Outlook+Exchange to Lotus Notus.



  • With great joy of everyone involved in it, we switched from Outlook+Exchange Server to the wondrous world of Lotus Notus. About a week ago.

    Every day has been an adventure from that day. Maybe I can see my mail this hour! Oh oh, I just managed to send an email AND look at my calender.



  •  And I thought, everyone is migrating away from Lotus Notes...

     

    OTOH: I am working with both email systems at different customers, and those installations all run smoothly. Couldn't complain about either one except a few minor quirks. I guess as long as the admin guys know what they're doing, all is well.



  • I have registered specially to reply here.

    Although I am blessed with Outlook 2007 and POP3/IMAP server (despite Outlook being a mixed blessing), I am forced to use Lotus Notes on a remote machine. One could say that I should be happy that I do not have to use such great features of LN as e-mail, IM, calendar, I have to use custom-written system for administrating software packages, docs, production instructions and few more. Between such intuitive GUI design features like you-are-not-allowed-to-input-data/you-must-chose-if-from-pop-up-window and no-you-cannot-use-table-headers-for-sorting-use-predefined-views, the most WTF feature is editing.

     To edit - for example - instruction dependency, one must follow those steps:

    1. Find instruction (pray that you have it's ID)
    2. Open it (you can take a coffee break in the meantime)
    3. Click Edit (ETA: 4-5 sips of coffee)
    4. No, you cannot edit anything at the moment
    5. Click Ente
    6. From new menu chose Details (as opposed to General data, which is same document, just it's upper part) (ETA: 6-7 sips of coffee)
    7. Click not-bold-arrow button next to dependencies box
    8. Uncheck unwanted dependencies in the pop-up window
    9. Close window
    10. Click bold-arrow button on the other side of the box
    11. Find and check wanted dependencies
    12. Save (drink rest of the coffee)
    13. Close
    Nice and easy.



  • Good Lord, what kind of moronic company would migrate away from Exchange for Lotus Notes? 



  • Congrats, this is the first time an article made me burst into horrified scream just by reading title.

    I´m exagerrating, it was more of a whimper than scream, but still....



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Good Lord, what kind of moronic company would migrate away from Exchange for Lotus Notes? 

    For full detail, we where bought by another company. They forced lotus on us. They also had plans to force vista and "no admin rights" on us, but we resisted that.



    Lotus slipped trough, and it makes this forum software look pretty good. But if you look at what could have happened..



  • @Daid said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Good Lord, what kind of moronic company would migrate away from Exchange for Lotus Notes? 

    For full detail, we where bought by another company. They forced lotus on us. They also had plans to force vista and "no admin rights" on us, but we resisted that.



    Lotus slipped trough, and it makes this forum software look pretty good. But if you look at what could have happened..
    Looks like you got the better part of the deal. The few guys who got force-fed Vista (basically, it came with the new laptop) are suffering from Vista's quirks and some weird bugs (like the one The Register dubbed "The Long Goodbye").

    However, we all endure with something that seems to be a Lotus Notes lookalike called FirstClass. Its got this annoying habit of turning some text into a hyperlink, even if the text itself isn't something starting with http:// or www. Oh, and pasting a sufficiently large blob of text makes the whole thing crash.

    Maybe my experience is skewed, but when my college used Lotus Notes (not for mail, though) I actually liked the product. At least the LearningSpace system that we used (built on top of Notes) worked much better than the web-based shite they use these days!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Good Lord, what kind of moronic company would migrate away from Exchange for Lotus Notes? 

     

    <gratuitous_snide_comment>One that didn't want to have to worry about joining the "Virus of the Week Club" as a result of running Exchange?</gratuitous_snide_comment>

    I've been working as consultant doing Notes development and admininstration since 1994.  Over that time, I've seen more than my share of WTFs, just like everyone else here.

    However, Notes, in and of itself, has been the source of far fewer of those WTFs than you might imagine.

    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.  If you just think of Notes in terms of it being an email client, I'll be the first to admit that it sucks particularly hard.  If you think of it as a tool for building in-house applications within an environment that implements and enforces a robust and ubiquitous security model (that also happens to include email functionality), then it's actually a pretty decent tool for getting real work done.  That's the real reason you still see Notes being used (and new deployments and migrations to Notes happening) at large companies: it actually helps them get their real work done, securely and efficiently.

