Some people in the Notes Domino community are still wondering if there is a way to access their Notes applications in the cloud. While IBM tried to answer that question, we want to expand on that to give it more clarity for those who aren’t familiar with cloud hosting.
A little while ago, on April 30th, IBM published another article in the “You ask, we answer” series on the Collaboration Solutions Blog, where they answer some of the most “interesting and helpful” questions from the IBM Domino community.
The first question caught our eye right away. Here it is:
“The first question: “We have developed IBM Domino applications through the years. Is there a way to access these Notes applications in the cloud similar to a Notes client workspace page in Domino V10?”
And our answer: Yes, IBM and its business partners offer solutions to host Domino Apps on private and public clouds, today. These solutions enable existing apps to be accessed remotely using IBM Notes, IBM Client Access for Applications, or via a browser.
With Domino V10, in addition, you will also be able to run those same Domino applications on your smart tablet devices, and smart phones, accessible from the same Notes workspace. However, the data could well reside on a Domino server in the cloud.”
Clearly, there is still a fair amount of confusion around how Domino applications fit in with the concept of cloud, as well as lack of knowledge of offerings around it (including our own). So, we decided to clarify and expand on that answer.
Domino Apps in the Cloud? Yes, Prominic Does It!
We are one of the business partners IBM is referring to in their answer. In fact, this August will mark the 20th anniversary of Prominic providing hosting for custom Domino applications.
These days, not only do we provide private cloud hosting solutions for a variety of Domino server based applications, but also multiple ways of delivering the applications to our clients’ users and customers.
Accessing Your Domino App Data in the Cloud
Your Domino application data can technically reside on your local computer, a server inside your office or on servers inside one or more of Prominic’s data centers.
Depending on how your Domino application was coded, it could be accessed via a Notes client installed on your local computer, a Notes client “streamed” from the Prominic data centers, or a web browser (i. e. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc).
Streaming the Notes Client and Domino Applications Via RemoteApp
Let’s take it one step further into the cloud. You can not only host the Domino apps on servers in our cloud, you can eliminate the need to install, maintain, and administer a Notes client on your local computer altogether while still having the full functionality and experience of using your application that you’re used to. How?
Remote application delivery allows us to “stream” the Notes client and your Domino application to your local computer, tablet or a smartphone screen directly from our servers.
Why would you want to do use our streamed Notes client?
Because it simplifies your life by taking the often cumbersome task of taking care of your Notes client application administration out of the equation. It is no longer a part of your company’s IT infrastructure and resides entirely externally, with Prominic.
Virtual Desktops: Streaming Entire Work Environments
For the ultimate cloud experience, we can stream not only Notes client and Domino applications, but entire desktops with other third party applications. When you connect to your virtual desktop, it looks and works just like your regular work desktop, except… nothing is actually there. Your device is merely a screen onto which the entire operating system with all the apps is projected. This also means you can access your full Windows desktop on a tablet screen or even a smartphone.
So, if you leave your laptop bag in a cab or your tablet gets stolen, you can just pull up your computer and all your data from another device. That simple. No data loss. Nothing gets compromised.
So, How is Prominic’s Domino Cloud Hosting Different?
If what you’ve read in this post so far had you saying “I get all that, now how are YOU guys doing it?”, then this is the part you’ve actually been waiting for.
We know Domino
We’ve been hosting Domino for businesses and developers for 20 years now, way back since its yellow Lotus days. We say this not to just sound self-congratulatory. There is a point behind that.
We have experience with all the transformations it went through. We’ve seen every possible problem, scenario, configuration and quirk there is in IBM Notes Domino.
We know what hardware resources are needed to deliver smooth and fast performance for your Domino app users by looking at it.
We know how to secure your Domino environment properly, how to protect it from loss of data, and how to troubleshoot it when something goes bump.
We have been very closely involved in the Domino community since our beginning in 1998. Our chief officers have served on board of OpenNTF, and continue to be involved in all things Domino. We provide hosting for several Domino user groups, conferences, open-source associations, IBM Champions and more.
Why is that important? We know the IBM Notes Domino ecosystem very well and we can not only recommend the appropriate solutions developed by others in our field, but also refer you to the right contacts as needed.
We Own our Data Centers
Again, we’re not saying this to pat ourselves on the back. We have invested a considerable amount into building our own infrastructure to support our clients.
What it means first and foremost is flexibility and responsiveness in handling the changes in technical needs of our customers.
We don’t have to deal with Softlayer or some other third-party hosting company if we need to fix something or take a look at a piece of hardware. We also know exactly where your data is located in either of our data centers.
Also, because we have always operated as a lean and flat organization, we don’t have to go through layers of management bureaucracy to get something updated or changed. If something needs done, we just do it.
Secure and Compliant
Compliance is the name of the game in our business, and as a term it’s pretty broad. There are many ways that a hosting provider can be compliant, and many different standards that it could meet.
Financial institutions, healthcare industry, government contractors, businesses accepting credit card payments online, and strategic manufacturing companies are just some types of business with specific compliance regulations or requirements for their data hosting and storage. The full list is quite a bit longer, and with several different variations.
Our compliance practices have evolved over the years based on the needs of customers. This has been so important to us that we keep a compliance officer on staff.
Our data centers and operations are HIPAA compliant, including HIPAA trained staff, to meet the requirements for our many healthcare customers.
We also choose to go through an annual SSAE-16 audits to get our SOC-1 and SOC-2 designations. This regulation was created a standard of how service companies report on compliance controls.
So, what’s the point of us writing this?
At the end of the day, the two most important things we’d want our readers to come away with are:
- Yes, you absolutely can very efficiently and cost effectively run your Domino apps in the cloud, even if they’re 10 -15 years old .
- Not only are we one of those IBM partners that the IBM’s article refers to, we are actually the best at what we do. No joking.
If you want to know more, just shoot us an email or give us a call. We are always happy to hear from those passionate about IBM Notes Domino and if there is something you need help with, we’re happy to assist you.
Domino 10 is Coming
When IBM announced its renewed commitment to Domino with a planned release of the official new version 10 in 2018, this has created a lot of excitement and anticipation for the new product.
IBM has been releasing information on the upcoming updates at industry conferences and through a series of public webinars.
The next webinar is scheduled for May 24th at 10 am EST, and will be focusing on the changes in experience in Notes Mail, Verse on Premises and Sametime Chat. Make sure to not miss this webinar by registering HERE.