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What happened when - the Notes 1-9 time line

The history of Lotus IBM Notes makes an interesting read (there's a Wikipedia version too). Since 1989 (that's 24 years) Notes has delivered releases that are fiercely backwards compatible™. I loaded the nifty fifty into a current Notes client and the R2 databases worked (after a compact) just fine. I like to put things into perspective:
Notes from version 1.0 to 9.0
There are a few factoids that are quite interesting:
  • Linux is almost as old as Notes
  • The first public release of MS Exchange was 4.0 when Notes released 4.5. Ein Schelm wer einen Zufall vermutet
  • Symbian predated Blackberry by 5 years
  • Sharepoint was introduced in the same year as IE6, could there be coincidences to the pain level?
  • Android was released in the same year as the iPhone, but it took a year before phones were available
  • There seems to be a huge period of inactivity after the 5.0 release.
    However there were not less than 12 point releases of the 5.0 code stream (5.0.1 - 5.0.13) with 5.0.8 the most popular (as I recall).
  • The biggest expansion of Notes were the following versions 6.0 / 6.5. So if history, as common saying goes, repeats itself, we are in for interesting days for Notes 9.0
  • 2004/2005 was a big year for Internet technology: the term Ajax was coined, Ubuntu and Firefox had their 1.0 release
  • There seems to be a huge gap between 8.5 and 9.0 of 5 years. However in each of this years IBM delivered a point release with new functionality (just some highlights listed, check the full release notes to see all):
    • 2009 8.5.1: XPiNC: XPages in the Notes client
    • 2010 8.5.2: Managed replicas, private iCalendar feeds
    • 2011 8.5.3: Performance, Security and Integration improvements (with fixpacks in 2012)
    Of course that version policy has a dark side: business users typically don't care for the numbers behind the dot and perceived Notes as "in maintenance mode" while it is alive and kicking
There are exiting times ahead for IBM Notes. See you in Orlando. Say hi.

Posted by on 21 January 2013 | Comments (3) | categories: IBM Notes


  1. posted by Patrick Kwinten on Tuesday 22 January 2013 AD:
    When can the SharePointDeatchMarch start?
  2. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Tuesday 22 January 2013 AD:
    The designers od Sharepoint did something very clever: the actually figured out what users wanted:
    - better sharing of files
    - managing your own list (instead of eMailing Excel spreadsheets around)
    - mini applications without IT involvement, but the option to hand it back to IT once it grew

    Sounds very much like the early Notes value preposition, but implemented in the browser. Unless that is matched and surpassed - strictly from a user's perspective - it will march on strongly. It will be more like the long march than the death march. I don't like how it works under the hood (after I peeked into it), but it is well designed for the users.

    Looking at the IBM portfolio I don't see a match. Quickr's list are pathetic. While Connections' file shareing is deemed superior it lackst a list or application feature and Domino needs a client install when designing applications (the community driven efforts to make a browser version have a hard time competing with a vendor backed environment).
  3. posted by Patrick Kwinten on Wednesday 23 January 2013 AD:
    Sounds like there should be an api & interface for users to create their own lists in Notes... (poke your collegues at IBM?)