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Lotus Notes 8 - Applications > Databases
08/27/2007 09:55 PM by Chris Toohey
I've been using the Lotus Notes 8 client as my primary client whenever possible since I got the chance last Monday to install it on my main production machine. Said machine is a Thinkpad T60 with all of the trimmings, so it's a solid enough machine to run pretty much anything. The good news, Lotus Notes 8 runs like you would expect - it just plain works. I have seen a slight increase in speed when I run the nlnotes.exe, but I'm not getting any of the horrible lagtimes that some people have mentioned online. Mind you, I'm running the client on an XP Pro in an out-of-the-box configuration - from what I've seen the people that are running into issues (not all, but most) are running (or trying to run) installations on configurations that I have yet to see in the real world. I think Ubuntu rocks, for example, but I have yet to walk onsite and see it running on a production machine. Heck, I've yet to see it running on a machine that is outside of IT whenever I actually have seen Ubuntu at a customer location. But I digress...
There have been some changes to the Lotus Notes client nomenclature that, while I had read about them, had still struck me funny when I came across them. For me, it was the two changes that are subtle but that mean the most to me: Database is now Application and Local is now On My Computer.
While the reasoning behind the change from Local to On My Computer is simple enough to follow - I can't tell you how many people have said "I thought that meant my local, company server..." - I can't help but smile when I see the change from Database - which exudes a certain... stoginess when it's said in front of Marketing or Sales department members - Application enables the typical Lotus Notes Developer to step away from the "this is a system that's used to catalog information" and immediately convey the possibilities of the platform and the developer themselves. Application - to me, and I hope I'm not the only one, just gets the ideas flowing. I know, it's only a label change in a sense... but to me it's more like an unshackling of a bad mantra.
The other day, I sat down in a customer meeting with about 20-30 department heads. The meeting, which was called by the head of the department heads attending, was to discuss the development requirements for a new database. Their current database, to which each department had their own (read: proprietary), were simply colorful Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that were stored on the company intranet. They wanted a database where all of this information could be stored and allow for quick queries and the like.
By the time I was done that meeting, we were going to build an Application that not only cataloged the aforementioned data in a thousand different ways (their previous consultant had told them that, due to his Excel-saaviness, that they were limited by what they could store - LONG STORY), but we were going to integrate Microsoft Office templates to allow point-and-click usage of the data to build on-the-fly Sales and Marketing materials, competitive information cheat-sheets, and custom-to-the-customer presentations, contracts, and like business document content. We weren't only on schedule to build an Application, but we were gonna build us a Composite Application.
The Database, while it is still the core of the business solutions that we will build, is only so much - building a simple data catalog just won't address the demands of today's business models, their processes, or their employee requirements. I'm guessing that the majority of us build Applications today, so this isn't news to you... but now at least we have a Lotus Notes client that tells everyone else that!