Lotus Notes & Domino 8.5.3 goes gold

As is usual when an IBM product gets released, an announcement letter goes out to all partners and customers.  Here is the one for Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3:

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3 includes a vast array of end-user feature enhancements to increase personal productivity of Lotus Notes, Lotus iNotes, and Lotus Notes Traveler for users and developers using Domino Designer.

Highlights:

  • Lotus Notes 8.5.3 delivers significant usability enhancements to support social businesses and helps users get work done fast. Calendar and mail enhancements:
    • Auto processing, which automatically applies updates to meetings that you have accepted as updates arrive
    • Counter proposals so that when you propose a new time for a meeting, you can choose to leave a placeholder for the original meeting time on the calendar
    • Enhanced new mail notification, which provides a pop up preview of new mail messages as they arrive
    • Notification to existing invitees when adding or removing attendees from an existing meeting, informing them of the change and updating the invitee list on their calendar invitation
  • Entitlement to IBM Connections Files and Profiles, for no additional charge, allows you to tap into the knowledge of networks of professionals with a single click. This helps users to quickly find skills within their organization and to easily share content with other people and remove the need to send large files through email.
  • Lotus Domino 8.5.3 provides greater platform flexibility and improved hardware efficiency through expanded virtualization support.
  • Lotus Domino Designer 8.5.3 continues to deliver innovation for developers with enhancements focused on performance and scalability and enhanced user experience. Improved XPages support for industry-standard web application models makes it easier to bring applications to mobile devices. Availability of a Domino Server trial makes it easy for customers to try before they buy.
  • Lotus Notes Traveler support for Nokia Symbian 3 devices allows you to expand the reach of the business to more devices. For Android users, additional Lotus Traveler enhancements improve usability, performance, and deployment in the areas of additional operating system support, calendar, mail, and deployment. The capability to wipe only Lotus Traveler Mail, Calendar, and Contact data from an Apple iOS device is also available.
  • Lotus iNotes 8.5.3 delivers productivity gains with enhancements to improve the deployment experience.

All the details are in the letter.

Of course, the very big news is the entitlement to Connections Profiles and Files for most Notes/Domino customers.  I blogged about this separately, including which license types are entitled to the Connections features.  There will be more posts coming later on today.

That is not to ignore the rest of the new stuff in 8.5.3.  I love the improvements to Traveler in particular – the partial wipe of iOS devices and support for Android 3.x are both massive.

There are also big improvements to the integrated Sametime and Symphony features (both upgraded to new versions), and another bugbear of mine has been sorted with iNotes support for Google Chrome!

It’s well worth reading through the entire letter to digest the enhancements.  It is clear that this is no ordinary point release (not that any of the 8.5.x releases have been straightforward fix-only versions).  There is significant new functionality, and you owe it to your users/customers to get upgraded as soon as.  

The new release will be available for download today, and it’s important to note that IBM now commits to supporting this release for ‘a minimum of five years from the general availability date, as long as your Software Maintenance is in effect.’.

As I said yesterday with the XWork announcement – kudos to the product management and development teams, they are going great guns right now!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!