White paper Lotus to Google: feature mapping


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Do you have IBM Lotus Notes as a mail and collaboration platform in your company? See this whitepaper how currently used functionality in IBM Lotus Notes maps to Google Apps functionality.

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White paper Lotus to Google: feature mapping

  1. 1. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps Whitepaper: Lotus Notes to Google Apps migration Mapping IBM/Lotus Notes features to Google Apps Main topics: ● Mapping Notes mail features to Google mail ● Mapping Notes applications to Google Apps ● Mapping Notes development to Apps Script development For: IT / Business persons who are considering a Lotus Notes migration to Google Apps Author: Richard van Delft Date: Our reference: 16 December 2012 WP2012121610 G-workplace © white paper page 1 of 9
  2. 2. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps Content Introduction The Lotus Notes vendor lock-in myth Mapping IBM Notes to Google Apps Mapping Mail & Calendaring functionality Mapping IBM Notes applications features Mapping Notes development to Google Development Application migration Data migration with Notes2Apps migration Automated migration with CIMtrek Redesign with OrangeScape Migration project Get a deep understanding of your Notes environment Next steps Questions / Feedback / Contact information For the latest version of this white paper, tools and services visit the website: www.g-workplace.com. Introduction Lotus NotesTM have been used in large worldwide enterprises as one of the main application landscapes for years. Moving away from Lotus Notes looks impossible for some organisations as most Lotus Notes environments have grown quite successful in most organisation. This is know as the ‘Lotus lock-in’ myth. Moving to Microsoft ExchangeTM has been done by many organisation, but many of them are still running Notes for the application environment. Moving simple applications to SharePoint has been done, however Notes applications are often more than just simple document repositories. This white paper is written for everyone who currently uses Lotus Notes and wants to know how Google AppsTM can replace the Lotus Notes mail and collaboration platform. This white paper shows Business managers, IT managers, IT architects and Lotus Notes adapts that Google Apps is a perfect follow up for the Lotus Notes platform. Google Apps is the enterprise version of the consumer services of Google which are already known to many employees, as they use Gmail in their private life. The 100% web vision of Google brings all the communication and collaboration power to your fingertips in any modern web browser. As Notes was in the 90-ties an innovative platform for enterprise collaboration, Google Apps is nowadays the most innovative social collaboration platform for enterprises. Another reason why Google is getting more attraction in the Enterprise market are the costs. Google Apps is available for 40 euro or 50 US dollar per user per year. This is amazing when you compare this to the IBM/Lotus licence fees and the complementary hardware and IT maintenance costs. This white paper is written to give Notes organisations and first view on how Google Apps compares to Notes. Demystifying the argument that Google Apps is too simple to replace the Notes platform. G-workplace © white paper page 2 of 9
  3. 3. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps The Lotus Notes vendor lock-in myth Notes has been quite successful in many organisations across the world. Power-users and developers may have created hundred or thousands of applications in Lotus Notes. Those applications result in to the myth of the Lotus Notes vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in, or just lock-in, is the situation in which customers are dependent on a single manufacturer or supplier for some product (i.e., a good or service), or products, and cannot move to another vendor without substantial costs and/or inconvenience. Organisations often don’t have a clear picture on how Notes applications are used across the organisation. The IT department fears the data migration costs and the costs for re-developing applications. This fear result for many organisation to the statuesque to keep the same situation. G-workplace has dealt with this lock-in syndrome in several occasions. This white paper is the generic answer to this. This white paper gives a high level overview of the different components of a IBM Notes environment and maps the IBM Notes feature to the Google Apps equivalent. Mapping IBM Notes to Google Apps Mapping Mail & Calendaring functionality This chapter describes how Google Apps mail and calendaring services compares to a Notes environment. ● Lotus Notes mail, calendar, tasks vs Google mail, calendar, tasks The Google mail, calendar and task features are for every user a good replacement of the Lotus Notes mail, calendar and to do functions. There are some caveats to look for which will be explained below, however most Notes users will like the move to Google mail, the easiness of use is one of the pro’s. ● Lotus Notes ‘Doc links’ Lotus Notes existed already before the time of internet mail. Lotus invented doc links, view links and database links for linking to your content. The doclink equivalent on internet is the Notes:// URL (like the well known HTTP URL) or the *.NDL (Notes Data Link) file. However automated migrating of doclinks is hard. As the content that you link to will probably don't exist anymore in Lotus Notes, as you are decommissioning Lotus Notes. GAMLN (the free mail migration tooling of Google) creates an URL link for every doclink, pointing to the Notes resource. The same applies for the Notes2Apps application migration (G-workplace tool for Notes application migration). Notes2Apps provides also a list of doc links after migration so that users can choose the right moment to correct the links (if needed). ● Lotus Notes formatting The Lotus Notes client has a Notes rich text editor, creating Notes tables (like tabbed tables) and Notes text sections (to collapse or expand text). Very handy in a Notes client, however this proprietary format is not supported in web clients. During migration both GAMLN and Notes2Apps use the Lotus Notes ability for HTML migration. With Notes2Apps migration you even have a HTML customization option during migration time. You get the best conversion that IBM Notes can deliver. ● Mail stationery G-workplace © white paper page 3 of 9
