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A new home for Domino applications

Apple recently announced that it has approved its 500,000th app for the iTunes App Store. IBM Lotus developers say, “Call us when you get to 10 million.”

That’s how many enterprise applications are residing on Domino and Notes servers and desktops around the world. The problem is, many of those Domino applications were written more than a dozen years ago and haven’t been updated since. Why? Well, they still work, for starters.

But IBM has — ignored may be too strong a word — overlooked the modern world creeping in on Domino applications for many years. And as the number of Domino applications mounted, customers put off the daunting task of moving them to new platforms. Now, IBM and users can no longer avoid the need to access those apps outside the Notes client, like the browser and mobile devices.

Enter IBM software developer partner GBS, which last week unveiled Transformer, a new framework for “transforming” Domino apps to new XPages-based applications, which can be run virtually anywhere.

What is encouraging for Domino and Notes users is the commitment behind the transformation effort. GBS Chief Technology Officer Jennifer Meade pointed this out at the launch event last week at the MIT Museum.

“IBM has been incredibly supportive of our activities,” she said. “We needed some stuff delivered from IBM in order to make this happen, and they made it happen tout de suite. They actually open-sourced some stuff so we didn’t have to wait for releases to come out. We open-sourced projects together.”

This isn’t just good news for Domino users, it’s great news. And about time.

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