The Lotus position

Bringing the Internet to today’s business environment is crucial for companies keen to exploit the opportunities for economy and better customer service promised by the Internet. Lotus Development Corp who, after some grim results are in need of a little fizz in their fortunes, has announced shipment of their InterNotes Web Publisher and InterNotes News that are designed to do just that. The InterNotes Web Publisher enables Lotus Notes users to publish Notes applications to the Internet and also eliminates the time-consuming problems associated with managing numerous documents published on Web sites. Also shipping is InterNotes News, a Notes server product that allows Notes users to participate in Usenet "newsgroups" from the Notes environment.

Lotus Notes is a leading client-server platform for developing and deploying strategic groupware applications that help in organisations. Notes applications enhance a company’s ability to communicate, collaborate and coordinate strategic business processes within and beyond their organizational boundaries. The marriage of Notes and the Internet was long awaited.

The InterNotes Web Publisher converts Notes databases and documents in HTML format for publishing on the World Wide Web (WWW). Because of Lotus Notes’ replication and distributed storage model, organisations with multiple authors in multiple locations can use the InterNotes Web Publisher to automatically create and manage their corporate Web site. The InterNotes Web Publisher creates HTML pages of Notes Views which automatically populate and manage changes to an HTTP Web server, such as Netscape NetSite or EMWACS.

Popular Web browsers, such as the Netscape Navigator and NCSA Mosaic, have access to documents stored in Notes databases. Notes and InterNotes are proposed as an ideal solution to automate the tedious process of maintaining and updating hyperlinked Web documents. With Notes’ application development capabilities items can be programmed to automatically show a "New" sign, or be present on the Web site for only a specified period of time with ease, automatically.

"The InterNotes Web Publisher extends the core benefits of Notes to companies looking to set up management-free Web sites to publish their public information for easy access to millions of WWW users," said John Landry, Lotus’Chief Technology Officer. "InterNotes Web Publisher also solves the management bottleneck created when documents flood the Web ‘master’ and when these need updating on the Web. Any document revised in Notes is automatically updated by the InterNotes Web Publisher. Since information is fluid and constantly changing, this is the only practical way for companies to keep their public documents current on the Web."

Also recently announced by Lotus is InterNotes News, a Notes server application that exchanges Usenet news articles between Notes and UNIX servers using the NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol). By bringing Usenet news articles into Notes discussion databases, users can leverage key Notes capabilities, including full text search, threaded views of discussions, and multiple indexed views of the articles. Because InterNotes News can be configured for specific newsgroups, administrators can provide access to only those newsgroups appropriate for business use. Notes users can participate in Usenet News by posting a response from Notes or by replying directly to the author using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) mail.

At the same time, Lotus has also rolled out its comprehensive technical support offering on the Web. Lotus Customer Support and Service Internet/WWW extends Lotus’ global customer support reach by offering easy access to technical information, support programs and supplemental files. InterNotes Web Publisher will be the vehicle for publishing Notes- generated views of important Notes-based support data. This is accessible from Lotus’ home page at http://www.lotus.com/

The InterNotes Web Publisher and InterNotes News are available now. InterNotes News is available on OS/2 and Windows NT, and the InterNotes Web Publisher is available on Windows NT.

Landry went on to add "Now users can use the enhanced communications that Notes provided within their company to gather information from around the world with the Internet. InterNotes and InterNotes News are two good examples of how companies can empower knowledge workers with Internet connectivity."