IBM has announced that the next version of its collaboration product Lotus Notes will include built-in editing tools to carry out word processing, spreadsheet and presentation functions.
The new tools will allow Lotus Notes users to create, edit and save documents as OpenDocument Format (ODF) files, as well as importing and exporting proprietary file formats such as those used in the Microsoft Office suite.
Earlier this month, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has approved the open source OpenDocument Format as an international data format standard – a move welcomed particularly by government bodies fearful of being “locked in” by proprietary formats.
The forthcoming Lotus Notes release will also integrate functions of IBM’s Workplace Client Technology, as server-deployed and managed software. IT managers will be able to remotely configure users’ client interfaces, without going to the desktop.
It will also incorporate “activity-based computing” – a system of associating documents, emails and other files with specific business projects, in a shared repository. The new capability is designed to give team members a single view of all aspects of the shared project.
The new beta version of Lotus Notes is due be released in autumn.