IBM Notes & RAD
Updated February 25, 2015

IBM Notes & RAD

Tom Le | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Domino 8.5.3

Modules Used

  • Web/Client

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Notes

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:

  • 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.
  • Notes development environment will save a lot of time for any organization, especially for a small IT group with a lot of Applications and NO TIME/less resource.
  • Notes is the best in Workflow application development and Security.
  • The most disadvantage of Notes compared to other is the license/cost issue. Aslo, there is a need for lighter version of Notes/Domino for a lighter and faster internet pages/sites design.
  • Education/Advertisement/Sale and Sale is very much need to improve by IBM.
  • IBM needs to make a firm decision on which back end language to use in XPAGE (SSJS/Javabean/or JAVA)?.
We are a small IT team and always had to deal with very high expectation, faster turn around time from users. Every application we've developed has very short turn around time and less resources. In the past 15 years, we can provide more application and doing it faster than most of other larger IT groups that either use J2EE or .NET, due to the RAD that IBM/Domino platform provided.
+ 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.

Using IBM Notes

5000 - Sale Department use Order Online Tools.
Planning use Inquiries and Workflow.
Engineering use Workflow, Request Order, Library, Inventory.
Managements use for Task Tracking, Vacation Tracking, Reporting Tools, Room reservation, etc.
Human Resources.
4 - Very much the same as any other IT groups, except very fast pave and quick response, high turn around, and very high expectation from users all the time!
  • Workflow is the most importance application/tool that being used very widely in all departments
  • Apps that require high security level.
  • Report Tools also very importance and highly use across all departments.
  • Data exchange/connection to other groups/platforms.
  • With a small group and with too many application and support, selecting IBM Domino is the most innovative way that I think our group did.
  • We've been using all the features and functionalities that IBM Notes/Domino can provide. The only feature still new to us is the mobile.
  • Looking forward to see what will Domino 9 provided?
I've been in IT business and as a Programmer/Developer for 20+ years with too many programming languages experiences/back ground (C/C++/Visual Basic/Basic Program/Unix/COBOL/Java). Also with 18+ years with Lotus Notes/IBM Domino, I am still and always think Lotus Notes is the best RAD platform available!. When the time where resource is very limited and the expectation is very high and the turn around is too short, IBM Domino/Notes is the platform to use and it's the only choice available.

Evaluating IBM Notes and Competitors

Yes - Some apps we took over were written in VB, Excel Apps, or even from C & C++ platforms. Since we're the team that can turn any application from start to finish in a very short time.

We migrated all users from IM to Sametime due to the security reason.
Notes Security is always ahead of any other platform.
  • Price
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
IBM Domino is the best platform for RAD and Workflow Apps and it's not popular due to the lack of advertisement and the willing to sell the product from IBM. The license and pricing are the biggest show stopper for the product!. IBM need to do more on sale and find a way to make the product available for Education. If IBM don't make the product easy/cheap to all college students or for people willing to learn new platform, there is no Lotus Notes/Domino Developer available in a very near future.
I've been programming in different languages and different platforms like C/Unix, C++ for window, VB, Cobol, Visualage for Java, etc. But, until today, IBM Domino is the best platform that I have been using.

The evaluation/selection/order process in any new development tools and platforms should start with:
Security Features.
Fast and Easy to use/implement/learn.
All components should include in a Suite/Package - Email, Communication, Development, Database.
Easy to Deploy.

IBM Notes Implementation

Implementation is easy and smooth if the requirement is well gathered/documented. Notes is a RAD platform, all projects in Notes is simple in the implementation step.
Change management was minimal
  • User requirement change
  • User don't know or fully understand about their requirement

IBM Notes Training

IBM Notes Support

I've been using the production for a very long time and very happy with it. Also, all the online resources and forums for notes is very friendly and easy/quick for getting help. I found out that compared to Microsoft or Oracle or any other platforms, IBM Notes online forum is the best I have seen.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
No - We don't have issue with the Lotus Domino support team ever.
Yes - You will get a response in less than 24 hours all the times.
When we have issues with the server and contacted IBM, they will work with you on the phone first, if they can't fix it quick, they will send the technician to your office in the same day.

Using IBM Notes

Easy to use for the user, most of the apps we developed, there is not much need for user training. Most of the times, we just do a demo to the users group and they can pick up from there.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
Unnecessarily complex
  • Each notes database contains the design, the data, and all the security setup. The query in Notes is simple. it's just the View and the selection formula, Notes View contain all the data in a single view, and is very easy and fast to query the data. Notes is NOSQL database, all the query in notes is fast, super fast.
  • Easy to deploy for Web/Client. There is no recompile (No EXE, no DLL, no Component, and no packages).
  • Notes platform has it all - Sametime, Email, RAD (Development Tools), Workflow Development is nature to Notes and is the best Workflow tool available in the market, Notes Security is the best in all platforms, and more
  • Based on my years of Development with Notes, I have not yet run into anything that I can't do in notes!
  • For a small and simple internet webpage, notes is not really good for this small task!
Yes - Starting from Domino 8.5.3+, Xpage and Extension Library will make it very easy to convert and implement mobile apps.