Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lotus Approach or Approaching Lotus

When nothing else works, Lotus Organizer to the rescue or in this case Lotus Approach

As I twittered today, I was engaged by a client to discuss this Lotus NotesSuiteprogram, in their words.

Eventually I got to see the application and yes indeed, it is in Lotus Approach. A program which I have loved in the WAY distant past. On the bright side it is very customizable and still workable and the client is happy if I start bringing in reports and views from a different program, in this case Notes. While I would like to see them on Lotus Forms(they have many, many forms) the road to greatness will be a parallel course over the year.

We discussed that no matter what the front end may look like, the data is still good to go and can be ported easily. The forms, views and reporting, not so easy.

I imagine many similar businesses out there run on approach still, hopefully if you are one of them you will help me expand your program too as this client.

One problem was they do not have the design locked down or passworded so ANYONE could mess it up at any time. Scary! Suggested they correct that in the mean time.

This client came to me from Linkedin, and not even someone I know. So for those still on the outside of social networking and media, just remember your future clients are out there, but they can't find you if you don't make the effort to be known.


  1. I'm sure there are many companies still using Approach/Access/Foxpro type systems. They still have one feature that Notes Lacks, and that is a decent reporting engine. Small and Very small businesses need to be able to create these types of reports easily and without IT experts.

  2. Lotus Approach is still one of the best tools for importing different database types into Lotus Notes. Also one of the few reporting tools that normalizes Notes multi value fields.

    One of my most upsetting jobs was to sunset Approach as a standalone product :-(

  3. Carl, I know and it was a sad day. But hey, it lives on and well, I have 2 clients I support on it and perhaps more after this.

    Wayne, reporting, yeah Crystal Reports gets to you and I hate it.