So far, so good (except for connectivity)

I’m currently sitting the the What’s new in Lotus Notes 7 session but I cannot get a wireless connection. Bummer. Oh well, this is why we have replication! 🙂

Anyway, the opening session was awesome. John Cleese was the guest of honor and he was very funny. We also had a big surprise as Ray Ozzie took the stage to a standing ovation. It was great to see Ray again. There was also a little video showing Notes from conception all the way through today. Seeing the old interface and things such as the Notes is Dead article again really brought back the memories.

The message this year was definitely clearer than in days past. They really showed that Lotus Notes and Domino are not going away, they are just being moved into the Workplace client architecture. They showed Workplace with a Notes icon on the left side, and clicking that icon brought up your Notes bookmarks. Clicking a bookmark brought up the exact application as it would be shown in Notes itself. It was actually very impressive, and it seems like they actually tamed the beast they told us about last year.

Workplace itself seemed very cool too. Workplace Designer looks a LOT like Domino Designer, so you should be able to utilize your skills in the new framework. Seeing the Forms and Views paradigm in a Java app was WAY cool. It should make transitions for people like me MUCH easier.

And one of the things that I thought was huge was that on Domino, they increased Notes Bench numbers by up to 80%. That means many more users on a single server, or much less overhead on the servers you already have. Talk about an awesome way to reduce TCO. As John would say “Brilliant!”

In the “What’s new” session I’m in now, the crowd actually clapped about a sortable Subject line in email. Wow, will people clap for ANYTHING nowadays? Who HASN’T done that in their own templates before… Christ. And I have to say, this session started late and has been a technical nightmare. Anti-Virus popping up, trying to demo in Island mode, no connectivity to Lotus servers for their live demo stuff… Wow. Hopefully it can only get better from here…

Lastly, in between sessions I ran back up to my room. As I left my room to head back to this session, I almost ran directly INTO John Cleese! He was walking with an assistant down the hall. When I realized it was him, I smiled and said Hi. He chuckled and returned the greeting. I was far too star struck to ask for a picture, and I didn’t want to bother him, but it was cool nonetheless.

Most excellent start to the day!