    That being said, the fact that it's relatively easy to "knock together" a quick Notes application means that there are an absolute boatload of badly-written and just plain awful Notes applications out there, written by a whole host of fools who bill themselves as "Notes Developers", despite lacking two brain cells to rub together, let alone a single iota of common sense related to user interface and interaction design.  (See also: Visual Basic, and "teh intarweb" for other fine examples of this sort of developer.)

    You know, just like every other development environment out there, there are idiots using it, and there are professionals.  Too often, people base their opinions on having seen just the work of the idiots.  Just because one of the infinite monkeys slapped together a crappy application using Notes is no reason to condemn the tool he used.

    As a long-time Notes user, developer, and admin, I know that there are lots of better reasons to hate Notes.  Like any tool, it has its deficiencies and problems.  But, on balance, and despite a number of WTFs, I still find that Notes gives me the tools I need to deliver useful (and usable) applications that help my clients get their jobs done, and it does it in a framework that makes it straightforward for me to ensure security at multiple levels of granularity.

    It's a net positive, in my book, and a lot of big companies have found that to be true, as well.

     - Rick



  • @RocketRick said:



    However, Notes, in and of itself, has been the source of far fewer of those WTFs than you might imagine.



    that made me laugh

    @RocketRick said:


    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.  If you just think of Notes in terms of it being an email client, I'll be the first to admit that it sucks particularly hard.


    I agree, go on...

    @RocketRick said:

    If you think of it as a tool for building in-house applications within an environment that implements and enforces a robust and ubiquitous security model (that also happens to include email functionality), then it's actually a pretty decent tool for getting real work done.


    pretty decent is a bit of an overstatement.  it can do some things well.

    @RocketRick said:

    That's the real reason you still see Notes being used (and new deployments and migrations to Notes happening) at large companies: it actually helps them get their real work done, securely and efficiently.


    umm, i'm going to have to disagree with you there.  especially if you attempt to use Notes for web applications.  Its IDE is PATHETIC!!!  Argue with me, and I'll send you a link to download eclipse.  (Although they are supposedly correcting this with 8.5 when designer is eclipse-based) Anyone who has ever enjoyed the ease of relational databases will likely have an embolism trying to get data out.  Notes is notoriously "quirky" and bug-ridden.  More than once we have ran across something that IBM suggests "just don't use that function."  And did I mention how bad there web development support is?  

    @RocketRick said:

    That being said, the fact that it's relatively easy to "knock together" a quick Notes application means that there are an absolute boatload of badly-written and just plain awful Notes applications out there, written by a whole host of fools who bill themselves as "Notes Developers", despite lacking two brain cells to rub together, let alone a single iota of common sense related to user interface and interaction design.  (See also: Visual Basic, and "teh intarweb" for other fine examples of this sort of developer.)

    yes, that makes developing in notes hard
    @RocketRick said:

    You know, just like every other development environment out there, there are idiots using it, and there are professionals.  Too often, people base their opinions on having seen just the work of the idiots.  Just because one of the infinite monkeys slapped together a crappy application using Notes is no reason to condemn the tool he used.

    I have determined there is a thing called Notes apathy.  It is the complacence a developer gets after succombing to Notes.  Bad devlopers never realize notes is bad.  Most good developers run away from Notes. The good developers who become good notes developers develop notes apathy and tend to ignore its glaring deficiencies.  I am not saying you are a bad developer.  However, I am guessing you suffer from notes apathy.
    @RocketRick said:

    As a long-time Notes user, developer, and admin, I know that there are lots of better reasons to hate Notes.  Like any tool, it has its deficiencies and problems.  But, on balance, and despite a number of WTFs, I still find that Notes gives me the tools I need to deliver useful (and usable) applications that help my clients get their jobs done, and it does it in a framework that makes it straightforward for me to ensure security at multiple levels of granularity.

    I see my diagnosis is correct.
    @RocketRick said:

    It's a net positive, in my book, and a lot of big companies have found that to be true, as well.

    I bet that number gets smaller everyday.  unfortunately, I bet those companies who convert are changing their incompetent notes developers into incompetent VB.NET developers. 😕

    (okay, so I am biased because I hate notes, but you are right, it is just another flaky mean to an end)



  • @dphunct said:

    @RocketRick said:

    That's the real reason you still see Notes being used (and new deployments and migrations to Notes happening) at large companies: it actually helps them get their real work done, securely and efficiently.


    umm, i'm going to have to disagree with you there.  especially if you attempt to use Notes for web applications.  Its IDE is PATHETIC!!!  Argue with me, and I'll send you a link to download eclipse.  (Although they are supposedly correcting this with 8.5 when designer is eclipse-based) Anyone who has ever enjoyed the ease of relational databases will likely have an embolism trying to get data out.  Notes is notoriously "quirky" and bug-ridden.  More than once we have ran across something that IBM suggests "just don't use that function."  And did I mention how bad there web development support is?  

