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Portal plays at Lotusphere

IBM Lotus Group General Manager Ambuj Goyal admits that, until recently, a factor limiting growth has been the tight link between Notes and Domino. ''The solution is to federate that link,'' he told attendees of his keynote at the yearly Lotusphere customer get-together in Orlando, Fla.

Goyal suggested a step in this direction is represented by efforts to embed the WebSphere Portal framework in Domino, and Eclipse technology and Web Services in Notes. Events at the show seem to indicate that the job of ''Notes developer'' will possibly give way to either a J2EE specialist or a ''power user'' able to work with simple Eclipse-aware tools.

''Embedding the Portal framework on the server side extends Domino's reach to anyone with a browser or microbrowser. It also enables integration of Domino and non-Domino applications in a consistent user interface on demand for any user role,'' Goyal said.

Goyal and crew are hoping that the portal will be the way, and IBM and Eclipse tools will be the means for both developers and savvy end users to create apps for its J2EE-based Lotus Workplace platform. Central to this are new clients built on the Eclipse open-source platform for creating and integrating software tools.

In fact, Lotusphere attendees had an early look at a ''Workplace builder'' tool that will allow end users to create apps, said John Caffrey, manager, product management, Lotus Workplace. As discussed at last year's conference, developers may also use WebSphere Studio tools to build portals and integrate portlets.

The IBM Workplace Client technology will first appear in Lotus Workplace products currently scheduled for availability in Q2/04, although the company noted in a statement that this was ''subject to change at IBM's discretion.''

Also at Lotusphere: IBM showcased Lotus Notes and Domino Version 6.5.1 with a portal-like interface, as well as an on-demand offering combining Lotus collaborative capabilities with WebSphere Portal.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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