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l>What Is Lotus Notes?

What Is Lotus Notes?

by Julian Robichauxrevision 1.1For as long as I"ve sầu been working with Lotus Notes, people have sầu asked me, "Just what the heông xã is Lotus Notes anyway?" That has always been a difficult question khổng lồ answer, because there are no equivalent products to lớn compare it to.

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A typical conversation will go something lượt thích this:"Does it vì e-mail?""Yes.""So it"s lượt thích Exchange, right?""Only in the sense that it"s an e-mail system. It"s actually primarily a database system that happens to have sầu built-in e-mail functionality.""Okay, so it"s like SQL or Oracle or something.""No, it"s not a relational database system lượt thích those are. It"s more of a flattened data structure.""What"s that?""Probably nothing you should worry about. It"s a database.""Okay, so how vì I manipulate the data? Write an Access front-end or something?""No, that"s all built-in lớn the client. It"s also got support for several programming languages, and a web server component that allows you to lớn access the data from a web browser.""Then it"s lượt thích Exchange, Squốc lộ Server, Access, Visual Basic, & IIS all wrapped together?""Sort of. But it"s packaged so that you don"t see all those separate components individually. That"s what makes it such a powerful workflow application.""I don"t think I understand...""I know. I think I"ll have lớn show you some sample applications."Often times, these conversations are more heavily biased in one direction or another, & they are usually accompanied by certain amounts of huffing and puffing based on preconceived notions about various things, but that"s pretty much it.This is my attempt to give sầu a slightly more complete mô tả tìm kiếm of the Lotus Notes hàng hóa. I"ve written two different versions of this description: one for managers, và one for technical people. Everyone will want lớn customize these descriptions based on their own knowledge, personality, & situation, but maybe it will give you a good starting point for understanding or explaining the application. I know it"s not complete, but my intent was khổng lồ provide a quichồng overview instead of a mô tả tìm kiếm of the entire feature set.A good overview of the Lotus Notes/Domino product is also available on the IBM website, in a document called "The History of Lotus Notes & Domino". If you want a very technical description of some of the inner workings of Notes, try reading Inside Notes (if you can"t find it there, tìm kiếm Google for insidenotes.pdf).NOTE: in version 1.1 of this document, I also added a short entry at the end: What is a Notes Database?What is Notes -- the Manager version
Lotus Notes is an application suite that includes the following components:e-mailcalendaring & schedulingaddress bookdatabaseweb serverprogrammingUnlượt thích other application suites (like Microsoft Office) that split these pieces of functionality into separate products (lượt thích Outlook, Access, Front Page, etc.), Lotus Notes presents all of these components using a single front-over.For many people, Lotus Notes is an e-mail system. While this is not necessarily it"s largest strength as a hàng hóa, e-mail is probably the most recognizable component that it has. It has most or all of the features of the other popular e-mail products on the market, including calendaring & scheduling, and it uses standards-based mail protocols such as POP3 và SMTP.. Because Notes has both a client và a VPS piece, users can use it to lớn read và respond to lớn e-mail, và administrators can use it as an entire e-mail environment.For all practical purposes though, everything in Notes is a database.

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Individual users have their own e-mail databases, và different sets of users can nội dung application databases that can display, add, or manipulate information. Besides data, a database can also contain modules of programming code that will persize background, scheduled, or on-demvà tasks for a user.The Lotus Notes client is a desktop application that organizes and displays databases on a user"s local workstation. The physical database files can be stored either on the workstation itself or on a VPS. A typical Notes client "workspace" will have sầu icons for a handful of local databases as well as a number of databases that reside on one or several Notes servers. All of these icons can be grouped together, so that the distinction between local và remote data becomes very trivial.The databases themselves can be highly customized to present the data that is associated with them. A Lotus Notes developer can design forms khổng lồ display individual data records, và views lớn display whole sets of data. In some cases, the data that is displayed doesn"t have lớn come only from the database that you"re in -- it can also come from one or more other Notes or non-Notes databases.Because the programming layer is built-in to the Notes databases, a developer can embed code throughout the database design to lớn automate certain actions or reactions without having to install or configure external programs or processes. This built-in programming layer also makes it possible to create workflow applications that interact very fluidly between both application databases và e-mail.If all or some of your user base doesn"t want to use the Notes client, the capability to automatically display Notes databases on the website is available as well. Since version 4.5, the Notes VPS software has shipped with a web server component called "Domino", which translates Notes data inlớn website pages and serves them up as a web site. Internet programming technologies such as JavaScript & Java are native khổng lồ Notes, so these can be easily incorporated inlớn Notes databases and thiết kế elements (either on the web or on the client). The Domino website hệ thống can also be configured to interact with things such as IIS, Apabịt, & Java servlets and JSP pages, so you can enhance your Domino trang web using other (possibly pre-existing) technologies within your environment.On a slightly more technical level, Notes/Domino provides a very granular security model that allows a developer to lớn "loông chồng down" access to all or parts of a database. In this way, you can combine private & public data within a single database or across a single VPS. While the security is normally administered through a corporate Notes address book, it can also tie in lớn the user accounts in an NT domain or any LDAP-aware directory service.With all of this functionality, it may be hard khổng lồ envision what Notes can actually bởi vì for you. Some examples of typical Notes applications are:e-mail (obviously)discussion forumsdocument repositoriesexpense approval systemsweb-based request systemsUsing the capabilities of Notes to interact with other database systems & other website technologies, you could also use it as a client-based or web-based information portal that ties together a number of different data sources. Lotus Notes can be a stand-alone data repository, a front-over to lớn numerous other data repositories, or many things in-between.What is Notes -- the Technical versionAt its most basic màn chơi, Lotus Notes is a database system. In fact, most Notes environments consist of a collection of databases that might interact with each other at some level.Lotus Notes, however, is not a relational database system. A Notes database is a collection of unstructured data, combined with various kiến thiết elements that allow you to lớn access and manipulate that data.