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Is this What the Notes V11 Client Will Look Like?

March 15th, 2019 | Posted by elfworld in Domino | HCL | IBM

Notes Client V11

Yesterday IBM held a presentation about the continuous road map for Notes. Highlights: Cloud customers, you are no longer forgotten and you will get all the good stuff! Oh, and: Bye, bye Eclipse. Bye, bye Xpages. Bye, bye iNotes and hello IBM Verse on Premise. Bye, bye Verse app on Mobile and hello lightweight web-version for mobile. Hello different Notes clients. Read all about it here. 

The webinar I attended was called Let’s get real: What’s in Domino V11? It was held by Andrew Manby, product manager from IBM Product Management and Richard Jefts, General Manager/Vice President from HCL Collaborative Workflow Platforms.

V10

First a summary on the result of the Notes/Domino V10 launch:

Result of V10 launch

 

The latest release is V10.0.1 and has containted the following:

  • Notes for Mac OS and Windows V10.0.1
  • AppDev Pack 1.0 eGA
  • Verse on Premises 1.0.6
  • Domino on IBM i
  • Community Server 10.0.1 (Windows and Linux, English Only)
  • Community Client 10.0.1 (Windows, English Only)

What’s coming soon:

  • Notes Fix Pack 1 and 2
    • Group 1 languages re-released
    • Xpages V10 regression fixes (Yes, we can hopefully start running native Xpages apps in the Notes client again!)
  • Notes Fix Pack.Next
    • Group 2 languages
    • Japanese Era support
  • AppDev Pack on Windows
  • Verse on Premises 1.0.7

Oh, and look how awesome the upcoming Sametime chat looks:

IBM Sametime

 

It will contain persistent chat (you can start a chat on one device/computer and then continue the same chat on another device or computer), group chat support and much easier configuration for administrators.

Good news for cloud users

For cloud users there are really good news: During 2019 the updates for on prem and cloud customers will happen simultaneously. No longer must we cloud Verse users sit idly by and look at all the functionality the on prem users have, and which we don’t have.

Verse

Speaking of Verse. Here’s what’s coming for Verse (Notes webmail). Make no mistake: V11 will contain the very last version of iNotes, the regular webmail from IBM that has been unchanged for almost a decade. From V12, it will only be support for Verse for webmail. That is a cause for celebration!

Here’s what’s coming for IBM Verse:

  • Attachments made easy
  • Intelligent folders for mail
  • Working across time zones
  • Customizing the Verse experience (your own design templates and functionality(?))
  • 30 days of offline mail

Sample of the major features once Verse on prem and Verse on cloud are in-sync:

  • Overhaul of the Calendar experience
  • iCAL import
  • Mail Rules
  • Verse Web on Mobile

Be sure to pay attention to that last point. The Verse app for mobile will be discontinued (a date has not been given, but it’s not yet) and you will instead be using a mobile web version. This means you will be using your cell phone’s web browser for email instead of a Verse app:

Verse mobile web

 

For iOS-users, this might be good news. You will finally have week numbers and the possibility to make private calendar entries. It will also be cost effective for HCL, as they no longer have to contend with different Android OS version and all the hassles that Apple throw in your way when you create apps for the iPhone and iPad. It will also be much easier for Domino administrators now that they no longer have to struggle with the Traveler server, and loads of Verse apps on their users devices.

Notes client(s)

Even though the focus is on the Domino server and technologies, there is still a business case to be made for the Notes client. For V11 there will be a new client, with a complete overhaul of the user interface (see the top photo). Personally I’ve been involved in a test group giving feedback on the design, and I have to tell you: The new mail and calendar interface looks gorgeous! Hopefully the feedback from the test group will make it into the product.

During the presentation it was said that there would be more than one client. There will be “a new desktop client for mail and apps (or just apps),” as the presentation said. This will be in addition to the full Notes client. When I asked how many Notes clients there would be, and if we could get more details, I was asked to contact them directly after the webinar. Which I did. I will of course blog about the answers I get, so stay tuned!

