E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2 – Testing the Waters of the Next Wave of Collaborative Tools? – You Bet!

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In one of my previous twitterings, I have actually mentioned how, for the last couple of weeks, I have been testing the waters with the latest client from Lotus Notes 8: Beta 2. For a number of months, I have been trying out Notes 8 beta 1 and I must say that if I was quite impressed back then about what Notes 8 was putting together, I am really glad that I jumped into Beta 2, because the experience is way much more impressive. Yes, indeed, that is the right word for it: very impressive.

I know that quite a lot of people out there may be a bit surprised to actually see me here creating this weblog entry about a particular groupware tool that IBM has been championing for several decades (It even has got its own Wikipedia entry!) and which has shaped tremendously the market around collaboration tools. I remember back then, when I first joined IBM over 10 years ago, that we were all just getting exposed to Lotus Notes 4.1, then from there on to Notes 5, then Notes 6, Notes 7 and already preparing the way into Notes 8. So hang in there with me for a minute and you will see where I am heading…

As far as I can see, most of the major releases of Lotus Notes were actually having a huge impact in the groupware space. However, I feel that with the arrival of Notes 8 (definitely Beta 2 is showing some of that already!) we will be seeing, and experiencing, a paradigm shift where not only Notes 8 might potentially dominate the traditional groupware space (As it has done for many years), but also the more emerging technologies from the world of the social computing space. Because that is actually some of the major set of features put together for Notes 8 beta 2 this time around.

Yes, that is right. I am not sure if you have had a chance to look into the Notes 8 Web site or the actual demo of what it has got to offer, but if there is one thing very clear coming out of all that is that if Lotus Notes was ever meant to be a whole lot more than just an e-mail client, this particular version of Notes 8, whenever it reaches full production, will actually prove that once again, but with a twist.

With a twist because there are a number of different components that have been put together and which touch base quite nicely with the area of social software, going from the Composite Applications, to the integration with Activities, Sametime 7.5.1, different Productivity Tools or an RSS / Atom feed reader to be able to keep up to date with the information you need. And all that with a new and fancy user interface to handle your e-mail and calendar, next to the other different databases you may have been using already. In short, lots of goodies to talk about that would require a few different weblog entries, which is, indeed, what I will be doing over the next few weeks as Notes 8 reaches that full production status.

I just wanted to get things started today with this particular weblog entry to share with you a teaser video clip, stored in YouTube, by Thomas Adrian, and which comes to show you some of the different new features put together in Notes 8 Beta 2 and of which I will be talking about in future posts providing a bit more details with some more extensive overviews of how they work. The only thing missing from the video though is the lack of sound / voice, thus it may seem a bit weird going through it. However, it would be totally worth it and without much further ado, here is a quick preview of what is awaiting some of us when we get to taste the final release of Notes 8 and which we can already see with the beta 2 client:

Oh, if you cannot wait for those reviews I will be sharing shortly there is just one place where you would be able to get a sense of why and how Notes 8 has changed the way group collaboration will be seen as in the next few years. Check out Mary Beth Raven‘s weblog over at Designing the User Experience for Lotus Notes and Sametime. Who would have thought that the next major release of Lotus Notes 8 would have been done in conjunction with us all, i.e. the end-users, by having its developers listen and getting actively involved with our own feedback coming through that particular weblog from Mary Beth. Not sure what you think about this, folks, but very few applications out there have been shaped up this way, don’t you think?

(Stay tuned for those reviews as they will be coming up shortly. You will notice as well how I have consciously not included any other links to other reviews as I will be linking to them accordingly whenever the time is right)

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