Lotus Notes and Domino Applications Rebuild
While Lotus Notes and Domino were once critical business platforms, times have changed. The foundation of Lotus Notes is a decades-old architecture based on a proprietary development framework, database, programming model, and scripting language that lacks the flexibility and agility a modern business requires to stay competitive. With the rise of mobile, cloud computing, and specialized platforms, Lotus Notes now holds your business back instead of driving it forward.
To remain competitive, your company needs to migrate its Lotus Notes and Domino infrastructure to modern technology that can support your current and future business needs.
In my previous blog post, I share with you a few reasons why you should replace your Lotus Notes and Dominos applications. Today, I’ll share 5 steps for a successful migration. This blog post is an abridged version of our new Lotus Notes Migration: 5 Steps to Success ebook, so make sure you get your free copy for the full journey.
1. Document Your Application Portfolio
If you’re still using Lotus Notes, it’s likely you’ve been doing so for a long time. As a result, your organization may have hundreds or even thousands of Notes and Domino applications spread across business units. How confident are you that you know every last one?
That’s what we thought. Your first step is to catalog all your Lotus Notes applications to determine the scope of your migration. The inventory should include:
- Usage patterns (daily, monthly, quarterly, etc.)
- Location (server, data center, geography)
- Complexity (fields, forms, views, agents, etc.).
2. Decide What To Do With Each App
Once you have your inventory, you can start to prioritize and make intelligent decisions around migration. Many apps might be rarely used and can be retired. Some apps should be migrated to a new platform, while for other apps, there are likely best-in-class third-party solutions that are more cost-effective replacements.
While you might be tempted to do a direct migration (the look and feel and business logic), in many cases, your business process has changed and you now have the opportunity to re-envision your applications to solve today’s business problems.
3. Choose the Right Platform
Next, you’ll need to select the application development platform you’ll use to migrate your portfolio. Here are some things to consider when evaluating solutions.
Ensure that the new platform lets you build enterprise-grade applications fast — within weeks rather than months.
The platform should make it simple to deliver modern and elegant applications built on sound UX principles.
Even if you are still using on-premises servers, the cloud is the future. Ensure that your platform makes it easy to run applications on any cloud, public or private, without locking you into a proprietary environment.
Choose a platform your existing team can use without requiring huge investments in time to upskill or the addition of scarce external resources.
The new platform should enable native mobile or progressive web applications without requiring additional development.
Your new platform should make it simple and fast to update applications as needed.
4. Migrate Your First App
The first app you migrate should be treated as a pilot project to establish your process. Choose a smaller application that is well known but adjacent to a key business process. You also should be looking to re-envision the application rather than just moving the business logic and user interface to a new platform. Choose a use case that also has the potential to evolve by adding new features as a part of the migration process.
Once you decide on which app to migrate first, use an iterative development approach that allows you to deliver something in a few weeks that can then receive regular updates instead of waiting to deliver a full product many months from now. This can help you gain buy-in and build momentum as you migrate the rest of your portfolio.
5. Embrace Change
Migration is not a one-and-done process. As your business continues to evolve, make sure your apps can evolve along with it. Create a collaborative approach that enables users to submit feedback, ideally within the application, so that you can continue refining the application as needed.
How OutSystems Can Power Your Lotus Notes Migration
OutSystems provides a state-of-the-art low-code platform that makes it simple to migrate your existing Notes and Domino applications while adding new features, enabling mobility and cloud-readiness, and delivering a winning user experience. Thanks to AI-assisted development and a visual interface that’s easy to use, you’re able to fully leverage your existing team and resources.
For example, Sarawak Energy is using OutSystems to replace and reenvision their legacy Lotus Notes infrastructure and deliver new applications faster than they thought possible.
Don’t wait any longer to migrate your Lotus Notes and Domino applications into modern, web-based, cloud-ready apps your users will love. Download our eBook 5 Steps to a Successful Notes and Domino Application Migration to get started.
Tony Ollivier is a Product Marketing Manager for Application Modernization at OutSystems. He has 20+ years of experience working with public and private sector organizations around the world and previously held roles with Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. He lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife. In his spare time he's a published novelist and can be found on weekends outside in the wilds of British Columbia.See All Posts From this author