Goodbye Lotus Notes

The company I work for has decided that Lotus is no longer the provider of choice for email (Notes), instant messaging (SameTime), document sharing (Quickr) or social networking (Connections). So we’ll be moving to ‘another’ well known provider for most of those needs.

As far as I can figure out, this is not a technical nor financial decision. Well, not true. The decision was based on FUD provided by an outside source that was wrapped up in technical and financial blarney. What I mean is that this was all started for political reasons. Someone got a bee in their bonnet (wow, is that an old saying!) about Notes in general and after being wooed by a larger software company, decided to drive Notes from our company. Ok, let’s face it. IBM doesn’t care too much about keeping customers, just trying to win new ones. So no one came to call or help until the decision was about to be put in front of the board. I’m predicting that we’ll be in a mess for about 5 years, maybe more. And after that, the email system will STILL not be as stable as what we have now.

And to top this all off, the only solution that I’ve heard for replacing Lotus Notes applications is SharePoint. SHAREPOINT? Umm, did anyone really look at the capabilities? Or did they just take MS and the outside source’s word for it? Oh well.

So what does that mean for me? I’m not going to go back out there as an independent contractor. That was great, but I had to finally call it quits when the jobs became scarcer. I don’t like marketing, and you REALLY have to get out there and market yourself to keep the jobs rolling in. Looking at job postings now, Lotus Notes is dying off quickly. There’s still a core group of Notes developers that show up at all the LUG meets, but the circle has shrunk quite a bit and seems to be imploding.

I’ve recently started working with WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management along with Java in general, so that’s where I’m headed. I want to stay here because of the security, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the level of expertise in WebSphere technologies as I had in Lotus Notes. I am however having a lot of fun learning. So maybe bidding farewell to Notes won’t be so hard after all. Although, I really did want to learn XPages – it holds so much promise.

Getting Ready for Lotusphere 2011

My 17th trip to Lotusphere, the annual gathering of all things Lotus. No, not the car, the software. Lotus Notes, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Content Management.

Seems that Lotus Notes is taking a hammering again. Happens every 3 – 5 years as analysts get bored with a technology that just keeps working. XPages brought a whole new development ability to the table, but corporations always look for ‘new technology’ to swap in for old stuff. So Micro$oft has been wining and dining the decision makers while we just keep on developing. Sooner or later the decision makers start believing what Redmond says, even though quite a bit of it is complete balderdash. Doesn’t matter though, as long as MS gets it money. Who cares of the corporation has to spend millions upon millions to just get back to where they were before the tech swap.

Oh well. Such is life.