Kool-Aid Mustache

Today I hit the IBM Workplace Live tour stop in Chicago. It’s basically a day-long update on the Workplace branding of products.

I think it was probably pretty good for those unfamiliar with Workplace, but for those of us that have been playing with it pretty hardcore, there wasn’t much new to digest.

As for demos, we got to see a little of Workplace Designer, although not much. Looks good so far actually. We also got to see the Managed Client (formerly Rich Client) running the Notes plug-in. That still looks pretty cool, although the Managed Client will not be available for Workplace Services Express as of yet. Supposedly, it will be available in a point release after 2.5 drops.

Speaking of release dates, they mentioned two timeframes for products. Workplace Services Express 2.5 should be out end of June/Early July. Notes/Domino 7 should hit end of August/beginning of September (although it was referred to as Q3 most of the time, so it could be longer) and, the next pre-release of Notes/Domino will be beginning of July. Don’t know if it will be called Beta 4, or RC1. Oh, and also, Workplace Designer will be released to beta sometime “Q3.”

We were also told to keep an eye on the Lotus website early next week. Guess there’s going to be some big announcement that will “blow our minds.” Quite frankly, I imagine it’s only the re-branding of instant messaging BACK to Sametime, which many people have been saying will happen since Admin 2005. I really hope it’s something more than that, since that will not accomplish anything mind-blowing. Although IBM admitting they were wrong is kinda mind-blowing I guess…

As for WSE 2.5 (the main reason I went, BTW) it supposedly works with everything MUCH better. The LDAP integration is supposed to be fixed (especially if you couple with 6.5.4) and it’s supposed to have performance gains all around. The Demos did seem pretty zippy when running off the local laptop server they had, but problems occured when they were hitting one back in Cambridge. Slowness, and then complete timeouts. Granted, it was a testing server of theirs, but it gave me a little pause.

I’m still going to reserve judgement until I install the thing again and jump into testing. If they’ve fixed LDAP and sped it up, hopefully that will solve most of my issues with it. My expectations are REALLY low though, so hopefully they won’t disappoint me this time.

Anyway, if you’re completely unfamiliar with Workplace, or haven’t played with it much, you should probably try to catch this when it comes your way. If you’ve got Workplace in the lab, or installed, there’s nothing much to see here. Feel free to move along.