Though more commonly referred to as simply "Notes," Notes is actually the rich client option (one of many) for accessing e-mail, calendars, contacts, to-dos and custom applications deployed on Domino, the server component of the IBM Lotus messaging and collaboration platform. What is not readily apparent, however, and what we aim to clarify here, is the depth and breadth of the many options a Notes Domino Client Access License (CAL) affords the user.
Deployment Options and Entitlements
So, with a Notes messaging or collaboration CAL, what can you do? Here's the short list:
- Notes (rich client) access to e-mail, calendaring, addressbook, to-do's journal and a variety of packaged application databases included with the Domino server (e.g. document library with check-in/out, discussion forum, news articles database, personal web navigator, company phonebook, etc.) on Windows, Mac and Linux clients
- Replication of mail and application databases to Notes clients for increased redundancy, as well as the ability to work off-line (disconnected)
- Browser-based access to all of the above via the Lotus iNotes client and Domino's native support of HTTP(S)
- Automatic, real-time wireless BlackBerry access to all Notes Domino messaging functions (e-mail, calendar, addressbook)
- iPhone access via the Lotus iNotes client in Ultra-light mode
- Automatic, real-time email (including attachments), calendar, address book, journal and to-do list replication for mobile users of Nokia, Samsung and Windows Mobile devices via Lotus Notes Traveler (requires Windows-based Domino server)
- Integrated Microsoft Outlook access to all e-mail, calendaring and addressbook features of Notes Domino via the easily-installed Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook (DAMO) connector
- IMAP and POP3 access to e-mail on the Domino server from a variety of clients (Outlook, Outlook Express, Entourage, Thunderbird, etc.)
- Notes client (embedded) and stand-alone (Eclipse-based application) access to the secure Instant Messaging and Presence Awareness features of Lotus Sametime (requires a Sametime server, but no additional licensing)
- Integrated Sametime Instant Messaging and Presence Awareness in the Microsoft Outlook client, with or without DAMO
- Use of Quickr Entry's secure and feature-rich personal file sharing platform via HTTP(S), the Notes rich client (embedded) and/or Quickr Connectors for Windows Explorer and the Microsoft Office and Symphony productivity suites (requires a Quickr server, but no additional licensing)
- Composite application deployment across Note clients, browsers and mobile devices via Lotus Expeditor
- Use of other IBM enterprise-grade software, such as: Tivoli Directory Integrator, DB2 and WebSphere Application and Portal Servers
Let's focus now on the details of a few of the options listed above.
How you check your mail when you're at your desk (or at the coffee shop on your laptop) is really up to you. Version 8.x of the Notes client deserves a close look if you haven't checked it out in a while. Though some compare it favorably to Outlook 2007 (see our article about how hard they are to tell apart), it has many good reasons of its own to recommend it:
- a convenient tabbed interface
- a sidebar that docks common applications (IM, document management, day-at-a-glance) and tons of widgets (link)
- presence awareness throughout with click to chat/call
- integration of the Symphony (Open Office) suite of applications
- ...and more!
If Outlook is more to your liking, DAMO provides it with the same integration of the Notes environment. See for yourself:
DAMO installation is a breeze.
DAMO configuration takes 1 minute and 38 seconds (when demonstrating it :-)
E-mail and calendar work the same as with an Exchange backend
Contact management is transparent.Let us not forget the Mac. The Notes rich client interface on the Mac is on par with the Windows version (it's all Eclipse-based, so it's easier to port to Mac and Linux).
Again, simple installation...
BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile: No matter what you carry with you, Lotus has a way to connect it to the rest of your world, in real-time. Think of BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Lotus Traveler for Windows Mobile as having another replica of your Notes messaging database on your phone. With e-mail, calendar, to-do's, journal and addressbook on your mobile device, you may (like I did) find yourself organized for the first time in your life, and probably leaving your laptop behind much more often.
iNotes Ultra-light for the iPhone is not "push" technology like the with BlackBerry or Traveler, but it can be equally effective. Where ever you happen to be, you have real-time access to the life blood of your organization—information. See for yourself...
As we discussed in our August 2008 newsletter, Notes and Domino can be licensed in one of two ways: traditional licensing for enterprises with 1,000 or more employees and Express licensing for small and medium businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees. With traditional licensing, the server and client components are licensed separately, For example, in a messaging environment, the Domino Messaging Server is purchased to license the server and Lotus Notes for Messaging Client Access License (CAL) is purchased for each user with a mailbox. Similarly, installations that also require the ability run custom applications are licensed with Domino Enterprise Server for the server and Lotus Notes with Collaboration CALs for each user.
With Express licensing, the two licenses are combined (and the cost is reduced considerably): mail servers are licensed by purchasing Domino Messaging Express CALs for each user with a mailbox, and Domino Collaboration Express CALs are purchased for each user who requires access to custom applications.
Whether you opt for traditional or Express licensing, the benefits are the same: flexibility, security, reliability, options. Give our Sales team a call or drop them a line to learn more about how Prominic can help you pick the right solution for you, then help you deploy it!