Lotus Notes 8 due for Friday release

IBM is to release an Eclipse-based version of Lotus Notes and Domino by the end of the week, boasting a range of improvements

IBM is to release the next version of its Lotus Notes platform and Domino applications on Friday.

The release will be by electronic means only, with the physical distribution and documentation slated for 21 September.

The release, Lotus Notes and Domino 8, is based on the Eclipse open-source software framework and is built around a new platform called "Expeditor". Expeditor allows developers to create Eclipse-based code for use within the client that can function on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

In its pre-release notes, IBM says that version 8 will "offer a modern web-like look and feel", with a sidebar which displays contacts, day-at-a-glance, RSS and Atom feeds. Other improvements include the ability to export documents to PDF, multi-directory integration enhancements, mail recall and new cluster replication technology.

The standard word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications are included, which all support OpenDocument Format plus IBM's SmartSuite. Within the applications, there will be inline spell checking and numerous changes to mail, calendar and contact management, according to IBM.