At the end of 2022, HCL launched the new and improved installment of Domino, Danube. Let’s talk about the exciting updates and enhancements that have been happening with Domino over the past few releases.
Domino Danube Improvements
In recent updates to the Domino email and administration system, there have been several improvements that benefit both the user community and the administrators. One of the favorite features for users is the integration of online meetings directly into the calendar interface. This means that when creating a meeting invitation, users can easily add an online meeting link without having to switch to a web browser, saving time and reducing confusion.
Another improvement for users is the ability to schedule email messages, which was previously only possible through custom applications. Now, with native support in the Notes email system, users can queue up emails to be sent at a specific time in the future, such as the HR department sending out benefit information in advance.
From an administration perspective, there have been enhancements in security, such as the introduction of D-Chem for outbound email in version 12.01. D-Chem allows email messages to be signed with signature information in the header, ensuring that the email has not been tampered with during transit, increasing security for outbound emails.
In terms of reducing administrative overhead, one of the notable improvements is the introduction of symmetrical clusters in Domino version 10. This allows administrators to configure how they want their cluster to be defined and how databases should be distributed among cluster members, and Domino takes care of the rest, automatically fixing issues such as missing or corrupt databases.
Another time-saving tool for administrators is the Active Directory Synchronization feature introduced in version 11, which makes Active Directory the primary directory for the environment and allows updates to flow down to Domino, simplifying user and group management.
Additionally, the introduction of Admin Q, or Admin Quick, has improved the rename process for web-only users. Previously, with Admin P, the rename process could stall if the user’s ID was in the ID Vault. However, with Admin Q, this interaction is no longer required, and the user rename process completes automatically without the need for logins from the Notes client.
Overall, these enhancements in Domino have focused on making the lives of both end users and administrators easier, with improvements in user-facing features and administrative tools for better management of email and Domino environments.
In recent years, there have been several enhancements made to make the lives of end users and administrators easier in the world of Notes and Domino. One such product that does exactly that is Marvel Client Essentials, developed by Panagenda, a longstanding business partner in the Notes and Domino community. Since version 10, Domino Marvel Client Essentials has been natively included and is part of the entitlement, meaning it doesn’t cost anything extra to run. This tool provides an inventory of all Notes workstations, including the type of Notes ini configuration in place, Notes configuration, and databases being accessed.
In the past, third-party tools were required for tasks such as printing to PDF in newer versions of Notes. However, in the latest versions, this has become a native feature, eliminating the need for additional tools. Additionally, Notes clients now support spell checks for different languages, which can be particularly useful for international organizations or those working with international customers.
In terms of deploying Domino servers, containerization has become a popular trend in the technology world. Since version 10, Domino has supported containers, and in version 12, the container story has greatly improved. Domino servers can now be deployed using Docker images, and in Domino 12, it is possible to preconfigure the image and its parameters using a JSON file, allowing for one-touch setup. While production Domino servers may require more hands-on deployment, test and development servers can be rapidly deployed using one-touch setup, saving time and effort.
Furthermore, in Domino 12.0.1, improvements in one-touch setup include the ability to automatically register users and configure TLS, ensuring that the server is secure and user-friendly right from the start.
In addition to these administrative enhancements, there have been significant improvements in the application development world as well. Domino has always aimed to avoid being an isolated system, and the HCL Enterprise Integrator (formerly known as Lotus Enterprise Integrator) has been a valuable tool for synchronizing Domino records with external databases like SQL and Oracle for many years. In recent versions, Domino has also included support for REST services in JSON, allowing Domino to serve up data services that can be consumed by external systems, and vice versa. This allows for seamless integration of Domino applications with other systems and enables the sharing of information outside of the Domino environment.
Another notable improvement for application developers is the Domino Query Language (DQL), which has been around for a few years and allows for super-fast searches. DQL can search millions of documents quickly, often taking less than half the time compared to LotusScript. Additionally, the introduction of the database comparison tool in Domino 12.0.1 has been a valuable utility for developers, allowing them to compare and identify differences between databases easily.
The recent enhancements in Notes and Domino have focused on making the lives of end users and administrators easier, with improvements in tools like Marvel Client Essentials for inventory management and native features for tasks like printing to PDF and spell checks.
Containerization has become more streamlined with one-touch setup, and there have been significant improvements in application development, including integration capabilities with external systems and tools like DQL and the database comparison tool. These advancements continue to make Notes and Domino a powerful and user-friendly platform for businesses and organizations.
As an administrator, you have the ability to make the end user experience even faster with the use of Marvel client Central’s, which is already included in the product and sphere entitlement. This means that when a user launches Nomad web for the first time, their Notes workspace is automatically brought in, including all their tabs and database icons, allowing them to quickly access the data they need. Additionally, there have been several improvements in recent releases, such as document and view printing support from within Nomad web, offline database capability similar to local replication in the Notes client, and the continuous improvement of Verse, which is a strategic part of the email story for Notes and Domino.
