Why I like Domino

My colleague Patrick sent me a very interesting blog entry about Sharepoint and what it takes to master it.

Interesting reading for every one who wants to know a little more about the product and what it is like to work with it.

Read it?… Ok!
Now you now why I’m happy to be a Domino developer. I suppose we can expect another rip and replace version from Microsoft.
I can’t figure out, why developer keep up with a product management like that? You constantly have to relearn. The experience and knowledge you get is partly made useless with every new version forcing you to learn the basics again. It’s a waist of resources!
I do like challenges. But I do not like to have to throw away my knowledge every time a new release gets out.
No, better stick with things that tends to evolve instead of revolving.

I know a customers developing there own products to overcome these obstacle. After a Biztalk upgrade all their plug-ins were useless, since the api was rewritten. So the decision was made to develop something more independent. Nice to see that Microsoft value them so much, that they get an award for it. But it also shows that some customer are aware of the risks with Microsoft development , you should always consider the fact that you may loose your development investments, when upgrading.
Is that something that is considered in TCO and ROI calculation? Apparently not, the install base would be considerably smaller then.

Microsoft seams to make everything they touch to a complex non transparent issue at the moment. Take the OOXML draft with 6000+ pages. Why so complex?
Microsoft had a very good start with DOS. It’s was simple and easy to use. Basic was also easy to use, not very useful, but simple.
I believe Microsoft lost the word simple after Word 2.0.

In the blog entry there is a list on technologies you have to master to customize Sharepoint. I wounder how that list would look for Domino and Quicker.

First from the Real World software development blog listing:

1. SharePoint
2. SQL Server
3. Internet Information Server
4. Active Directory
5. File Stores
6. Indexing
7. Software Development
8. Search Engines (To help customize the brutal search built into it)
9. Database Design and Development
10. XML
11. .NET 2.0
12. ISA Server
13. Master Pages

And for Domino with Quickr:

  1. Domino server
  2. LotusScript
  3. Formula
  4. Java
  5. JavaScript
  6. XML

(Comparing Domino and Quickr and Sharepoint with each other is not fair, but comparing Microsoft products against Lotus products have never been fair, either way)

What struck me most is not the fact that there is a big difference in the number of lines, but he fact there is only one product/system to learn. No SQL server, no IIS… only Domino!

Now I know why I like Domino, it is simple to manage and easy to use. Developing application can be quick and simple or hard and complex. You as a developer have the choice.

At the moment I feel lucky not having to learn another system, being able to concentrate on things I find interesting. Namely perfecting my Java, JavaScript and the new (not rewritten) functionalities in Domino 8.

Maybe that’s why so many Domino developer have time to blog 🙂

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7 Responses to “Why I like Domino”

  1. Vedant Kulshreshtha Says:

    I have worked a lot on both IBM Lotus Notes/Domino and Microsoft SharePoint technologies so could not resist the temptation to leave a reply 🙂

    I do take Miguel’s and yours point about list of technologies to master when developing on SharePoint platform. Based on my experience, what I can add is that if you master them you can implement lot of scenarios like: basic team collaboration, Intranet portal, Extranet portal, Internet portal, SSO with other enterprise systems… all with a true 3-tier architecture with lot of scalability. You can actually add “ASP.NET 2.0” also to the list of technologies; but I am not sure why File Stores and Indexing knowledge would be required for a SharePoint solution.

    In large enterprises where same set of scenarios need to be implemented lot of additional technologies are needed besides plain vanilla Lotus Domino. So, list of additional technologies to master would be:

    1. IBM Websphere
    2. DB2
    3. JSP
    4. Servlet
    5. Portlet
    6. LDAP
    7. Tivoli Access Manager
    8. Search engines and Indexing

    BTW, sharePoint developers also have time to blog and even reply to others’ blog entries 🙂

  2. Keith Brooks Says:

    Tomas,
    You are correct but in truth knowing how to set up Domino for Web services is a world to its own.
    Don’t forget ssl, keyrings, tokens, sso, and if you need it too , LDAP configurations and of course indexing(and how to fix the indexes).
    We may take for granted you just need to know Domino, but in truth its like having 4+ people at once, an admin, a web guru, an infrastructure thinking type and a small part developer to get the server running properly.
    As you can guess I am not a developer and I try to remind all of you that yes Domino can do anything subject to its admins knowing what they are doing.
    By the way, to run MOSS 3.0 you MUST run in parallel WSS(old name of sharepoint server) 2.0 too!
    Yes its easier to admin Domino, but its not good job security.

