I need a decent IBM partner to advise on Lotus notes

I know this isn't really technical but maybe someone can help.

My current business system automates Microsoft Outlook (via MAPI calls) to email reports and other documents to customers and suppliers.

A new corporate standard is being imposed on us and this is Lotus Notes and Domino servers.

I believe that I can use "Lotus Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook" to provide a link between an outlook client and Domino.

Can anyone advise me if this means that a standard Microsoft MAPI call to outlook will therefore send an email via Domino?
Is there an organisation I can talk to who could advise and maybe supply the relevant expertise in installing all this.


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Yes you can talk to IBM, they will be glad to help you.

Domino Access use standard MAPI calls to communicate with outlook..in addition to Lotus COM

iegAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that - but I have contacted IBM and they seem somewhat slow in coming back.
Maybe they have passed the lead on to a partner - can you suggest anyone?

Your vendor would be the best bet then..
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
I don't think you need an IBM partner to talk to. There are several experts on mail out here, so ask us. A question: does your organization plan to keep the Outlook client as the mail client, or will everybody use the Lotus Notes client? Or a browser?
iegAuthor Commented:
We would like to keep the Outlook clients for 2 reasons.
1. Everyone is familiar with it and use it with MS Office.
2. I won't have to get changes done to the ERP system which does the standard MAPI calls. Which would be expensive.

If in the long term corporate dictates that end users have to use Lotus Notes client then I would still want the ERP system to be able to use the standard MAPI calls.

When we researched this a couple of years ago we found that the Lotus MAPI call was different from the Microsoft one which meant that address handling was a problem.

Looking around the web I see that Lotus Domino Access claims to link seemlessly to MS Outlook.
It looks like it is using replication to do this.

I am hoping therefore that my ERP system will do a MAPI call (which will invoke Outlook and therefore work as it does now) but then Lotus Domino Access will seemlessly take the email and pass it to Domino without any changes to my software.

It might be too much to hope for but you never know - can you advise if this is how it might work?

My next step was to download evaluation copies from IBM and have a go.

Being a Domino/Notes user and hobby admin/programmer since version 3, I have recently installed the Outlook Add-In from Lotus and noted that it performs much better than previous releases.

Anyway, although it was much better, it finally had to leave my machine:
- regularily crashes outlook
- from time to time looses connection to the server
- problems with personal address book (can't add users)
worst of all, if something goes wrong, you have to reboot the PC.

Anyway, all this could be caused by problems of my installation (which is somewhat special). Still, I was a bit disappointed. There is not usable help file (or I was unable to locate it). I was not able to open the installed .nsf-files with a Notes client (different encoding)?

By all means, try the Add-On. I suggest that you really stick with the standards, especially for the Domino/Notes installation.


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iegAuthor Commented:
This is most interesting and reinforces my concern about plug ins like this.
Do you (or anybody else reading this) have any experience with the Microsoft add-in for Domino? Is it any better or should I be biting the bullet and getting a proper link.

Can anyone point me a a good site that will have examples of using OLE to automate Notes/Domino?

Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
Don't use OLE, but use COM. If you have the Domino Designer Help db, read the COM interface calls(Accessing the Domino Objects through COM). If you don't, there is the Lotus website with the same database (see http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/notesua.nsf/0b345eb9d127270b8525665d006bc355/31ff9be43583a4c7852569810054522f?OpenDocument for all the Help db's or http://www-12.lotus.com/ldd/doc/domino_notes/Rnext/help6_designer.nsf/2e73cbb2141acefa85256b8700688cea/145e1cc3fdc801d485256c54004c938b?OpenDocument).

About COM Programming, there is a PDF (http://doc.notes.net/uafiles.nsf/docs/Designer6PR2/$File/designprogramv2a.pdf, 2.5Mb)
I've been very briefly looking at the MS Domino Add-On but was not able to get it to run. Which does not mean that it wan't, it just didn't for me. Again, my config is somewhat special.

I believe using the IBM/Lotus Add-In makes more sense, since they're supposed to understand Domino. Also, since IBM is charging for the Outlook Add-In quite heftily, it's reasonable to expected that it functions as reliably as the Notes client. But then again, Lotus/IBM recently have adopted the MS policy to sell beta products.

I'd be interested to hear the experiences of others concerning the Outlook Add-In; in fact, I'll post a separate Q for this.

This is the company that installed Domino at my company.  We dealt with a guy named Tim Kennedy.  Hope this helps you out.

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ZvonkoSystems architectCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    Split: fulscher {http:#11885300} & sjef_bosman {http:#11889785}

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

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