Originally written 20030102 |
Lotus Notes is the best general purpose business software sold to date. It combines the abilities of a database program (DBase3+) with the easy usability of Paradox (a crippled database program known for being useful to your typical PHB.) It has an OK word processor, and an integrated email client. New applications can be written by PHBs and secretaries, and there is a full API for the most complicated programming. Finally, it is the only fully distributed application system in existence; no other platform allows servers, desktops, and usually-disconnected laptops to remain synchronized.
There are two features that need improvement to make the LN client the replacement for MSWord and MSOutlook. The first is grammar checking. MSWord helps people to write. It fixes grammar. It allows automatic word substitution. LN does not. This lack of a feature forces people to open a dedicated word processor for assistance. Add a grammar checker to LN and that need disappears.
The other feature is the requirement for a Notes ID. This is because LN was designed for full security in the corporate world. Lotus expects there to be at least one Domino server and one Notes Administrator. But since the LN client makes a decent email client that can communicate to every email server, and people can easily create applications, why not sell it to the general public? Why force the general public to use software designed to distribute viruses when this software is available?
My recommendation is to have every client have a "New ID" button on it. With the abilty to create and send Safe IDs for easy cross-certifying. Let the client tell you when this is necessary.