HCL Notes (formerly from IBM) Reviews

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Score 7.3 out of 101

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Reviews (1-14 of 14)

Mogana Tashiani profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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HCL Notes (or formerly known as IBM Notes) is used by my company in all its regional offices worldwide. HCL Notes in my company serves many functions such as emails, sending meeting invite, booking meeting rooms, accessing to my company intranet, template sharing, leave management, notebook entry, creating to do list, raising IT issues to global IT team, and even booking guest room for business travel in other countries. As the result IBM Notes standardized my company processes across all regions. In short, it enables fast and easy global communication within the company.
  • HCL Notes can be integrated with other software platforms such as Sametime chat, Concur (expense management platform), and Productivity Management System (platform for consultants/analyst to access to assigned projects). For example, once the status of my claim expenses is changes by the finance team, I'll receive automatic notification from Concur to IBM Notes.
  • Calendar Management - Once I accepted the meeting invite, it will automatically block my calendar and all I need to do to see all my meetings of the day/week is to simply check my calendar in the HCL Notes. Moreover, I can book any meeting rooms in my company and the booking will be made visible to all other employees so that they can see the availability of the room when planning a meeting.
  • Secured Platform- All email from the external party will be hold by the delivery system of the IBM Notes. User can either allow or block the email or site easily.
  • Global Meeting - Regional or cross-regional global meeting can be easily participated remotely. With HCL Notes installed in my laptop/notebook, I can conveniently join company meeting from my working desk or even when travelling.
  • HCL Notes needs to largely improve the quality online web/internet browsing as HCL Notes takes considerably long time to connect and load of the web content.
  • The links shared in HCL Notes emails won't be connected often and the web content won't be visible sometimes. I need to copy and paste the link in Google Chrome to view the web content.
  • Sometimes, HCL Notes will get jammed and need to restart all over.
I often work with teams from other country and regions, hence HCL Notes is a very useful platform for internal company management operations. It standardized organisational work standards in most of the offices worldwide. HCL Notes also enables chat with other team around the world that I find very helpful when initiating conversation or just want to have a quick update rather than sending emails and waiting for replies. However, HCL Notes is not very efficient in web browsing and user still need to use other internet service providers.
Read Mogana Tashiani's full review
Christopher Stark profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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IBM Notes is being used across the entire organization both nationally and internationally. Notes is primarily our email, calendar, and contacts solution, but also serves as a collaboration tool, messaging, and database client/server.
  • Data sharing via small database format is valuable as they are quickly deployed, easily managed and distributed on backend email servers.
  • Integrated messaging allows quick communications between geographical sites reducing long distance costs.
  • Policy documents for registering new users, setting initial security levels, assigning default database access is managed easily with the admin client.
  • There is room for improvement in the OS compatibility arena. IBM Notes tends to run behind and crash issues exist.
  • I would like the Recent Contacts feature removed, it has caused many issues within our organization, it is activated by default after a local installation.
  • Client misunderstanding of the "All Documents" view. This is a dangerous view, primarily because many users misunderstand it as a "folder".
I believe Notes is well suited for small to midsize organizations that could utilize it's integrated database and messaging components. The format of the databases, however, leave the migration of those databases problematic inasmuch as compatibility to other platforms is an issue. I believe most end users find the interface open and intuitive with features that are useful and functional.
Read Christopher Stark's full review
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Score 5 out of 10
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IBM Notes is used by some departments in our organization, but others have moved on to the Google suite of tools. I still use IBM Notes on a regular basis as I work across many different teams so I need to stay in touch with them. We use IBM Notes as a scheduling and communications tool mainly at this point. IBM Notes integrates well with IBM Sametime which is the main reason that some people at our organization have not wanted to move on.
  • IBM Notes does a great job as a calendar and scheduling tool.
  • The features available on mobile are comparable to that found on a desktop.
  • Very simple user interface keeps distractions to a minimum and makes it easy to use.
  • The simple user experience can be touted as a positive, but it is also a negative in some ways. Compared to other calendars, email and chat tools, IBM Notes looks like it is from the 90s.
  • We have constant issues with chat crashing. This is the main reason so many people in our organization chose to switch away from Notes.
  • There aren't a lot of integrations with IBM Notes and other applications we regularly use. Notes seems to have been left behind by many.
IBM Notes works great as a basic email, calendar and chat tool. While there are better and more feature-packed tools available, if you are familiar with IBM Notes, there is nothing really wrong with it. It looks a little dated but works well (when it works). We have had some issues with the tool crashing on us.
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Mark Franklin profile photo
Score 3 out of 10
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IBM notes is being used by our whole organization as an email and meeting scheduler. We also have sametime, another IBM product, which we use as an instant messaging system. It is currently being phased out as we are moving to a new email provider. It addresses our need to have a communication and scheduling platform for the organization to collaborate.
