IBM Releases Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5 Beta
June 3, 2008 Dan Burger
The Public Beta 1 version of IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5 became available May 30 with versions of the Notes 8.5 client for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Citrix, as well as, Domino 8.5 server for Windows (32- and 64-bit), AIX (32- and 64-bit), Linux, Solaris, and System i (now known as i).
In terms of general functionality, users will see navigation improvements in the menus for mail, contacts, and to-do categories; the convenience of drag-and-drop between rich text fields in Notes documents (Windows only), Sametime Contacts names or groups to Notes name fields and rich text fields, or drag names from external applications to Notes name fields; support for installation and use on Apple Macintosh OS and Citrix; and support for Notes standard configuration installation and use from a USB drive, which is a real convenience.
Calendaring options have expanded to include the capability to add Google Calendar entries, the contents of other Notes users’ calendars, or an iCal feed. Contact lists can be imported and exported by dragging a mail message to any personal group in the Lotus Sametime contacts list, and the same can be done with calendar and to-do entries that have recipients (such as meetings or group to-do assignments), and with contacts entries from those programs. This allows users to add all the members of a group to their lists at one time.
Lotus Symphony, the office productivity suite that includes Word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, gets performance enhancements that include the capability to do .ODP and .PPT file format saves, application start-up, new document creation, and spell checking in documents and spreadsheets. Those interoperability enhancements along with compatibility with several other file formats will be a big improvement. Opening and playing Microsoft PowerPoint files is but one good example.
Lotus Notes/Domino 8, introduced in August 2007, brought with it the capabilities to build composite applications (also referred to as business mash-ups) that integrated business applications and data into the Notes client. It was a considerable enhancement to what was essentially an e-mail, calendaring, and contacts platform and added notable improvements in the areas of collaboration, increased productivity, and streamlined business processes. An updated version of ND8 was subsequently released (Notes/Domino 8.0.1) in January 2008.
The Notes and Domino 8.5 Public Beta 1 can be downloaded here.