In the past week news stories have spread around the tech world stating that while HCL took over Notes and Domino from IBM, “not much has been happening with the platform.” This is fake news! People, meet Notes/Domino V12 Beta 2.
UPDATE: In an earlier version of this posting, I claimed you could install Notes Domino and Designer on a Mac using Docker. That was a misunderstanding. You can install the Domino server on a Mac using Docker.
UPDATE 2: Earlier version of this article stated that this beta was in 64 bit mode, but that is not correct. It won’t be 64 bit until general release of V12.
Lately there have been articles published on both techie and regular news sites about organisations that are “still using Lotus Notes”. Now, if they were still using Lotus Notes, we’d agree that these organisations were in dire need of a major upgrade. After all, the product Lotus Notes became IBM Notes over ten years ago, and then turned into HCL Notes over two years ago. But people outside the HCL/IBM community still refer to the product as Lotus Notes.
There are also claims that “HCL has only done minor upgrades to the platform” after taking over development of Notes and Domino back in 2017, before gaining ownership of it in 2018. And that, my friends, is fake news.
We’ve done tons of blog postings here about all the changes and upgrades that have happened to Domino V10 and V11. There have been more upgrades in two years than IBM did in the last 7 years they owned the platform.
And today we installed Beta 2 of both Notes V12 (the client) and Domino V12 (the server). In addition, we attended a webinar where we went through all the updates that has happened so far. It’s a really impressive list, and wait til you see the new Notes client!
First of all, we wrote in this blog posting how you can join the beta program. You don’t need to take my word for everything, you can test it out yourself. Cool, eh?
Why an HCL Domino v12 Beta Program
- Get feedback directly from the customers and users
- Help find bugs
- Test in your environment with your apps
- Translation feedback
HCL Domino v12 Beta Program Timeline
This is the timeline for the beta program:
Here are the components:
- Domino on Docker (which makes it possible to install the server on a Mac)
- Domino for Windows, Linux, AIX
- Traveler for Windows, Linux, AIX
- Notes Standard for Windows
- Notes, Designer and Admin Client for Windows
- Notes Standard for Mac
So no, before you ask: Still no Designer or Admin client for Mac. Let’s face it folks: It ain’t gonna happen.
Where to download
If you’re a business partner, or if you have download access, you can go to the following adresses:
If you’re not able to log on, sign up for the beta program. It’s worth it.
And now we reach the only point where we thus far actually do have a complaint. Thre is no support for Norwegian, Finnish or Danish yet! It’s been missing since V10, and that makes it harder to get people to upgrade here in the Nordic countries, except Sweden.
Beta 1 was first language drop, next language drop will be Beta 3. For testing languages and translations in Beta 2, HCL ask you to use Beta 1 code. In v12 Beta they are supporting English and 15 language translations:
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
Norwegian, Danish or Finish won’t be a part of the client upon it’s first full release of V12 either. The release is planned for Q4 of 2021. However, there will be 8 new languages added to a second release, hopefully sometime during 2021. Our hope is that Danish, Finnish and Norwegian will be a part of that release (we’ve been promised at least Norwegian).
New functions in Beta 2
- Choose a different “From” address when composing an email, a feature initially requested by Vlaad in this idea. This means you can, like in Outlook, choose a different From address when you send your email. This can be for a mailin-db or a mail alias you have
- Cascaded installation for languages
- Format painter on the toolbar for copying and pasting during text editing
- Startup time for the client is greatly reduced. In the demo they showed how Notes V11 took 20 seconds from logon to startup. On the same machine they then showed V12, which took four (4) seconds!
- Silent/1 click Domino Install – using JSON configuration file and script – Added in Beta 2 – create/update databases
- Time-based One-time Password (TOTP) for Two Factor Authorisation (meaning you can send an sms or a message with a code that times out after a certain time period)
- Native support for Let’s Encrypt
The last point is a huge improvement! First of all, you have a brand new application in the Notes client for creating and administering certificates on your Domino server:
You simply add new TLS Credentials via a form:
There is also a new version of the Resource Reservation application:
Here is the form for creating a reservation, with a new and much more modern looking design:
- Responsive Application on different devices
- Bootstrap 4 support for XPages
- Additional View List Styling
Here are all the issues reported in Beta 1 that has been fixed in Beta 2:
If anyone tells you that Notes/Domino is outdated, show them this. Or even better: Give them a demo of Notes/Domino V12.