HCL Lotus Notes Review

It is a platform for making groupware applications that are natively integrated with email.


What is most valuable?

Lotus Domino is an excellent platform for making groupware applications that are natively integrated with email.

It gives you the flexibility to publish applications in the web with practically no effort if you use some of the templates provided.

The security (private key / public key) is very strong.

You have a lot of predesigned templates for doing workflow applications.

How has it helped my organization?

We used Lotus Domino / Lotus Notes a lot few years ago for:

  • Corporate politics and procedures
  • Corporate phone book
  • Email
  • Workflow applications for authorization (vacations, travel expenses, refunds, etc)

We created some excellent applications for managing our enterprise / corporate procedures. Before the BPMS tools were created, we created some applications to manage our corporate workflows.

Using Lotus Notes, we had to solve some issues because Lotus Notes is a document-oriented database and not a relational database. At the beginning, we had to solve some performance issues.

First, we had to develop a standard to document our corporate processes. We used Microsoft Visio to do the documentation and a proprietary standard (before the BPMN standard was established).

As soon as we solved the issue of the standard, we wanted to cover in detail the business requirements and time to market requested by the enterprise, so we developed a flexible application that let the developers to configure instead of programming the workflows.

We created a catalog for adding roles, people, activities, processes, fields by role, among other information, so we were able to configure a new workflow in days, not in weeks.

With this template, we created the main corporate processes, for example, the presales process and the installation processes for the corporate, government and IT market.

We were also able to copy the template created to use this application for other kind of workflows.

It took almost 15 years of work to have this template customized to fill the needs of the enterprise and the aggressive time to market needed in telecom companies.

What needs improvement?

The problem with Lotus Domino is that there are no new versions of the product. The last version that I know is 9.x.

For how long have I used the solution?

20 years (since 1997)

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Practically no deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because the Lotus Notes database is a documental database, there are some stability issues if the database grows a lot. I think that you can avoid this issue if you send the information to a database or Split the database in files no longer than 4 GB to have better performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.; it's a very scalable solution (as a platform).

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is 8/10.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 8/10.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We are currently using the Office 365 solution; it has the advantage that now it's in the cloud and it can be accessed from any place.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex; you have to have some technical expertise to implement the solution.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not sure if IBM is still selling this product.

Talking about the support, I think that it is average; it is not the cheapest solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing, we also evaluated Office 365 for businesses (Exchange).

What other advice do I have?

Review the roadmap with IBM before trying to implement this solution, because I think that IBM is not investing in new versions and there's no roadmap.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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