Mat Newman October 11 2010 22:11:38As I write this blog entry, I'm keeping up with work, news and social streams all by using my favourite ever software application - Lotus Notes.
No other program allows me to Connect, Communicate and Collaborate like this. Nothing!
This is - of course - no surprise to many millions of Notes users who have been using the technology for years, beginning with the original 'forum' platform, the Notes discussion database - which Keith Brooks wrote about recently.
I had just finished putting some final touches on a web-site for a customer that integrates an on-line payment system when I glanced over at my WildFire! side-bar and connected quickly with someone using twitter.
I love how my work and social life can be so easily coordinated, and when necessary, even taken off-line.
The web-site integration began with downloading the Bank's API, and then trying to work out how to implement the code in a Domino web-site. After a couple of hours studying the 200+ page 'integration guide' and browsing through the supplied code, I decided it would be pretty easy just to rewrite the thing from scratch using a couple of forms and some web-agents. Writing the code was the easy part. Getting the correct MD5 hash sequence took a couple of days of phone calls and tests between myself and the bank's on-line team.
Thanks also to the Lotus Sandbox, which supplied the code that allowed me to hash my strings correctly. Yes, I know that the SandBox hasn't accepted submissions since 2007, but there are some real gems of code in that database (like the MD5 hash code I started with) that IBM should never have taken off-line. Thanks to Peter over @ bananahome.com for keeping this resource alive online, and to IBM for not making him take it down ... yet.
Building applications - especially business applications - is something that Lotus Notes has built it's reputation on, and extending those applications through the internet - either for consumption or interaction - is an absolute pleasure to code. I still haven't come across a single technology that includes and so easily integrates all of the components that are required to build a total solution.
Data store, multi-client access, interface development, distribution and interaction all in a single environment. And the ability to do everything so fast. They are Notes strengths.
And then I glance to the side of my Notes screen to see what's happening and interact with my social circle right inside the same program.
Notes is still relevant in the 'social' age, and still the best tool for business.