Well, it looks like the transition is near for Lotus Notes to move to J2EE. I just read this article about a new IBM platform called Lotus Workspace, which I didn't even know existed. It's a J2EE based back-end service which sits on top of Websphere and provides a bunch of collaboration services which use a relational DB as its repository. These services include "traditional messaging like email, calendaring, address books as well as team spaces, instant messaging, Web conferencing, and learning." The news story above is about how Notes and Domino are beginning the transition to this platform by first coming under the same brand, though it's still the same native codebase, then I guess, they'll move the functionality of Notes to Java as well.
Years ago when I was working at brief stint for Lotus Consulting, I had a coworker who was on the development team for custom Lotus Notes apps and she was doing everything in Java. Back then it seemed that the transition for Notes to Java was imminent, though it just never seemed to happen. Even almost seven years later, I'm still surprised that Notes is still pretty much as it used to be back when I was using it daily. I *love* Notes - I cut my teeth in developing and consulting using Lotus Notes and to this day it affects how I view development and how collaboration should happen.
Thus, it's sort of exciting, yet sad, to see Notes starting the transition to a more modern platform like Java. Exciting because it could make Notes more "mainstream" in that if I can just plug Notes capability into any J2EE server, it would be an awesome thing to have. But sad because it really means the end to Lotus. Lotus Workspace isn't Lotus/Iris like it was in the early 90s. The success of Notes has nothing to do with IBM, and the fact that the app is still pretty much the same 8 years after IBM purchased the company shows that. This transition, to me, is the beginning of the end for both Notes and for that kernel of Lotus that was left...
Oh well, tech goes on.