There was only one mention of the Designer or Administrator. However, what was said with certainty was that HCL will also get rid of Eclipse.

Xpages

Getting rid of Eclipse this is of course mostly a good thing. However: It also creates a challenge, especially for companies like my employer, that has developed several Xpages applications which are running inside the Notes client.

Also: Xpages has no future! It will still be supported (kinda), but the message is clear: Start converting your Xpages applications.

My company is already experiencing challenges because of this. There are so many problems with Xpages in V10 of Notes and Domino, that we still haven’t upgraded our customers from 9.0.1. IBM and HCL said during the webinar that these Xpages bugs would be fixed in the upcoming fix packs for V10. But if Eclipse is removed in later versions, there will be no Java framework for my company’s applications.

The main reason for us running these Xpages applications in Notes is that the customer is depending on being able to work with applications that are replicated offline.  Also: The web engine used by Notes is so out of date that running it as a web app in the Notes client is not an option. So if Xpages and the Java framework are history, we have two choices:

  1. Hope that HCL comes up with the possibility to use Xpages applications via an updated browser which also gives us the possibility to work with applications that are replicated offline
  2. Develop our applications on another platform or with other tools

Option 2 will be time consuming and expensive for us.

Low code

The way forward for Notes/Domino development is Node.js. That message is clear, and I agree with that strategy. So far Domino Query Language has failed to impress me much. It’s cumbersome to use and I don’t think it’s that fast. But with the modernised API for Domino, you can use Node.js for both the upcoming Notes client, web and mobile. And if you want to use Angular or another JavaSCcript framework for web and mobile solutions, go ahead!

HCL’s goal is clear: They want Domino to be a serious contender when it comes to low code. And with the developer pack coming for Windows too soon, I’m happy to be a part of that journey.

Stay tuned for more updates from me!

Any thoughts or comments? Leave them below.

 

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15 Responses

  • Pingback: Er det slik Notes-klienten for V11 ser ut? – ISBG

  • “The Verse app for mobile will be discontinued (a date has not been given, but it’s not yet) and you will instead be using a mobile web version.”

    That was not the message during the web session & Factory Tour. It will be an additional option to the native Android / iOS app. It will be the replacement of iNotes, which will go away in v12.

    • elfworld says:

      I’m always open to being wrong, but a lot of people from IBM and HCL has read my posting, and none of them has said what I wrote was wrong. If I find out that this is not correct, I will of course fix the wording of the text.

  • Lothar Mueller says:

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Re: Xpages: “Option 2 will be time consuming and expensive for us.” >> Very true, and not only that: Xpages currently are the only platform enabling us to build full featured Domino web apps including full Domino security support. Create AUTHORS/READERS fields through domino-db? Switch document security on a per-user basis in a complex workflow? I would be more than happy to see something like that in a real demo, then I’m willing to give up on XSP

  • Thomas says:

    Not sure how ”Start converting your Xpages applications” resonates with “low code” though

  • daniele says:

    are you sure that in webcast say “verse app” will be discontinued …
    How the users can be read the Domino email without any native app?
    only realized that iNotes (mobile and desktop) was going to die and VOP would take its place.

  • Erik Bors says:

    Thank you for that post. My company has all production applications still on 9.0.1. We didnt want to solve many problems with new Domino10 and the development framework,s. And we have already moved on, to other platform. So well, Xpages are dead and we can live without that. We could not wait many years for any upgrade or so. … Sad, that we lost somethiing what worked pretty well till the IBM has crewed that up and we are happy that we will learn new stuff. New world.

  • Paul W says:

    Did you miss the most significant part of the presentation – namely web assembly version of the Notes client? If they get that right then that is your new Notes web applications without having do any specific browser programming right there.

    • elfworld says:

      Yeah, I must have missed that part. There was a while lost connections, but suddenly the webinar started again. However, a web assembly version of Notes doesn’t answer several questions. Like: Will offline replication still be possible? Will Xpages be supported for the client and will it work? (It doesn’t even work in Notes 10, for example). I have sent several followup questions about this to Thomas and Luis, and will blog about them here when I get replies.



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