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Lotus Notes Domino 8 from Packt Publishing - First Impressions

Lotus Notes Domino 8: Upgrader's Guide A foreward from Mark J. Guerinot, Director (Americas) of IBM Software Services for Lotus (ISSL), sets the stage for what looks like a great overview of Lotus Notes Release 8 functionality, service-oriented architecture (SOA), and ultimately how to get the most out of your Lotus technology investment.

After giving you a brief history behind the Lotus Notes and Domino products, we're introduced to a What's New overview. Already, I see this book delivering, as I'm giving not just an overview of the development and administration capabilities available to IT professionals -- where I've spent the majority of my time focusing on -- but a pretty detailed list of user experience enhancements. These are key, as the UX really drives these internal initiatives.

I have not been to a customer yet where after seeing an overview of the new features and functionality of the Lotus Notes 8.x client that they don't ask, "so when do I get it??".

Back on topic: Chapter 2, which covers this What's New subject quite well, is written for novices... which I think is a good thing. You don't have to think of how to word it for your internal training classes or deployment hand-outs: Chapter 2's got you covered!

Chapter 3 is the last chapter that I'll cover in this first impressions (since that's as far as I've gotten). And this chapter covers Lotus Notes and service-oriented architectures.

From the book's chapter introduction (emphasis added):

We will explain what an SOA is, its value, and it's characteristics. You will also learn how Lotus Notes 8 has many of the characteristics of SOA components, and how it can help you assemble applications that can play a role in an SOA. (However, this chapter is not intended to provide the in-depth detail necessary to implement your own SOA.)

Again... I'm ok with that. Development is a funny thing, if you write a book diving too-deep into development, you run the risk of the techniques being outdated before the book is back from the press. That's why I'm such a fan of wikis, which is where I believe that such deep-dives belong.

This book, which is less than 300 pages, really doesn't have to deep-dive for me. It does however have to deliver on getting me to understand the fundamentals of -- in this case -- Lotus Notes 8 and SOA. If I can walk away and create a Hello World application based off of reading this chapter, then I consider it a success.

This chapter delivers with the Composite Application Editor demo, but I was honestly disapointed with the Web Services coverage, as I know that Domino Web Services are one of the most under-utilized features in Lotus Notes Domino that can also provide you with extension and integration capabilities for other technology investments (mobile device development springs to mind here...).

However, I'm keeping in mind that Web Services were not new to Lotus Notes 8, and this book really focuses on content that illustrates those features and functionality. Thus, I can't fault the chapter just because I want reader scope creep.

From here I move onto Chapter 4, which covers Lotus Symphony, and I'll continue until I finish the book.

The verdict so far? It's an excellent quick read that could really help those of you who need to rapidly get up to speed on what Lotus Notes Domino 8 can do for your organization, either for justification purposes or simply to get yourself familiar with What's New.

If you're interested, you can pick up Lotus Notes Domino 8 from Packt Publishing on their website both in standard printed and eBook formats, or you can offer a suggestion on how I should hold a give-away for this and the other Packt Publishing book I'm reviewing.

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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