IBM's Lotus unit will update its Lotus Notes messaging client by adding integration with instant messaging and inbox tools designed to counter e-mail overload.
Lotus Notes 6.5 will bring Lotus Instant Messaging and its related presence capabilities into the Notes interface.
The 6.5 welcome page now will display the IM contact list, and all names throughout Notes will be live with presence-awareness information such as whether someone is online and their availability status.
IM is "better inside the Notes client", said Alan Lepofsky, product marketing manager at IBM. "Anytime you see a name, you can interact with it."
The updated Notes version features a toolbar specifically for IM-related tasks such as starting a meeting, initiating a chat session, or adding a contact name.
IBM has added a feature to update IM contact lists from e-mail messages. When a user opens a document in Notes from someone on their IM contact list, Notes temporarily populates the IM contact list with the sender's name and information from the subject line of the e-mail.
The inbox in Lotus Notes 6.5 will include the ability to drag and drop items such as e-mail messages and documents from the inbox to the calendar and to-do list sections; automatic filing of junk mail into separate folders; and flags to mark important e-mails and indicate whether an e-mail has been forwarded or answered.
Version 6.5 also includes improvements to the Lotus Workplace welcome page, such as extending search to websites, Notes domain catalogs, servers, databases, and local server replicas; as well as the ability to launch applications, documents, databases, and websites from within the Workplace.
Cathleen Moore writes for InfoWorld