Lotusphere: Lotus boosts support of Web services development

In an effort to "unleash collaboration" throughout the enterprise, IBM's Lotus Software Group announced plans to add Java 2...

In an effort to "unleash collaboration" throughout the enterprise, IBM's Lotus Software Group announced plans to add Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) support to its collaboration products and capabilities.

General manager of Lotus Software Al Zollar said the transition to J2EE is a natural evolution designed to give Lotus applications a broader reach in the emerging world of Web services.

Specifically, Lotus collaboration applications "will be a set of applications and services sitting on top of J2EE," he said. Integrating with a standards-based architecture will enable contextual collaboration in which collaborative capabilities can be embedded into any business process or application.

Addressing concerns of customers worried about the future of Domino within IBM's architecture, Zollar affirmed Lotus support for Domino, saying that Domino is the path to the future.

"The capabilities of Domino will play a major role in this architecture," he said.

Choosing J2EE may be an obvious path to allow Lotus to tap the power of its parent IBM, but Zollar said the company will keep the doors open with Microsoft's .net architecture.

"J2EE is the model we've chosen, but we are not excluding .net. We are building on the J2EE architecture and will integrate with .net." Zollar said.

To further unified messaging in the enterprise, Lotus also revealed alliances with Cisco Systems and Captaris to integrate voice with Lotus Notes. Unified communication support will enable users to access and manage voicemail, fax, and e-mail within a single interface.

Lotus also unveiled a name and release date for its forthcoming version of Notes and Domino, formerly called Rnext. A pre-release version of Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino 6 will be available within 30 days, and the final product is scheduled to ship in the third quarter, Zollar said.

Revealing more of the functionality of Notes Domino 6, Lotus announced that a Tivoli server health management and planning toolset will be included with the final version.

Other news revealed during the opening session include a new learning management system from IBM Mindspan Solutions that can track and manage the delivery of e-learning content; a reorganised Lotus software services group designed to focus on specific Lotus technology; and a hosted version of Sametime instant messaging for use in e-meetings.

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