Lotus Notes and Domino databases are both open source applications developed by Lotus Engineering. They are different in the sense that Notes is a document-oriented application whereas Domino is a grid-based database management system. Their respective applications share some fundamental design elements however, and their applications interact with each other via the Oracle server. Both these types of applications are widely used in enterprise information systems and many companies nowadays use them for their business processes. Some of the major features of Lotus Notes and Domino notebooks are explained in the following paragraphs.
The most important feature of Lotus Notes is its powerful object-oriented architecture. It supports inter-user collaboration via its tightly-knit data models, which allow all the users to easily change the data of any document stored in the application without having to know the related attributes or the stored procedures. Moreover, Lotus Notes also supports OLE DB and ODBC related facilities. Moreover, it can efficiently manage large volumes of data by efficiently hiding data fields that are unused by the application. For example, all the records that have no useful fields identified in the application and are stored on hard disks are automatically deleted after the last modification.
This feature makes it easier to create and modify documents since all the necessary data need is already there. Another major advantage of using such an enterprise-level document management application is its feature that allows two or more users to work on the same document simultaneously. This is done by the application “Notebook” that is connected to multiple workstations. In this particular aspect, the company can expect significant cost and time saving advantages. In addition, the migration planning questions can be answered quite effectively in this phase.
The major focus in this phase is the development of the Lotus Notes or Domino databases. It is expected that large number of queries can be generated within a few minutes. The main aim here is the quality assurance test to validate the application performance and robustness against potential threats and external threats. The solution definition of the migration pilot must cover all these areas to ensure successful application delivery.
During the second phase of migration planning questions are asked to evaluate the current infrastructure. It is assumed that the development and deployment of the new systems are accurate and complete. The teams are asked to determine if there is any scope for the migration of data from existing Lotus Notes, Excel, or other databases to the new environment. If any external third party is deployed, then it should be removed from the environment assessment first. This phase also involves performing the vulnerability assessment to identify the insecure areas.
The third phase of migration pilot enables the engineers to test the application thoroughly to verify the application’s reliability, scalability, and operational performance. The test cases are categorized as secure or insecure depending on their nature of data access. The fourth phase of migration readiness analysis is performed to validate the application’s security and compliance with the new and revised policies. It is also important to check the application’s functionality, usability, and system-wide connectivity to assure smooth inter-operability and communication during the whole process. The last phase of this methodology enables the teams to migrate the database and content from the old Oracle database to the new one.
The Lotus Notes and Domino databases data migration phase deliverables include the master, template, and destination schemas. These schemas define the structure of the database, its active record, and the access restrictions for each record. One of the main problems in Oracle database migrations is the creation of the Active Directory Users and Computers role on the source tables. A number of commercial products are available in the market that are designed specifically for the Active Directory Users and Computers role and fix the problem of the Active Directory Users and Computers role on Oracle databases. Another challenge is the change in the table structure, when an application is upgraded to a later version or an Oracle upgrade.
Lotus Notes and Domino are two of the most popular enterprise level data migration products. Many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies have decided to integrate these products into their own systems for improved overall data governance, faster application development, and better technical support. Integration is a difficult topic with an uncertain future. This paper discusses the current marketplace trends and challenges with regards to migration of Lotus Notes and Domino databases to current or new applications. We identify several technologies that have the potential to provide a solid alternative to the existing products.