Workplace without PIM is no Workplace

I was realy enthusiastic about the IBM Workplace Services Express Offering and the new Workplace Roadmap. XCOM is part of the IBM Workplace Collaboration Services Beta program, we arranged several customer events with IBM and demonstrated the new technology. New features like the Activity Explorer or the Rich Client with the embedded Notes Client made our customers enthusisatic, too.

Of course we showed the e-mail integration, because its crucial to the success of an IBM Workplace based portal. Most of our customers use Lotus Notes as messaging platform, and I guess so do IBM customers too. What you get with Workplace Services Express (WSE) and Workplace Collaboration Services (WCS, still in Beta) are portlets for POP3 and IMAP access, a MS Exchange portlet, and a Notes portlet titeled as “Technical Preview”. It works with e-mail based on Domino 6.5.3. No Calendar-Integration, but e-mail works fine.

I took it for granted WSE/WCS 2.5 will ship with a working PIM integration for Lotus Notes/Domino. I was obviously wrong. Unfortunately the “Notes Mail Technical Preview” portlet which was included as part of the Lotus Workplace 2.0 release is not supported or available with WCS 2.5.

The planned replacement is the Common PIM Portlet. The Common PIM Portlet was part of the Workplace beta code. Now it has been removed and will not be available. Unfortunatly the Common PIM Portlet will only be available for WebSphere Portal 5.1 – but the upcoming release of Workplace is based on WebSphere Portal 5.0! Argh.

Looking at my customer situations PIM Integration with Lotus Domino is key for getting started with IBM Workplace products. IBM wants us to sell Workplace products in the first half of 2005? Without PIM integration? I have my doubts.

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