  4. 4. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps One mail feature, which is often used in a business environment are mail stationery's. A mail stationery is a mail template with default TO, CC, BCC, Subject, Body text and attachments. There is no real replacement of this in Google mail. Within Gmail labs you have ‘Canned responses’ however this lab is intended for default replies, not for default new mail messages. So it lacks some main features. G-workplace provides a different approach, based on a Gmail gadget to deliver mail templates features in Google mail. Have a look on the G-workplace website if you need this feature. ● Moving Mail-in databases In most mail environments you have the need to some functional mailboxes. Like the mail address ‘support@companyname.com’. In Lotus Notes you created them as a mail-in database. This is usually just a normal Notes mail file and the ACL is adjusted to give multiple people access to the same mailbox. Google is offering Google Groups for Business as the alternative for shared mailboxes. In Google Groups you have the setting ‘collaborative inbox’ which add some handy features to your Google Group interface to utilize the interface as a shared mailbox. When you start to use Google Groups as the replacement for mail-in databases there are some issues to think about. A drawback is that you can not migrate existing mail messages to Google Groups. Another issue is that users may want to switch easily from the team mailbox to the team calendar to the team procedure or manual guide. Google Sites can bring those items together. In a Sites you can easily embed the Google Group collaborative inbox, the shared Google Calendar and the Sites pages which contain the team’s guidelines and mail stationeries. If the Google Group collaborative inbox isn’t matching to your requirements you can create a normal Google Account and add delegates to this gmail account. One item to think about is that the maximum number of delegates is 25. ● Resource reservations vs Calendar Resources Meeting rooms and other resources can be reserved in Lotus Notes via the resource reservation database. Within Google Apps you have the same function. The Google calendar is a perfect replacement. Calendar resources in Google can be easily managed. For example, you can setup authorisation in a way that resources can only booked by one department. You can also control moderation. For example you may want to setup automatic approval for a ordinary meeting room, but setup an approval moderation for the meeting room of the management board. ● DominoTM Address book An IBM Notes environment has one or more Address Books. This address book contains the configuration of the Domain and all the user accounts and groups documents. Additional addressbook(s) contain additional users and groups from other domains. Google offers the same approach. All users you create are available in the Domain with a Domain account profile. This means that every user can be found in the Domain Direcotry. You can add additional names and mail address to the domain address list by adding “Shared contacts” to the domain. The shared contact is a mail address that can be found in the type ahead in Gmail and can be found in the Directory contact list. Making it easy for the Google users to find the contact. Domino Groups are called in Google also Groups. In Domino you could specify that a Group is only used for ACL group. Preventing that users could mail to this specific group of persons. The same apply to Google. In a Google Group you can select if the Group is found in the directory or not. Google Groups have many more advanced configuration options. Ask your deployment specialist partner for more information. ● Personal contacts vs Gmail contacts IBM Notes users have their personal contacts stored in their personal address book. Google Apps users can also store personal contacts in their personal list of contacts. During migration users can convert their personal contacts easily them self by using the self-support instructions from Google. Google offers the option to move personal contacts automatically to Google by using GAMLN, Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes. The drawback for this approach is that users in Lotus Notes must have their personal contacts available in the Notes mail file. iNotes (web) users have this by default, but Notes (client) users have the personal contacts usually in the personal names G-workplace © white paper page 4 of 9
  5. 5. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps address book (pernames.ntf) which is located in the personal data directory of the Notes client on the desktop. For those users you need to migrate personal contacts from their address book to their mail files were GAMLN will move the contacts to Gmail. Note: users are usually okay without migrating their Notes contacts. It is the advice of G-workplace for not migrating personal contacts. ● Lotus SameTime vs Google talk SameTimeTM may provide presence and chat (text, audio, video) services to your Notes environment. Google provides the same chat services. In Google you can easily start a text chat, audio chat or a multi person video chat (called Hangout). In a Hangout you can easily share documents or create meeting notes. You can also start to broadcast a video meeting where you can invite as many people you want. This online meeting service integrates well within the Google Calendar. You can even invite Google Translate to your meeting, were your text is automatically translated in the desired language, supporting international meetings for improving mutual understanding. Google offers also Google Voice, the service to call landline phones and mobile phones directly from your mailbox. As with Sametime also Google talk can be integrated with many PBX manufactures. Offering a unified mailbox approach and seamless telecommunication services. Integration services can be provided by your PBX provider or can be obtained by a Google business partner like G-workplace. ● Lotus TravelerTM vs Google mobile support With Lotus Notes Traveler Lotus Notes users had the ability to take some of their Notes mail functions on their mobile with them. