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Keith Hollins, IT architecture manager at Durham County Council, said, "The greater integration of Lotus products with other applications and a more collaborative environment was something we were already working towards using IBM's Websphere portal."
Later this year the council will consider bringing in consultants to help it achieve the type of Lotus connectivity and access to web services that Workplace 2 promotes, he said.
"As a council, we favour J2EE for development, so the fact that Workplace 2 is J2EE-based is helpful. It may also mean that IBM and Lotus get ahead of Microsoft's rival .net web services solution," Hollins added.
The council does not run Outlook clients but Hollins said users with home PCs often expressed a preference for the Microsoft product. The new connector could prove useful by giving the council the option of creating a mixed e-mail environment, he said.
Jim Moffat of the Lotus QuickPlace user group, which focuses on collaborative working, also welcomed the launch of Workplace and its tight integration with Notes.
He said, "This demonstrates IBM's reputation for not being a 'strip out and replace' supplier. The key to IBM's plans with Lotus is to find support among the administrators and developers, and a key battle is whether .net or J2EE wins out."