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Lotus Expands Options for Developers, Users

Lotus Development Corp. will be expanding its market reach on several levels by utilizing technology from papa-company IBM Corp. and pesky neighbor Microsoft Corp.

The company announced at its annual conference Lotusphere 2000 today that it would be integrating Lotus Domino's collaborative and workflow capabilities with IBM's WebSphere Application Server and its transactional services and Java-based programming model.

In integrating these services, Lotus (www.lotus.com) hopes to build a set of core capabilities to accelerate application development. The capabilities include common program environment, security, servlets and BASIC development models, common HTTP stacks, single sign-on, and simplified administration.

The integration will be delivered later this year through future enhancements to Domino and WebSphere. This will enable applications to exchange security authentication and single sign-on. This integration also offers a more comprehensive environment for building the user interface for Web applications with servlets and Java Server Pages (JSPs), while using Domino to provide workflow, directory and replication services.

IBM (www.ibm.com) will support BASIC development language LotusScript as the language for Java Server Pages managed by WebSphere to allow Lotus developers to create dynamic Web pages in a familiar development language. When using the Advanced Edition of WebSphere, LotusScript will be able to call Java components, and developers will be able to integrate transactional capabilities with Domino's collaborative capabilities.

WebSphere already ships with Java directory interfaces (JNDI) which offers Java standards-based access from WebSphere to Domino directory information layered on Domino Directory's standard LDAP interface. This allows companies that have based infrastructures on Domino to exploit the directory information in Java-based applications for the Web and for the enterprise.

Outlook looks good

Every convention needs a shocker. This came yesterday when outgoing CEO Jeff Papows announced in his opening Lotusphere 2000 keynote that Lotus would be opening up Domino access to users of Microsoft Outlook.

This is part of Lotus's effort to extend access to Domino through iNotes Release 5. iNotes includes Domino Offline Services and iNotes Access for Microsoft Outlook. Domino Offline Services provides offline access to Domino applications. iNotes Access for Microsoft Outlook extends the Domino messaging platform and application infrastructure to users of the Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) messaging client.

The second new version of Notes is Lotus Mobile Notes, a compact version of Notes engineered for intelligent handheld and wireless devices including the Palm Pilot and SmartPhones. Mobile Notes will leverage the upcoming release of Lotus Mobile Services for Domino to provide access to e-mail, calendar, and directory, as well as other applications designed by Lotus business partners and enterprise Domino and Notes developers. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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