  • Collaboration
  • Scheduling
  • Communication
  • Archaic
  • Weak user interface
  • crashes frequently
IBM notes is well suited to situations where you need to communicate with coworkers, or when you are trying to send out an email. I do not think that it is well suited as a calendar source. My calendar oftentimes gets very unorganized and I feel that Notes could do a better job of helping me to keep things better organized.
Read Mark Franklin's full review
Matthew J. Fitzpatrick profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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It's main function is two-fold. The first is obviously email, calendar, contacts, enterprise-grade shared storage and social networking available in Notes 9. The second function is we have around 20+ internally developed Lotus Notes databases which we use to store all infrastructure inventory, workflows, work queue for builds, audits etc. We also have the Lotus Notes DB's integrated with our ERP and Remedy ticketing system along with other systems which automatically pull data from the various Lotus Notes DBs. It is used pretty heavily on a daily basis.
  • It has a really strong and robust database that's extremely scalable and holds up well to thousands of users and many different environments.
  • It has a really good enterprise-grade framework for development custom database applications
  • All of the custom database applications along with the email all have a nice uniform look and feel so their easy-to-use.
  • I really like how it's developed and supported on every client OS (Windows, OSX, Linux)! The competitors definitely do NOT offer this (M$).
  • I would say the GUI could use some improving to make it more appealing to less saavy and new users
  • I don't really have any other cons
I believe you could find a way to utilize IBM Notes for really any scenario and any sized company whether it be a mom-and-pop SMB or a large corporate enterprise. There's a LOT of really nice and useful features for ALL audiences.
Read Matthew J. Fitzpatrick's full review
Chris Whisonant profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Reseller
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Our organization is a small IBM Business Partner. We use Notes for email and application development. It provides us secure access and storage of our mail data. Since we are small, it's used across the organization. We can also do team scheduling through calendaring and/or custom applications. We also write business-critical applications in Notes and Domino for our customers.
  • Calendar and Scheduling are extremely mature and implemented well.
  • In general, email is email. Notes is the frontend just as Outlook would be. The presentation and implementation of the mail system are on par with any other vendor in the market.
  • Although at certain points the integration could be tighter, Notes integrates well with the other IBM Collaboration products like Connections and Sametime. It is a single point of entry for enterprise collaboration.
  • IBM need to solidify their roadmap for IBM Notes and work more on marketing the software.
  • Lately, the fix packs (or feature packs) have had some bugs - more so than ones prior to the 9.0.1 version. This needs a little more attention.
  • Though it is great with newer hardware, especially SSD, the Eclipse-based Notes Client can still be rather slow to load for some users.
Notes for mail is well-suited for organizations of any size (from 5 to >100,000) and I've supported organizations throughout the spectrum. Though some of the modern application platforms are also good, Notes is also well suited to provide users with a solid platform through which to do their job. However, without professional service or someone with prior knowledge on the staff, it could be quite daunting for smaller organizations.
Read Chris Whisonant's full review
Umar Qureshi profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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IBM notes was used in this organization primarily for mail and workflow management. Various applications were built that could handle top executive approval flows and other document routing, commenting and decision-making processes. The most important features that were relied on were the impeccable security measures that were taken advantage of, such as encryption, compute when composed fields that maintained an un-editable audit trail log. IBM notes features like replication were a great advantage. And the beauty of the whole system was in the ease with which you could backup and restore, apps, clients, and servers.
  • Backup and Recovery... even when done manually it is a piece of cake.. granular recovery of individual records (Documents as they call it here) is possible without any third party licensing / software.
  • Replication is such a beauty, you could have a PC configured such that it will receive replicated data for any critical app at scheduled intervals for off site backup when running on dry budgets.
  • Server Clustering - Another 5 second job, just create a cluster group, add member servers, and click save -- you are almost done... click on the notes apps you want on the cluster and create replica.. system does all the rest
  • Field level Encryption -- Don't encrypt the entire document if it is not desired.. even a single field could be encrypted on the form
  • Any user could download the entire app for offline work but would only be able to download data that he/she is authorized to view - Working offline on an online app is possible out of the box. when you connect back to the network (dial-up, dsl, vpn whatever your company supports) only changed are replicated.
  • Marketing -- IBM needs to do more .. they just cant seem to do it better, far worse products are doing better... selling points for notes despite being strong, are overshadowed by the sheer marketing campaigns of others. Notes just doesn't glitter.
  • Front end need total re-engineering - the legacy out of the box templates need updating
  • More determination and commitment from IBM - seems they are abandoning a great product by lack of will
Great for companies looking for a robust platform that can handle dynamic change in application design, fluid SOPs and a dispersed workforce, low budgets and high-security considerations. Easy to maintain, implement, and upgrade. Where you do not have to even think whether upgrading the system will affect the old apps. Apps written for R2 would be guaranteed to run on R9.x without a single piece of code requiring change.
Read Umar Qureshi's full review
Steven Rieger profile photo
September 15, 2017