     I'm not going to argue with you that Notes' development environment sucks.  The current IDE is pathetic.  However, I never said it wasn't. Yes, as a Notes/Domino developer, I have to deal with a crappy IDE, and I
    have to jump through silly hoops to get Domino to output
    standards-compliant HTML.  It's a pain at times, and I acknowledge that.

    The Notes data model is non-relational.  Yawn.  Color me unsurprised to see this pointed out.  The Notes data model is a better fit for some types of applications, and relational databases are a better fit for other types of applications.  Horses for courses. For a lot of business processes, the Notes model is actually better.  For others, I'll gladly put the data into a back-end relational DB (or it will already exist in one), and I'll query it as needed.

    What I actually said was that Notes "helps [companies] get their real work done, securely and efficiently."  And that is a true statement, and one I'll stick by. Once well-written Notes applications are built, they do help companies get their real work done, securely and efficiently.  The Notes security model is second-to-none, and completely immune to the usual SQL injection and similar attack methods that plague most other web application platforms.  Notes applications are a great tool for automating a wide variety of business processes.

    There's value in well-designed applications, and Notes gives me, as a developer, a useful toolkit for developing certain types of applications.Is it perfect?  Hell no.  Is it "the best"?  Well, that depends on the specifics of what you're trying to accomplish.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  (Just like most other development platforms.)

    The real world isn't black & white.  No one tool is always best, or even always "good".  No one tool is always worst, or even always "bad".  Sometimes, Notes is a very good tool for the problems at hand.  Sometimes, it's not.

    An experienced professional should be able to distinguish those cases, and make appropriate technology recommendations, rather than blanket commendations or condemnations.  "Hating" any particular tool is counterproductive.

    To address one of your other statements: it's not "apathy" to
    conciously decide to accept a product's limitations in order to
    benefit from its advantages.

      - Rick



  • @Gerino said:

    Find instruction (pray that you have it's ID)

    1. Open it (you can take a coffee break in the meantime)
    2. Click Edit (ETA: 4-5 sips of coffee)
    3. No, you cannot edit anything at the moment
    4. Click Ente
    5. From new menu chose Details (as opposed to General data, which is same document, just it's upper part) (ETA: 6-7 sips of coffee)
    6. Click not-bold-arrow button next to dependencies box
    7. Uncheck unwanted dependencies in the pop-up window
    8. Close window
    9. Click bold-arrow button on the other side of the box
    10. Find and check wanted dependencies
    11. Save (drink rest of the coffee)
    12. Close

     

      Hmm... how large coffee cups do you use? 13 sips and afterwards you can 'drink the rest' ?



  • @Ren said:

    Hmm... how large coffee cups do you use? 13 sips and afterwards you can 'drink the rest' ?
     

    Dunno bout his cup. Mine's roughly a pint, making it a "mug" rather than a "cup", according to my coworkers. I bet I'd get at least 13 sips outta that.



  • @Ren said:

      Hmm... how large coffee cups do you use? 13 sips and afterwards you can 'drink the rest' ?

     

    I think that those could be around 300 ml. It holds a 150ml esspresso and a ~150ml box of condensed milk. Well, it may be a mug after all. Vocalbur



  • @RocketRick said:

    The real world isn't black & white.  No one tool is always best, or even always "good".  No one tool is always worst, or even always "bad".  Sometimes, Notes is a very good tool for the problems at hand.  Sometimes, it's not.

     

    I agree.  A lot of people develop badly with good tools.  Some people develop great things with bad tools. Notes is just another tool.

    @RocketRick said:


    An experienced professional should be able to distinguish those cases, and make appropriate technology recommendations, rather than blanket commendations or condemnations.  "Hating" any particular tool is counterproductive.

     

    Refusing to accept a tool, especially its benefits, is counter-productive.   Hating a tool is strictly a matter of opinion. 

