That's right, Domino Designer will soon be a FREE download for anyone who wishes to see/use/develop for it.

Repeat after me, "DDE is free, DDE is free, DDE is free".

"Oh, but it is dog slow, that's why it is now free", I hear some say. No, it's fast. It opens 70% faster than 8.5 designer. That's good if you are wondering ;)

We've (STS) known about the Designer being free for a while, but IBM has NDAs that are tighter than....well....a ducks rear end. This is great news, and given the re-tooling IBM has put in to Domino application development over the last few years (a little birdie said over $45M) this will attract even more smarter companies to the the platform, as well as fresh development blood. A grand idea, that apparently came from the Lotus Know Idea Jam. This just goes to show the power of the community in the Lotus world, let it not go unnoticed that it was the community that finally got this done (Ed Brill has wanted to do this for a while, but it was you guys that finally broke the camels back).

With the release of 8.5.1 we can continue upgrading organizations who can't or won't go to a "point zero" release. 8.5 has been the fastest roll out of any Notes/Domino version that I have ever seen, hopefully 8.5.1 will help continue the tradition, and allow more organizations to access world class features like DAOS, ID Vault and XPages. There has been a huge emphasis from IBM on bug fixing in 8.5.1, indeed fixing 3 to 4 times more issues than has been usual in prior releases. But that's not all, there are a ton of enhancements to the product as shown below, and, if you are a developer, look at your list.....it is huge (dojo 1.3, Java classes for Notes UI, new editors, the list goes on) so no more moping around for you, get with the program:

Updates to the following features

Lotus Notes:

  • Expanded Quickr integration
  • Introduces Protector integration
  • More tools to increase productivity through innovations in usability
  • Increased extensibility through XPages and widgets
Lotus Notes Traveler
  • Introduces enhanced security features for Nokia S60 devices
  • Adds Apple iPhone support
Lotus iNotes
  • Auto refresh and inbox unread count
  • Expanded Quickr features
  • Additional policy support
  • Introduces greater calendaring and scheduling features including new support for Sametime Unyte
Domino Designer
  • XPages are supported in the Notes client.
  • XPage performance and scalability enhancements.
  • XPage active content filtering.
  • Dojo updated to 1.3.2.
  • Improved ability to use Dojo in XPages.
  • Designer performance enhancements.
  • New LotusScript and Java editors.
  • Working sets usability enhancements.
  • Domino Designer extensibility APIs.
  • New design element for building iWidgets.
  • Composite application enhancements for Notes and Symphony applications.
  • Composite application support for XPages.
  • Provide Java APIs for Notes User Interface classes.
The above text was taken from the IBM 8.5.1 Announcement Letter.

If you or your organization has yet to taste the benefits of 8.5 (or even if you have) this is "the" ND version to get, 8.5.1 will be available for download on October 12th 2009. "Lotus Knows" to expect the download speeds to be somewhat slower than usual :)

I'd mentioned this at the last ATLUG (Atlanta Lotus User Group) presentation I did a month or so back, but Notes developers have always been more productive and faster to solve business problems than any other technology. Now we can add a usable and world class IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to this list, and together with the new LS editors, we slap $harepoint developers all over that place and have a nice UI.  Go do it. Show your boss what you showed him 10 years ago, except with XPages and DDE 8.5.1.

Lotus Knows that Super.Human.Software is back. Go dust off your cape.
Darren Duke   |   October 6 2009 06:23:20 AM   |    8.5.1  lotus notes  domino    |  
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Comments (2)

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1 - Bhavya K Jain    http://twitter.com/Bhavya_Jain    10/06/2009 8:01:31 AM

I Love the way you have written the last two para in your post :)

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2 - Lars Berntrop-Bos    http://www.bleedyellow.com/blogs/ScriptLars/    10/06/2009 6:21:34 PM

Ever since R5 it has felt like Super.Human.Software to me. In the Netherlands we had a great viewing of the video that went with the campaign, shown at the R5 launch party. Due to a malfunctioning projector, it was shown in a kind of sepia. This added greatly to the feel of the movie! I felt really moved. Sadly, communicating this to the marketing peeps didn't really register.

I've been experiencing the 8.5.1 goodness lately, and it feels like the excitement from the R5 days is back!