Lotus (and then IBM) Notes was way ahead of its time — it was enterprise software before enterprise software was cool. As ownership transfers to HCL, we reflect back on all Notes meant to a generation of IT professionals.
I remember the Notes heyday myself. I was even a Lotus Certified Professional (CLP) for Notes 4.5. While I use it today, it does not keep up with my workflow. Most of Notes’ (and Domino’s) criticisms stem from poor implementation of the environment just as with SharePoint and other similar platforms after it.
These thoughts echo my own:
As news about the HCL acquisition of Notes and Domino trickles out, I’ve been somewhat saddened to see some unkind comments about Notes and Domino. If those folks had seen what Notes and Domino meant to IT back in the day, they probably wouldn’t have been nearly as dismissive about the importance and relevance of these tools.
That’s why I’m writing this piece. If you’re not familiar with Notes and Domino, or if you used them after their time, I want you to understand that, for many years, they were a really big deal. For almost two decades, they helped make businesses more effective, helped teams communicate, and helped many left hands know what many right hands were doing.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, they hath borne us on their backs a thousand times.
I’m not sad to see Notes move on. It is time.