Today's announcement features elements that have been publicly discussed for some time -- such as embedded experiences in Notes and iNotes -- and new components, e.g. the product name and some of the new capabilities. Some of the loudest applause during the Lotusphere opening general session came when a key component of this release -- the Notes Application Player Plug-in -- was demonstrated.
Though we've occasionally hinted and once demonstrated the plug-in before, today is the first time we've formally announced it and done a public demo. The plug-in runs in Windows browsers -- Firefox and we'll probably do one other -- and allows Notes applications to run unmodified in the browser. The plug-in is a one-time download, much like the Adobe Acrobat model, where once installed, the browser can access Notes applications directly.
Our intent in building the plug-in is to provide an approach to a common strategic direction we hear from customers today -- the desire to utilize a browser for all custom business applications. While the installed Notes client will always provide the richest, most-integrated mail and applications experience for Domino, increasingly we are asked for help in getting away from desktop deployments. Desktop clients are, for any software -- Notes, Microsoft Office, SAP -- one of the more expensive cost-of-ownership components for IT organizations today.
The vision for Notes/Domino Social Edition is to establish web and mobile as first-class experiences, not secondary efforts done after we've perfected a Notes client capability. For example, the Notes Traveler client for Android will be substantially improved on tablet devices, with better calendar views and presence awareness. The Application Player plug-in completes the picture for browser-based Domino users, making their application experience as rich as possible.
Now, some applications need more than the plug-in. It isn't going to do anything for appearance and usability -- the applications will look and act the same as they do in the Notes client today. Many companies will continue to explore application modernization to XPages, through in-house or partner work, or tools such as the GBS Transformer. For the basic, typical Notes application, though, the plug-in will run your Notes application - it is, after all, just Notes.
Notes/Domino Social Edition has several additional enhancements and components. The big one in Notes and iNotes is embedded experiences, sort of a modern approach to "store form in document" Notes applications. Embedded experiences are applications designed using the Open Social 2.0 standard and the Apache Shindig container. They will provide a more seamless user experience by keeping the end-user in context of where they are already working. Surveys, YouTube videos, workflow approvals can all be acted upon without having to open up a new window/container/browser. In the Notes client, there will also be incremental feature updates, especially in mail and calendar, designed to improve usability. iNotes will have an updated implementation of calendar, faster and more dynamic. The Domino Server will have new features such as SAML support. In the coming weeks, I'll get more specific in blog entries about the new features of Notes/Domino Social Edition.
What version number is Notes/Domino Social Edition? Answer: It isn't. It's a feature version, but it is built atop the simultaneously-forthcoming planned Notes/Domino 8.5.4 release. Our belief from countless customer feedback sessions was that the more we could deliver new features atop the 8.5.x codestream, the easier it would be for our customers and partners to adopt the new features. Movement to a version "9" requires so many IT organizations to consider a "rollout plan" differently than an 8.5.x kind of upgrade. If you want, you can just deploy 8.5.4 with no new features, or you can add the Social Edition upgrade atop 8.5.4 and expose these new capabilities.
I anticipate a zillion questions about the Notes Application Player Plug-in. A few FAQs I can get out of the way now: It will run on Windows only, doesn't support the use of email through the plug-in, is less than 100 MB to download and install, and will run apps that are built to be self-contained typical NSFs. It won't support composite applications or other componentry built to take advantage of the full Notes 8 / Eclipse framework. We haven't decided which browser besides Firefox to build for; Chrome would be more approachable. If you have others, help us assemble the FAQ now.
