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Editorial: [Your] Future of IBM Lotus Notes Domino

[Your] Future 
of IBM Lotus Notes Domino I received an email earlier today asking me about my thoughts on the future of IBM Lotus Notes Domino. To be honest, I get an email (or IM, tweet, Facebook post, et al) almost daily asking me -- just a simple developer -- about the life of a platform that the majority of this site's followers consider their identifying technology.

To clarify: if your answer to What do you do?, Constant Reader, begins with "Lotus...", then I'm writing this post for you.

So, What is the future of IBM Lotus Notes Domino?

At it's best, it is a question about the longevity of your work that is being done today. You want to make sure that what you're working on today will be usable by the enterprise over a year from your last code drop.

At it's worst, it is a question from clock-punching developers, who have only fitted their tool belt with RAD capabilities and what they can download from

The majority of people who ask the question however just want to know if they'll have a job within a year. The FUD has reached the wrong people (or the right people depending on what side you're on...), and there is talk of Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint or Corporate GMail and Google Apps migrations that are making people wonder if the Lotus platform is a viable long-term investment.

My response is often in the form of a question: Are you learning and/or using XPages?

XPages, mind you, are not some magic solution that can be sprinkled about in a Notes shop resulting in everyone loving the Lotus platform, you being promoted, and your fellow IT pros finally understanding exactly what you do for a living...

XPages are simply a Lotus Notes Domino Developers entry into real development tools and technologies.

For User Interface Development, it's your look into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. For the back-end, it's the welcoming of XML, Java, and even Model-View-Controller software architectures.

IBM, for their part, is doing an excellent job of bridging the functionality of traditional development techniques and maintaining support for them in a platform that as of now can do so much more once these new technologies are adopted by the would-be development community.

My response given to the "Does Lotus Notes have a future?" question stands true today: if you're not learning about the new tools and capabilities of the platform and thus evolving along side the platform, then it's not the platform that is doomed, but you.

And if Lotus Notes should ever truly die, you will be left with an entire tool belt of transferable skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, and XML development and software architecture...

In summary: if you are simply relying on the RAD capabilities of any platform, it is you who might not have a future.

Learn. Evolve. Win!

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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