A very long interview with Lotus GM Mike Rhodin. If you've been wondering what Mike has been up to in his first few months leading Lotus, this interview reveals a lot. He talks about everything from ND7 adoption, competition, Workplace adoption, branding, developer opportunities, Linux, and more. A few examples:
"I'm comfortable with the progress we've made with Workplace... You'll see us position the open standards-based, components-based composition model stuff as the front end to the SOA architecture IBM's bringing to the market. That will start to clarify things for people because it's where interaction and collaboration services meet business process through the SOA framework. When we started talking about Workplace being collaboration in the context of business process, people thought we'd start to implement business process things in workplace, and weren't' thinking about it as the front end to the business process stuff we're doing in another part of Software Group" ...Link: CRN: IBM's Collaboration Chief Talks Domino, Workplace Game Plan >
Rhodin: Since the day I got to Lotus, when I headed up the engineering teams, I made a promise to customers that I was not going to create a cliff that they had to jump off to get to the next thing. I was going to provide a smooth path forward and guarantee applications moving forward and I believe I've delivered on that promise
CRN : So if you were talking to a traditional Notes/Domino ISV, say Percussion, what do you tell them to do going forward? Stick with Domino?
Rhodin: What you'll see unveiled at Lotusphere and in the coming year is how these things will start to converge. We've been really working hard with our customers to understand what seamless evolution means to you. And what we get back is it's choice and flexibility about when I do what. No forced dates or forced migrations. If your skills are in Domino applications, we'll carry those skills forward and those assets forward. Scripting will continue to work. New releases of Domino coming out. ...If people want to keep their skills on Domino Designer building new apps, we're actually seeing more people building this year than last the previous year people are more comfortable with the longevity of the platform and no one's come up with a better solution for building apps faster than Domino Designer.
In order to bridge the skills gap for those moving toward J2EE technologies, we came out with Workplace Designer, which brought the skills of the Domino developer to a new tool that would be familiar in a couple of hours to build apps except what gets generated out of the bottom is J2EE components that fit into it without ever having to write any Java code.
CRN : Given the continued confusion around Workplace/Domino, will you pull back on the Workplace messaging at all?
Rhodin: We're going to continue to try to clarify it. The key thing is we believe the whole composite app model around workplace is fundamental to how SOAs are going to be built in the future. What we've focused on all along is positioning he portal and workplace stuff as the interaction surfaces for SOA. That's always been the design point
Various analysts have written some pretty nutty stuff. I can't believe we were in the same meetings. They keep trying to spin it back into "This is just a new definition of e-mail, new definition of instant messaging."
My point is, no. Those things become services. They're commodities. No matter how you look at them, it's what you do with them that becomes interesting. And making those components available as part of this composite application model versus a separate e-mail system or separate IM system is what makes it interesting
Just as when Notes came out 15 years ago, no one knew what groupware or collaboration was. It was the first set of applications that were built that started to show people the way. We're heading into that phase.