A lot of worries were calmed, especially for Cloud customers and Xpages developers, during the Domino V11 Jam in Stockholm. And there were great ideas and discussions. Read all about the event here.
Monday January 21st I attended IBM’s Domino V11 Jam in Stockholm, Sweden. This was the eleventh jam in this round, and there were also jams like this for V10. IBM and HCL take the suggestions and feedback that the customers and business partners who attend come up with back to their strategic teams and developers.
Around 50 people turned up, which I was very happy about. I was the only Norwegian in the room and there was at least one Dane there too.
Uffe Sørensen started by wishing us welcome. He then informed us that from February 1st he is moving to HCL, since HCL have bought the entire Notes/Domino portfolio from IBM. I suspect we will get more news like this in the coming weeks. I’ve spoken to a few IBM-ers working with IBM Collaboration Solutions who are nervously facing a very insecure job future.
Andrew Manby then took over from the US, and he showed us the rodmap for V10 and V11:
While V10 was mostly focused on the Domino server, to get It up to speed for more modern technologies, V11 would focus more on the user interface. Especially for the Notes client.
He then took us through what had been successful and what had not been so successful for Domino V10:
He also had some news:
- Group 1 languages will appear soon. The translation of the Notes client and designer has been slow coming. Turns out that while IBM had a huge department and lots of resources for translating the software, HCL did not. But it’s on it’s way.
- Domino will run om IBM i
- Domino Mobile Apps will also be released for Android later this year (yay!)
- IBM Enterprise Integrator coming for 10 and 11
- Sametime 10 will be able to run without the need for a browser plugin (yay!)
- Sametime will also get rid of its dependency of DB2 and Websphere. The platform will be much more open in the future
The vision forward for HCL is that Notes/Domino should be the go to platform for no or low code. Meaning that ordinary users should be able to set up applications and solutions for presenting and manipulating data
He also mentioned the new Forester paper that showed how great the TCO is if you’re running Domino.
Jim Kirkpatrick from HCL then took over. He’s a former IBM-er and also took questions from the attendees, which both him, Uffe and Andrew answered.
- The deal between IBM and HCL isn’t finished yet, but will be in the middle of 2019. Until then it’s business as usual
- HCL already has a partner program called HCL Partner Connect, but it’s still not decided exactly how IBM Business partners will be transferred to that program, if at all. But a partner program for ICS will be in place
- A question from the floor on how sales and distribution would be handled in the future was answered by Andrew. He said that it was important to keep today’s business partners, as they have the knowledge and customer base. IBM and HCL will analyse what has worked and what hasn’t worked with today’s partner program before deciding how to make the transition. But from IBM’s viewpoint, there are no reasons for dismantling the business partner program when HCL takes over
- Eclipse will remain in V11, so that people depending on plugins and Xpages can relax. We then had a debate on whether this was a strength or weakness. Some people said that to be able to move into the future with the platform, it had to shed old baggage.
- There has been a lot of talk of on premise, but little mention of people on SmartCloud. People on SmartCloud and IBM Connections Cloud can relax: HCL and IBM will take care of you as well, you are not forgotten
- The future of Xpages is so far up in the air. They will re-open community contributions but other than that there’s little news. Thus far Xpages will still be supported. Some pointed out that not developing Xpages further was the same as abandoning it. IBM and HCL promised to give us a clear message about the future of Xpages and Java on the Domino platform in the near future
We then split up for the rest of the day into groups: Administrators (I was in that group), Developers and Customers. We all had whiteboards that were split into four squares: Outcomes, Tasks, Challenges and Decisions. After writing our ideas, wishes and complaints on post-it notes, we hung them up into the square we felt it fit.
We were then told to group them into categories, before each group did a few minutes of presentation of our points.
After lunch we did similar exercises, but for other themes. In short, I can sum up the feedback that HCL and IBM took with them like this:
- Email and calendar is very important for users
- Integration between various email and calendar platforms should be much easier with Domiono
- Developers wanted true source control, not the sort-of-source-control-situation that we have today
- Continuous integration and delivery
- Easier administration and deployment of the Notes client
- Get rid of the ID-file
- Make it easier for users to do self servicing (like changing their passwords)
- Make it easier to brand and customize the client to make it look more similar to other Windows applications
- Create a better embedded experience
- Make it easier to monitor and create statistics from your Domino environment
- HTML email should work much better
- Sorting of searches is not working very well. Some wanted the ability to search within a search result (which I maintain you actually can do today)
In short: Notes/Domino is still a very important part of several companies infrastructure, so as long as HCL doesn’t miss the boat, they have a great opportunity for renewal. But: They also have a huge challenge when it comes to sales and marketing, not to mention pulling in new customers, developers and users.
After six hours, the jam was finished, and I think most people who came there were happy with it. And I also got to promote the Norwegian user group’s upcoming Nordic User Group conference that will take place in June in the very same rooms where the jam took place. The feedback I got when I asked if people would attend was great.
There will be more Domino V11 news both there, at IBM Think in February, Engage in May and DNUG later on. Stay tuned.