Testing Lotus Notes 8 and Nokia PC Suite
For quite a while I have been reading about the next version of Notes and Domino 8 (perhaps you better know it under the code name Hannover?), and big was my surprise when they last week got announced as public beta. I have been running Lotus Notes 8 for almost a week now on my Vista desktop computer at home, connected to the university network and our Domino server. As I have understood it, Lotus Notes 8 comes in two versions: One made in C++ and the second one made in JAVA. This means that the Lotus Notes 8 client can run on many supported operating systems, including Windows, MacOS X and Linux. Sadly the public beta didn’t include a Mac version as writing this. The Linux distrobution that IBM supports, is Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (what a horrible long name!).
Sadly, I am still running Notes 8 with version 7 templates and cannot make use of many of the new functionalities. But the new client looks far more thought through and the new poolished look makes it a pleasant surprise to use. One of the most exciting things that I haven’t been able to test out yet, is that Notes 8 offers a standards-based work environment and features support for ODF (Open Document Format). With IBM Productivity Editors, users can create, edit and save a variety of documents in ODF, including word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents. The Productivity Editors are said to allow users 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. My question is what MS formats are supported? Is the support limited to Office 2003 or does it also support the new formats introduced with Office 2007?
As I am working a little bit from home, on a machine that I have already upgraded to Vista Enterprise, I didn’t manage to get Lotus Notes 7 working. With the public beta IBM only supports Windows XP, but I had no problems installing it on Vista. Configuring it afterwards went as a breeze. It was done in less then a minute, and then I was accessing our Domino servers.You might have already read that I recently bought my first Nokia phone in years, the E60. One of the reasons for doing so, was Nokia’s brilliant syncronization tool PC Suite. It works brilliantly with Vista, I haven’t ran in to any problems with it. It is the first syncronization tool to sync with Vista’s new Contacts solution (which reminds me very much of People in BeOS!), and it also works with Outlook and Lotus Notes 7.x. I am writing 7.x as I am only using Notes 8 with version 7 templates as mentioned earlier.
I was out drinking beer with some of my friends the other day, and we got in to discussions about various collaboration tools, and one started complaining about how bad Lotus Notes was as an email client. It turned out that it was one functionality he was missing, and that was capabilities for users to view incoming e-mail by “conversations,” with related messages appearing together to streamline communications. Well, it’s included in Notes 8!More important for me is the implementation of a simple RSS-reader. This not something big, but simply nice as I can now add corporate newsfeeds in to my Notes environment. It means that I can get news about the services that the central computer department is running next to my calendar and todo list. Making it far easier for me to priortise my work.