Lotusphere2007 - Day 0: BDD and Jumpstarts

The Sunday of Lotusphere has, over the years, grown from just the evening party to this year where it is, effectively, a full blown day of sessions. So at 7am it was over to the Yacht & Beach for the Business Development Day breakfast and keynote. The format was much better than last year where rather than a motivational speaker we got a speech from Jeff Greenfield, a CNN presenter followed by a discussion panel led by Jeff with Mike Rhodin as one of the panellists. There were no great revelations but it was interesting all the same.

To be honest the BDD sessions don't really appeal to me, I know they should but at heart I'm a geek not a business man. Normally the Jumpstart sessions wouldn't appeal either but the selection is pretty good this year. I elected to go for an introduction to composite applications. And this is where the great surprise started, Notes 8 is looking like a genuinely compelling tool. Up until now all of the buzz has been about the UI to the exclusion of features but, as was demo'd this morning, there are some real leaps forward in functionality.

When you create a database you have a new choice to create a blank component NSF, from where you can add portlets, be they Domino, Websphere portal or whatever. I'm doing a crap job of explaining it but basically we are talking about the new Notes client offering rich portal-ised applications natively and out of the box. The only down side is that you still need to run a Portal server for web access, but if you're going to upgrade to Notes 8 then this is going to be a very cost effective way of entering into the portal application space.

Which brings me onto my thoughts while I was sat in the session, in about ten minutes I came up with several ways for one of my clients to save many thousands of pounds by planning to upgrade to Notes 8 rather than migrating to Exchange / Outlook which is their current plan. It would be very short sighted for any company to make a migration decision without waiting for the public beta of ND8 because from what I've seen even before the conference proper has started it's going to blow the competitors (what few there are) out of the water.

This afternoon it was onwards to see Kevin give his first presentation at Lotusphere, and a very good job of it he made too. Yet another blogger who will no doubt be asked back in future years.

Tonight is the official opening party followed by Wild Bill's 40th birthday at Jelly Rolls not ESPN as previously advertised.