Domino And Notes 10 Finally Come To IBM i
February 11, 2019 Alex Woodie
They say good things come to those who wait. The IBM i community has waited over 10 years for a new release of Domino and Notes, and they were rewarded last week when IBM announced version 10 is now available on IBM i.
Domino and Notes 10 is the first major release of the server component of the business collaboration platform since Domino 8.5 was released way back in 2008 (version 9 was a minor release). The future of the platform was up in the air for a while, and many people who have dedicated a chunk of their careers to working on it were unsure whether IBM would continue to develop it.
At one point in the early 2000s, the iSeries was the second biggest server platform for Domino (the server component of what was the Notes-Domino platform, and which now IBM is calling the Domino and Notes Platform), trailing only Windows NT. Plenty of IBM i shops ran their email servers on the Notes and Domino software, especially after IBM nixed OfficeVision/400. The first dedicated AS/400 machine, you will remember, was the yellow-striped “Bumblebee” offering, which was successful enough for IBM to offer additional dedicated servers.
As Domino and Notes gained new functionality – including social media, mobile interfaces, and rapid application development capabilities – many IBM i shops stayed with it, even if they didn’t utilize the new functions. While the numbers are undoubtedly down from their early 2000s peak, anecdotal evidence says there’s still a substantial installed base of Domino on IBM i users.
Domino’s route to redemption began in the fall of 2017, when IBM enlisted the help of HCL Technologies to co-develop Domino, Notes, and related products, such as Sametime, Traveler, and Verse. The companies hosted the Domino2025 Jam event to generate interest among loyal customers and solicit fresh ideas for new features in a forthcoming version 10 release.
That version 10 release shipped for Windows, Linux, and other mainstream OSes in 2018, bringing a host of new features, such as support for Node.js for creating new Domino/Notes apps, eliminating the need to learn Xpages, and new self-healing capabilities for clustered deployments, among other features.
While the greater Domino community was popping champagne to celebrate the delivery of Domino and Notes 10, the IBM i crowd was left hanging for a bit. The future of Domino and Notes on IBM i – which historically has constituted a large percentage of the Domino and Notes installed base – still was not cemented in place with a delivery date.
The suspense was popped last week when IBM announced that Domino 10.0.1 and Traveler 10.0.1.1 on IBM i version 7.2 and 7.3 became available on February 5. The news was welcomed by Kim Greene, who has made a career as a Domino on IBM i developer and consultant at Kim Greene Consulting.
“I hope you are as excited as I am to get this phenomenal, feature rich, self-healing release available on the hardware platform that is most synonymous with Domino, the IBM i,” she wrote on her Domino Diva blog last week. “It’s integrated, secure, scalable, and highly available.”
The fact that IBM i 7.2 was supported along with IBM i 7.3 was a particularly good piece of news, Greene wrote. “The releases supported are: 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 (when it becomes available),” she wrote. “The huge relief is that 7.2 is supported, whew!”
There were several IBM i-specific enhancements delivered with Domino 10.0.1, according to Greene, including a new feature to simplify the management of Daylight Savings Time. With this release, Domino will default to *TIMEZONE when you configure a new server, she says. Previously, it was common for administrators to misconfigure the system. It’s “long overdue,” she writes.
Another configuration gotcha that has been smoothed over with the new release has to do with changing the JVM configuration. The default JVM is the 32-bit JVM 8, but some Domino on IBM i users may want to use the 64-bit JVM 8 release instead. Thanks to new variables added to the setup, it’s now easier to move between 32-bit and 64-bit JVMs, according to Greene. Domino 10.0.1 will also now turns MEMCHECK on by default, which will help when admins are debugging programs.
There are also changes to the default library where the licensed program executables install. “With libraries having a maximum length of ten characters, the nomenclature of QDOMINO8xx and QDOMINO9xx no longer works with version 10.x,” writes Greene, who’s the principal at Kim Greene Consulting. “Therefore the library structure changes to QDOM100001 for version 10.0.1.”
Domino 10.0.1 is available in English. A group 1 language pack is available that brings support for
German, Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese. IBM has also put together a webpage explaining what’s new in Domino 10.0.1 for IBM i.