In the world of HCL Notes and Domino, significant progress has been made since HCL took over the portfolio in 2019. With a focus on empowering users and delivering strong releases, HCL has continuously improved the software offerings. In this article, we will explore the latest developments and features of the upcoming release, emphasizing user empowerment and enhanced functionality.

Delivering Value with User-Focused Enhancements

The  primary goal is to empower users, providing them with the best experience possible. By collaborating with official briefing calendar information providers, HCL ensures accurate and timely calendar updates, a feat that showcases their expertise and dedication. To cater to a wider audience, HCL offers a free version with basic features, which users can then expand within their enterprise. This commitment to providing free, high-quality software is a testament to HCL’s dedication to customer satisfaction.

Introducing Mail Merge and Workspace Cleanup

One highly requested feature, Mail Merge, has been incorporated into the latest release. Users can now enjoy this long-awaited addition, which improves productivity and streamlines document creation. The importance of an organized workspace has been noticed si a series of tools to facilitate workspace customization have been added. These allow users to rearrange items with ease and identify unused elements on the server. This effort to clean up workspaces enhances user efficiency and overall user experience.

Modernizing the Toolset and Simplifying Administration

With Domino Version 14, the Notes and Domino toolset has been modernized, making it more accessible and user-friendly for administrators. The main goal is to simplify administration tasks, enabling administrators to navigate the product with ease. The focus is on streamlining the admin experience, offering an efficient and hassle-free way to manage the software.

Introducing the Early Access Program (EAP)

To ensure a successful release, HCL provides an Early Access Program (EAP), formerly known as the beta program. This program allows users to test the software, provide valuable feedback, and identify any issues or areas for improvement. Feedback plays a crucial role in refining the product before the official release, scheduled at the end of the year. HCL plans to deliver three releases this year, with additional features becoming available in subsequent drops (EAP 1, EAP 2, EAP 3).

Upgrading the Core and Compiler Enhancements

Domino Version 14 introduces a significant upgrade to the core of Notes and Domino. This upgrade includes the adoption of the latest compilers, providing access to advanced compiler features. Developers and business partners will benefit from this upgrade, as they can utilize tools like Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 for developing C API add-ons. However, this update also comes with considerations for Linux dependencies, specifically the G Lipsy library. As a result, HCL’s compatibility with certain Linux distributions may be impacted, with special attention being given to the SuSE Linux community.

Java Engine Upgrade

Domino is taking a significant leap forward by upgrading its Java engine to JDK version 17. By embracing the latest Long Term Support release, developers can rely on this version for an extended period. This upgrade not only enhances the platform’s performance but also reduces memory footprint. It enables developers to leverage code examples and enhancements available in the Java 17 stack. Eclipse engine is also being upgraded to version 22, benefiting both the client and Designer Client, much to the delight of Java developers.

Domino Designer Java 17

Testing and Feedback

While these updates bring exciting opportunities, it’s crucial to test the Early Access Code and validate the compatibility of your existing code. Specifically, pay attention to Java security settings, deployed jar files, and OSGi plugins. Additionally, features like SOAP outbound and IOP involvement require user feedback to gauge their usage and importance to the community. All the feedback you might have you can drop it on the portal where it will be put to good use.

Admin Client Modernization

Acknowledging the need for modernizing the admin client, Domino version 14 introduces Admin Central—a web-based application designed to simplify administration tasks. Admin Central runs on multiple platforms, including browsers, Notes client, and mobile devices. It eliminates the need for a virtual machine on Mac, making administration accessible for all. Future plans include expanding Admin Central to incorporate management, live console access, database management, and admin statistics, driven by user feedback through the ideas portal.

Admin Central

The Urgency of Software Patching

Research institutes and IT companies have conducted surveys that reveal a concerning trend in the industry. On average, it takes more than 100 days to apply patches or fix software, leaving environments vulnerable for an extended period. Even critical patches can take about 16 days to be implemented. These delays expose organizations to avoidable data breaches and failed audits. Addressing this issue is crucial for ensuring a sustainable and secure environment.

The Ideal Solution: DevOps and User Support

In an ideal world, the DevOps approach works wonders for maintaining control over the entire software development and deployment chain. However, when it comes to Domino server administration, user support becomes essential for seamless end-to-end connectivity. While software developers focus on building high-quality code and rigorous testing, the responsibility lies with administrators to deploy products, install updates, and apply fixes promptly. To keep up with new fixes and patches, administrators must stay informed through various channels such as newsletters, social media, and community platforms.

Introducing Update Notifications in Domino Version 14

Domino Version 14 introduces a new optional feature called “Update Notifications.” With this feature, administrators receive alerts about new versions, along with detailed information about changes, fix lists, and more. The update notifications are accessible through the enhanced Domino directory template and the admin client, ensuring that all administrators stay informed. This feature, available in the EAP one, allows administrators to remain up-to-date with the latest updates and improvements.

Auto Update: Simplifying the Update Process

In Domino Version 14, a new database called Auto Update dot NSF is introduced, allowing users to customize their update preferences. Administrators can select which versions, products, and platforms they want to be notified about. Furthermore, they can control the ability to automatically download software packages and schedule updates as per their requirements. The Auto Update feature aims to streamline the update process and make it more convenient for administrators.

Additional Enhancements in Domino Server Administration

Domino  Version 14 brings various improvements to server administration. Inbound message disclaimers offer administrators the option to insert configurable text into received emails. One-touch setup simplifies deployments for business partners, while the ability to create response documents enhances website creation. The inclusion of Nomad and OnTime as add-on products in the Domino installation package eliminates the need for separate downloads.

Enhancing the Admin Client

The admin client in Domino Version 14 introduces human-readable file sizes in the admin client files column, improving usability. Additionally, administrators can customize the displayed columns to include encryption state and strength information for databases.

Security Enhancements in Domino Version 14

The security team at HCL has made significant strides in Domino Version 14. Improvements include enhancing Open ID connect support with a logout feature, better authentication support for Azure AD and ADFS integration, and upgraded password capabilities. Additionally, the security policy now allows administrators to define the desired ID file encryption strength, providing greater control over security settings.

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