Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Outlook on Outlook #1

Outlook is not free
Time to follow through on the feedback from this post.

One thing which is also clear, non-IT people, meaning your users or employees do not care to understand that their mail file is a database in Lotus while Outlook treats it really as a file directory. A huge difference on so many levels. I will not go into great technical depth here, so for those that want it, all I will say is you will NEVER win an argument about technological benefits.

In no specific order I will go through some of the answers.

It seems Outlook is viewed as faster to use.
While this may appear to be true, if you disabled all the files it require that are loaded at startup, your Windows would boot faster and not be so sluggish. You see the lawsuits in Europe were not in vain, they were trying to get Microsoft to stop embedding all their products in the client. Outlook, Explorer and more are enabled via the 100's of DLLs running on your pc. So shut all of them down and then try to open Outlook. Not so simple or fast anymore is it. This is what Lotus Notes and any other non Microsoft product has to work with.
In contrast, on Linux Lotus Notes is very fast to open and work while Outlook is really...non existent.

But appearance, especially to some people, is everything.

Deleting a folder deletes the email in it also.
Naturally in a file directory structure this makes sense. In a database, where a folder is just a view, it does not. Could it be done? Sure, a basic agent could pop up and ask if you want the emails inside to be deleted as well but it doesn't. Is this truly a reason to prefer Outlook? Of course not. Is it inconvenient? That depends on your administrator and your view of archiving and if you truly need the data or emails.

Integration with Active Directory is an interesting idea.
It does not make Outlook better or worse. AD is just a Directory. Sure it runs a bunch of other things and requires an army of servers to be built properly, but is it better to integrate to AD? In short, it depends. Domino can LDAP to AD just like anything else, but if you are asking for the integration of user ID files into AD, that is one thing. If one uses Tivoli Directory Integrator you can achieve better synchronized integration that without it. A manual process can be very time consuming, so get TDI, oh and it's free, really it is F R E E!.

All the applications, online and on our PCs, integrate with Outlook.
This is another misnomer. Outlook is...just..email. What program does not integrate with email? What they probably are referring to is when a program has been written to utilize Outlook's "tools". Careful though, no code works between 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 or 2010 entirely because of full changes in coding each version, compared to Lotus Notes. Usually though the difference is the integration to the Outlook address book. Under the more open standards like iCAL, which everyone should support, the need for apps to be written to Outlook first, or even at all should go away, but it is a long process and to be honest, some Exchange admins may not realize they can use something unless it says it works with Outlook on it(If I had a dime for every one of them I need to explain SMTP and email routing). Contrast that with Lotus admins that will try to make things integrate into Notes whenever possible or ask their developers to make it work.

Naturally some posted items that may at one time been unique to Outlook but no longer are or easier in Outlook according to their views. Maybe I will hit those in the next post.

Although one comment said the average reading level is a 7th grade level for Americans, I refuse to believe that those in corporate America are that bad, but knowing the European side, I can see why Lotus does better there, so maybe there is something to this. I hope not, I'd like to think people are intelligent.