It’s Not Dead – It’s Evolving

The most revelatory thing I saw at Engage was a presentation from Doug Conmy and Thomas Hampel on HCL Nomad Web. I’d been aware of its development but it was only from watching the presentation that I realised what it means for customers. What it means in the future is that you will be able to deploy an application through any browser and then run it as a standalone desktop application. It should give you access to your Notes applications as if it were a Notes client but without being a Notes client. It’s not intended to replace Notes but for many customers who want to access their mail or some Domino applications, they simply don’t need the full feature set of a Notes client.

Here’s the thing though,

  • It looks just like a Notes client
  • The target download size will be under 100Mb
  • It still uses a Notes ID downloaded from the vault like any other client
  • It can run against any older Domino server since it uses port 1352 and there’s no additional server configuration (although you will need to have up-to-date licensing)
  • Since it supports most common browsers it can be deployed on Windows, OSX, Linux or any platform those browsers can run on
  • Multiple Nomad applications opened as separate desktop entities will be aware of each other as if they were in the same client window
  • It uses 1352 encrypted traffic but has a Nomad web proxy you deploy that will tunnel over 443 from the client so you won’t need to have a Domino passthru server or open any 1352 ports from the outside

Mind. Blown.

For companies struggling to deploy or maintain the full Notes client this is a huge deal. Having a centrally managed, low impact, multi-platform client that can access any Domino database on a Domino server without either the application or the server needing to be upgraded is something no other software company is doing. I hate to overuse the word but this is true innovation and it goes into public beta in the next few months with a beta timeline of at least 4 months.

HCL are taking getting this right very seriously because if they can get it right it really is a game changer.

Sametime v11 Meetings

I attended a presentation at Engage on Sametime 11 and the upcoming Sametime 11 Meetings. There has been an enormous amount of work done since v10 was released last year and a good part of that is the removal of WebSphere and DB2 pre-requisites whilst maintaining and expanding on Sametime’s features. Already we can connect from Sametime chat to external conferencing systems via the client, but in the coming months we should see the release of Sametime 11 Meetings, which will provide not only meetings but audio, video and screen sharing with no client side plugins and only a single docker container to deploy. I understand it’s already been in fairly heavy use inside HCL for a few months.

From the presentation here is the positioning of Sametime Meetings. That single docker container replaces between 6 – 9 other complex servers. They did so much more than just remove WebSphere.


The team also shared the Sametime strategy and timeline going forward, with v11 due in the next few months and then moving on to v12 and beyond.

Engage Redux

This week we were at Engage in the Netherlands presenting, learning and meeting up with customers and friends. Another big thank you to Theo, Hilde and Femke for all the work they put into this event, by my count of hands during the keynote around 20% of attendees were there for the first time which is fantastic.

The word of the conference from HCL was “Evolve” and even I came away surprised by several of the technical projects HCL have progressed, including Volt, Sametime and Nomad for web. Each of those deserve their own blog entry so I’m publishing those individually alongside this one.

Sametime Meetings

Nomad Web

My presentation at Engage was around the delivery of the Discussions template for Nomad phone and tablet, a project I have been co-ordinating since last year. We had more technical issues with the projector and cables than I’d like, so thank you if you came along and watched the purple-tinged version, and here is the original. There is also a technote published by HCL on Wednesday containing both the template and a whitepaper detailing the design and code elements. I hope you find it useful