    My hatred comes from the sum of inconveniences surpassing my predetermined level annoyance.  (granted I am easily annoyed)  Here are my biggest complaints
    - the poorly implemented IDE;
    - maintaining code written by people with no development background (VB-- as I like to call LotusScript, has the same problems as VB - to many non-developers developing it);
    - the incorrect/conflicting/missing documentation;
    - the outright confusing implementation of web standards;
    - the akwarness of separating source from design

    @RocketRick said:


    To address one of your other statements: it's not "apathy" to
    conciously decide to accept a product's limitations in order to
    benefit from its advantages.

     

    I thought that was part of the definition of apathy?  eh, I am not a word nazi.

    Anyway, I hope you understand I am not trying to spread my hate; just vent about it.  To help you with your case, I'll go ahead and provide this link:

    Whitehouse looses emails (Ars Technica)
     Outlook sure got kicked in the cajones by notes in that case.



  • @RocketRick said:

    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.  If you just think of Notes in terms of it being an email client, I'll be the first to admit that it sucks particularly hard. 

    Oh no, not another "Lotus is not just an email client" excuse! "It's a database. you suckers!" We've all heard that.

     



  • @alegr said:

    @RocketRick said:

    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.  If you just think of Notes in terms of it being an email client, I'll be the first to admit that it sucks particularly hard. 

    Oh no, not another "Lotus is not just an email client" excuse! "It's a database. you suckers!" We've all heard that.

     

    In my personal experience, I didn't know Notes was an e-mail client until years after I last used it.


  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    @alegr said:

    @RocketRick said:

    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.  If you just think of Notes in terms of it being an email client, I'll be the first to admit that it sucks particularly hard. 

    Oh no, not another "Lotus is not just an email client" excuse! "It's a database. you suckers!" We've all heard that.

     

    In my personal experience, I didn't know Notes was an e-mail client until years after I last used it.

    So you never used LN for email? Lucky you. Anyway, so called "LN applications" suck too.

     



  • @RocketRick said:

    Yes, Notes sucks.  All software sucks.

     

    All software sucks. But Notes blows goats.

     



  • @alegr said:

    All software sucks. But Notes blows goats.

    You watch your damn mouth!

     

    Goats have higher standards than that. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Filed under: [url=http://forums.thedailywtf.com/tags/However+Notes+does+blow+bstorer_2E002E002E00_/default.aspx]However Notes does blow bstorer...[/url]
    Meh, I take it where I can get it.



  • @RocketRick said:

    There's value in well-designed applications, and Notes gives me, as a developer, a useful toolkit for developing certain types of applications.Is it perfect?  Hell no.  Is it "the best"?  Well, that depends on the specifics of what you're trying to accomplish.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  (Just like most other development platforms.)

    The real world isn't black & white.  No one tool is always best, or even always "good".  No one tool is always worst, or even always "bad".  Sometimes, Notes is a very good tool for the problems at hand.  Sometimes, it's not.

    An experienced professional should be able to distinguish those cases, and make appropriate technology recommendations, rather than blanket commendations or condemnations.  "Hating" any particular tool is counterproductive.

     

    This discussion is an example of the typical Notes Pro & Con discussion.

    One argument is always missing, which is the users perspective. While I was working with Notes on some greater companies 80% of the things everybody did was mail and calendar.
    And these are the areas where Notes clearly shows deficiencies in comparison to any competitor. The remaining 20% were expense-calculation facilities, vacation planning and project documentation tools, that usually shelled out a MS-Office document, had it modified and put it back into some workflow.

    So even if Notes claims not to be a mail program, it is mostly used as such, and this feature is, at least in the perception of the users, the core of all. It appears as, if a tool cant handle the basics, why sould anybody be confident with the advanced features?

    The applications that could "easily" be implemented show another problem. They are expensive, because every new user will require at least one support call to find the database where they are deployed. Either the database is not yet part of the workspace,
    so it has to be searched through different servers, datbases, directories , etc  (and usually the rights dont match), or the database is not accessible at all, and an admin has to setup the infrastructure (Pass-through servers etc...). Larger companies are usually replacing these applications by simple HTML-Intranet frontends as soon as resources are available.

    As a result,Outlook/Exchange might not be "better" in any way, if you look at the overall features, but if you look at the basics,  Notes is not accepted by the users, that see 80% of their communications-work with that tool being less productive than before, and the "feel-well-factor" of the developers and administrators will not overcome that.

    If Notes is not a mail program, why dont you give the users a mail program, if that is what they need? 

     

     



  • @daid : Show those folks who took that decision the site http://lotusnotessucks.4t.com/


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