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Enterprise Boat Anchor
Jan 22, 2003 05:31 AM 6572 Views
(Updated Jan 22, 2003 05:32 AM)

Help Functionality:

User friendly:

Service & Support:

Reliabiity & Satisfaction:

Value for Money:

This enterprise tool was forced down my gullet as it is the approved standard tool used by my company. I was forced to use this tool (never liked it even once).

It uses a counter-intuitive UI of having multiple windows open on a tool bar inside a single window ( this is the best description I can give to this non-standard UI).

Uses strange E-mail addressing system like VIVEKBP/SOFTWARE/MOUTHSHUT.COM

Even to do very simple tasks which you normally do through Tools-->Options menu in other apps, you need to take the help of a ''Notes'' guru.

This is not all a true E-mail client like MS Outlook , Eudora etc. It doesn't work with any run of the mill SMTP/POP ( internet E-mail) servers. It needs a IBM ''Lotus Domino Server'' as the back-end ( costs $$$$$).

It is basically a semi-DBMS (database) system which uses Forms (Data entry screens) to enter data & view it. Data is stored as records (documents to be precise). Something like MS Access , actually worser as the data is stored as Free form unstructured documents unlike a true DBMS.

These documents are stored in a so called database which is size limited ( that is you can have a very limited number of docs per database) for a supposedly enterprise tool.

''E-mail'' is an application ( I would call it a hack) built on top of one such a database.

This document-centric approach SUCKS big time. To change your preferences/options you need to search for a document which stores the preferences (there are a dozen of them).I don't know why the hell did they not store all preferences in a single place?

I don't even know why it is called an enterprise tool in the first place. To build any TRULY enterprise application you need to connect it to a RDBMS like Oracle, SQL Server or DB2 using another Lotus tool called ''Domino Exchange'' or something like that ( costs $$$)

I also didn't find it's workflow capabilities revolutionary. There are much better, scalable & stable J2EE/EJB based workflow engines available in the market.

The only people who would be happy with this product would be Lotus Notes consultants who make money supporting this ''Boat Anchor''.

BOAT ANCHOR ( for non-technical audience)

A costly tool purchased based purely on marketing hype which doesn't meet it's intended purpose. Often requires more costly add-ons to be truly useful ( sucking more money from the poor customer). It often leads to a vendor lock-in( dependency on a single vendor with no easy escape route)

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Lotus Notes R5