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Google Apps mobile features outstand the function of Traveler. The effort of Google in the consumer space has made Google Apps a wonderful piece of software for mobile users. Going mobile with Google Apps is easy for any end-user. Most phones and tablets already comes default with a Google Account setup instruction. Also when you look at configuration and device support, from an admin point of perspective, Google Apps is offering Google Mobile Device Management (MDM), which has the ability to control the devices which connect to your Google Apps environment. Keeping you secure and in control. This enables organisations to stop the company phone policy on Blackberry and adopt an approach as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) or Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD) strategy. G-workplace © white paper page 5 of 9
  6. 6. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps Mapping applications features ● IBM/Lotus Notes applications vs Google Sites / Docs Lotus Notes is an Rapid Application Development (RAD) platform for developing collaborative applications. Lotus Notes developers have been using the platform for all kind of applications. Most applications are form oriented and offers different views to the data. Development is done in @formula language, LotusScript or java. Google Apps offers Google Sites, Google Drive, Gmail, Groups and Google+ as components for building collaborative applications. Developers can use Google Apps Script or choose between Java, .Net or Phyton API’s for building applications. This section will focus on Google Apps Script capabilities as this scripting language is like LotusScript which is often used in Lotus Notes applications. Developers can build standalone applications in Apps Script or add custom features to Google Apps. Google developers can add custom forms to Google Drive or to Google Sites. Apps Script can be used to build basic workflow capabilities in Google Apps. Notes2Apps is the migration tool of G-workplace to move content from Lotus Notes applications to Google Apps. Notes2Apps comes with templates for many Lotus templates like Teamrooms, document libraries, and discussion databases. Notes2Apps support any Notes database and the most complex data structures. Notes databases which are attachment centric are usually good candidates for migration to Google Drive. Form centric applications are mostly candidates for Google Sites. Workflow oriented applications are candidates for a combined migration. Workflow meta data is stored in Google Spreadsheet or Google Script dB (object-oriented database) and the user interaction is done via a Google Apps Script application. G-workplace and Notes2Apps also provides design patterns to move application logic to Google Apps logic. ● LEI (of DECS) vs GSD | RDBMS integration Lotus has the ability to integrate with data from other database resources via Lotus Enterprise Integrator (LEI), or via Domino Enterprise Connections Services (DECS), or via a ODBC call within coding. With LEI licence costs are involved, the other two options are free. Google provides for free the Google Secure Data (GSD) connector. This connector is software which you can download for free and needs to be installed in the DMZ of your network. GSD makes a secure connection from your location to your Google Apps environment and starts to listen for requests. Giving you the ability to display your on-premise data for example in a Google Spreadsheet. GSD a easy to setup, and keeps your data save. In example, per connection you can specify to use a generic logon account on your database or use the Google user account credentials, preventing your Google users to see too much data. ● Lotus QuickPlace/ IBM Quickr vs Google Sites For basic collaboration Lotus is offering Lotus Quickr (formerly known as Lotus QuickPlace). Quickr is separately sold. Lotus Quickr functionality can be replaced by Google Sites. Sites even have the mobile support option to be available on tablets which are now often used within companies. Quickr could be integrated with your ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system like Documentum or IBM FileNet. This kind of integration is also offered by Google via the Google Secure Data (GSD) connector. G-workplace © white paper page 6 of 9
  7. 7. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps Mapping Notes development to Google Development ● LotusScript toward Google Apps Script LotusScript is a scripting language which is widely used within Notes applications. Google Apps Script is also a scripting language, used to automate or customize features within Google Apps. Google Apps Script is easy to learn for LotusScript developers, especially if the developer already knows JavaScript, as Google Apps Script follows the syntac of JavaScript. ● Domino workflow vs visual PaaS For building complex workflows, Lotus offers Domino Workflow (separate license), a visual workflow editor on top of your Domino Designer. Google doesn't provide the same ability, however in the Google Apps marketplace KISSflow is offered as a simpel workflow designer and OrangeScape Visual Studio as an option for more complex designs. Domino designers can easily switch to the IDE of OrangeScape to develop an enterprise workflow, which may connect to other web services you have in your enterprise. For