IBM Notes Review

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We use IBM Notes as our main CRM for the entire company. It's integrated nightly with our back-end accounting system. We also use it for publishing real-time information to up to 45,000 homeowners and 1,500 board members via our web portal. Additionally, we host several other websites to provide real-time information to our vendors and auditors.
  • It's a rock solid single server platform that runs every standard protocol you could need.
  • Notes security is top notch. Starting at the network port level down to field level encryption.
  • Rapid development environment using eclipse is fantastic.
  • SSL handling.
  • Dev tools all should be based on the eclipse side.
Anything document centric or collaborative
Read Steven Rieger's full review
Jeremiah Benjamin profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Our entire organization uses Notes, mainly for Mail but in most cases for other things as well.

Our organization has had, in the past, about 100 custom Notes databases (applications) in addition to Mail. Over half of them -- many originally from the late 1990's and early 2000's -- are still in use. Some have been replaced by 3rd party solutions (mainly HR type databases), and others have been re-written internally to be modernized for web & mobile, or just replaced by other practices such as project management. Notes developers can update existing applications as web-enabled, mobile-friendly "XPages" apps, but we have not chosen to do that.

Nearly every user in the organization uses multiple Notes applications daily in addition to their Mail. Notes applications are excellent at workflow, having replaced various approval systems (paper-based and otherwise) with full security and an audit trail.

About a third of the organization uses Notes mail, calendar and contacts on their mobile devices.

We additionally have a sidebar app for Sametime (chat, presence awareness, web meetings, audio / video conferencing, etc.) with Notes as a convenient, central hub for collaborating.
  • IBM Notes as a platform -- including the Domino server and administrative policies -- is relatively easy to manage, maintain, and secure once it is set up properly. This makes life easy for users; they just log into Notes and bam! they instantly have access to dozens of Notes applications.
  • Notes Mail is easy to extend to mobile devices via Traveler, a free add-on for Domino that lets just about any smartphone to sync mail, contacts and calendar data securely. Traveler can even be configured for HA (high availability).
  • The IBM Notes client for Windows & Mac maintains backwards compatibility with several (perhaps all) previous generations of Notes. This presents an amazing value proposition. Many of our custom Notes databases were written 15-20 years ago and are still in use -- often unmodified! -- today.
  • Custom Notes applications are relatively easy to develop, providing data storage, search and retrieval, and a solid server architecture for "no SQL" type use cases. For many uses, SQL databases are too costly and Notes is a great fit. We use Notes to produce and consume web services for interoperability with other systems both older and newer.
  • iNotes -- the web-based client -- is very similar to Notes and very easy to deploy to users. We use it internally to let users easily check Mail wherever they are.
  • Notes client upgrades are easily managed with a built-in SmartUpgrade feature. While not flawless, it automates updates even for users operating over very low bandwidth connections.
  • Virtually all Notes databases can be replicated locally for traveling users. Replication is "smart" and secure in that it only replicates data from a server that a user can use. E.g for a 20GB database a user might have a 1GB local replica. This is efficient and secure.
  • Notes security is quite good, giving us options for very strong encryption of data at rest as well as in transmission. Most of those options can be controlled and enforced from a centralized policy.
  • Notes' backwards compatibility sometimes gets in the way. Menus are cluttered with extraneous, outdated options and features that modern users will never use, and Preferences are often difficult to navigate for those coming from Gmail or Outlook. We have greatly simplified this via Policies, but users still find it daunting to go through all the options that are available.
  • The IBM Notes client for Windows & Mac is essentially the Eclipse Java development platform...so it is HUGE. Performance initially was very slow but IBM has done a good job of speeding things up. As IBM moves more toward cloud-delivered applications, this will not be as much of a problem.
  • Notes and Domino can be complex to manage for administrators who are more accustomed to ActiveDirectory, Group Policy, etc. Editing a notes.ini file to add a feature, or working with XML files by hand to create a SmartUpgrade kit can be daunting to those coming from more modern administrative roles.
  • Some users claim to "hate" Notes mail. While I have heard this less and less over the past 10 years, we have had 3rd party software offer plugins to Outlook and it's rare to see any for Notes.
  • The client update process should be automated more. I would like to see the Notes client update quietly and quickly more like an Adobe software update. If an update fails it should automatically try again without prompting the user over and over.
  • Notes multiple language spell checking is a downloaded add-on Java-based resource that has to be deployed in a convoluted way that is difficult for users to grasp. Therefore any foreign language spell check updates must be done individually per Notes client by IT, which is unfortunate. I would prefer to see that be a "live download" update option for users to get directly from IBM (don't make me download it and put it on my network).
IBM Notes is probably best-suited where a variety of software is being used today unsuccessfully or where paper-based workflows are still very common. Notes can very capably help an organization automate processes and improve efficiency but this is less likely without a developer on staff or by way of a consulting firm.

