Thursday, September 25, 2008

Let's do the Time Warp Again

It's just a jump to the left and then a step to the ri-i-i-ight.

Ok, so I show my age, but in this case, I am in the middle of upgrading a client from R4.55 clients and R5.0.7 server to R7.0.3 clients and servers.
Oh and did I mention they are still using a very old Citrix setup which is not getting upgraded(but still works with 703, well sort of).

It's like a trip down memory lane, for those who never think about how far we have come, these nuggets from R4/5:
The memo field was ALL text based,no programmatic header
date stamps defaulted to null(instead of 1899)
800x600 was excellent resolution(well for them)
small footprint
VERY specific syntax requirements (replicate server1 doesn't work, but replicate server1/company does)

I could go on, but the client now is ready to look at the future. They can envision xpages, browser based apps, Lotus Forms(a product I like but rarely get to discuss), VOIP and UC.

A huge jump for them, but first I have a long road ahead to get them to do anything.
Money isn't tight, but not easily spent. ROI discussions, open slots of time, possible retainer to assist on admin duties and train them on some ID management.

What did they get for going to R7? Not as much as they would have if they had thought about rewriting the apps and looking at the processes for enhancement. They purely migrated, finally, because support stopped for R5.

So now we have a harder job to convince them to do the rewrites because they are modern(in their minds). We will probably mock up a page or 2 of their applications in xPages or at least Lotus Forms and see if that helps them see the future.

Why should someone replace a perfectly good app, even if it is 10 years old? Because coding, processes, server, users and technology have changed to provide more efficiency.

But if you put a new engine in your car, but never change the oil, you still will break down at some point.


  1. Too bad you can't get them to go right to 8! By the time they upgrade again they'll probably have to skip right up to 12. :) One of the great things about Notes though, that I still marvel at, is that their old apps WILL work on the new server. Heck, I've seen R3 apps work just fine (although ugly) on v8. It's really hard to justify a re-write of an app that's working. Although usually apps that are that old have been patched up updated so much that it's almost easier to just start over - in fact I'm doing just that with a client now. I convinced them that to make the latest changes they want they'll be better off just starting from scratch. The other great thing about Notes is how easy the upgrades are - I upgraded my own server from 7 to 8 over a cup of coffee one morning. The upgrade was done before the coffee was. Try that with the competition (sorry - I'm getting tired of seeing all the Tweets about how bad Notes is.)

  2. True the apps will run, but there are some quirks that appear, namely screen resolution and formatting of certain text, pages. Especially in printing these pages.
    Nothing insurmountable just little fixes.