Migrating from Notes to Microsoft

I am always very wary when I see anything from Microsoft about how easy or desirable it is to migrate any non trivial application from Lotus Notes to any Microsoft Technology.  This stems from my painful experiences with Microsoft’s claimed Notes killing technology WebStore, now renamed the Exchange Storage System, which is now no longer promoted as a “Notes Killer”.

It’s with interest then that I saw this post by Ed Brill:

Declan found a new book on migrating Lotus Notes apps to Microsoft .NET earlier today.  It’s lengthy and has a lot of technical detail about what is possible in such a migration (answer — the typical MS effort to narrow scope and declare certain applications as un-migrate-able).  
Rather than comment on the overall content, it seems more interesting to me to read the second paragraph from the first page, and then wonder how credible anything else in the 150+ tome could really be:

Notes/Domino R6 is the last planned release of the existing Notes architecture; IBM plans to reengineer it to run on top of DB2 and WebSphere. The change in database structure creates a significant migration effort for existing customers and creates a situation where the Notes/Domino direction is re-evaluated. Additionally, IBM has halted plans for long-awaited improvements to Notes/Domino, and users are getting conflicting timelines for their replacement strategy. These problems have been amplified by IBM’s lack of direction for a cohesive coexistence and migration strategy. Accordingly, many organizations are expressing interest in migrating away from the moribund Notes/Domino platform, but they do not want to abandon their existing investment in applications built on the Notes architecture.

A very worring inaccurate extract, the extract from the book is even more worrying given the widespread discussion that went on a month or so ago over Analyst Research that is heavily biased in favour of Microsoft and my concerns over the Exchange roadmap, (search previous posts for Exchange).

What really shocked me was this comment:

OK, here’s a fun excercise – replace each instance of ‘Notes/Domino 6’ or ‘Notes’ in that paragraph with ‘Exchange’, and each instance of IBM with Microsoft. Voila:

“Exchange 2003 is the last planned release of the existing Exchange architecture; Microsoft plans to reengineer it to run on top of an as-yet-unrleased version of SQL Server and .NET. The change in database structure creates a significant migration effort for existing customers and creates a situation where the Exchange direction is re-evaluated. Additionally, Microsoft has halted plans for long-awaited improvements to Exchange, and users are getting conflicting timelines for their replacement strategy. These problems have been amplified by Microsoft’s lack of direction for a cohesive coexistence and migration strategy. Accordingly, many organizations are expressing interest in migrating away from the moribund Exchange platform, but they do not want to abandon their existing investment in applications built on the Exchange architecture.”

With this simple substitution, a paragraph that does not ring true at all for Lotus Notes, reads absolutely spot on for Microsoft Exchange!

The book was available here, but seems to be no longer available!  Microsoft you should now better, set your standards higher!

 

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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