Happy Independence Day to HCL Notes and Domino

By Nigel Cheshire

Today is the Fourth of July which, of course, marks Independence Day in the United States of America. Since I moved to the United States in 1996 and naturalized as a U.S. citizen 10 years later, this has always been my favorite holiday. You won’t need me to tell you that it marks the day in 1776 on which the Second Continental Congress, sitting in the Pennsylvania State House, adopted the Declaration of Independence.

The American Revolution itself though, started more than 10 years earlier, after the British government passed the Stamp Act of 1765, which famously introduced the notion of “taxation without representation” and set the whole revolution in motion. But it wasn’t until 1783, seven years after the Declaration of Independence, that Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, officially recognizing the sovereignty of the United States and formally ending the Revolutionary War. America’s often bloody struggle for independence had lasted at least 18 years.

These days, Independence Day is celebrated with cookouts, parades, fireworks and, of course, a national holiday. I love all that stuff, but the other thing that makes this my favorite holiday is the underlying sense of patriotism. It’s a feeling of pride in the fact that the creation of a republic based on a core set of principles, (the most important of which is of course freedom) has, however unlikely it may have seemed back in the mid-18th century, become a model that many other countries can only aspire to.

On Monday of this week, July 1st 2019, HCL and IBM formally announced the closure of the deal by which HCL acquires full ownership of the Notes and Domino platform. While that announcement doesn’t quite represent the culmination of 18 years of bloody struggle, it does sort of feel a bit like a revolution in a way. To me, at least, there’s a sense in which the Notes and Domino platform is being liberated from an overly restrictive and slightly disinterested ruling empire and set free to pursue its own objectives.


Prior to the October 2017 deal in which HCL became responsible for new releases of the platform, the previous major release of Notes and Domino by IBM was in March 2013. That’s 4½ years in IBM’s ownership without a major release. Once the development deal was inked in 2017, it took HCL just 12 months to release Domino 10. And, they gathered a lot of input from the community before they did it.

The next major release, Domino 11, has been promised for this year and we have every reason to expect that HCL will deliver.

I’ve written before about why we at Teamstudio feel that this deal is positive for everyone, and we’re not the only ones. Like our friends over at Prominic, we’ve also experienced a sea change in the level of interaction and support that we receive as a partner with HCL compared to IBM.

So, Happy Independence Day to Notes and Domino! As President Barack Obama said in his outgoing speech, “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight one, we zig and zag… and that’s OK.” As members of this ziggy-zaggy community for more than 20 years, we continue to believe in the future of this product and can’t wait to see what’s next!