Lotus Domino 7 released today!

Here's an excerpt of some of the highlights of Lotus Domino 7.

Click here for IBM's full annoucement letter.

Lotus Domino 7 offers increased scalability and performance. With the Lotus Domino 7 server, you can typically support more users with fewer server and network resources. Performance metrics from the IBM development lab and statistics from the Lotus Domino 7 beta program indicate that Lotus Domino 7 uses up to 25 percent less CPU resource than the Lotus Domino V6.5 server and that Lotus Domino 7 software can support up to 80 percent more Notes®Bench mail users on the same server hardware.

Lotus Notes and Domino 7 leverages technology investments. Backward compatibility offers support for earlier applications. Collaborative applications built on earlier software platform releases and versions remain usable.

Provides flexibility. By allowing customers to deploy on multiple standards-based hardware platforms and operating systems.

Lotus Domino 7 advanced security

Offers enhanced security options to help protect sensitive information. Can help prevent the delivery of unsolicited e-mail through new anti-spam features. Also has the option to use 1024-bit RSA encryption keys and 128-bit symmetric keys for the Notes Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol.

Lotus Notes and Domino 7 Administration. Enhanced administration features help reduce time and costs associated with deploying and managing software. With Policy Based Administration the administrator can optionally lock down settings, preventing users from changing the settings and reducing costs and time associated with service support calls.

Includes capabilities formerly delivered as a separate product called IBM Tivoli® Analyzer for Lotus Domino. Integrated software technology with predictive analysis tools help administrators predict growth and sizing requirements within the Lotus Domino server environment and to plan for potential hardware and software changes. Additional features include workload balancing and change management tools to help keep your infrastructure running at an optimal level.

Lotus Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) functionality now integrated with Lotus Domino. DDM automates problem determination and analysis. You can assess the overall health of all your Lotus Domino servers in the enterprise and locate resource usage that may need attention. DDM will also suggest probable causes and provide possible solutions to fix the problem.

Leverage your Linux™ operating system environment. Take advantage of the robust new Linux technology-based Web administration client in Lotus Domino 7 server.

Lotus Notes Smart Upgrade. Multiple improvements to Lotus Notes Smart Upgrade include the ability to centrally manage the installation, configuration, and status of a user's machine without having to visit the desktop. The administrator is notified through a mail-in database when the installation or upgrade was successful, delayed, or unsuccessful. Other features include server cluster failover, a governor feature, which limits the number of Smart Upgrades per hour and reporting capabilities that detail which users have upgraded to which versions.

Lotus Notes 7 enhanced user productivity

Manage e-mail more effectively with productivity enhancements. Employees continue to receive vast quantities of e-mail on a daily basis. Effective e-mail management helps them to be more responsive and productive. Lotus Notes 7 software provides a host of productivity enhancements to help users prioritize, organize, and manage information.

Facilitate decision making with enhanced instant messaging capabilities. By continuing to blend instant messaging and presence awareness more tightly into the daily routine of e-mail, employees can respond more quickly to urgent issues and make informed business decisions more rapidly. Lotus Notes 7 software provides many improvements to instant messaging integration, enabling users to more effectively collaborate in a timely and productive manner.

Increase efficiency with enhanced calendar capabilities. Increased employee efficiency can contribute to the overall efficiency of your business. With the enhanced calendar capabilities delivered with Lotus Notes 7 software, users can manage their schedules and resources more effectively, helping to improve daily productivity.

Manage rooms and resources more efficiently. Lotus Notes 7 software continues to provide enterprise organizations with an effective way to manage conference rooms and meeting resources, such as audiovisual equipment, online meetings, and more with a centralized Rooms and Resources database. For frequently used rooms and resources, users can:

Improvements to the Rooms and Resources database also include:

Extend your Lotus Notes software investment within an IBM Workplace environment. As an integral part of the IBM Workplace strategy, Lotus Notes and Domino 7 software offers tight integration and interoperability with other members of the IBM Workplace family, such as WebSphere® Portal software and Workplace products.

Lotus Notes software provides the ability to customize the end-user experience based on individual and corporate preferences. Using a Welcome Page wizard, you can easily create your own personal welcome page to serve as a single point-of-access to frequently used resources such as e-mail, calendar and scheduling, instant messaging, contact lists, Web pages, and databases. Version 7 includes a sample Welcome Page, called "My Work", that provides a portal-like interface and can be further customized by the user.

Lotus Notes application plug-in, provided with Lotus Notes 7 software, allows users to run native Lotus Notes applications within the context of the IBM Workplace Managed Client product. This plug-in allows you to extend the reach and viability of those applications to an IBM Workplace Collaboration Services environment without requiring design modifications. The plug-in also provides the option to integrate Lotus Notes applications with the instant messaging capabilities of Workplace Collaboration Services software.

Lotus Domino Web Access

Improved server performance and client responsiveness. Lotus Domino Web Access (DWA) 7 client side performance improvements result in a 30-40% decrease in response time compared to previous version of DWA. DWA 7 has been engineered to provide increased server scalability, and administrators can expect 35-50% and higher, increased scalability and 20% reduction in CPU usage compared to previous versions of DWA based on the results of the benchmark testing. These numbers will vary by platform.

Security enhancements. New administrative options provide enhanced security, such as preventing access to mail attachments and the ability to force a user logout, including browser cache and system temp directory scrubbing when all Lotus Domino Web Access windows are closed.

Increased support. Lotus Domino Web Access 7 is the first IBM messaging client to run on the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox 1.0.x browser and the Mozilla 1.7.x browser. This expands IBM's Linux offering and meets the growing demand for additional client options for Linux desktop users.

