While I completely sympathize with the people who have lost large contracts, work, or even their jobs because of some company moving to another platform I honestly do not understand some of the comments about Notes not being a good platform for application development. I do think IBM AND the Community need to do a much better job marketing things like the Eclipse and Lotus Expeditor Platforms because that is what its primary installed Lotus offerings are based on. More and more companies are getting it, each week I hear of a new plugin, extension, or Eclipse view being created for some use case – so its not only the few business partners that have given Eclipse programming a chance, IT shops are starting to get it. What I would like to see are more business partners expanding the organic marketing campaign of Eclipse and Expeditor. XPages has gotten a lot of attention but I think once again the client has gone to the back burner; but I also see a lot of stir in the client space with plugins coming from partners like GIST, LinkedIn, SAP, customers, etc. I was just at customer site yesterday and they have built an amazing plugin that integrates Notes with EMC’s Documentum – it was very cool – and guess what – that was an IT shop that did it because they have Eclipse developers.
In short, you have XPages for Web and the Expeditor platform for rich client. Mix Expeditor plus NSF, Web, Portal, SWT, and native applications and you get composite applications. You can do things in the Notes client today you could not imagine doing in version 7 and below. Some stuff is easier, some just different but now you can do most of it in Java and it works on all platforms. I have personally been pushing Eclipse and Expeditor for well over four years and I am sure my readers are aware of that – we as a community need to create compelling applications that make the platform stand out!
Now, in Notes 8.5.1 you can even create XPage based components that run locally in the client – meaning write your components once and they run in both Domino and Notes applications. Many may not be aware, but you could also do this with pre-compiled JSP’s and Portlets for over 5 years in Lotus Expeditor – and yes, that means in Lotus Notes also. So the Notes community has had the ability since Notes 8.0 to completely enhance their skill set to industry standards like Java, Eclipse, and many web technologies. With technologies like XULRunner in the platform the web technologies that can be deployed to the Lotus Notes client are essentially limitless and are only held back by your imagination.
I am not sure how to close this rant but in short I would like to see the community better selling “the platform” versus posting long rants in the opposite direction. I do not speak for IBM or the marketing behind our products, I can only “sell” what the platforms can do technically and from a technical point of view the Lotus Platform is an amazing piece of software that can present amazing applications.