Lotus is filling in a vital gap in its groupware offering with the launch of a document management add-on for Domino.
Notes has not had a document management component in the past, and the new product, Domino.Document Manager, is a response to user needs. Novell already has document management functions in its GroupWise 5.0 product, launched last year, and Netscape is reported to be working on similar features for its Collabra groupware range. Microsoft has links with third-party vendors like PC Docs to develop such systems.
"This shows that Lotus has a very strong understanding of the needs of Notes users," commented Jamie Popkin, vice president and research director at Gartner Group in the US. "IBM and Lotus are continuing to invest in making the Notes environment as fully functional as possible.
"It will attract more users to Notes, and is very useful for existing users, allowing them to extend their Notes investments to applications that live outside that environment, such as Microsoft Word," he added.
The new product, due to ship in the second quarter of this year, forms part of the company's Domino.Application strategy for adding functionality to the Domino Notes family.
Domino.Document Manager is a Web-based content management product designed to securely manage content and enable collaborative authoring. Content can be brought into the system from Notes databases, Office applications and the Internet, in the form of text, flat images, 3D, audio and video files and html documents. Users can retrieve the documents using Notes clients, the Lotus Weblicator, any ODMA-compliant application such as Microsoft Office, or a standard Web browser.
The product will also feature key document management functions such as check-in, check-out, version control and archiving services.
UK pricing for Domino.Document Manager has not yet been decided. In the US, the Uni Processor server version is priced at $4,275 (#2,672) and the SMP server version is $12,825.
Lotus: fostering ideas
Lotus' parent company IBM is also developing a document management strategy, built on Domino.Document Manager.
The company is set to announce the EDMSuite, an enterprise document management package that will include production imaging, workflow and Computer Output to Laser Disk (COLD). Domino.Document Manager will form the document management engine for the suite.
The components will also be available separately. Pricing has not been announced.
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