Quo vadis, IBM?

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 7:23 PM UTC

Hard times for us hardcore Domino developers:

  • No IBM Domino release announced for 12 months on any conference or user group meetup
  • extended support announcement for the current version (9.0.1) until 2019 (2017 +2 years)
  • no major release for over 3 years
  • above repeated for at least 4 user group events in this year

I could continue this list with tweets and blog posts regarding the discouraging mood that is in the air, and I will do (please read further before opening those links):

In March 2016 we were introduced to our new General Manager for ICS Inhi Cho Suh who was the first IBM exec showing slides on which Domino wasn't part of the current roadmap - no release, no number, no other figures. In a BP call we had some weeks later they said that IBM focuses on IBM Verse on premises instead of pushing Domino forward. It sounded like just a postponement to us willingly believing folks. As IBM Verse on premises is going to be GA next month we are now missing the message that Domino is going to be focused on now afterwards. MWLUG passed last week and still no annoucement and the same slides of the roadmap.

The community and BP are getting nervous and - even worse - they are looking for alternatives. Don't get us wrong, it's not about us being volatile - we are not. But hearing nothing for years concerns us.
We have to do business - with existing or new customers. Especially new customers need confidence in our work and the product itself. Our product is depending on an IBM product which doesn't seem to have a future - on this platform. So we are re-orientating ourselves as we want to do business in the near future. The near future is per definition for the next 5 years. This is exactly the amount of time IBM announced to give support for the latest (3 years old + 2 extra years) Domino release. And then?

As IBM is pushing Bluemix and the XSP runtime with Domino I could imagine having Domino as a PaaS for the years after that named period of time. Is this really an option? Most of the customers won't onboard to cloud services (at least what we experience). Licenses also have to be purchased for the cloud model (Smartcloud) if you want to run the "hybrid" mode.

The questions now are: which platform do we have to choose and in which technology are we going to invest?

IBM Champions

As a member of this great community I have to ask myself: "will I be a part of it in 1 or 2 years again?" Don't get me wrong, being an IBM Champion is a great honor but I doubt that this program will be an option for Domino related administrators and developers. There will some of us remaining who do IBM Connections and related stuff. The Domino peeps will disappear. So I will do.
It's not a selfish thing but the credo of an IBM Champion is delivering "outstanding contribution and commitment to the ICS community" - which won't be possible if we aren't able to use that software anymore with the engagement we'd like to give.


We are still using IBM Domino, develop our products on and with it and are still using XPages as this technology is working for us and the customers we have. It provides versatile options for on-premises solutions as well as cloud-based configurations and native mobile access. We will adopt new technologies as well to be a valid and valuable partner for customers.

Latest comments to this post

Bernd Webster wrote on 29.08.2016, 08:13

Maybe IBM will do the same as Microsoft did for Windows 10. Upgrading Domino was always something which most IT persons didn´t do on a regular basis (at least my vendors). They where to afraid there applications stopped working (which never ever happen during any upgrade I performed for them). So why not releasing instead only upgrade packages? I mean Apple MAC OSX does the same already ...

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David Hablewitz wrote on 24.08.2016, 23:21

At MWLUG Scott Souder announced that they are changing the way they release updates to Notes to more closely match the cloud version release method.  That is frequent, incremental improvements rather than a big point release less often.  So not having 9.0.2 per se shouldn't be a concern according to Scott.

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Richard Moy wrote on 24.08.2016, 21:54

For us, if IBM decides to end Domino, we will be moving on to different technologies and no longer be involved in the ICS community.  Domino provides the most effective platform and is far better than anything out there regardless of what others say.  It will not only be the end of Domino but most likely the end of the ICS community that we know of for the past 25+ years.  IBM has to provide clear message on Domino.  Domino is the keystone for all of ICS.

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Bill wrote on 23.08.2016, 21:21

Does IBM remember the fiasco that was the split roadmap with Workplace?

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Patrick Kwinten wrote on 23.08.2016, 10:58

I find it hard to believe that IBM will offer these Domino customers no option then to leave the ICS portfolio. It is (should not be) not in IBM's DNA to be un-trusty towards customers.

Of course that leaves me curious what IBM's response will be...

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Fredrik Malmborg wrote on 23.08.2016, 08:40

Very well summarized!

I agree 5 years is a perfect horizon to have in the IT industry. Almost any solution will run another 5 years without updates even if it is not optimal. When you see that things will stop work in less than 5 years then it is the time to start moving.

This leaves IBM about 6 months to give us the signs we want, else we simply have to wave goodbye to the most efficient collaboration platform ever.

We already started moving our client to Sencha ExtJS, but we are still planning to use IBM Domino because other solutions gives a lot of pain that IBM Domino saves us.  

Hope has not left me behind yet.

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