Web client woes hinder launch of Lotus Discovery



Antony Adshead

The launch of Lotus' latest knowledge management product is being overshadowed by performance problems with its existing...



Antony Adshead

The launch of Lotus' latest knowledge management product is being overshadowed by performance problems with its existing products.

Lotus CEO Al Zollar promised that users would see a step change in business performance through better use of corporate knowledge as he unveiled the portal-based Lotus Discovery Server at Lotusphere 2001. However, the company admitted that analysts were right to question the performance of the iNotes Web client.

Scott Cooper, Lotus vice-president for knowledge management, said, "We have not done full scalability testing for iNotes. There are some deployment advantages to be had but more processing power may be needed. We have not yet finished performance testing."

The issue centres on the need for the iNotes client to render objects from notes storage format into HTML in the browser-based architecture.

Ashim Pal, an analyst with Meta Group, said, "This will have a cost in time and performance. It is possible that more processing power will be required. Businesses will have to find this out."

Pal advised users to pilot iNotes incrementally.

Lotus Discovery Server is claimed to be the first knowledge-based server and is the latest incarnation of Lotus products. It is designed to allow organisations to make best use of business intelligence by linking information in documents with company employees.

Although the server was welcomed as a step forward in the organisation and discovery of corporate knowledge, industry watchers urged caution for users rolling out the client software.

Pal said, "The move to a knowledge server is the right thing to have done. Lotus has gone some way to dealing with its reputation of giving a poor user experience."

The convention saw Lotus declare its commitment to technologies that will enable real-time messaging, collaboration and the ability to mine employee knowledge.

Lotus also announced Lotus Knowledge Discovery System - the bundling of its K-Station KM software and Lotus Discovery Server - as well as Domino Everyplace, a server for use with mobile devices.

antony.adshead@rbi.co.uk

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