Mapping Your IBM Notes and Domino Application Landscape

By Nigel Cheshire

Humans have been mapping out their surroundings pretty much since the dawn of time, or at least since the earliest bits of human history. Maps, in one form or another, can be traced back to the 7th millennium BC, i.e. before 6000 BC. Once we got beyond cave drawings, maps were drawn by hand on parchment and then paper. The inventions of the magnetic compass and the printing press helped with accuracy and distribution. Eventually, the use of aircraft, then satellites and computer technology brought us to where we are today.

You may not have heard of Danish brothers and computer scientists Lars and Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen. (I hadn’t, until I looked them up.) In 2003, these two gentlemen, along with co-founders Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma, founded a company called Where 2 Technologies, and developed a prototype product called Expedition. Remarkably quickly, by the end of 2004, the company was acquired by Google and Expedition became the basis for Google Maps.

Now, of course, we take it for granted that as long as we have a network signal and battery life, our phones can show us not only where we are, but everything that is around us, and even take us to where we want to go. Should you care to, you can even navigate your way around the moon or (to some extent at least) Mars.

All of this to say that, if you’re a human living on planet earth in the early 21st century, your world is pretty well mapped out. Unless, of course, you happen to work with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino applications, in which case things can seem pretty fuzzy.

The issue, as I’m sure you are aware, is to do with how easily applications could be built using Lotus Notes, especially in the early days. From its inception, Lotus Notes was designed in such a way that any user could build a simple application and deploy it to their co-workers. As time went on, the level of sophistication of the apps that could be built increased, to the point where it was possible to create full blown CRM systems in Notes.

The problem is not so much the complexity of applications that have been built using Notes, rather it is the volume of different applications that have been created over time. Many IBM customers have been using Notes and Domino for years; decades in some cases. And applications have been built all over the organization, often with little to no oversight from the IT group.

Therein lies the origin of Teamstudio Adviser. The primary purpose of Adviser is to find all the Notes and Domino applications on your servers, and build a picture of how much those applications are being used and by whom, as well as how recently they’ve been modified.

There’s more to it than that, though. Another facet of an application platform that’s been in use for decades is that it’s often hard to get a good sense of your user community. So Adviser maps out your users, so you can browse them by name, by tag or by group membership. You can identify and then eliminate inactive users and even see who has access to what, unpicking group membership so that you can see which databases a user has access to, or equally which users have access to any given database.

If the purpose of your exploration is to clean up your application base, Adviser can even make recommendations as to what to do with each application, based on everything it knows.

In short, Teamstudio Adviser is a bit like Google Maps for your IBM Notes and Domino application landscape. It’ll help you find out where you are, but also where you want to go.

To learn more about Teamstudio Adviser, or any of the Teamstudio suite of tools for Notes and Domino professionals, click below. We’re always happy to chat!