I saw a post this morning stating that the Federal Reserve is migrating to Exchange. Perhaps it's because I've been sick the past few days, but I found myself getting annoyed by some of the terminology used in the post. I left a long, rambling comment to that effect, but have since decided to duplicate the content of that comment here, as it's something I feel strongly about, even when I'm not sick. Enjoy:
Sorry for the nitpick, because a lot of people make this mistake, but it doesn't make sense that any customer would be migrating from Lotus Notes to Exchange. I don't mean it doesn't make sound business sense (though one could argue that mail migrations rarely do)... I just mean that you literally can't migrate from Lotus Notes to Exchange. You can migrate from Lotus Notes to Outlook, or from Domino to Exchange, but you can't migrate from Lotus Notes to Exchange. Well, I guess you could, but then you'd be running a mail server on every user's desktop, which seems kind of ridiculous, and then you wouldn't have any mail client at all, so what's that supposed to accomplish?
I'm being facetious, of course. I know what you mean when you say they're migrating from Notes to Exchange. Everybody knows what that means... or do they? Does the customer know what that means? I know at least one Domino developer who works for the Fed, which almost certainly means they have at least one Domino application. So what does it mean that the customer is migrating to Exchange? Are they just moving the mail but leaving the applications running on the server? If so, then IBM isn't losing a customer. They're still getting licensing revenue. Perhaps not as much, if the licensing terms are being changed to reflect discontinued use of the Notes client to access the Domino applications, but it's still revenue. It's still a customer kept.
Or are they shutting down Domino entirely? If so, then they aren't migrating to Exchange: they're migrating to Exchange and Something Else. Most likely it's Sharepoint. But it could be PHP. Or Ruby on Rails. Or ColdFusion. Or Node. Or Salesforce. Or any of hundreds of other application platforms within which their Domino applications' functionality could theoretically be reimplemented. But regardless of the target, it won't be easy. Migrating mail is easy; there's always risk, of course, but it's essentially just a field-to-field and record-to-record mapping. Migrating applications is NEVER easy, regardless of the source or target platform. You need serious technology, serious workforce, or both, to successfully pull it off. And the differences between the capabilities of the platforms, especially when compared to the differences between mail platforms, are potentially enormous.
Many of us have been, and will continue to be, critical of IBM's apparent lack of effort to drive home to existing and potential customers the value of the Domino platform. But every time one of us refers to a "Notes to Exchange" migration, we're making their job more difficult, because we're reinforcing the delusion that such a thing exists. We're perpetuating the lie that Notes is a mail client. It is an application client; mail is one of the built-in applications it supports.
Mail continues to be a very necessary business tool, and its value should not be underestimated, but mail is not enough to keep customers, because the incremental differences between mail platforms is minuscule. In the face of Microsoft's tactics, IBM cannot stop mail migrations without resorting to their tactics. But they CAN sell Domino as an application platform. They can drive home to customers and to the market the truth that there's no application platform on the planet that does what it does. And we can ease that effort by avoiding the trap of describing the platform precisely the way Microsoft wants us to: as an email platform with nothing significant to distinguish it from their own offering.
locating XPage components with XspQuery
Sun, Apr 14th 2013 12:00a Tim Tripcony Several years ago, I wrote a utility Java class designed to make it easy to search for components within the current XPage instance based on various criteria. I've found it enormously useful, and, apparently, so has Keith Strickland, because he added it to org.openntf.xsp.extlib, complete with a few refinements. As an example of how you might use this, examine the following line of code:
List requiredFields = new XspQuery()
.loc [read] Keywords: ldd
your how is not your what
Wed, Apr 3rd 2013 11:36a Tim Tripcony I've noticed a pattern emerging when I'm asked for help with XPages. Here's a representative conversation:
"I'm trying to do [X] and it's not working. How can I do that?"
"What are you trying to accomplish?"
"I already told you. I'm trying to do [X]."
"No, that's how you're trying to do it. What are you trying to do?"
For example, replace "[X]" with "reach into a repeat control from outside it" (since this has become the most frequent topic I'm asked about [read] Keywords: xpages application
my new favorite quote
Sat, Mar 23rd 2013 5:20p Tim Tripcony "We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Except for children (who don’t know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the [read] Keywords: wiki
Taking the scary out of Java in XPages: Prologue
Tue, Feb 26th 2013 9:50p Tim Tripcony The discussion following my last post made stark the need for greater availability of information that makes the nature of Java more accessible to Domino developers. Credit for the title of this post goes to Declan, who is considering writing a series of blog posts on this topic. I will be doing the same; hopefully there will be a fair amount of duplication. As David Leedy is fond of stating, it's a good thing when several people share the same information, because that makes it easier for the [read] Keywords: domino
Passthru vs. component - my perspective
Sat, Feb 16th 2013 9:40p Tim Tripcony Paul Withers posted a thorough article explaining the differences between namespaced XPage components (e.g. ) and their corresponding passthru elements (e.g. ), providing numerous examples of what actually happens when these objects are constructed. I've always heard (and often repeated) that passthru elements are more efficiently processed than their namespaced equivalents, so Paul's post inspired me to offer my own perspective.
Simply put, there's practically no difference... but there a [read] Keywords: acl