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Lotus Notes R5

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4 Reviews

Imagine having the entire World Wide Web and its point-and-click ease, combined with world-class messaging and collaboration. Picture having all this in an easy-to-use and customizable environment. With Lotus Notes R5, now you can have the best of both wo

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    4 Reviews
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      25.08.2001 09:02
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      After working with R4.x for 4 years moving to R5 was a major change. Suddenly I had two extra clients to work with as I was both Administrator and Developer for the company I worked for at the time. All 3 clients have a definate browser feel about them with a framed approach and the standard back, forward, stop, etc buttons usually found in Internet Browsers. Icons have now been replaced with the much neater bookmarks which reside on the left hand-side of the screen. The main workspace can be split into frames with each frame showing the users choice of contents ie: inbox, calendar, URL links, etc. A couple of great new features for the user are database subscriptions and group calendars. The database subscriptions allow the user to 'subscribe' to one or many databases and they will be notified when documents are added or modified on these databases. Group calendars allow the user to select several users and create a 'schedule' showing the calendar schedule for each user included in the group. Clicking on the schedule of a particular user will open their calendar in the bottom frame. As a developer I had particular interest in the new development features such as frames and pages making browser compatibility much easier to achieve. JavaScript events have been added along with Java Applets that make Domino easier to develop for both Notes and the Web. There is also the addition of Shared Resources which means you can hold images and applets in your Notes database for use throughout. Shared Actions get rid of the need for trawling through all your design elements trying to change the same action over and over again. Actions can now be stored in a central location and referenced throughout the database. This makes changes very simple. I have noticed some problems with ECL settings. Unfortunately this new addition can produce really annoying messages asking the user to 'Trust the Signer' when activat
      ing certain actions. There also seems to be a problem with the viewer. Not sure if it's the way that R5 has been setup on my machine but if I activate an MS Word document in the viewer I get a blank grey screen? Lotus have also removed the ability to view folders if a navigator has been added to the database. The only way to get to views not on the navigator is through the 'View...GoTo' menu. A little aggravating if you need to view several 'hidden' views. After changing jobs I went back to Notes R4.6 and it's been really difficult to lose the extra features of R5. Thankfully I'm currently part of an R5 testing program so it shouldn't be long before I'm happy again!

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        28.04.2001 07:49
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        Having worked on Notes 4.x, and then R5,in total about 4yrs +, I have a bit of a culture shock recently with a new job, going back to R4. IanPaterson already gave a great review of R5 from Admin point of view. And I just want to say that the changes are just as vast, and for the better from a development point of view. First and foremost, you get a seperate Design client for doing the designing in. This client lets you view the different types of design elements like folders in the left hand pane, while displaying the actual elements from the current choice in the right hand pane if you want.. No more diving up to the Window menu command, to jump to another design element. Talking of Windows, the 9 window (8 +workspace I suppose) is gone. you now get something similar to the Windows Task Bar, where above your workspace, there is an icon for each of the design elements open. (This is also in the Notes client itself, and the Administration client). Other simple things that make life a lot easier are the design element aliases are shown in the design element list. you no longer have to open the element to find out what it's alias is. Also, whether the design element is enabled for the Web, Notes or Both is instantly shown to you in the Design elements list. Other nice touches are the object events are now highlighted if there is code in them, so you at a glance see that a form queryopen event has code in it. A nice touch, that can save time trawling through somebody elses application. There are many other huge differences, like Single Category views that can be embedded, the inclusion of Javascript into the design, no longer having to always enter it as pass-thru HTML. If there is interest, then I may go further into the benefits of upgrading to R5 from a development point of view

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        09.09.2000 00:18
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        Lotus Notes admin is a big chunk of my job at the moment and has been for a couple of years. I 'grew up' on version 4.5, migrated to 4.6, changed jobs to roll out version 5, changed jobs again and now use 4.6! You might say a whistle stop tour of Notes admin! Now being CLP R4 and R5 I think I have just about got a good grip on Notes. There is a BIG change in store for you from R4.6 to R5. My experience of R5 is on AS/400 and a little NT with 1200 users, R4.5/4.6 NT and a little AS/400 for about 3000 users. The most significant change in R5 by Lotus is the push for legacy platforms like AS/400. If you have ever installed and configured R4 on AS/400 you will know what I mean when I say death to AnyMAIL! R5 has broken free of all the R4 problems and natively runs SMTP on OS/400 (V4R3 only!) Lotus sold more OS/400 installs in 4/1 than NT to date! The reliability of the 400 and Notes is a force to be reckoned with in the current platforms world. Installing R5 is very simple, even on 400's. Your first server is simple enough, as per R4, second server the same to. Connection documents are very similar and need very little research from R4 to get working properly. The real benefits come from user management, PKI and web services. User management can now be drilled down and reversed, i.e. what groups is this user a member of (God send compared to R4!), activity logs and so on. If like me you have 30 odd servers to monitor daily around the globe, server stats are on one pane for all your NNN servers. This significantly reduces time trawling through logs and mail.box for dead mail. Replication errors can be reported on to avoiding digging through statrep.nsf. SMTP mail has been greatly enhanced with mail router power. R5 gives mail delivery and routing stability the punch of a V8! Web integration is the real power behind R5. Collaboration with extranet and intranet through Lotus Script and Domino Web Server has leapt i
        nto 21st century. The user fron tend is also very different. Lotus have really gone for the web integration here as well. If you need to manage multiple databases, the traditional workspace is still there but the new workspace loses this flexibilty I feel with hyperlinks to calendars and no 'buttons'. Mail file templates have changed to. Calendaring is much much easier to use and configure and can span a workgroup or a whole business without falling over like R4. The only comparable system on the market is Microsoft Exchange. Having used 5.5 quite heavily, I do prefer Notes. The major downfall of Exchange is the directory replication. I can only say I have found cirectory replication on Exchange lacking in reliability especially for large databases across organisations. Notes has always won hands down here on replication across diverse networks and remote users. If you have R4, upgrading to R5 is a logical step. Lotus are dropping support of R4.6 3/4 of next year so the pressure is on! If you are considering Win 2K as well, good luck! If you are planning R5, it is a good oppurtunity to lay out Utopia before you start, I would consider R5 probably capable of getting you there.

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          17.08.2000 18:02
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          I am an Administrator at a university business school. We have been using Notes Version 4 for a few years, a reliable, stable platform. We have implemented R5 recently, here's a few observations. R5 needs considering at the server and client ends separately. At the server level, there is a new Administrator's interface. It is loaded with more functions, and allows easier access for setting account details, creating users, moving accounts etc. A clever feature. The actual server install is similar, but there are lots of new options, especially regarding Internet mail, to use. A word of strong advice: don't rush into using R5 server, research how it uses native SMTP and such like, a real change from R4's methods! Overall, it is good, and makes Admin easier and more efficient. At the user end, the client I have mixed feelings about. Lotus have redisigned the GUI, using a bookmarks and link interface, with a feel similar to a web interface. To be honest, the idea is good, the execution a little ropey. It is easy to wrongly set up a client, and spend a good while finding problems. Also, when an account is created, there is now an Interent Address field to fill, make sure you are completely aware how this works for external mail, it is a dog if you do not set it up correctly. As with other Notes versions, it also uses a lot of space on PC, and R5 mail files seem to use a lot extra. Overall, as with previous versions, a good product once acclimatised, but a nightmare if wrongly set up, and seems hard for MS Outlook users to understand!!

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