Teamwork Solutions is one of Lotus' best-known and most skilled application development partners. Working with Lotus Notes, Domino and other products since 1992, Teamwork Solutions is one of Lotus' oldest Business Partners.
Converting Notes applications for use from the web
More and more companies are moving their users to the web. The question is, what do you do with all of those mission-critical Notes applications? Here are a few ideas...

"Our company is moving to a fully browser-based desktop," we hear prospective clients say pretty regularly, "but we have an enormous investment in Lotus Notes applications we can't just walk away from. What should we do?"

First, stop worrying. We have some experience with this.

Just because your company's strategy is to move users off standalone client technologies like the Lotus Notes client, doesn't mean you have to walk away from all your existing Notes applications. Actually, quite the contrary, it could mean you have an opportunity to improve both the functionality and responsiveness of those applications by converting them for web use.

You probably already know that the Domino server--the server your Lotus Notes clients connect to--can also serve up Notes databases to web browsers. Take any database, access it from a browser and, well, it works. Sort of, at least.

If you've tried accessing existing Notes-client applications from the web you've probably discovered that some things work really well and some things don't. But, see, here's the thing:

Almost anything you can do with the Notes client can be done from a web browser if you just know how to make it work.

In fact, there are all kinds of things you can do with a Notes application from the web that you really can't do from the Notes client. The trick is in knowing how to do them because many of the things you take for granted when designing for the Notes client are done differently from the web. Sometimes it's harder, sometimes it's easier, but a lot of simple things are just different when designing for the web.

Leaders in Notes-to-web conversions

For many years now, Teamwork Solutions has been a leader in developing the skills and techniques needed to effectively move sophisticated Notes applications to the web.

Our President, Scott Good, for instance, has published more than 40 articles on Notes-to-web topics including JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets, Dynamic HTML and even AJAX.

We have built and converted Notes applications for web use for some of the largest and best-known companies in the world. Along the way, we have accumlated a vast storehouse of knowledge about exactly what it takes to do it right, quickly.

For instance, duplicating the @Picklist functionality to let users make selections from Notes views through a dialog-like interface. We've got that.

And, easy-to-use date pickers. And, AJAX-based address book pickers. And, user-configurable prompt boxes. And, Action Buttons that stay in one place. And, well, and just about anything else you've ever built into a Notes application.

Need to make your application available in multiple languages so that users in China see it in Chinese but those in Brazil see it in Portuguese? Done that.

More importantly, we've not only solved these problems, we've solved them in ways that make them re-usable and easy to incorporate into other applications. For you, that means we can solve them quickly and move on to the next issue, keeping your projects moving.

That's good news for you

A large part of our practice is helping clients like you move Notes applications to the web. We can convert even the most complicated Notes applications in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of any other approach.

Do you have an application you're considering rebuilding using J2EE? That's a common and popular goal among IT organizations, but unless you're having incredible problems with scale, you can convert your existing Notes application to work just as well from the web, with Domino, at about one-tenth the cost of true J2EE.

Converting Notes applications costs 1/10 of rebuilding in J2EE?

The folks pushing web standards like J2EE don't like to talk about this very much--and, let's face it, who would?--but building applications using J2EE or even just Java without following all the J2EE standards is hard and expensive.

And slow.

That's not to say there isn't value in J2EE because there is. It's simply saying not every business application can justify the costs and extended timelines associated with full J2EE implementations. If you can justify J2EE, great. But if you can't--if budget and time are issues for you--do it with Domino.

The strength and power of Notes applications is their flexibility, their ease of modification and the speed with which they can be created. All of those are true when converting Notes applications for the web.

To learn more about about what it might take--in terms of time, of effort, or of cost--to convert your exising Lotus Notes applications for browser use, please contact Scott Good. He can be reached directly at 614-884-4270, or via email (sgood@teamsol.com).

Smart people building sophisticated applications & workflow tools for Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus WebSphere and the Internet
Teamwork Solutions' innovative Lotus Notes workflow products and applications have made us two-time Beacon Award Finalists.