  3. Tomas Ekström Says:

    My main reason for this post was/is to emphasize that Microsoft products is getting more complex by the day. That is also valid for Lotus products with a big leap with 8. But Microsoft are most certainly leading the battle for complexity.

    I know I partly compare the philosophy of company with the philosophy of one product. And that is not fair (as stated above). Mentioning Microsoft I mainly think of Exchange, Biztalk and SharePoint. Products that are told to be good business value.
    But how can that be, with the past rip and replace releases?
    The next release may obsolete your knowledge and investments. Nothing I would like to live with as an IT-Manager.
    That is something Lotus manage much better i.e. a Domino 1.0 Application runs on a 8.0.

    @Vedant That would be a separate lists for me. Comparing Domino, SharePoint and Websphere with each other.
    Large enterprises do not need to use WebSphere. But in that case I would add a reverse proxy to the list of technologies to master.

    @Ketih I do not understand, do you mean Domino is not secure since it easier to administrate? In a complex system it is always harder to manage security. Since it easy to handle security in Domino. I regard it as very secure, even with a minimum of administration!

    And an advice:
    “Never let a fool change a running system!”
    “A good developer should always know when he is the fool.”

  4. Prashul Says:

    Got here from Ed’s blog and perhaps I should leave a few words. So much is being said about it Sharepoint vs Domino.
    I am diving in…

    @Vedant: As Tom says bringing Websphere into the picture is a totally different paradigm. MS wishes to take one WAS and is desperately trying the portal route through Sharepoint. But publicly they tout it as the Domino alternate. The list that was added to show that it is complicated is more related to a total web/portal environment than Domino.

    So is Sharepoint trying to reach that sphere? They may, given that now Microsoft has many of the think tanks of Lotus on their side.

    For quickly setting up collaboration, mail and corporatate social networking you need no more than Domino, Quickr and Sametime. That cannot be beat now for sure and it integrates with MSoffice too.
    I see companies trying to implement sharepoint, but in the end they are spending $$$ to achieve a result that they already have through Domino. That too spending so much to do custom development? Hey listen up..You can just implement Domino with Quickr and Sametime and you have Document Sharing, Team Calendaring and host of other features in a jiffy!
    @Keith..whats so difficult in administering a Domino Server. SSO, Keyrings, Tokens..dont confuse the average business user who reads this post. And thats why we have specialists in each area..would someone expect a PhysioTherapist to do a CT Surgery..I would not? Similarly we need administrators, security specialists, developers etc..

    Recently I was called to action, someone installed a server and it would not allow users to access. (Well not the simple You are not authorized message)..Message is unless you know how to do it do not do it. Do not assume that you can drive a Ferrari even if you have driven an Accord for years.
    Can the average MS Developer Administer the Active Directory in a fool proof manner(lets say 75% foolproof..there are smarter folks in the world).Can the super .NET guy maintain the security on the SQL server or tune it for optimal performance..I guess not

    “Little knowledge can be more dangerous than no Knowledge.” Thats my take on the administration/developer/endusers. I have seen many end users thinking they are super developers and creating issues that developers mop up and developers thinking they are administrators causing admins to mop it all.

    As for who is the best..time will tell…Remember the 95 saying..Web is here Domino is dead.
    May the best product win!

    My opinions are my own and do not represent that of my employer.

  5. Let’s be fair, OK? « Notes Migration Blog Says:

    […] under: General — migratenotes @ 1:04 pm A week or so ago, I found the following blog entry: https://rndnotes.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/why-i-like-domino/ (via Ed […]

  6. quintessens Says:

    Maybe this is time-worth reading: a document that describes the difficulties in moving from Lotus Domino applications to Microsoft technologies:

    http://workdomosphere.blogspot.com/2007/01/ms-whitepaper-on-converting-from-domino.html

  7. Deba Says:

    I couldnt agree more, to why Domino is better. We are currently facing the problem, where our client wants to move from Domino to Sharepoint and IT has no idea why they want to and how they plan to move there 300 custom built application onto sharepoint. MS might say that, SP is a one stop solution for all, but thats deffently not the fact. We cannot build a complex workflow wihout biztalk, or a security with AD, SSO with Passport…the list goes on. I have no idea why the org wants to move to SP, when it will cost them more to move and build a decade of apllications, that they have in place


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