IBM Monday gave a glimpse of the future to Notes/Domino users with the release of WebSphere Portal 6.0 and its support of next-generation Web technologies for building and assembling application components.
WebSphere Portal 6.0 will become the foundation for Domino Next, which was unveiled for the first time in January and is slated to ship next year.
"We have not announced packaging for Domino Next, but the portal technology that we are building Domino Next around is this WebSphere Portal 6.0 version," says Ken Bisconti, vice president of IBM Workplace, Portal and collaboration products. "It is a glimpse of the future in terms of a very attractive drag-and-drop, AJAX-enabled user experience and the ease of use that Notes/Domino shops have always expected from IBM."
At its annual Lotusphere conference in January, IBM/Lotus said Domino Next would ship with WebSphere Portal integrated into the software and include support for composite applications and "activity-centric" computing, and new document management and team workspace features.
Domino Next is the server companion to the Notes Hannover client, which also is scheduled to ship in 2007. WebSphere Portal 6.0 was introduced on Monday along with a slew of WebSphere branded software and is set to ship before the end of September.
WebSphere Portal is a member of IBM's stable of Workplace software, the Java-based collaboration tools that IBM is developing side-by-side with Notes/Domino. The Workplace platform will eventually incorporate Notes Hannover into its Eclipse-based Managed Client framework.
Bisconti says many of the hallmarks of Notes/Domino are evident in WebSphere Portal 6.0.
"One is the Domino rapid application development capabilities, the drag-and-drop application development and also the efficiency in which users can provision new applications by having reuse with capabilities through features such as templates," he said.
WebSphere Portal 6.0 supports application templates and drag-and-drop portlets that allow users to extend Domino applications as part of larger composite applications.
The software includes a new workflow builder and workflow engine that is built on the WebSphere Process Server and supports the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).
WebSphere Portal 6.0 also integrates with the electronic forms capabilities of IBM Workplace Forms and includes IBM Workplace Web Content Management 6.0 for creating and deploying content. IBM also has added a joint administrators console for managing both the portal and content management environments.
The software also represents the alignment of the portal and WebSphere Portlet Factory, technology IBM acquired when it bought Bowstreet in December. Portlet Factory lets users automate the creation, deployment and maintenance of portlets, which become reusable building blocks that can be stored as templates in WebSphere Portal 6.0.
WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 is expected to be available for Linux, AIX, HP, Windows, IBM i5OS and Sun Solaris. Pricing was not announced.