My view on Notes and Domino 8

So as was announced yesterday by Ed Brill, Mary Beth Raven, and many others by now Notes and Domino 8 will be available this Friday. Since last November I have been using Notes 8 almost exclusively, and early this year I moved myself over to a Domino 8 server to take advantage of the few features that require a Domino 8 Server. I have been through 11 Client builds, and 4 Server builds, and overall I would say IBM did a great job. Here are the highlights in my opinion: Notes Client 1. The new and improved UI – the client is much easier to navigate, many more tasks can be accomplished without changing views, and over all it is much more pleasant to work in then previous versions. 2. Mail Conversations – one of the best productivity enhancements in the client, I mainly use conversations in two ways, first it really shrinks down my inbox every morning when I can start at the end of a thread and very often never have to open any of the other messages in the thread. Second for the really long mail conversations I use the conversation mode to eliminate many of the older entries (lets face it everyone replies with history, no reason to save them all). 3. Dynamic Contacts – by default Notes now adds anyone you have contact with to a Recent Contacts view (up to 2000) allowing you to find these addresses via type ahead same as a contact in any other address book you have configured. This means people who sent you mail or even who were CC on e-mails sent to you can now be pulled up in type ahead. 4. The Sidebar – The day at a glance view is terrific, lets me see my day without having to open or switch to the calendar view. I love having the Sametime client embedded, one less application to launch, one less reason to leave or minimize Notes. I have also been using the Activities sidebar as I have been building and working on Connections, this is a great example of a Composite application used to extend the notes client. This is just the stuff that is out of the box, I am sure there are many more uses for the sidebar that are yet to be developed. 5. Ghosted Calendar entries – having initiations that are in your inbox now appear on your calendar in a different color is great, besides preventing me from double booking a slot or accepting the wrong meeting in a given slot, on more then one occasion it has also reminded me I had an invite that had not been acted on yet. 6. Productivity Tools – I have been using them, I have them as my default application for word, excel and powerpoint, I think this will be a tough sell in my organization to replace Microsoft Office, but then again the tools are nice and maybe the price is right. Domino Server 1. Out of Office agent as a service, say good bye to users setting the agent to run on local, setting it locally and not replicating, and any one of the 100 other tricks that caused problems with the Out of Office agent. Enable the OOA as a Service and let the server handle it. In addition once you enable the service you have the ability to set the OOA in hourly increments, if you only want it for part of a day. 2. Fast Restart – this one I am excited about, one of the most frustrating parts of a server crash is the time it takes to run NSD, depending on the server and the crash it can take up to 20 minutes, which is a long time when a server is down. Fast restart is the best of both worlds, the server can restart while the NSD completes. I have to say that my Beta servers have not crashed so I have not really played with this one, but when the day comes and it does happen hopefully it will work. One note of caution on this one see point # 3 in this post regarding memory requirements for Fast Restart 3. Policies – I have been told that 95% of the client settings can be configured via policy (in the process now of checking this) in additon policies can now be configured to “Set and Enforce” which will gray out the preference for the user. These are just my favorite features, there are many many more, check 8 Things to Like About Notes 8, Part 1 and 8 Things to Like about Notes 8, Part 2 as well as the Notes homepage for more information.

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