IBM Domino to be or not to be


The last week after MWLUG there has been numerous blog posts about Domino. No roadmap IBM is killing Domino, there is no future for Domino, IBM haven’t released any new releases since 9.01. That is not true at all, if we look at what has been released since 9.0.1 came to market. IBM Domino customers have received 6 fixpacks but they are not only fixpacks they are feature packs. Why, well the Domino http engine has received TLS 1.0 and later TLS 1.2 with new encryption methods. That is a major improvement if you ask me.
And if you go beyond the server and include traveler that I use all the time and see all new functionality that has been released there, and lately the possibility to use the Mobile Verse Client and Outlook mail support.

XPages Extension library has received 17 improvement releases for app development. These improvements has been adding updated one ui theme, jquery and jquery themes. Mobile development components, new xpages components and lots more. Yes, some improvements are better than others.
And with the upcoming FP7 that I hope will include Java 8 support, external view indexes and hopefully more. 

For IBM or other vendors to be able to keep up with everything happening needs new ideas and if you look at the market in general the release of new versions is moving from yearly big releases to quarterly or monthly improvement releases. I would rather want more small releases than one big one with a new number on it.

That is the change I’ve seen with 9.01 from big releases to quarterly improvements both with fix packs but also thru the extension library releases. And after reading some comments on other blogs (Johnnys) from Ed Brill a commitment to deliver maintenance until 2021 that is great if you ask me that means at least security fixes, fixpacks and hopefully new functionality. When everything comes around IBM Domino is a great platform to develop applications, run applications on and administer applications on. Yes it has it’s downsides but doesn’t all platforms have that if you look closely. 

I remember last time when Domino was dead but it’s still here.

Long Live IBM Domino


We now know that we will get feature packs and Fickpacks that will include most of the features that where scheduled for 9.02. I really hope that we will get the index outside of the NSF update and Live view updates with a interface for administration of them.

Bill Malchisky has created a two part blog post with a Summary of his talk with Barry Rosen Part 1 Part 2


Leave a comment ?


  1. Steven Podrouzek

    You are right Fredrik. Maybe some guys out there are trying to scare people, so that they go rush and get their products.
    I’m sure that IBM Domino will still be around for at least until 2021. It will be good to learn other development tools like Java, Javascript, frameworks and so on, but we don’t need to panic.

    • Fredrik Norling

      Thanks Steven, Yes learning new things is never bad. It’s a necessity when you work with technology. 😀

    • there is no money to earn in maintenance. migration is the money machine. that is why guys from firms who facilitate it are so loud in the conversation. shall we name a few?

      • Fredrik Norling

        Good point Patrick, no names is needed. Only want to bring out a new side of the coin. 😀

      • If you want to call someone out Patrick, do so.

        PSC has done migration services for 10 years, as well as being one of the biggest XPages consultancies plus all the normal Notes, Domino, and other stuff we do. Our presentation was not about scaring anyone. It was about having an honest discussion with the user group attendees based on what our customers are asking of us.

        A lot has happened in 2016 so far that people look at the platform and start to wonder what to do. While I don’t think the sky is falling, or there is anything to be scared about, I do think that most companies will start to take a hard look at Domino and where it fits in their strategic plan. That could be a this year thing, a next year thing, or a five year thing. Having those discussions, based on fact and without emotion, is good for everyone.

        • Fredrik Norling

          All decisions should be made from facts and they should be made in the company’s best interest. It all comes down to that all companies want to get the most of any invested money. I love this discussion 🙂

    • Stevem, I know a lot BPs and a lot freelancers which won’t earn any money if companies migrate away. They have no migration tools or products for sale, and the “migration consulting” is not their business.

      But they have customers who won’t invest into application developing. It does not make any sense to invest in a platform which will be abandoned by their owner in a few years.

      For example, one of my customers, a department of a huge company, loves the Notes Client, and they are investing a lot in their applications. For years this customer listens to me, but there are other key accounters in this company who want to push their technologies and try to scare this customer with bad news about Domino. And during the last years, it is IBM who helps these accounters a lot by their product policy.

      Little strokes fell big oaks.

      • Fredrik Norling

        Sven, I haven’t heard anything about IBM not investing anything more in Domino. The only thing I have heard is that their current approach is to support 9.01 until 2021.
        Nothing that they will not release a Notes/Domino 10 within that period.

        • The official statement why IBM will not increase the version number:

          “Customers don’t want a version 9.0.2 or even higher, because then they had to change their privacy policy and/or internal agreements.”
          – IBM @ DNUG 2016

          If needed, I can forward you an email containing the above statement (on German only).

        • The fact that they’ve NOT been investing in it is proof enough.
          Yes we got those TLS updates… but not proactively. Only when the community noise became really loud and Google or whoever put something out that was going to break thing.
          The Ext. Library updates are slower then ever and most if the IBM work is specific to Bluemix only I think. How long did it take them to update Bootstrap 3.2.x to 3.3.6? YEARS.

