Activities in Notes/Domino8 -- again, IBM does not get it
There is a nice article about the upcoming IBM Lotus Domino 8 Server and it’s new features over at „Domino Blog”, the blog of the developers and product managers of the Lotus Domino team. Although a worthy and interesting read, there were a few points that somehow disturbed me. Especially the part regarding „Domino 8 is 100% Domino and has no hidden prerequisites”:
Domino 8 has no hidden prerequisites or new requirements for you to install (IBM WebSphere Application Server, IBM WebSphere Portal Server, and IBM DB2 are all optional extras you can chose to deploy). Nor does it require that you deploy any of our collaboration products such as Lotus Sametime, Lotus Quickplace, or Activities.
A few days later, Chris Reckling of IBM tried to clarify a few things, „so there is no mistake or FUD about requirements for running the server”, on the InsideLotus weblog. And he addressed exactly the points that bothered me:
Activities does require WAS to run, but that IS optional. Besides, Activities is basically a pure Web 2.0 app that can be used in lots of different contexts, both with Notes and standalone.
OK, if I want presence awareness and/or text-chat, I need a Sametime-Server. No problems with that, it was always a separate product. But a whole f***ing WebSphere Application Server with it’s system requirements just to get „Activities”, one of the themes of the Hannover/Note 8 release? Get real, IBM!
What I also did not know was, that „Activities” is a stand-alone product. The last time I checked, it still was part of the Lotus Workplace product line. Hmmmmm.
And there is also Ed Brill, Business Unit Executive, Worldwide Lotus Messaging Sales, IBM Software Group whom I would like to quote from one of his blog entries from April 20th, 2006 on activity-centric computing:
The more involved I get in the Notes „Hannover” project, the more convinced I am that Activities will be one of the primary drivers for upgrades to the new release …
Ed, if the infrastructure for activity-centric computing is not included in the base install of the Domino 8 server, my prediction would be that not many people will use it. Setting up (an) additional server(s) just to get something you still have to explain to everybody, will not result in additional WAS licences being sold.
Do not get me wrong. activity-centric computing (ACC) is a great concept but once again, IBM made the – IMHO – wrong decision in trying to push additional WAS sales instead of making activiy-centric computing a part of Domino 8. But they can still prove me wrong in including a WAS-ACC license with Domino 8. That could make (a small) difference.
The blog entry „Domino 8 - Whats new” sounded IMHO too much like a Microsoft product announcement. Chris Recklings blog entry rectified that a little bit, but it is a very thin line between a blog that is trying to inform to a pure marketing platform.
I a looking forward to see how IBM is handling the marketing of Domino 8, especially the activity-centric computing part at it’s prerequisites in it’s official communication.