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Notes / Domino license question

Posted on 2004-10-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-18
IBM has written an email (below) telling us that the license agreement for Domino version 6 says that all clients must be on maintenance or they can not connect to version 6 Domino server.  

We have a few hundred R5 clients connecting to a Domino version 6 server.  

We don't have the money to keep the clients on maintenance and we don't need R6 clients.  We are quite happy with upgrading a few users at a time by putting them on maitenance.

Question: Is this true or are they trying to squeeze us for more money.  I would think this would be an issue for people going to version 6 on the server before updating their clients and IBM would not want to do this.


copy of email:


Lotus Notes and Domino are components of a traditional client/server environment. That means when upgrading one or the other, you need to have valid licenses for both. For example, if an organization chooses to upgrade their Domino servers from 5.0 to 6.0, then the organization will require Software Maintenance on both their Domino servers and their Notes (or Domino Web Access) clients to legally upgrade their servers.  This is very clearly stated in the Domino server licensing text:

You are authorized to use the Program in accordance with the authorized use specified in the Proof of Entitlement for the Program. You must acquire a Proof of Entitlement for each central processing unit on each server hardware on which You install the Program. In addition, You must acquire one IBM Lotus Notes for Messaging CAL, IBM Lotus Domino Web Access for Messaging CAL, IBM Lotus Webmail for Messaging CAL, IBM Lotus Notes for Collaboration CAL, or IBM Lotus Domino Web Access for Collaboration CAL for each user with a unique Notes/Domino Web Access/Webmail ID that is issued by, or on behalf of, Your enterprise. The number of unique IDs required is measured by the total number of users who have "Authenticated Access".

Question by:Lotus30306
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 12426082
In your case it will be server license and the license per user in the address book... I believe you have already paid R5 license so you don't have to redo

LVL 31

Accepted Solution

qwaletee earned 750 total points
ID: 12426222
When you buy a license, you are getting a licesnse fo rthe version you have.  When you go on maintenance, you are effectively extending that license to whatever versions come out while you are on maintenance.

What has complicated this is that you actually have three licenses involved:

1) Client software license
2) Server software license
3) CAL -- license for client to access the server

#1 and #2 are pretty straightforward.  #3 is a gray area -- was the CAL only for the highest version of the client software I am licensed for to access the highest version number of the server I am licensed for?  The language of the contract would have to make theat very clear, because if there is any room for confusion, it is assumed under normal circumstances that the logic of teh statment is resolved in facor of the best interpretation for the party that did not write the contract.  Since IBM wrote the contract, any vague statements would be decided in your favor, unless IBM specifically worded teh contract that YOU and not IBM are considered the laegal author of the document (even though IB< wrote it)... as well as some other odd circumstances that can cause a court to side with the author.

LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 12426236
That said, I'm not a lawyer, and I haven;t read the entire license and entitlements documentation, and don't know if there are any clauses unique to you either.  You would need an IP lawyer to get an opinion for you.  That would probably cost a few hundred dollars.
What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.


Author Comment

ID: 12428396
Yes, I can contact an attorney but I thought someone else here would be in the same situation I am in.  

Also, I understand that if I have maintenance on most software that means updates to the latest version at no charge.  However in this case I don't want the new version or support so why keep maintenance on the clients if I don't have to (look at all of the people who got burned with Microsoft maintenance).  

Since I legally purchased version 5 clients, and don't want version 6, I should legally be able to connect to anything I like with it (even an exchange server).  In this case a legally purchase Domino 6 server.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 12433527
> Since I legally purchased version 5 clients, and don't want version 6,
> I should legally be able to connect to anything I like with it (even
> an exchange server).  In this case a legally purchase Domino 6 server.

Yes you should.. But R6 server client license is proportional to the number of users accessing it (or listed in Domino Dir)

Author Comment

ID: 12438444
I thought you buy the Domino server and you pay more or less depending on how many processors you have.  The clients are taken care of when you buy each user a Notes Client license (you are esentially buying CALS when you buy the client licenses)?   We already have purchased the correct number of clients (R5).  I don't want to move to R6 clients so my question is do I have to?  Tehcnically I don't since it is working but legally what are others doing?   I hate the buy maintenance on something when I don't want the update and I don't call tech support.  Sounds like leasing to me.

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