So IBM broke it's own embargo so now we can talk about this. First go read Ed's and then Mat Newman's post if you haven't already....OK, your back...

OK, so this wasn't entirely what I was hoping for as a replacement for Domino Utility Server. But it isn't aimed at the "normal" Utility customer, it is aimed at the Lotus Domino IBM ISV. This is a dual win. One for IBM and one for the ISV community. It significantly reduces the barrier to entry when selling a Domino based application (although I am still on the fence if it *is* actually cheaper than Utility Express) and it keeps the customer looking to the application provider. What do I mean by this? It keeps IBM renewal reps away from your deals. In fact there is no renewal. This is a fixed term contract (meaning 12 months) that has to be purchased (or sold) on an annual basis. While this may mean it's not as cost effective as Utility Express it is far, far simpler. PVU is dead (we hope), long live the fixed term license. Remember to quote your customer the extra $2,000 per year for maintenance though.

So why is this a win for IBM? It gets people like me off their back.....In reality it gets them a way to push XPages without actually "pushing" XPages. The hope here is that with a reasonably cheap server solution ISVs will be able to go after pretty much any customer, no matter that platform of choice. That's what built the Lotus footprint 20 years ago so the plan seems to be to replicate (sic!) this process.

So what is the win for the customer? Ease of licensing. IBM are hoping that ISVs will use ASL (see, I told you to go read Ed's blog) so package the server license with a product. The customer gets "one throat to choke" and a fixed priced for support and renewal from said ISV. That is not to say other Lotus customers won't buy this, and if it makes financial sense they should. The specific use case I see for this is there is no CPU or core limitation (except that XWork is not available on all Domino platforms....i and z). That means the PVU hell customers find themselves in when they throw hardware at a Domino performance issue will the $2,000 and not some astronomically stupid dollar amount.

It's not all good news though. In true "let's complicate the shit out of this" IBM fashion they have deemed to add a rule that you can have up to 4 "applications" each with no more then 4 NSF files. I don't think this is too much of a stopping point but they should have just said 16 NSFs and had done with it. Still if you are an ISV with an app with more then 4 NSF files you are shit out of luck (CRM, ISO 9000, etc is what I'm thinking here). I would have also liked to see IBM allow use of the standard Domino "apps" (Discussion, team room, blog, etc) to have unlimited use on the XWork server and not count against the "sweet sixteen".

Still, all in all not a bad offering if ISVs can be attracted to the platform and start selling "No SQL Format" (NSF....see how I did that?...that be marketing that be) applications to the masses.
Darren Duke   |   October 3 2011 05:13:01 AM   |    licensing  pvu  xwork    |  
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Comments (5)

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1 - Ed Brill    http://www.edbrill.com    10/03/2011 6:23:38 AM

I don't think that "if you are an ISV with an app with more than NSF files you are ...out of luck"... you are in the perfect position to work with my team or IBM sales to find a way to draw outside the lines. We do that a lot.

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2 - Mat Newman    http://www.matnewman.com    10/03/2011 6:23:50 AM

Patrick Kwinten just asked the same question about the standard templates over on my blog. I guess that's going to be one of the big one's here...

But then thinking about it, what would an ISV want to include a blog for in their application?

Agree with the comments Lisa et al made on the call the other night, this is NOT a replacement for Utility server, where your gazillion employees can post their public blogs to, it's targeted at an ISV market (think IdeaJam) that wants to sell their app into a mixed shop where there is no Domino in house.

If you're an existing Domino Shop looking for another server to host apps, talk to your business partner to do the math for you on Utility vs IBM XWorks.

KUDOS on the 'No SQL Format', good idea :-)

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3 - Darren Duke       10/03/2011 6:29:56 AM

@1, fair point. Ed 15, Darren love. ;)

@2) I don't actually think many customers of ISVs would use the templates but *were* the offer to be there it could be an excellent segway to things like Quickr, Connections and Sametime. See, if I were an ISV I could also add value by showing them Discussion databases where their customers can communicate in a secure and audited way. All it takes is a File/New....and you are set. Once said customer hits the limits on those built-in apps the ISV has the opportunity to up-sell other IBM Not Lotus product to fulfill that specific use case. I would suspect that IBM are not going to get rich of XWork Server licenses so it would seem to me that *any* opportunity to up-sell is worth it. Especially if it costs IBM no money to do this to create this (albeit in my head) demand generation.

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4 - Steve Pridemore       10/03/2011 12:18:00 PM

Here is something that might make this an even more attractive offering...

Stuart McIntyre blogged about doubling the license and he suggested that it doubles both the number of applications and the number of nsf per application. so for $4000 you get 8 applications each with 8 nsf's. So you go from 16 nsf files to 64...

{ http://blog.collaborationmatters.com/blog/cmblog.nsf/dx/a-couple-of-notes-on-the-ibm-xwork-server }

Can anyone confirm that is correct?

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5 - Keith Brooks    http://blog.vanessabrooks.com    10/03/2011 2:05:50 PM

One app=4 sub NSF files, thus 16 per license. 2 licenses =32 or so we were told.

I asked about the templates and was told they count as part of the 16.

That said, the server will include some templates and basic network required nsf's, like names.nsf are not counted as part of the total.

So does one template, say journals, with 8 user dbs count as 2 apps(2x4) or none if it is NOT an Xpages app?

More details will be coming as more questions get raised by everyone.

+1 to NSF Darren, but I was amused by the NoSQL reference in the docs we saw.