IBM Notes would probably not suit an organization that is already running quite well with other collaboration tools in place. I don't see any particular advantages for an organization that is, say, running Outlook and SharePoint, and in fact many of the users would view IBM Notes as a step backwards. The only advantage I can see in that scenario might be cost.
Read Jeremiah Benjamin's full review
Tom Le profile photo
February 25, 2015

IBM Notes & RAD

Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
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We use IBM Notes/Domino as a development platform, no email. Most of the Apps are for Departmental and some are for multiple departments and large number of users.

Effective Level of Measurement:
#1 Workflow Apps - IBM Notes is secure, Ease and Fast to develop, intergrate with Lotus Notes Mail or any other email platform easily.
#2 Intranet Sites/Apps/Document Management - Very quick and easy to put up an app like Order Online, Document Library, Room Reservation, HR apps, or an Inquiries type of apps.
#3 Clients/Servers Apps - Secure and easy to intergrate with any other databases (Oracle, SQL, DB2, mySQL) or platforms (J2EE, .NET, AS400) using Lotusscript Extension or Web Service.
#4 With the new release of Domino 8.5.3* and 9.0* (xPages, Extension Library, Dojo), design apps for mobile are very easy and quick.

IBM Notes Versus Sharepoint:
http://www.lialis.com/lotus-notes-versus-sharepoint/

  • Time efficiency and faster turn around of development.
  • Workflow Application Design.
  • NOSQL database advantages.
  • Easy Web Services development and deployment. This make it so easy to connect with other databases like Oracle, SQL, etc.
  • Notes Sercurity is (A+++)
  • First: For a smaller/lighter web sites and pages and internet, Notes don't have a lighter version to do so. IBM needs to improve this and come up with better solution, something like JSP or ASP platforms.
  • Second: Notes license that can provide free to users for education/self learning/testing. IBM needs to more Advertise and doing a lot more better in Sale of the product. The product is very good, but still unknown to many people. We need to show that IBM Notes is not just a mail product/platform but it can do more and better in the databases and application development as well.
  • New version of Domino (8.5.3x - 9.0x) have lot of improvement in term of performance and web development (Xpages) but lack of documentation/education/training. Most of the Notes Developers still new or very new to XPages. I have developed a few application in Xpages but it was very difficult to getting help and resources. We need more sample Xpages Application and more available templates for download and learn.
+ For a small IT team with higher turn around and higher expectation, Notes is the best platform that I see so far.
+ For workflow application Notes still #1 to me.
+ NOSQL is a big plus.
+ Very easy to develop/deploy Web Services.
+ XPages is very COOL, even better if jQuery can replace Dojo

