Lotus Notes Replacement: How to Rebuild Your Apps for the 21st Century


At its peak, Lotus Notes and Domino were critical platforms for empowering businesses. However, the aging architecture has limits and as Lotus Notes applications reach their end-of-life, organizations struggle to keep pace with new technology developments like mobile, cloud-native applications, or the rise of specific solutions like Salesforce and Workday. Businesses that still rely on these aging apps often feel like they are stuck in the past using an outdated platform for legacy apps that power critical internal workflows.

If you’re looking to replace your Lotus Notes apps, this blog post is for you. Here, I’ll cover the main reasons why it’s time to replace your aging apps and why you should consider modern application platforms as an alternative to Lotus Notes.

Lotus Notes Replacement: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Lotus Notes is built on a 30-year-old+ architecture based on a proprietary development framework, database, programming model, scripting language, and deployment methodology. While it was a powerful solution at the time, it lacks the flexibility and agility that is now table stakes in a modern application platform.

Because it is a platform that’s on the decline, it can be nearly impossible to find Lotus Notes developers with the skills required to develop new applications or upgrade existing solutions. In fact, many developers with the expertise required have already retired or are close to exiting the workforce, which means you could soon face having a critical application that no one in your organization knows how to update or maintain.

As a result, the remaining businesses that rely on Lotus Notes will struggle with applications that:

  • Lack the security and compliance of modern applications
  • Limit the ability to compete against more nimble companies
  • Deliver an outdated user experience that frustrates employees
  • Require IT budget to be spent on costly technical debt instead of innovation
  • Force the company to look backward instead of looking ahead

Switching to a modern application development platform can make it simple to recreate any of your aging workflow, approval, or planning apps as engaging web or mobile applications without risk, high cost, or complexity.

Introducing OutSystems: a High-Performance Low-Code Alternative to Lotus Notes

For organizations that are seeking to replace applications built on Lotus Notes, OutSystems makes it simple to rebuild existing Notes applications in a way that helps future-proof the organization. The benefits of using OutSystems to rebuild your Lotus Notes applications include:

  • Faster speed to market. OutSystems uses a visual, model-driven development environment to help you build apps and workflows. AI-assisted development automates repetitive, complex tasks, predicts next steps, suggests solutions, and validates your work. As a result, you can recreate your Lotus Notes applications and workflows in weeks or even days, as opposed to the months it can take using traditional development tools.
  • Future-proofing applications. Not only does OutSystems make it simple to recreate and re-envision Lotus Notes applications, but it can help you improve them by adding modern functionality that would be difficult or impossible to add to your current applications. Ensure your applications and workflows are built for the future with enterprise-grade management, governance, integrations, and security so that you don’t have to worry about rebuilding these applications and workflows again down the road.
  • Applications that employees will love. By using OutSystems to modernize your apps, you can create beautiful, user-friendly experiences that employees will want to work with. Not only that, but the apps you build will work effectively on every platform, allowing employees to use the devices they prefer.
  • A cloud-native approach. OutSystems delivers cloud-native development capabilities to your organization so that you can build custom cloud apps capable of global scale and continuous change.
  • Build now, build more. As a modern application development platform, OutSystems is a tool that your developers will feel comfortable using to build apps. This allows you to leverage your existing team and their skills instead of having to source hard-to-find, expensive specialists. In addition, you can extend your use of OutSystems to build applications and workflows throughout your enterprise, improving your return on investment.

Lotus Notes Replacement Examples

With a focus on usability, cloud readiness, mobility, and maintainability, OutSystems makes it easy to migrate your critical Lotus Notes applications to a modern application development platform. In fact, hundreds of companies around the world have used OutSystems to replace their critical Lotus Notes applications. For example:

  • As the world’s leading specialized credit and political risk insurance broker, BPL Global struggled with more than 50 Lotus Notes databases. “Our attempts to build web applications, using XPages on top of Notes, had proved painfully slow and very inflexible,” said Adam Koleda, Director of IT at BPL. “Our overseas offices were complaining of slow performance and repeated outages.” Using OutSystems, BPL was able to quickly replace those applications, improving performance and efficiency.
  • Mazda Motor Corporation had roughly 500 legacy applications that it needed to migrate to a new technology stack, all while keeping up with the demand for new applications and features. Thanks to OutSystems, they were able to replace their legacy applications and create new, innovative applications using the same platform. "With OutSystems, we're replacing an enormous number of legacy systems while reducing the cost of development across the board,” said Seiichi Shinagawa, Technical Leader, IT Department at Mazda Motor Corporation. “We're also making business operations more efficient by providing mobile support for a wide range of applications.”
  • Computer accessory manufacturer Logitech needed to replace the apps it had built with Lotus Notes. “They were outdated and difficult to deploy,” said Steven Schmidt, Logitech’s Enterprise Collaboration Manager. “Plus, they were a real turn-off to younger members of our staff who expected the same quality of apps at work that they used in their personal lives.” Using OutSystems, Logitech has built 80 new replacement apps that support integration with tools like Workday, Google, Jive, Oracle, Active Directory, Viewpath, and more.

While Lotus Notes had its time, that time is now far in the past. Take this opportunity to recreate and re-envision your aging workflow, approval, and planning apps without the risk, high cost, or complexity of traditional development tools. Learn more about rebuilding your Lotus Notes and Domino applications for the 21st century with OutSystems.