Continuing to fill the void left by the lack of Domino titles by other publishers, including IBM’s own Redbooks, Packt Publishing has just released IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3: Upgrader’s Guide. The book promises to teach readers how to upgrade to Notes and Domino 8.5.3, the changes made to the Notes 8.5.3 client, how SOA is integrated into Notes 8.5.3, avoiding coexistence issues, and more.
The first chapter jumps right into the SOA (service-oriented architecture) topic. It explains what SOA is and describes the lifecycle of the architecture before explaining how it integrates with the Notes 8.5.3 client. This is followed by a lengthy discussion on composite applications. While the information on composite applications is good, I find it oddly out of place in this book considering that composite applications were introduced in Notes 8.0 in 2007. Considering that this book is aimed at upgraders and not first-time users, it seems redundant. The chapter concludes with a quick description of open technologies built-into Notes 8.x.x such as OASIS/ODF support and Eclipse.
Chapter Two, Overview of New Lotus Notes 8.5.3 Client Features, covers all major features added from Notes 8.0, 8.5, 8.5.1, 8.5.2, and finally 8.5.3. While this is also redundant for anyone upgrading, I find it very useful as it provides a single location to look at when I am asked which version a certain feature was added.
The third chapter very briefly covers Lotus Symphony.
Lotus Domino server features is the topic of Chapter Four. As with Chapter Two, the authors cover all major features to Domino since 8.0. Unlike Chapter Two, they are not segregated by version, except for the 8.5.3 enhancements which don’t show up until the end of the chapter. Before you get to those, there are sections on the Tivoli Directory Integrator, DirLint, SSO authentication for LTAPToken2, and some other topics that, while good information, seem misplaced in this chapter.
Chapter Five, Deployment Enhancements in Notes/Domino 8.5.3, begins with client provisioning. The topic quickly discusses Smart Upgrade and Eclipse provisioning before moving on to policies. The policies discussion is very complete and includes a wonderfully detailed section on controlling replication settings via policies for organizations pushing a local mail file replica architecture.
Domino 8.5.3 enhancements are covered in Chapter Six. Again, the authors go back and cover topics that any upgrader should already be familiar with such as DAOS and ID Vault before tackling the new stuff. The end of the chapter has a good but oddly placed section on iNotes modifications from the end-user perspective.
Chapter Seven, Upgrading to Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3, is really about planning. It is difficult to find fault with the authors here, however, considering that upgrading Notes and/or Domino is such a simple task. But, if you were looking for the technical steps on how to upgrade, you won’t find it here.
Coexistence is covered in Chapter Eight. Mostly it discusses which of the new features will not work with older versions of Domino. It is short, but one that any IT manager facing an upgrade should read.
Chapter Ten, Integration with Other Lotus/IBM Products, starts out with a full walkthrough of how to install and configure Quickr before moving on to a short overview of installing Sametime and Connections.
The book wraps up with a chapter all about the Domino Configuration Tuner. This is a wonderful chapter describing the DCT and is one that all admins should read.
All-in-all, this book is not unlike the previous IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 upgrader’s guide. It is well written, chock-full of good information spanning audiences of end-users, line-of-business users, administrators, developers, and IT managers, but so much of it is old information about previous versions on Notes and Domino that the reader is left feeling that the authors didn’t have enough to write about. And, to be fair, they probably didn’t. Upgrading is a simple process in the world of Notes and Domino. While this is a good book, one at half the size would have been more appropriate. Perhaps Packt should consider a new line of books not unlike the O’Rielly pocket references.
Disclaimer: Packt Publishing provided a free review copy of the book for the purpose of this review.