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Book Review: IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3: Upgrader’s Guide

March 15th, 2012 by Corey Davis

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.

The ninth chapter moves on to development. Only touching on the topic briefly, it is disappointing to see composite applications come up again considering that they were covered very well in the first chapter. Modifications made to views, formula and LotusScript languages, and a brief discussion on XPages, CSS, and JavaScript controls are covered. The chapter also covers the Lotus Component Designer, the blog template, and Lotus Expeditor.

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.

The book is available now from Packt Publishing and Amazon.

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Posted in Domino, 18,240 views, 5 Comments
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5 Responses

  1. shabeer Says:

    I think IBM wants to earn revenue out of poor First time Admins. There resources are so lengthy and meaningless and hollow, I sometimes think IBM wants to commit suicide. You don’t have a popular product then you do not get revenue, or maybe you think by keeping it in wraps makes it more secure- you are totally out of date guys wake up and smell your darn Starbucks coffee.

  2. hmm_notes_hmmmm Says:

    It would be good to have an up today “guide” (8.5.3) on how to setup notes CLIENTS (windows AND LINUX), configure replicas properly and deal with issues like. Local replicas that replicate but don’t seem to update the server side mail file, causing issues like “mail file locked” because you are using to much space.

  3. Corey Davis Says:

    You are unlikely to find another book dedicated to 8.5.3. A book that version-specific is probably not good for sales in the long run. Besides, since you are looking to solve very specific replication issues, you should use the wonderful resources available online:

    PlanetLotus (http://www.planetlotus.org)
    DominoWiki (http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf)
    Info Center (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/index.jsp)
    Notes/Domino Forum (http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd85forum.nsf)

  4. The Conxsys Blog » Blog Archive » Book Review: Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 How-to Says:

    [...] Book Review: IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3: Upgrader’s Guide [...]

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