Version 7

I've been playing with version 7 recently and really like it. There are some well overdue additions and bug fixes in there. Ok, so there are some bugs remaining but it feels like a great step forward.

Bet you think I'm talking about Notes don't you!? Nope. I'm talking about Internet Explorer, an early beta of which was kindly emailed to me recently. More on IE7 later as and when I find things out about it. My initial impression is it looks a lot like Firefox.

The purpose of this blog is a rant. Guess who it's aimed at? Yep. Lotus. I'd love to say I'd played with Domino 7 recently, but I can't. Why? Because I'm having trouble tracking it down.

Until now I've always been able to download full copies of Notes/Domino online. Seemingly free. Am I breaking a licensing law? I have no idea. Would I pay for it if I had to? Probably not. I can't afford to spend 1,000s of dollars on software. As an independent developer I rely on my free copy of Lotus' software in order to help build solutions for our mutual customers.

So, what's happened now? Are Lotus no longer making it so easy to freely get hold of a full working copy? Do I need a Passport? Where do I get one? How much are they? So many questions. Believe me I've tried to find the answers. Every visit to IBM.com seems to take me in a complete circle though and drives me barmy.

I've said many times before how much better I think Microsoft are at keeping developers on the cutting edge with their products. Even the little insignificants like me can pay a small fee and feel special. Will IBM/Lotus ever make me feel special. I very much doubt it.


    • avatar
    • Ross
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 04:53 AM

    It was pretty easy to tell you weren't playing with Notes 7 as soon as you said "new features" and "feels like a great step forward". Kind of gave it all away.

    But seriously..

    There's a PartnerWorld package referred to as

    Run your business software: "Run your business software for companies who have purchased the PartnerWorld Value Package or Software Access Option."

    (that badly formed sentence comes to you courtesy of IBM, not me)

    Possibly the reason you can't find out about it, is because information is stored in the PartnerWorld area which requires a ParterWorld logon.

    However I suspect you could play the game and sign up for the free "Member" level ID in order to find out more. Or of course there's also the possibility that there are 394491 other options which are all documented in various forms and scattered all across the intermaweb!

  1. Trials will be available - according to an IBM'er.

    They will be available from here

    This is a password-protected site. I don't know what kind of access you will need (just your basic IBM ID or maybe you need to be a partner with an IBM ID ). But it will be Trial-level licenses.

    Right this moment, only R 6.5.something is available from there, but according to my source, the R7 trials should be up this week.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 05:23 AM

    Thanks Ross. I'm currently somewhere deep inside the PartnerWorld site. I have no idea where though and I'm very lost. Hello? Is there anybody here?

    Thanks Jens. That's the kind of think I'm looking for. Still begs the question whether or not I'm legal though ;o)

    I'll keep my eye on that page later this week.

  2. We also had a similar problem, but we choose to opt for the Value package option to get most of the IBM software for use in our development. You may choose to opt for "value options" priced around 790$. All the software you get under the run your business software in this package will be legal. This package will be valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

    If you want you can check out more details about value options from this page.


    The list of software you could use to develop application or internal use is available from this page. you have most products from DB2, Websphere and Lotus platform for use legally.


    You will need to register and get a username and password from this page to view both the links above.




    • avatar
    • Peter
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 07:05 AM

    If you want I can send you:

    IBM Lotus Notes Domino Designer and Admin 7.0 for Windows 2000, XP Pro English

    The company I work for has access to all software.

    Email me your address and I will send you a cd.

    If it only was for all the knowledge and research you share with us.




    • avatar
    • Dragon
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 07:10 AM

    You think thats bad? Try getting hold of software when you're fully licensed.

    Apparently the licence applies to the ID file. Not the actual software. Fine. But what I desperately want is a copy of the Japanese version of the software. But can you get it? No. French, German. Yes. Japanese, no.

    Even 6.0 would do me. Even arguing with ibm.com/jp/ doesn't get me anywhere.

    • avatar
    • David
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 08:10 AM

    I've always found Lotus licencing a maze...but only 1/10 the maze that IBM websites are.

    As I understand it one can't download the full versions except from a Passport or Partner World site. It's been that way for a while though hasn't it? Trial versions are time limited.

    Unless you have a licence for the full product and that's what you are running then you are not legal....in my understanding at least.

  3. You need to be registered in Partnerworld - which if you are stuck in the middle of it I assume you are.

    But then, as Ross quoted - 2 options - the Value Package is $2000 (lastest prices may have changed a bit) and entitles you to run your business with a certain number of copies of the software plus You Pass We Pay education/certification.

    Software Access Option allows you to download all Lotus/IBM software and is $790

    I've had this latter option for the past couple of years since the CD's stopped dropping through the door automatically.

    Agree that the finding a way through Partnerworld site is not easy....but then again with M$ and MAPS (registered thanks to your blog about it) your have to wait for the CD's...and find room to store them just as I'm throwing out all the old Lotus CD's!

  4. What about home users ?

    Anybody can download Mickeysoft software for home use and will do so.

    I would like to use Lotus Notes 7 and Lotus Designer 7 at home to stay up to speed in the latest Lotus technologies (our company always takes a bit longer to get up to speed), but currently there is no way for me to stay up-to-date.

    As a private home user I'm not willing to pay $790 anually so I can download the software myself.

    For that money I'd like a gold case CD in my mail!!

