IBM's Lotusphere Showcases Mega Server

A new "mega server," featuring its J2EE-based application server, portal server, and content management and collaboration capabilities is one of the star attractions at this week's Lotusphere event.

January 27, 2004

2 Min Read
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A new "mega server," featuring its J2EE-based application server, portal server, and content management and collaboration capabilities is one of the star attractions at this week's IBM Lotusphere event.

Dubbed with the catchy name of IBM Software Solution For On-Demand Workplace, the server can be dropped into existing accounts alongside Lotus Domino to allow users to start doing portal work, said sources familiar with the plans.

The new server bundle creates a two-track future for the customer: one with Domino and one without, said a source close to the company. It will be priced at about $400 per user. A spokesman for IBM's Lotus Software group declined to comment.

Executives at the show are expected to reaffirm their commitment to Notes Domino and the "rich client" strategy they previewed last fall, as well as talk up a multiclient Notes future that comprises both an open-source Eclipse-based client and a legacy Notes-based client. Eclipse is an open-source application development framework espoused by IBM and backed by Borland Software and others.

A new Workplace client will encompass a client-side relational database using Cloudscape technology that IBM purchased with Informix two years ago. That would put a lightweight Java-based RDBMS on the front end and a full-function DB2 database at the server, and standard SyncML technologies would enable synchronization between the two."The idea is to have the majority of application logic on the server but still have a data cache locally,an open-source cache that is Eclipse-oriented,and use standard synchronization to do the back-and-forth work," said a source.

"They're putting serious money back into those [Notes and Notes Designer clients] projects," said one longtime Lotus partner. "And listen to what they don't say. They won't talk about pushing people off Notes or onto an Eclipse-based replacement. Instead, they'll talk about an alternative Eclipse-based client."

In this "browser-plus" worldview, IBM is doing a lot of what Microsoft is promising in its time frame for Longhorn and Yukon, but IBM can support a Linux client, sources said. They are trying to "get the best of the browser experience plus local processing via the Java runtime and also do data sync," one source said.

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