NSF  for Increased data store in NSF.
This feature is useful for large databases and provides the following benefits:
- A smaller database file size, to avoid reaching the 64GB limitation.
- Faster database backup and restore.
- Better performance by allowing concurrent access to database and views.

This is a long awaited feature and brings a couple of benefits as mentioned in the release notes.
The feature can be enabled per database and the view index is stored in a separate file in either the same directory or in a complete different location (similar to the way FT index can be moved).
It allows storage optimization and has less contention. Also the fragmentation on the NSF disk will be reduced. And of course your backup solution does not need to backup index data (NIF).
The size of the view/folder index for a mail-databases are around 10% of the database size (that's before DAOS). With DAOS enabled the remaining size is 30-40% of the full database which means NIF is around 30% of the remaining NSF size.
That's a great improvement!

2) Java Upgrade to 1.8.
The Java run time environment provided with Domino has been upgraded to Java JRE version 1.8 to provide you with access to the latest features.

The long waited update to Java 1.8 is shipping with FP8 :-)
This is the first step but the designer will hopefully be updated later this year to take benefit on new functionality for development of new application.

3) Optionally Increase Document Summary Data (SPR #AKNX64TLRS APARID: LO04193)
You can increase the document summary data limit on Notes 9 databases to 16MB from 64K. (The size limit for a single field remains 32 K.)

This feature is in discussion for a while and also a long waited new functionality. 64K for summary data not much but this was a difficult to change internal limitation.
Now with FP8 you can have up to 16MB summary data which is really an improvement for application developers!

4) Add support for ADFS 3.0 and update the corresponding Cookbook instructions for configuration.

ADFS 3.0 has been around for a while and is a much cleaner and straight forward implementation. It does not need IIS components and it build into the Windows server without extra download.
Also the administration and configuration is easier. Most customers looking into SAML today with Microsoft and other products are looking into ADFS 3.0.
So it was time to add ADFS 3.0 support. We implemented it for Web Federated Login for some customers and it worked well. Now we are getting official support!

Hopefully we get fully updated cook-books with cleaner and more detailed descriptions and background how to implement it.

New Features in IBM® Notes® 9.0.1 Social Edition Feature Pack 8

1) Optionally Add Show Options: "Group By Date" And "Beginning Of Message", To Desktop Policy Settings (SPR #JSTN98BP3T APARID: LO75595)
Administrators can add the notes.ini setting EnableGroupByDate=1 on mail servers to enable the Show > Group By Date option in all mail files.

2) Optionally Retain MIME formatting when forwarding or replying to internet messages
A notes.ini setting is now available for Notes Standard clients to retain MIME message formatting when users reply to or forward messages received from the internet. Without this setting, MIME messages are converted to Notes Rich Text which can cause some MIME formatting to be lost.

3) Optionally Enable displaying internet addresses in mail and calendar documents
You can enable internet addresses rather than Notes addresses to display in the Notes client mail and calendar. For example, display sdaryn@renovations.com rather than Samantha Daryn/Renovations@Renovations. To enable this feature, add the following setting to the notes.ini file on a Notes client $INETADDRESSFIXUP=1

Those changes in the Notes client show that there is still some development on the Notes client.
Both features can make sense in many customer environments.

-- Daniel

Jan 27, 2017
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