Microsoft’s Migrate-to-Us-From-Notes Tools

On January 17, Microsoft announced a series of tools and SharePoint templates that will help Notes/Domino users migrate to Exchange and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS):

  • Microsoft has updated its coexistence tools for email/directory/calendar. For example, HTML email from Outlook to Notes has its appearance preserved, bugs have been fixed, and there's support for Unicode content. Sadly, the conversion of Notes Rich Text into HTML in Notes remains problematic.
  • Microsoft now offers a tool -- "Application Analyzer for Lotus Notes" -- which scans your Notes applications, puts each into one of four categories, and recommends migration approaches. Each of the categories is then migrated in different ways. Some of the migrations are automatic, some will require a large amount of manual work, and some may not be possible today.
  • One of the categories allows out-of-the-box Notes applications to be automatically migrated to WSS. This can done using one of the 30 standard WSS templates. It can also be done with three new templates targeted at out-of-the-box Notes Discussion, Document Library, and TeamRoom applications
  • Microsoft has a new tool that enables the migration of data from Notes/Domino template-based applications to WSS application templates.

Our comments:

  • Microsoft's coexistence and migration tools for Notes/Domino have been much criticized in the past. It appears they have been substantially improved. However, the resultant WSS applications are server-based and so will not support working off-line, which has always been a key distinguishing feature of Notes.
  • Some out-of-the-box Notes applications should migrate fairly easily into WSS. However, a number of standard and many custom Notes applications employ facilities not yet available in either Exchange or WSS and this will present a significant obstacle to migration.
  • Most Notes users have a substantial investment in collaborative applications, and migrating these to Exchange has been very difficult. It's not clear that the new tools will ease the migration of such custom applications.
  • There are a set of facilities currently mooted for Office 12, such as WSS-based Office Workflow, that may in the future broaden the class of Notes applications that can be migrated to Exchange or WSS.

More details on the email, directory, and calendar migration tools are available at Microsoft's page Resources for Moving to the Microsoft Collaboration Platform. More details on the SharePoint applications, helping migrate Notes applications, are at the page Applications for Windows SharePoint Services.

... David Ferris and Nick Shelness

One Comment

  1. Posted January 17, 2006 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    Based on what one blogger found, I’m not sure that “substantially improved” describes the newest tools. Paul Mooney spent a fair amount of time with the revised Application Analyzer and found it solidly in the corner of Notes applications:

  2. Posted January 17, 2006 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    Bear in mind that the “migrate from standard notes applications to sharepoint” is a Business Partner package. I would recommend anyone who requires this functionality to contact the BP directly and get the “full” suite instead of the minimal one.

    As for the continued MS “inference” that they can help users migrate their applications automatically.. The question is – Where?

    MS’s application platform(s) such as and/or sharepoint do NOT have the strength and depth to cope with Lotus Notes applications. They dont have the reader-field support, the seven layer security, encryption, Java support, etc, etc.

    I would strongly advise any customer approached by MS with this proposal to look behind the marketing and get some proof that this is nothing more than thinly disguised vapourware.

    After all, MS have a large slew of customers they have “migrated” away from Lotus Domino. In MS terms, this means migrating the user mailboxes and calendars, and leaving one or more Domino servers up to service the applications. Is that a satisfactory state of affairs ? Is that a complete migration ? To go for a weaker, less stable (no clustering), less secure mail system and STILL have to support Domino servers as well ?

    —* Bill

  3. Posted January 19, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Oh dear:

    MS pulled it. Wasnt anything to do with quality I hope…

    –* Bill

One Trackback

  1. By Computerworld Blogs on January 18, 2006 at 5:02 AM

    Notes vs. Exchange (and mechatronica)

    In today’s IT Blogwatch, we look at the players vying for the corporate messaging and collaboration market. Not to mention making old dot matrix printers play music…
    Both Microsoft and IBM would like to reign supreme in the corporate messaging/collabor

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