They call Toronto “Leaf Nation”, because so many of the population are passionate about the hockey team, the “Toronto Maple Leafs”. No matter where the team sits in the standings, they “believe”. The Notes and Domino community has been like that too over the last decade or so. Regardless of how the technology is trending, they believe it is the best.
We are part of that community, and we have invested heavily in it. We also believe that Notes and Domino are awesome products. But times are changing.
- the period of “political correctness” of years past with regards to the future of Notes seems to be over. We have attended several of the Lotus User Groups of late, and it seems that any partner with their roots in Notes had some kind of migration offering, be that a product or a service, or a combination of the two. In sessions at events you heard partners saying “Notes is dead”. You never used to hear that.
- IBM customers want off Notes and Domino. The Domino server technology will probably be around a bit longer than the Notes client, however, most organizations do not seem to be content to stop at replacing the Notes client.
- customers do not want XPAGES. XPAGES would tie them to Domino and it seems that most Customers want open technologies. XPAGES is a derivative of JavaServer Faces. It does not fit into a standard.
- a lot of Notes applications are still valid business tools. Not all Notes applications are crap, with a high percentage of the code flawed or simply not used. Many customers have invested years of effort in their Notes applications, and the business logic is tried and true, valid, valuable and used every single day. In many cases Notes teams were skilled, and they built their applications well. Not always, but a lot of companies did and we run into them every day.
- most customers do NOT want to enter into a business process re-engineering exercise. They do not want to have to gather users around a table to revisit the business logic and decide how they should change their applications . They want what they had, they just want it running on their preferred platform. It can be argued that if you have an application with spaghetti code and you convert it you get an application with spaghetti code, but that is not a migration issue.
- customers want SQL. That is what they have told us time and time again. Not a browser application running on Domino. Not Mongodb. SQL. In a lot of cases Microsoft SQL Server, sometimes MySQL or another variety, but most of the time it seems to be Microsoft.
- customers want the ability to quickly modify their applications after they are migrated, and build new ones, like they used to be able to do with the Notes Designer. Not a full blown IDE like Eclipse or Visual Studio, but a low code design tool that is easy to use yet still powerful enough you can build sophisticated applications.
- migrating or modernising Notes applications should not require an army of experts. Customers should be able to “DIY” to make it affordable. Sure they will need some initial help and training to get going, but once the ship is moving customers should be able to take the helm if they want to.
- existing Notes and Domino resources have a lot to offer. Customers with a Notes and Domino proficient team should be able to transition to new technologies over time rather than be replaced by new resources.
Is DOCOVA the “magic button” or “silver bullet” when it comes to migrating custom Notes applications? Not yet. However, it does the heavy lifting. App Importer gets you most of the way there with the click of a button. Re-writing applications, no matter what framework you use or how good your technical team is, simply does not make sense when you have dozens, hundreds, or in some cases thousands of Notes applications. Do the math. Even if you keep them on the Domino server the numbers simply do not work.
Watch as we will migrate a Notes app to a browser and SQL Server environment within minutes. Not a slide deck, not a video, but a real time live migration.
Point, click, convert. Ya….definitely some magic there.