IBM XWork Server logo

IBM XWork Server 8.5.3 announced

Here’s the announcement letter for IBM XWork Server:

IBM XWork Server logoIBM XWork Server 8.5.3 is a competitively priced offering that leverages IBM XPages technology. It allows an application developer to quickly and easily create rich web applications with a Web 2.0 application look and feel. With XWork Server, business partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) get a low cost rapid application development platform that provides:

  • A tailored solution that rapidly delivers business objectives
  • Access to collaborative and social solutions via web and mobile
  • Good looking collaborative and social applications with a rich user experience
  • Solutions based on a proven technology
  • Solutions with built-in enterprise grade security
  • Solutions at a lower cost

IBM XWork Server delivers an attractive pricing and packaging approach for XPages technology via a lower, fixed term license cost. This offering is designed for ISVs and business partners who need a well priced and easy-to-sell XPages based offering that highlights their cutting edge skills and allows them to quickly develop and deliver off the shelf or custom web and mobile solutions to new and existing customers.

Leveraging IBM XWork XPages Application Server for your social applications will help you:

  • Extend applications to web and mobile devices for productivity anywhere
  • Integrate multiple enterprise information sources into a single view for better decision making
  • Connect applications to social communities for broader knowledge sharing

XWork Server leverages XPages technology from Lotus Domino and Domino Designer 8.5.3.

There has been plenty of coverage of this announcement, including on Ed’s site and in previous posts here.

The key from my perspective is that this offering helps to leverage (to use that ghastly word!) XPages technology for business applications, whilst also still fully supporting traditional Domino apps.  There’s nothing to stop an organisation using XWork Server to host a mixture of XPages and classic, anonymous and authenticated, clustered and standalone applications.  There is real flexibility built in to the license agreement, and that is terrific.

IBM XWork Server is scheduled to be available on 7th October 2011.  

IBM XWork Server logo

IBM XWork Server. ’Taking the Lotus Notes out of Domino applications?’

IBM XWork Server logoGiving this new IBM XWork Server offering a lot of thought today…

Seems to me that this is probably the biggest news we have had in the Lotus community for a very long time!  Possibly since Project Hannover was announced at DNUG in 2006 (was it really 5 years ago?!).

I’m thinking that this is the first time that ISVs and partners can really talk about Domino applications (whether they be XPages or ‘classic’ in nature) without having to mention either ‘Lotus’ or ‘Notes’ in the conversation.  

With collaboration, social or business applications delivered on the IBM XWork Server platform, we can focus on the merits of our secure, easy-to-manage, easy-to-deploy, cost-effective application server platform without any need to argue the merits of the Notes client, to discuss whether the customer is an MS or IBM shop, whether the CEO used Notes in a previous life or any of the other barriers to entry that we have had in the past.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that some ISVs have done that successfully with Lotus Domino web apps in the past, but it has always been an uphill battle.  Now all ISVs can simply talk about their app running on a standalone or clustered IBM XWork Server and move on.  Even as a partner that just uses Domino as a platform to build apps that use Connections data, I love the idea of talking about XWork-based applications.

I’m feeling like it’s a new dawn…

IBM XWork Server logo

A few notes on the IBM XWork Server

IBM XWork Server logoEd and others have started to blog about the new IBM XWork Server offering.

IBM XWork Server banner

First up, I think the new IBM XWork Server licence deal is GREAT for customers and ISVs alike.  I think IBM has made some super decisions on how it will be licensed and Ed and the team should be congratulated.  They’ve listened and delivered.  KUDOS!

So, a few points from me:

  • If you need more than the 4 x apps (4 x NSFs per app, total 16 x NSFs) on your IBM XWork Server, you can purchase a second XWork license and apply it to the same server.  You might expect this to give you a maximum of 8 x apps and 32 x NSFs (4 x NSFs per app).  However, IBM gives you a bonus when you double-license an XWork Server – it becomes (my term) an IXS2!  Your 8 apps can have a maximum of 8 x NSFs each in this configuration, meaning a maximum of 64 x NSFs (8 x apps with 8 x NSFs).  Make sense?
  • I think the fixed-term, per-install pricing model is terrific (i.e. you pay list price of $2,000 per server per year. Stop paying and you stop using!).  This matches more closely the payment model that most businesses will be used to with other services – both cloud/hosted IT and other business services.  In fact, I’d be inclined to say that all the other IBM PA software should move to the same model, or at least offer this as an alternative.  The existing perpetual licenses and front-loaded license/renewal costs confuse customers and cause tricky deals and special bid discussions.  A flat-rate per-year model is more relevant in 2011!
  • IBM should abandon PVUs ASAP.  Per server or per-user works much much better.
  • Ed has already said that this server will not be heavily marketed, instead flying ‘under the radar’ as part of IBM and ISV solutions.  I’m fine with that in the short-term – I can see this being a massive success, despite the lack of advertising and marketing.  However, I would love to see the IBM XWork Server being a true supported and validated application server offering from IBM, alongside IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS).  List XWork alongside WAS!  When WAS is suggested as a platform for development and solutions, offer XWork too!
  • IBM, you need to validate this offering too.  Drink your own champagne!  Before Lotusphere 2012, announce (and ideally ship) a number of offerings that are based on the XWork offering.  ISVs will support it I am sure, and that is great. But customers look to IBM for direction and the lack of recent IBM solutions based on Domino tells its own story.

I really do embrace this new offering. Once again, well done to the team, and thank you!