The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge
Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 8:30a Ed Brill IBM CEO Ginni Rometty delivered the Wednesday keynote last week at Mobile World Congress. The speech was wide-ranging and covered a number of key thoughts around data, cloud, and engagement as the three major trends in enterprise technology that will change the way we work. At the conclusion of her speech, Rometty announced the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, and nominations are now open. What is the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge?The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge will e [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM Connect 2014: IBM MobileFirst report
Thu, Jan 30th 2014 2:20p Ed Brill I'm on my way home from my 18th trip to Orlando in January, leaving behind friends and memories from IBM Connect 2014. This was my first time at the event outside of the brand/division running it, and it definitely felt a little bit different. I didn't know what was being announced or previewed in the general sessions, had no dog of my own in the hunt. Of course, I continue to be enthusiastic about IBM's Collaboration Solutions, but I watched from the perspective more of an alumnus with far l [read] Keywords: collaboration
IBM Connect 2014, PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, Mobile World Congress
Wed, Jan 15th 2014 10:50p Ed Brill What a difference a year makes. It's just over a week away from the start of IBM Connect 2014. Though this will be my 18th time in Orlando in January, my agenda is a bit different this time. My friend David Marshak and I are presenting SB303: The Mobile Enterprise: Business In Motion with IBM MobileFirst on Wednesday, January 29, at 3 PM in Dolphin S. Hemisphere III. It'll be a great session; our goal is to give an overview of all the mobile enterprise tools and capabilities available in th [read] Keywords: ibm
Forbes: IBM’s New ’Presence Zones’ Help Retailers Transform In-Store Experience
Mon, Jan 13th 2014 11:30a Ed Brill At this week's National Retail Federation, IBM is showcasing Presence Zones, a new solution for bringing together in-store and mobile marketing. Combined with our recent acquisition of Xtify, IBM now is offering an extensive set of capabilities for integrated, immersive retail shopping expereinces -- benefitting both consumer and retailer. Mobile and retail has some pretty compelling use cases, basically the mass customization that Lotus CTO John Landry talked about two decades ago is really co [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM 2014 Beacon Awards: Outstanding mobile enterprise solution
Wed, Nov 6th 2013 8:50a Ed Brill Nominations are open until November 15, 2013 for the IBM 2014 Beacon Award for Outstanding mobile enterprise solution: This award recognizes an IBM Business Partner who has helped customers become a mobile enterprise, by providing business-to-employee (B2E) or business-to-consumer/business (B2C/B2B) solutions designed for mobile, first. Nominated solutions will be comprised of IBM MobileFirst solutions, with a primary focus on the MobileFirst platform. IBM offerings that are considered as the [read] Keywords: ibm
Mon, Oct 28th 2013 7:10a Ed Brill October has been an incredibly busy month. I am headed to Europe now for the third time in a 75-day period; the intervening time has also featured trips to Austin and Toronto. Additionally, I had the opportunity to be part of IBM InterConnect 2013 in Singapore earlier this month, my first time over to Asia this year. As such, I was determined to make the best of it. The InterConnect conference was excellent. Our IBM MobileFirst sessions went well, drawing several hundred attendees to learn a [read] Keywords: ibm
Busy week: Two mobile acquisitions and a major new market study
Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 7:10a Ed Brill When it rains, it pours. This week has been a busy one in the IBM MobileFirst arena, with two acquisitions plus a new market study out today. All of these are wind in the sails of activity heading into two key core events next week: IBM InterConnect in Singapore (where I will be), and Gartner IT Symposium. The first acquisition, announced Tuesday, is The Now Company of Dublin, Ireland. The Now Company offers analytics tools for Communications Service Providers (CSPs, or typically, teleco [read] Keywords: ibm
Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 12:53p Ed Brill Bruce Elgort has been a friend of mine for nearly fifteen years. He has been a mentor, an advocate, a sounding board, a cheerleader, and even a therapist. :-) Today, Bruce is stepping down as chairman of the IBM Notes-related open source community called OpenNTF.org. Bruce and Nathan Freeman conceived of OpenNTF a dozen years ago. I didn't quite know what to make of the guy and the idea, and at the time wasn't in a position where I could put any of IBM's energy into the effort (other than hav [read] Keywords: ibm