    • avatar
    • notesguy
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 08:28 AM

    Maybe half the price would be OK, lets say as much as for the Microsoft Action Pack.

    I still wouldnt get any manuals/documentation though, which is poor.

    IBM should give away the designer for the developer community for free.

  5. Note sure why you find it hard to get to the SW downloads page on the PartnerWorld site - when you login to PartnerWorld, its one of the first links on the entitled homepage under Shortcuts. However, if you do not have the ValuePack or Software Access Option, that link will take you to the page that mentions what you need to do to get either of the two.

    If you have any trouble with the PartnerWorld site, you can email me for more info.

  6. Yeah, MS are much better at this and it's why it results in an army of experts much enshrouded in the Microsoft World View. They think Microsoft do everything best, do things first, and other products are on the wane purely because the MS are the only ones they see.

    Microsoft do a good job on that score.

    Hell, just look at the new Express offerings around .Net - a new strategic push at pulling in more hobby developers, etc.

  7. Per the text of the license I pulled for a customer for the desktop client a year ago($140), the fee covers Supprot from IBM only. The software, at least as far as I could tell from the license at that time, was, in fact, free to ues so long as you don'tneed support. Servers are a different story, but I applied the same reasoning to my design client since I pay $240 a year to an IBM business partner for an ID on a productin environment (among other things).

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 09:31 AM

    Thanks to you all for not being able to help. This makes me feel better knowing I'm not suffering alone ;o)

    I've managed to get a copy of ND7 since posting this thanks to somebody mailing me a link to a copy on their own server. I hate that I have to do it this way, but I'm left little alternative.

  8. Just a quick check reveals that Microsoft wants $1,200 for the MSDN Professional Developer License while Lotus offers it at $790 which seems like a great deal.

    I agree, sometimes it is hard to find information on the IBM website only because it's sometimes hard to ask the right question.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 10:47 AM

    Matt. MS also let you get all their software delivered to your door in a nice folder for £199 (~ $350) and also send regular updates. This is all I want. I don't want membership for tech support or forums. In order of importance I want 1) The software (preferably on a CD) and 2) to feel like I'm not breaking any laws. I want to satisfy both of these points for about £200. No more than that and if possible not on an annual renewal basis.

  9. IBM licensing is more than confusing for sure. But when I read, that anybody could download Microsoft software for home use (somehow implying you could legally do so at no charge) it makes me scratch my head. Reality check: Anybody at home, McFly?

    I don't understand Notes Client licenses the same way as Jerry does (why would there have be the need for a "Personal Edition" back in R5 days then?), but still:

    In the past, the only limitation that applied to the trial versions of Notes and Domino was, that your entitlement to use the software was limited in time. The software itself did remain fully functional even after your trial license expired. So, you might just have chosen to start another validation preriod ...

    Where do you get that kind of offer from MS?

    It's a bit unfortunate, that there is no trial version of Notes 7, yet, for sure. But on the other hand we do have - for licensed users - the complete family of Domino Extended Products readily available as R7 compatible versions (even if this doesn't mean much more than R7 compatibility).

    Things could be worse on Lotus' end.

  10. Jake,

    It would be nice if you could share the URL you are referencing for the cheap MSDN option. As another person mention there seems to be a difference from the 1199 MS option to the 795 IBM option (in US $).

    What I don't understand is how you don't factor the software in the cost of your business. I would be shocked you would assume a cost of $0 for any software. Technically you are passing part of the costs (for your business) to your customers via your consulting fees or projects. I can share that the price (of the IBM software) has been the same for a number of years (as far back as 2001 as I remember). Hell I made the investment in 2001 out of my own pocket. My logic: 1) I figured the investment will allow me to use/experiment with the software and bring that knowledge to the bargaining table with my employer. 2) The cost of the IBM software (then) was less than 1.2% of my annual salary; quite far if you ask me.

    The benefit from the software allow me to get a nice salary for the job -- past and present jobs. Personally I will probably purchase the MSDN for my non-production (or home) environment.

    Just my 2 cent (or pence)

  11. I had requested that CLP's get all Lotus related software and betas on a quarterly or semi-annunal CD for free or a small fee. This was dismissed when I made the request on the CLP forum. IBM really, really just does not understand the SMB market. It is very difficult to convince the budget approvers to pay any serious money for evaluation software. This is a chicken and egg situation. If developers can demo the software and show the business value, the software will sell itself. If we can't get the software we can't demonstrate the value. Sorry, but the buzzword heavy whitepapers on the Lotus site do not help.

    • avatar
    • Mark
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 02:05 PM


    The URL you want is https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40016455

    It does not include Virtual Studio, only Operating systems, servers and the Office family - still very good value though.


  12. @harkpabst_meliantrop - That understanding was based on the R 6 licensing which changed markedly from R5 to R6.

    • avatar
    • Anonymous
    • Mon 19 Sep 2005 07:31 PM

    The other way to get all the Lotus Software you require is to purchase one Notes express license. You get support from IBM and access to the downloads via Passport Advantage. This costs you less then A$100 a year.

    My 2 Cents.

  13. The only place I know to get any new Lotus software is from Passport Advantage. This may have been said already but I am to lazy to read everything.

    I am at COMMON this week in Orlando and they are not making much to do about the new release other than a few people talking about it.....kind of boring if you asked me.


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