Lotus Notes – formerly IBM Notes – is an email client application, while IBM Domino (earlier Lotus Domino) is an email server. The client possesses a set of features that are even more advanced as compared to that of Outlook. Likewise, IBM Domino is capable of hosting multiple applications, while there is no such feature in Microsoft Exchange Server.
You will find many features that Outlook and Exchange (the client and server respectively) both possess, but not Notes and Domino in collaboration as well as individually. Therefore, you must be careful when planning for Lotus Notes to Exchange migration, as the newer platform may not have some features that you practice very often. To help you comprehend the facts that you need to keep in view while migrating from Notes to Exchange, I'm writing a few best practices below.
The Difference between Notes and Outlook
Since the Notes and Outlook both are clients with their respective sets of features, you must keep the differences between the features of both the clients in view before you begin, as you do not want to miss a feature that is essential to your needs. Notes presents to you the emails with active content, while there is no such feature in Outlook. You see the contents of the emails static, except the URLs. Another key feature that you do not want to miss must be the Domino Server's support for hosting multiple applications simultaneously. Outlook individually as well as in collaboration with Exchange 2010 lacks these features, which makes migration from Lotus Notes to Exchange 2010 difficult.
Perform Several Test Migrations
Before you go for actual migration, you must put several test migrations into practice in order to avoid migration risks that may cause process failure and data loss. you can create a dummy mailbox and use it to perform test migrations. You need to study all the logs carefully and note down the share of emails and other mailbox items that failed to migrate. This will help you calculate the percentage of failure of migrated data. In case the percentage of items failed is negligible, you can perform actual migration. However, do not forget to keep a backup of the mailbox.
Keep an eye on Maintenance
The maintenance of the Domino Server is necessary based on the usage, as inefficient utilization may reduce its overall productivity. Go for a periodic comparison between the ideal time and the amount of time elapsed in getting desired results. Consequently, you will be able to calculate the ratio of the ideal performance of Domino Server to its corresponding calculated performance. Usually, the organizations ignore the periodic maintenance work, which does not come out to be in their favor. After migrating to Exchange, make sure you perform backups frequently.
Notice Variations in Configurations
Outlook is an email client that stores data in PST files that can be of different sizes, based on the amounts of data stored in the corresponding mailbox. The maximum size of a PST file is subject to the version of Outlook client. For example, For Outlook 2003 and 2007, the PST file cannot be greater than 20 GB, while the storage limit for Outlook 2010 and 2013 is 50 GB. You must keep a watch on the features Outlook incorporates.
In addition to the aforementioned practices, there must be many other facts that you should keep in view in advance. Otherwise, a data disaster may strike and cause massive loss of data. In order to migrate Lotus Notes to Exchange 2010 in a reliable and efficient manner, you can use third party Notes to Exchange Migration software.
Using Migration Software
Notes to Exchange Migration software enables migrating mailbox from all versions of Notes to its corresponding Exchange Server 2010 or 2007 mailbox, including emails, calendar, contacts, notes, and reminders. Considering the productivity factor in view, this Notes to Exchange migrator allows converting multiple Notes mailboxes simultaneously. If you have been looking for a like migration tool for your Notes mailbox, you should not wait any longer. Following are the steps you need to follow for migration with this migrator. But before that you need to download and install migration software. You can download the migration software from
Connect to Domino Server
Run Notes to Exchange Migrator and provide both the Domino Server Details and Exchange Server Details, and then click OK.
After connecting to both the servers, you see a preview of your Notes mailbox in a three-pane window. Preview the items in different folders in the mailbox, and then proceed to Export data to Exchange Server.
Export to Exchange Server 2010
To export the mailbox to Exchange Server 2010, click Export button in the toolbar.
Choose Export Data to Exchange Server in the Export Options window, and then click OK.
On the Storage Group dialog box, choose one of the following:
- Export to New Mailbox Database
- Export to Existing Mailbox Database
Export to New Mailbox Database
Choose Create New Mailbox Database and click 'Next'.
Provide Exchange Server details, and then click 'Next'.
Check Set User Default Password, and then click Finish.
Export to Existing Mailbox Database
Choose Export to Existing Mailbox Database and click 'Next'.
Choose the right database, and then click 'Next'.
Provide Exchange Server details, and then click Finish.
Apart from the migration to Exchange Server 2007 and 2010, you can choose .PST, .MSG, or .EML format for output, based on your requirements.
What else is lacking:
- a good comparison of Notes and Outlook
- also from a user's point of view
- a complete maintenance discussion (number of additional servers required, licences, admins, training, etc.)
- maybe costs of the products and of the migration itself
- a good (unbiased) comparison of available migration tools
As a Notes specialist I'm also biased, of course, but I can safely say that I have yet to see the first case study where Notes and Domino mail were migrated to (on-premises) on time, within budget and with a positive ROI.