In addition to creating and verifying digital signatures, Lotus Domino Web Access 7 provides S/MIME support for reading and creating security-rich encrypted mail.

Usability enhancements. Lotus Domino Web Access 7 includes new browser interface features such as viewing mail threads, single click follow up, MAPI support, mail quick rule, attention indicators (when enabled for the mail template using Lotus Notes), and an enhanced user interface.

Productivity enhancements include support for single-click "follow up", "quick mail rule", and the option to forward any Lotus Domino Web Access object in a message. In Lotus Domino Web Access 7, support for drag-and-drop and off-line scheduled synchronization has been extended to Linux browser users.

Enhanced Instant messaging awareness. Integrated presence awareness now goes beyond the inbox to calendar and other areas. The Lotus Sametime® Connect for browser client is integrated as the default "instant contact" list manager.

Attractive total cost of ownership (TCO). Rapid, no-touch browser access and deployment with a minimal need for training can help reduce the overall TCO of Lotus Domino Web Access. Also increased server scalability may allow you to support more users with fewer servers.

Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook (enhancements introduced in V6.5.4)

Performance. Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook offers a significant performance improvement over prior versions (V6.5.3). It is often up to 3 times faster than Microsoft Outlook 2000, 48x faster than Microsoft Outlook XP, and 16x faster than Microsoft Outlook 2003.

Separate data and program directories. Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook Version 7 allows separation of program and data directories. Using Microsoft Windows™ OS security, multiple users can be configured on the same machine.

New mail notification. Mail notification is available while using standard Outlook options. You can play a sound or briefly change the cursor and show an envelope in the notification area.

Local directory. Users can down a local copy of the global address book and have access to contact information while on the road. Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook also supports both full copies of the directory or condensed directory catalogues.

Lotus Notes and Domino 7 Integration

Lotus Notes plug-in. Lotus Notes application plug-in, provided with Lotus Notes 7 software, allows users to run native Lotus Notes applications within the context of the IBM Workplace Managed Client product. This plug-in allows you to extend the reach and viability of those applications to an IBM Workplace Collaboration Services environment without requiring design modifications. The plug-in also provides the option to integrate Lotus Notes applications with the instant messaging capabilities of Workplace Collaboration Services software.

New native Web Services. Lotus Domino 7 provides a native Web services hosting environment based on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). You can use Web services to integrate your applications with J2EE and Microsoft .NET environments, often with less time and effort, and using existing skills.

DB2 relational database. Lotus Domino 7 introduces the ability to utilize the DB2 relational database as an alternative storage mechanism for NSF data. You can expose Lotus Domino data in DB2 views, making that data available to DB2 applications, including IBM Workplace and WebSphere Portal applications. You can use SQL to build new Lotus Notes applications that blend collaborative services with relational data that is stored in DB2 databases.

Access to Lotus Domino applications using portlets. You can extend the reach of your existing Lotus Domino applications to IBM Workplace Collaboration Services and WebSphere Portal software by using portlets. Three options available with WebSphere Portal V5.1 or from the IBM Workplace Solutions Catalog allow access to Lotus Domino applications pre-built portlets:

Other pre-built portlets include the Common Personal Information Management Portlets in WebSphere Portal V5.1.

Microsoft Integration. Lotus Notes 7 provides tight integration with Microsoft Office 2003 or Office XP software. Users of Microsoft software can access Lotus Notes Mail® using Smart Tags, a Microsoft Office capability, to recognize certain types of text, such as proper names.

Lotus Domino Designer® 7

One of the key differentiators of Lotus Notes and Domino is the ability to easily create, modify custom applications and make these applications available to various clients, including Lotus Notes and web browsers. Lotus Domino Designer 7 includes numerous features and functions to help you extend the value of your Lotus Notes and Domino applications and increase developer productivity.

Built-in support to create and modify Web Services provider entities. Lotus Domino 7 showcases a new ability to integrate with other systems by hosting industry standards-based Web services. Lotus Domino Designer 7 supports this new feature by adding a new Web service design element that allows developers to code custom Web services through LotusScript® or Java™. Lotus Domino developers can also import an existing Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) as the starting point to build a new Web service within a Domino database.

Support for Data Access Views and Query Views with DB2-enabled databases. Lotus Domino 7 can use DB2 as an alternative data store to NSF, providing IT administrators the flexibility to capture, store, and repurpose Lotus Domino data in a relational database. Lotus Domino Designer 7 supports this new feature by allowing developers to expose selected Lotus Domino data as DB2 views through the new DB2 Access View (DAV) design element. The new Query view design element allows developers to use Structured Query Language (SQL) to build a Lotus Domino view that can combine Lotus Domino data, DB2 data, and DB2 federated data.

Productivity and usability enhancements. To help improve developer productivity, Lotus Domino Designer 7 can now create shared columns for views. This allows commonly used design elements to be managed as a single entity, yet re-used throughout an application.

Lotus Domino Designer 7 supports the ability to add AutoSave functionality to any Lotus Notes application. AutoSave can help reduce the loss of user input in the event of an operating system hang or crash.

The refined interface of Lotus Domino Designer 7 allows the developer to more easily see design element information and provides additional sorting options to quickly locate design elements. The design element lists now support direct attribute editing and element signing to help speed application updates. Lotus Domino Designer 7 also provides enhancements to LotusScript and Java debugging and supplies multiple additions to the Lotus Notes formula language, LotusScript/COM/OLE and Java/CORBA classes.