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First Impressions: IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 from Packt Publishing

IBM Lotus Notes and 
Domino 8.5.1 from Packt Publishing I just received my review copy of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 from Packt Publishing and wanted to give it the First Impressions treatment. This book, published in January 2010 by co-authors Barry Rosen, Bennie Gibson, Brad Schauf, David Byrd, Dick McCarrick, Joseph Anderson, and Tim Speed, covers topics including Lotus product portfolio, the Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1 integration capabilities with other IBM products and services, and the platforms integration with Service-Oriented Architectures.

Notice I said platform and not product, as that's an important distinction with IBM Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1 that I'm happy to see the authors make: Lotus Notes Domino has evolved into an application and services platform. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...


From the foreward -- written by Mark J. Guerinot, Director (Americas) Software Services for Lotus (ISSL) -- this book pushes the message the majority of you already get:

[IBM Lotus Notes Domino] is no longer just an e-mail tool, but a basis to extend business communications to a new level.

Unlike the Lotus Notes Domino 8: Upgrader's Guide, this books skips the history of IBM Lotus Notes Domino and jumps into an overview of the latest enhancements of IBM Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1.

Chapter 1: Overview of New Lotus Notes 8.5 Client Features

This chapter actually starts off with the New Lotus Notes Client Features of release 8.0 and builds to the latest features of release 8.5.1. Fair enough, as the release 8.0 content that is covered in this chapter is absolutely transferable to 8.5.1 and -- quite frankly -- if they didn't review the user interface enhancements, this chapter would be lacking.

Reading like a punchlist of things you should show your project champions to sell them on why they need to upgrade to release 8.5.1, we review the latest improvements in the functional layout of the client. The Open List, Thumbnail Viewer, Grouped Tabs, the enhanced Search, improved Out of Office engine, federated calendars, and more are discussed via a brief description and (most importantly) screen captures showing off these features.

If you have no plans on upgrading to Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1, I'd keep Chapter 1 as far away from your user community as possible. It highlights every feature that - when demo'ed to customers - I'm immediately asked "so when can I do all this?".

Chapter 2: Lotus Notes 8.5 and SOA

What Chapter 1 did for users, Chapter 2 promises to do for developers!

After giving you a crash course on SOA, this chapter pretty thoroughly covers Composite Application Development, shows an example of Lotus Notes Domino Web Services, and explains that Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1 supports open technologies such as OASIS/ODF (the Open Document Format) and the Eclipse Rich Client Platform.

This discussion of Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1 transitions quite nicely into the next chapter...

Chapter 3: Productivity Tools

Here, we discuss Lotus Symphony, IBM Lotus Documents, IBM Lotus Presentations, and IBM Lotus Spreadsheets.

And while the introduction to the chapter actually discusses Total Cost of Ownership, a turn of the page reassures you that you didn't accidentally start reading IBM sales and marketing copy.

This chapter not only reviews the productivity tools in detail, but also discusses their integration with the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.1 Client and their management and deployment via Domino policies.

... which leads us to the Domino server.

Chapter 4: Lotus Domino 8.5 Server Features

Here we learn more about Message Recall, the enhanced Out-of-Office functionality, Mail Inbox Maintenance, enhancements to AdminP, Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM), Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT), and many more things that you admins would drool over.

I, as a developer, tend to ignore the improved server administration features and functionality in IBM Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.1. All I know is that my code runs smoothly and the Domino servers never. go. down.. I digress...

This chapter briefly dives into all of the reasons that a Lotus Notes Domino Administrator would want to upgrade their environment. Like Chapter 1 with your user community, if you don't want your admins to upgrade your environment: don't let them read this chapter!

... and that about wraps up this First Impressions review of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 from Packt Publishing. As with all of my reviews, I will be giving away my review copy to some lucky reader via Comment Lottery as soon as I finish reading this book.

Expect that contest to start early next week, and -- as always -- your feedback is appreciated!

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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