Lotus to air knowledge management, mobile access products

ORLANDO -- IT executives attending Lotusphere next week will get a long look at a much-delayed product and a short look at the next versions of the Domino server and Notes client.

Lotus also will reveal new mobile servers and plans for the application service provider (ASP) market, according to sources. All the offerings will carry target shipping dates, something Lotus has been unable to hit in the past 2 years.

"There is not a lot new here," according to one source who requested anonymity, "but it is obvious with the ASP angle that Lotus is exploring new channels to get software out to the corporate world."

The company plans to announce a March 1 ship date for its Domino Knowledge Discovery System, formerly called Raven. The software, which was slated to ship last year, has been plagued by the delay of Discovery Server, its sophisticated search engine.

Raven, however, won't come cheap, with a price tag of $395 per user and $100,000 per processor.

Lotus also plans to ship Sametime 2.0, the next version of its instant messaging server.

But IT executives thirsting for the next release of Domino, code-named RNext, will not get much more than feature demonstrations. Those include roaming user and multiuser features, security agents and calendaring/scheduling enhancements on the client. The server includes new monitoring tools, Web administration, policy-based management for users and servers, server access controls and a new installer.

A preview release of RNext will be made available to partners shortly after Lotusphere, and the first public beta is due this spring.

Lotus also plans four new servers for mobile access that will be part of a new Domino Everyplace Server family that will ship by July. The servers will support mobile access to Domino from Wireless Application Protocol phones, PDAs and other devices.

The Access Server is the base model and supports access to mail, calendaring and the address book. It does not support replication. The Synchronization Server adds that feature to the Access lineup. The Enterprise Server adds access to Domino-based applications. The Sametime Everplace Server provides instant messaging to mobile users. The server family will incorporate current IBM/Lotus offerings, including EasySync for PDA synchronization, Mobile Services for Domino, IBM Mobile Connect and Domino Everyplace Quickstart.

Lotus will release a Domino Everyplace ASP version later this year.

Lotus will unveil plans to operate as an ASP under the banner of Lotus Collaboration Services. It will host Domino collaboration and messaging services, including instant messaging, e-meetings and online workplaces, using its Sametime and QuickPlace applications. The company also plans to host a number of collaborative modules users can rent to embed in their own applications. The beta of the project will begin this month, but the service won't launch until the third quarter.

Third-party product sampler

As always at Lotusphere, Lotus partners will show off their wares. Here's a sampling:

IT Factory will introduce a Web-based client interface to the applications that make up its Business Suite, including Sales Force Automation and Customer Service. The applications will be offered as "building blocks" for custom enterprise applications, according to IT Factory officials.

Trend Micro will ship Scanmail for Lotus Notes 2.5, which adds policy-based filtering and attachment blocking to the virus scanning engine.

Group Software, which will announce SecureIQ Suite for Lotus Notes, also will offer content filtering plus modules for automatically encrypting and archiving mail.

Dirig Software will release a Specific Application Manager for Lotus Notes. The agent, which plugs into the company's xSPress and RelyENT management software, monitors Domino servers proactively.

Stampede will ship TurboGold Server to Server 4.0, which features an acceleration engine for server-to-server mail routing. The company also is adding task prioritization that prevents overloaded server CPUs.

Lotus: www.lotus.com

This story, "Lotus to air knowledge management, mobile access products" was originally published by Network World.

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