In many cases, from a technical and financial standpoint, Domino is still hands down the best choice in terms of a platform. The Domino server, with the database, messaging, web server and application server all tightly integrated makes it affordable and easy to work with. Its replication capabilities simply cannot be found in other platforms. If you have any level of technical knowledge you can see why it is so hard to replace as an application platform.
It drives me nuts when I read articles like the most recent one posted in the UK Register around the arrangement between IBM and HCL and the continued development of Notes and Domino. Especially the comments. Sure, there is some love there, but the article itself and the majority of the comments are negative and show the authors are misinformed. As Alan Lepovsky points out on his LinkedIn post around this same topic,
“I get pitches every week for new products that can’t do a fraction of what Notes could do a decade ago.”
Notes and Domino did and still do provide incredible business value. IBM purchased the technology for an astounding 3.52 billion dollars, and for good reason. I have heard it reported that at one point in time it held an estimated 60% of the Enterprise Messaging market. It was more than email, and as a result thousands of customers still have a huge inventory of applications running on Notes and Domino.
Rewind to 2006. DOCOVA came to life as a demo to show how customers could use our Web App Dev tools for Domino to create powerful browser based business applications. IBM customers worldwide were purchasing our tools, but the applications they were building were not leveraging all of the capabilities. DOCOVA proved there was a demand for good browser based document management system, and when Domino.Doc and Quickr were discontinued we found ourselves in the migration game and DOCOVA became our flagship product.
Unfortunately, despite all of its benefits from a technical point of view, Domino started to become a barrier when it came to closing sales. We also found that existing DOCOVA customers were looking to move to other solutions because Domino was no longer being supported in their organizations. For many of our customers DOCOVA was the only product left running on Domino. To mitigate our risk, we invested heavily in the creation of DOCOVA SE, the SQL Edition. We retained several DOCOVA customers by migrating them from our Domino to SQL version.
The SQL platform has advantages, especially when it comes to large quantities of data and reporting, but Domino remains as one of the best platforms for DOCOVA. The process of creating the SQL version really reinforced for us how good Domino is.
If the IBM arrangement with HCL works out, and Domino once again becomes a dominant player, nothing would make us happier. It’s where we grew up.