more information see, www.orangescape.com or contact info@g-workplace.com Application migration Your IBM/Lotus Notes environment probably consist of more then mail and calendar. Lotus Notes has been often used to support Rapid Application Development (RAD) within organisation. Lotus Notes applications are often used for collaboration in departments or projects. Google Apps is all about collaboration and sharing information and is typical a good replacement for your collaboration application in Lotus Notes. However you may also have build (complex) business application within Lotus Notes. They typically don’t migrate to Google Apps, but to other enterprise wide platforms or to a Commercial of-the Selve (COTS) solution. Before you start you may want to conduct a scan on your Lotus Notes application to get an insight on your Notes migration scenario. The Notes2Apps Scan provides this function. Notes2Apps scan examines every Notes database on database information, database design, content, Access Control List (ACL) and user activity of every database. The scan results in a report with information for your migration planning and migration effort. This information is then used during application migration. Data migration with Notes2Apps migration Notes2Apps Migrator focus on the content migration of your Notes databases to Google Apps. The valueble content within Notes applications are converted to Google Sites or to Google Docs (conversion to PDF, Text documents or Spreadsheets). Notes2Apps also supports to export data from Notes to a (local) archive location. Data may then be used to import in a new application platform like Salesforce (CRM) or to an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. G-workplace delivers the tooling Notes2Apps which can be obtained by end-users organisations to run the migration them self. G-workplace also provides a fixed price migration per database, independent of database size or complexity. Automated migration with CIMtrek CIMtrek automatically converts all Lotus Notes application logic (forms, views, agents, etc) to JAVA. The converted applications runs on a java platform like Google App Engine. The resulting application mimicks the same Lotus Notes user interface that users already know. So there are no re-training costs. Cimtrek also moves the Lotus Notes propriety data format to a relational database like MySQL. From a maintenance perspective the developers need to maintain java libraries instead of the Lotus Notes RAD. This makes CIMtrek useful for complex Lotus Notes applications that don’t need a lot of G-workplace © white paper page 7 of 9
  8. 8. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps change management anymore. Redesign with OrangeScape OrangeScape delivers a visual web based development platform. OrangeScape delivers a RAD environment for the data model, business rules, forms / user interface, workflow and integration. Applications can be deployed to Google Apps Engine, Microsoft Azure or Amazon. OrangeScape delivers a Lotus Notes conversion utility to import the current Lotus Notes data model into the OrangeScape development studio. OrangeScape studio is a replacement for the Domino Designer, delivering a RAD environment for re-designing complex Lotus Notes (workflow) applications. Migration project Get a deep understanding of your Notes environment Before you start anything, you have to know the ins and out of your current Notes environment. I have seen organisation who just introduced a new platform and hoped that Lotus Notes would vanish. Well that is not happening. If you want to replace a mail and collaboration platform you have to know what you want to replace. This simple question is not that easy to answer. The Notes platform usage varies by organisation. Some organisation may have used Notes just for basic mail and document sharing options via Document libaries running. Other organisation may run all kind of add-ons like Sametime, Quickr and Traveler, use advanced mail features like archiving, roaming features and mail rules and have many, many custom Notes applications running their daily business. The Notes2Apps Scan gives an in-depth overview of the total Notes/Domino domain. It collects detailed information of the Notes features used in the domain, the mail usage in the domain and the applications in the domain. It provides insight in the migration effort and a recommended planning for the Notes environment. The Notes2Apps Scan is special designed to answer the migration questions that Notes admins, Notes developers, IT managers and business managers have. Therefor we recommand every organisation to run the Notes2Apps Scan at the start of the project. The Scan is even interested for organisation who didn’t decide yet to stay on Notes or to move to another platform like Google Apps, Office 365 or IBM Smartcloud (LotusLive). As the Scan can generated different reports based on the collected information. So Notes2Apps Scan can also create a report to show the TCO estimations for Lotus, Office 365 and Google Apps. This based on your actually Lotus Notes usage in your organisation. Next steps This white paper has given a broad overview on how IBM/Lotus Notes features can be mapped to Google Apps. The next steps are now: 1. investigate how your environment can be mapped to Google Apps services, and which benefits, costs savings and migration effort you have to do. The G-workplace Notes2Apps Scan can support this process. 2. Start a Google Apps pilot with a Google Apps business partner. 3. Request a (free) trial migration with Notes2Apps Migrator. You can find a Google Apps business partners in the Google Apps marketplace, or you can contact us via mail (info@G-workplace.com) or via our website, www.g-workplace.com. G-workplace © white paper page 8 of 9
  9. 9. Mapping Notes features to Google Apps Questions / Feedback / Contact information In case of any remarks or comments on this white paper contact the author, Richard van Delft on richard.van.delft@g-workplace.com. G-workplace © white paper page 9 of 9