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Lotus keeps Java on front burner

The IBM subsidiary focuses on Java Web applets and utilities that help Domino developers build interactive applications for intranets and extranets.

ORLANDO, Florida--Lotus Development is keeping its Java applications suite on the front burner.

The IBM subsidiary previewed two new Lotus eSuite products at the Lotusphere user conference here. The products are eSuite DevPack 2.0 and eSuite WorkPlace 2.0 for its Domino Web-enabled communications server. Both products are expected to ship in April.

eSuite DevPack 2.0 is a set of Java Web applets and utilities that helps Domino developers build interactive Web applications for intranets and extranets. eSuite WorkPlace 2.0 for Domino is a collection of Java applets that provides business productivity for use in Web browsers.

The eSuite DevPack 2.0 Web applets include a calculating grid, text processor, a library of charts, data access utilities, and other tools that help developers build Web applications.

eSuite DevPack 2.0 also offers excellent integration with popular Java development environments, such as IBM's Visual Age for Java and NetObjects Fusion.

eSuite DevPack 2.0 includes a number of features developed for Domino R5 and Domino Designer R5, such as an AgentGateway data access applet, Infobus/FX data access applet, Domino specific solution templates, new documentation for assisting developers in building Domino applications with eSuite, and an integrated Domino install.

eSuite DevPack 2.0 also includes a kit for creating server-based Java applets, or servlets, that allows developers to incorporate data from SAP applications, and IBM's DB2 database and MQ Series middleware, and other enterprise data into their Web applications. With this new release, performance is also improved, with reduced applet load time and faster execution.

"Lotus eSuite DevPack is a powerful complement to Domino," said Lynne Capozzi, Lotus' vice president of product development, Internet Applications Division, in a statement today. "Developers have eagerly adopted eSuite DevPack and Domino to build a host of exciting new Web-based applications--ERP reporting applications, sales force automation solutions, customer self-service applications, business intelligence systems, and others--that help users derive greater value from their investments in Domino and the Web."

In other news, the company has launched an aggressive migration strategy directed mainly at its cc:Mail customer base.

The program, dubbed SmartMove, will broadly target current users of Lotus Notes, Lotus cc:Mail, and IBM's OfficeVision, as well as mail systems from Microsoft and others.

During the past year, Lotus has offered its dwindling cc:Mail base a variety of price incentives, software tools, and consulting services to help them migrate from cc:Mail to Notes/Domino. This program ties all of the previous initiatives together and backs them with an ambitious global sales and marketing strategy.