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Eugen Tarnow


    Thoughts on the History of Lotus Notes

    Eugen Tarnow  May 16 2011 11:02:40 AM
    IBM provides here a rather technical account of Lotus Notes’s history that stops at version 8. In reading through this fascinating, though dry, work of scholarship, I encountered some interesting facts that are still relevant to today.

    For one thing, the developers of Lotus Notes did not originally intend for the product to have so many applications independently developed for it. They did ship version 1 back in 1989 with customizability options, but they thought Notes would just be a “shrink-wrapped PC communications product that would run right out of the box.” Notes can work fine on its own, but it has also has so much more potential to utilize software that runs on top of it like the Reducemail Pro suite (Archive, Delete, Attach, Audit, e-Discovery, Journal) for example.

    Another interesting fact was that Price Waterhouse purchased 10,000 copies of Lotus Notes pre-release, predicting that Notes would change the way that companies do business. Notes certainly did have a lasting impact on information technology especially in companies like PwC and Ernst & Young, which ran their whole complex businesses on Notes with thousands and thousands for applications. Nothing has quite captured the versatility or capability of Notes, which still has a vibrant group of developers creating and improving applications for it. Reducemail Pro has been around for twelve years, more than half of Notes’s lifetime, and it has been expanded and enhanced as Lotus Notes has been expanded and enhanced.

    Reflecting on IBM’s history of the product, Lotus Notes is almost like a person, growing and changing, but the same core soul.

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