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A combination email system, group scheduling system and document management system. Based on the notion that everything is a record in some databases, and the entire system is a collection of those databases. Data is entered through a form (either via the Notes Client, or a web interface), and can be indexed in different ways and even made full-text searcheable. NOT a RelationalDatabase?.

Multiple clients and servers can keep their own copies of individual databases and replicate with each other, allowing offline operation of clients.

Imagine a wiki implemented by the US military. Lots of (occasionally useful) features, requiring a full time staff to maintain, and generally costing a whole heck of a lot.

The client is very buggy. The web interface is very slow. Both client and server have plenty of security holes. CA-2003-11 :Multiple Vulnerabilities in Lotus Notes and Domino http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2003-11.html

It's still better than MS Exchange.


Lotus has also a new wikilike product LotusQuickPlace.


Here where I work, we use LotusNotes, but it actually works out to facilitate collaboration a little better than that. We have forums that are little more than mailing lists for generalized communication. But we also use LotusNotes to completely document all internal procedures, designs, plans, et. al.

Various development databases house designs, test plans, approval profiles, schedules, status reports, etc. Each document can be edited and re-edited by anyone with appropriate permission. Audit trails on each document allow us to keep track of individual contributions to each document.

Other databases are more like a collection of "howtos", with individual documents in various categories. Each document is primarily maintained by one person (though this is more by common agreement; others are free to touch them up).

For our purposes, LotusNotes more than fits the bill. Though it certainly could use improvement in the area of klunkiness. Has anyone any experience with InterLeaf?? I know that other companies use that for internal documentation purposes.

I seem to recall there being a wiki implementation in LotusNotes, though I think that it was only externally expressed as a web page. It might be a little awkward to construct a wiki in Notes, but I think that it could be done fairly easily. -- anon.


We had all of those things, but without the appropriate CommunityExpectations to make them work well. Our corporate culture did not reward people who obeyed rules, or followed establised procedures - so anything implemented in Notes had to be very heavy handed to keep people from going around the intent. In a lot of ways, Lotus Notes is a framework, or development platform which is very flexible and can do a lot. At the same time, that means you are at the mercy of those who design the databases. It can do a lot, but that functionality is not typically exposed to the end users. --ErikDeBill


We've done a wiki using Notes for a college - have a look at http://www.emconnect.com. Uses Java for the backend and works pretty well. We've also done a 'native' version but we had to use the C++ api to do it. As Eric says above, Notes is just a framework and you can get it to do pretty much what you want. The shame is all the installations of it that just route e-mail - what a waste of money. MarkLawson


At ObjectTechnologyInternational/Ottawa, we had a jar called the F9 fund. Everytime you complained about having to hit F9 to make the @#$! thing work, you had to put cash in the jar. Of course, the e-mail client was only an example application. Whatever. -- SunirShah


Notes is the email standard at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. For some combination of useability, personalities and culture, Notes barely gets used at EPA beyond an email client. There are notable exceptions: Our Seattle office generates about 95% of its public access Web pages with Notes/ Domino, and the San Francisco office uses Notes/ Domino for a large number of Web pages. Notes strength in this use is its GUI support of RTF formatting, which users are familiar with from the email client. Thus Web content providers can do their own (almost live) text formatting and editing for public access Web pages.

EPA Seattle office: http://www.epa.gov/region10/ Notes generated pages are the "yosemite" links from this home page.

We do have a few database applications where Notes allows users to create paper and Web documents, which are also records in a database. As a database, Notes incompatibity with relational databases is either a feature or a major shortfall.

DaveChristenson


Try this out: http://openntf.org/projects/pmt.nsf/projectlookup/dominowiki

"OpenNTF? is a site devoted to getting groups of individuals all over the world to collaborate on Lotus Notes/Domino applications and release them as open source."


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