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RIA & Ajax: Article

Upgraded IBM Lotus Notes Now AJAX Enabled

Includes Advanced Usability Features and New Interface to Manage Information Overload

(SYS-CON Media) - IBM announced the planned availability of the IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino 8 public Beta starting this February. This is the final beta phase before the product's target ship date of mid-2007, concluding the most collaborative software review program in Lotus' history.

Lotus Notes and Domino 8 expands the scope of the Lotus Notes work environment to include standards-based document editors, a Real Simple Syndication (RSS) editor and composite application support. Lotus Notes 8 customers can also easily link to other Lotus portfolio components such as social, collaborative content management, and unified communications software.

IBM has gathered thousands of feedback entries from customers via blogs and testing sessions such as the recording of keystroke and mouse movements based on a user's role. Input has poured in through IBM's Technology Adoption Program (TAP), a community of thousands of IBM employees and innovators worldwide who test new IBM technologies within a tightly managed feedback framework.

Significant email enhancements have been added to help increase productivity and avoid information overload. Features include "Recent Contacts" and "Message Recall." With Recent Contacts, users will get a one-click, dashboard view of recently sent emails and chats to quickly locate a key contact. The Message Recall feature will let users quickly recall an email message after it has been sent by mistake, saving a user from a potential conflict or miscommunication situation.

Additionally, Lotus is leveraging its collaboration roots to help users evolve from basic email to more significant collaboration activities. For example, with "Activities" from Lotus Connections, users can link to an application that organizes and shares email, instant messages, documents and many other items related to a particular activity or project into one logical unit, bridging the "silos" of traditional communication tools. Inspired by IBM researchers and developed by Lotus, Activities uses Web 2.0 technologies such as Backpack, Atom, Tagging, REST, AJAX and JSON to deliver a lightweight, web-based collaboration offering.

Activities is also core component in IBM Lotus Connections, Lotus' newly announced social software portfolio, empowering users to add structure to tasks that are informal and highly collaborative.

By offering a flexible work environment based on open standards, Lotus Notes 8 will also challenge the traditional desktop PC model. In Notes 8, customers will be able to use productivity editors that support the Open Document Format (ODF) at no additional cost, giving them access to crucial office tools without the cost of a separate license. With IBM Productivity Editors users can create, edit, and save a variety of documents in ODF format, including word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents. The productivity editors also allow a user to import and export supported file formats used by Microsoft Office and Open Office file formats, edit those files and save them in either the original format or as ODF documents.

The inclusion of no-cost productivity editors in Lotus Notes 8 is an attractive proposition for IBM customers like Johnson Controls, a manufacturing and services company with nearly 70,000 notes clients and 65 mail servers around the world, currently testing the Beta version.

"We're looking for cost savings for those users who don't need the full suite that Microsoft offers. Because the suite of tools IBM offers is provided by the Notes client at no cost, we're hoping to save money," said Renate Tomesch, who handles global enterprise messaging for Johnson Controls. "There's always apprehension when it comes to thinking about switching from a major piece of software that is universally used, but productivity editors are compatible with our current Microsoft Office product and that's one of the driving forces to us to test the Beta version."

"We have completely reinvented business collaboration with Lotus Notes and Domino 8. Now businesses can be more effective with new capabilities of Lotus's tightly integrated collaboration features that can be tailored to meet their specific application needs," said Ken Bisconti, vice president of IBM Lotus.

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ajax news desk 01/22/07 11:00:53 PM EST

IBM announced the planned availability of the IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino 8 public Beta starting this February.Inspired by IBM researchers and developed by Lotus, Activities uses Web 2.0 technologies such as Backpack, Atom, Tagging, REST, Ajax and JSON to deliver a lightweight, web-based collaboration offering.