- IBM needs to do more to sale Notes and get more users; the License/Cost need to adjust in order to attract more people to learn (especially, college students); if possible, we need a lighter xPage/Domino framework for Internet Pages design.
Read Tom Le's full review
Lynn Sturgis profile photo
December 22, 2014

Notes then and now

Score 4 out of 10
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We are currently using IBM Lotus Notes to support several financial modules that were created for/with us.
  • It has a good way of allowing permissions to be applied.
  • The Notes Design program is fairly simple to use. Anyone who remembers 'Basic' language should be able to pick it up.
  • All of our modules were in one Workspace for each user.
  • Workspaces were easy to set up and manipulate.
  • Email integration was sometimes difficult. As an example, we periodically had issues where someone with an Apple OS would send an attachment via Mac mail and the attachment did not come through correctly.
  • Domino Server updates sometimes did more harm than good and needed to be rolled back.
  • Every time a Domino server had to be restarted the email, or other database, would go through a 'consistency check.' End-users could not access the databases(s) until these checks completed. When you have a 16 or 17GB database, that's a long time to wait.
It depends on what you are looking to do. Notes was a great platform for our custom CRM, but times changed, and we moved on to a cloud-based solution. We still have our custom client information modules - i.e. Subleases, Portfolios, etc.
Read Lynn Sturgis's full review
Ficker Adrian profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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IBM Notes is used in the whole organization to collaborate internal and external information. It's not used just for e-mail, but for custom developed applications that meet special needs. Like CRM, Document Management, Internal Workflows.
  • Simple, plain text for the email client.
  • Good document management capabilities.
  • Direct integration within the organization through Sametime (instant message) client.
  • Special encrypted mobile client called Traveler.
  • N/A
How big is you organisation? How much do you collaborate in the company on special documents?
Read Ficker Adrian's full review
No photo available
February 06, 2014

What is IBM Notes doing?

Score 5 out of 10
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Verified User
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I have worked with Lotus Notes and Domino since 1996 from Version 4, 5, 6.5, 8.0 and 8.5, but my last couple of projects all are migrations from Lotus Notes/Domino to Exchange Server. Some companies still only keep Domino/Notes applications. Regarding the business problems, I don't think have any technical issues, but sales and marketing issues.
  • Fifteen years ago, IBM Notes was the best email platform in the world, both client side and server side. Even the Server application and email box, can be accessed it from the Lotus Notes client and web browser.
  • IBM Notes is good for user management, database management and server management
  • Server controller, certificate authority, replica and administration process are also strengths.
  • IBM should release new version for Notes with new functionality in every couple of years, instead focus in project and out-sourcing
IBM Notes has lost too much marketing share, at least in the email space.
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No photo available
February 05, 2014

Notes basics

Score 10 out of 10
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One of the few reliable and industry standards that are present in Information Technology for more than 20 years. Security, offline functionality and RAD that are present since early releases are enhanced in last few years with powerful XPages "framework" (Java Server Faces implementation), great administration tools (ID Vault, DAOS, compression of data and design, etc.) and user UI refreshment.
  • Security
  • Rapid Application Development
  • Offline Work
  • Steep learning curve
  • Lot of functions unknown to users
Suites small, medium and large companies equally. High security standards. Need to solve wide rage of problems through custom developed applications.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Task Management (8)
8.4
Gantt Charts (2)
10.0
Scheduling (8)
7.9
Workflow Automation (5)
9.5
Mobile Access (9)
8.5
Search (8)
5.0
Visual planning tools (2)
10.0
Chat (9)
9.0
Notifications (9)
8.2
Discussions (7)
9.0
Surveys (4)
8.1
Internal knowledgebase (6)
8.5
Integrates with GoToMeeting (3)
10.0
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts (2)
10.0
Integrates with Outlook (5)
9.9
Versioning (3)
8.1
Video files (4)
6.7
Audio files (4)
6.7
Document collaboration (7)
8.6
Access control (7)
9.1
Advanced security features (7)
9.1
Integrates with Google Drive (2)
10.0
Device sync (4)
9.9

About HCL Notes (formerly from IBM)

Notes from HCL (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in late 2018) is a collaboration platform based on the Lotus platform.
Categories:  Collaboration

HCL Notes (formerly from IBM) Competitors

HCL Notes (formerly from IBM) Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No