          I’m not seeing any real investment in the Domino Platform. Haven’t for a long time.

  2. No one is trying to “scare” any one. As least as far as I can personally tell. Yes there are now a couple companies specializing in migration – one of them from the guy that created XPages. What does that say? Nothing good. I don’t believe the noise the migration people are marking is to scare anyone. It’s just a healthy dose of reality.

    • Fredrik Norling

      I don’t either believe that someone is scaring anybody but assuming things without facts and not looking at real facts isn’t good if you ask me. Software vendors change their roadmaps all the time.

      • Steven Podrouzek

        Besides Domino, I have done work on an Opentext Product called Case360.
        The client now has to find something completely new because support for it will also end in 2021 or somewhere there.
        Yes, software comes and goes.

        I just wish IBM would explain or put out a complete road map of where Domino is heading.
        So we all would know if 2021 it all comes to an end, then we can assist in migration as well.

        If not, then we can carry on with our business and assist with new development for clients.

        But due to the ‘reality’ check of companies, many have migrated and I don’t get new business.

        Microsoft has done well with their package of Office/Sharepoint/Outlook all in 1 license.

        IBM should use Watson and get some cognitive thinking going….

  3. I agree with Dave. Nobody is trying to scare anybody but things are getting worse – at least in my part of the woods. Have been doing Domino development since 1994, freelance since about 2000. This year I have lost two of my largest customers (one was the largest in the region with 5.000 seats), we now only have 3 companies using Notes in this region, and two of those are looking into migrating (as the others wo where using Notes have moved on – there is a bit of a Domino effect here – sorry for the pun :o). Again, this is not me trying to spread doom and gloom, just what I am seeing in my, admitted small, part of the world.

    • I am surprised by the optimism of yours comments, on my side I see a continuous and real decline. It’s not new, it has started in the early 2000 with the hype around Websphere replacing Domino, but now it’s getting worse. I’m not a consultant, I dont’ work for the competition, I’m just an IT specialist working in a regular IT department, but I can see what’s going on. Also, despite the interesting comments posted on this page I am very skeptical about the magnitude of the improvements of the past three years. Thank you for the fix packs, for TLS 1.2 and for the other improvements, but please do not call this a major release. Remember what it used to be when they designed and delivered version 6. Even version 9.0 had more ambition. Where are the announcements, the roadmap, the news that should mobilize us? No surprise if there’s no standing ovation from the field.

  4. If you have a chance – read this book – Who moved my cheese?

    I personally found it very helpful to understand different people’s perspective on change, how they react to it and the effects thereof.

  5. Michael Falstrup

    It’s the typical scare tactic and been used intensively by som competitors for years, i will not mention any …. M…….. 😈 , and is only ment to divide and concur 👿 .

  6. “Why, well the Domino http engine has received TLS 1.0 and later TLS 1.2 with new encryption methods. That is a major improvement if you ask me.”

    And they did this…what…ten years after everybody else? And they did it way too late. That’s not what I could a dedicated investment in the platform.

    Notes and Domino has been called dead since the early 2000s, but now people saying it are right. At least the Notes client is dead, there will never be a Notes 10.

    As for Domino, my guess is that the roadmap is that they will try to get people over to other platforms. Most companies are running away anyway, so my guess is that IBM are thinking “why not make some money ourselves on their running away.”

    Also: We have lost some hugely important figures in the Domino community in the past few years. And all of them have given up on Domino saying the platform is dead. And for once the rumours of that death are in my opinion not exaggerated.

  7. Version numbers are a nice communication tool to show everybody (especially the non-technical guys) that there must be something new in a solution, but I wouldn´t stress that too much. (What does it help that my browser is version 52.0.2743.116 m (64-bit)? Wow, 52 as a major version … Does it make it anything better? Nope.

    Different: If you have e.g. an app on your iPhone that does the job and you receive new features, updates, security fixes … you name it. Do you really care about the version number?

    To get to that state, where version numbers don´t matter, IBM Notes should receive an update mechanism that works similar as the Apple App Store or else. “We have an update …click … done … new”

    I prefer more and smaller updates since that gives me the feeling that the vendor is taking care of the solution I am running.

    In case the solution is a commercial software, even the blind will see that they get something for their maintenance money.

  8. Domino is still very much alive. Notes, less so.

    If you’re developing on domino, it’s fine to continue.
    If you’re developing “Web Apps” on domino, keep going.
    If you’re developing “Notes Apps” on domino — convert to WEB.
    If you’re using Notes mail — consider moving to verse.
    If you’re using Notes Apps — use the web (if you can or ICAA)

    For document databases and forums, consider IBM Connections
    For development, Consider BlueMix

    There’s no pressing need to move anywhere unless you’re firmly entrenched in the Notes Client.

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