Move IBM Notes applications to another system

Companies are constantly evolving, changing their internal systems, switching from one supplier to another. This is the same with Lotus Notes, some companies installing this system and others leaving it after years. The reasons may be different, from pragmatic calculation of price and performance, to the purely emotional reasons expressed by the categories like “cool” or “in”. In the following series of articles, we won’t investigate the reasons for moving from Lotus Notes, but we will focus on ways how to transfer entire application with its data and logic.

Replacing or converting Notes application is not easy, because of their unique properties. We have to take into account:

  • access rights to the document level
  • data replication and offline access
  • built-in email system with workflow
  • the ability to store attachments and RichText
  • easy and fast applications development, including simple deployment to the production environment

 How companies generally resolves access to documents stored in Lotus Notes applications after the migration:

1. One machine with Lotus Notes client

The company left one machine with the Lotus Notes client and all databases. When someone needs something from previous Notes application, he/she goes there and look for it.

2. Export data to PDF or other formats

Documents from Notes applications are exported to PDF, attachments are put on the disk into sophisticated directory structure and users can access those information through network. You can imagine how difficult would be to find something there.

3. Keep Domino server and move applications to Web Client

If company moves only email system, you can keep the existing Notes infrastructure and access applications via standard Notes client, or more often via web access, which requires to remake an applications to web browser, in Xpages for example. There are two approaches here:

  • application is used only for data reading
  • application is fully functional, including creation, editing, approval, etc.

4. Move applications, including the data, to another system

This topic will be discussed in the following sections of our blog, where we will share with you the experience of such transfer. We’ll show you how to cover most of the features that Notes offers and on which features we have to resign. After lot of testing and trials, we’ve decided to transfer the application to MongoDB, the for application logic we’ve chosenSymfony