Lotus Notes is 20 years old

It was 1997 when i first worked on this product.  It was the version 4.5 and called Lotus Notes. A few months later, it became 4.6 and the server was formally christened as Domino and the client was lotus notes.

On December 7, 2009, Lotus Notes completed 20 years.  At a time when a software or a service hardly goes beyond a few years Lotus with around 150 million licenses sold and with thousands of professionals and a big slice of Fortune 500 companies using the software, its not dead as expected by its rivals.

For years, Microsoft tried every trick in its book to not only diss the product, but also spread mis-information that Lotus Notes is dying, its clumsy, its not user friendly and lots of other accusations.  Some accusations stuck.  The lotus notes client was not user friendly till about version 7.  Thereafter, IBM has really spruced up the client part of the software.

lotus notes85The server as always has been robutst. Its a dream software for the administrators to administer.  To administer a complex and massive Lotus Domino setup you hardly need a few administrators, but to manage the competing Microsoft Exchange, you need an army.  For a product which has hardly has had any virus that has managed to infect the system, it itself is a testament to the robustness of Lotus Notes.  As for Exhchange, Outlook we know how many times its been affected not only by viruses but also the amount of security compromises that have happened with the software.

I downloaded the Lotus Domino 8.5 trial copy and managed to run both the server and client on my PC at home effortlessly.  My PC is a 1.5 GB RAM Opteron processor Compaq machine.  Almost 4 years old.  In spite of that, the software was hardly hogging any memory.  With the Domino server and the lotus client working in the background, i was able to browse the net on my firefox browser (20 tabs open at the same time).  That’s when i realised reading a previous article that Lotus 8.5 was much much faster than Lotus 8.  Surprising isnt it?

When it comes to Micorosoft, every new upgrade means a rip and replace.  You can never run Windows XP on a machine running Windows 98 or a Vista on a XP machine and so on.  Heck, the new version of Microsoft Exchange 2010 is an exclusive 64 bit application and you need a 64 bit hardware to even test it out.  Now beat that.

Today, we look back 20 years and see nearly 150 million licenses sold, tens of millions of applications created, and hundreds of thousands of IT professionals whose careers have involved, or continue to be involved with, the industry that has grown up around Lotus Notes and Domino.

Over these 20 years, people have come and gone.  Technologies have changed.  The market for collaboration software has, in some ways, just hit its stride.  At times criticized as difficult, ugly, or unusable, while at other times running businesses and providing solutions where nothing else could, in its first 20 years, Lotus Notes has been more than just a software product.  It has, through its use in a diverse set of organizations around the world, helped usher in the modern era of information sharing, and continues to set pace in that capacity today.  Despite bad press that has occurred frequently and regularly in that 20 years, Notes/Domino is a huge business today for IBM and 10,000 business partners worldwide — many of whom are continuing to grow their business, and others are just starting up.

Full article here

Here’s wishing another 20 more years for this wonderful software.  More about IBM Lotus here