Looking towards the future, HCL, the company behind Notes and Domino, is not resting on its laurels after the release of version 12. Instead, they are already planning for the next version, Domino 12.02, also known as Project DMU, which is currently in beta and available for download. Some of the promising new features and enhancements in Domino 12.02 include the de Dios encryption manager, which helps manage NLO encryption for older systems, outbound and inbound DKIM support for email integrity, enhanced admin queue functionality for recertification and public key rollovers, and an improved “tell domino support” command for easier log diagnostic information upload to support.
Another exciting feature is the Nomad Web, which is a significant part of the Notes client story. Nomad Web is a zero-client footprint solution, meaning it doesn’t require the overhead of managing a Notes client. With the prerequisite of ACL safe links proxy server, Nomad Web can now be deployed in your environment, providing a seamless experience for your users.
For customers who have a mix of users on Domino and Office 365, scheduling meetings can be a challenge. However, with the new functionality in Domino 12.0.2, users on Domino can now do lookups against the Office 365 tenant once the environment is configured, making scheduling meetings much smoother. This functionality works not only for Notes client users but also for Verse client users, IE Notes users, and Traveler mobile mail users.
Project Restyle is another exciting addition to Domino 12.0.2, allowing you to update the UI of your Domino applications without changing the underlying business logic. By simply walking through a wizard and making choices, you can give your applications a more modern look and feel, making them visually appealing without disrupting the functionality.
In order to help admins out HCL has also worked on a great Domino 12.0.2 update guide.
Real life example of the power of HCL Domino : Showcase Toys
As we look towards the future of Notes and Domino at HCL, Showcase Toys will help tell the story. If you remember, Showcase Toys is a global company with around 12,000 employees who are dedicated to putting smiles on children’s faces. They have been a longtime customer of HCL Domino, and we’ll be revisiting the journey of their IT team over the last 16 months.
Let’s meet our personas: Andy is the administrator, his goals are to optimize the backup and restore strategy while maintaining top notch security. He also needs to improve e-mail and calendar experience as well as simplify the admin tasks and end user management.
Karla is a developer. Her goals include bringing apps back to life with the help of powerful APIs and integrations with other systems. She also is asked to mobilize the business to bring the Domino apps to mobile fast. Last but not least she is expected to enable business users and citizen developers to quickly create solutions and solve problems.
Tina is the CIO in our story. Her main concern is security: is my data secure? will I be hacked next? She is also concerned about the cloud native aspect of the platform: Can HCL Domino help achieve platform modernization objectives? She is also interested in delivering solutions that meet business needs.
Andy, the Domino administrator at Showcase Toys, has as primary concern is the security and stability of the Domino environment. As someone who has been in the role for a while, he knows the pain of getting woken up in the middle of the night due to server issues or security breaches. With the recent migration to Domino 12, Andy is thrilled with the modern DevOps methods that were leveraged, allowing him to upgrade the server environment from older operating systems and releases of Domino to the latest version. He’s also excited about the new features in Notes and Domino that have reduced his daily tasks, making his job easier and more efficient.
On the other hand, Carla, the Domino developer at Showcase Toys, has different goals and objectives. Her focus is on ensuring that the applications built on Domino meet the needs of the users and allow the business to run effectively. She has been actively listening to the feedback from her users, who have been asking for better integration of Domino applications with systems outside of Domino. She also recognizes the growing demand for mobile access to applications, and she has successfully made the applications available on tablets and smartphones. Carla has also been using Domino Volt, the low-code development platform, to empower users in her organization to develop applications in a secure and user-friendly manner.
Finally, Tina, an executive at Showcase Toys, has the responsibility of making sure the goals of the IT team match up with those of the organization. She understands the importance of data security and the need to protect the reputation of the organization and its customers. She also keeps track of the costs so they can be reduced wherever possible. With the successful migration to Domino 12, Tina is relieved that the environment is now more secure and that the organization is benefiting from the new features and enhancements.
Fast forward to the present day, and Showcase Toys has accomplished a lot with Domino. Andy is happy with the modernization of the server environment and the reduced workload due to new features. Carla is considered a rock star by her users and business owners for the improved integration and mobile access to applications, as well as the successful implementation of low-code development with Domino Volt. Tina is pleased with the enhanced security and cost savings that have been achieved.
So, the journey of Showcase Toys with Domino has been a success story. The IT team used the new features and enhancements of Domino 12 to improve security, stability, and efficiency, while also meeting the evolving needs of their users and business owners. With Domino Volt, they have empowered business owners to develop applications in a secure and user-friendly manner, resulting in cost savings and increased productivity. As HCL continues to innovate and improve Notes and Domino, the future looks bright for organizations like Showcase Toys who rely on this powerful platform to drive their business forward. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments in the world of Domino!
If you need any help with your HCL Domino journey, drop us a line and we are more than happy to help you.