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.
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
Continental and IBM Enter Connected Vehicle Collaboration
Tue, Sep 10th 2013 4:30a Ed Brill This morning, at the Frankfurt IAA International Auto Show, Continental AG and IBM announced a collaboration agreement to jointly develop fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions for car manufacturers around the world. From the press release: Dirk WollschlÃ¤ger, General Manager Global Automotive Industry, IBM said: "Realization of the fully connected vehicle requires technology expertise across Big Data, embedded intelligence and the ability to deliver services over a highly scalable cl [read] Keywords: collaboration
Tweetchat this Thursday- Catching the Mobile Wave, Thinking Beyond the Device
Sun, Sep 8th 2013 7:50p Ed Brill I've, uh, tweeted some info about this, but thought it might be useful for those of you watching the blog to know about this upcoming Tweetchat. I've never actually hosted a Tweetchat before, so I'm excited to be the emcee for a People for a Smarter Planet Tweetchat this Thursday, 12 September, at 12:00 noon US EDT (6 PM CEDT). The Tweetchat is, as you might expect, about the future of enterprise mobility. Specifically, the questions we will examine include: What's your definition of a [read] Keywords: ibm
Six months in
Thu, Aug 1st 2013 7:20a Ed Brill It was January 31 at IBM Connect 2013:This week has served to remind me what a special community we have built, and continue to grow, around these products. You are all like family to me, and I will remain a part of the family as I move into the mobile space. I hope you will likewise all take the opportunity to come along on that journey, one of the most exciting areas of technology across the entire IBM portfolio. Six months ago. Time has flown. IBM Notes and Domino 9 Social Edition shipp [read] Keywords: domino