July 18 2010 Sunday
In a comment on Ed Brill's blog post about Google's dubious marketing I asked (comment 11) to allow full text indexes to be moved to different, non-Domino data storage. See, Google are saying you can't really search your mail file, or to quote Ed:
....they [Google] seem to have a total blind spot to the full-text search engine in Notes, asserting that sort by sender and browsing folders are the only ways to "search" in Notes
Anyone reading this blog will know that Google's assertion is as blatant a lie are there is. But, alas, most companies do not have full text indexing turned on for all, if any, of their mail users.
Why not? Is it IBM that have the blindspot here?
After all, full text indexing a Notes database application immeasurably increased the usability, value and experience of Lotus Notes so why not turn it on? Disk space is the why. Storage consistently rates as one of the major concerns for IT in any survey you can find, so why double the storage needed on my shiny new SAN just to enable searching? It is a good question and one that has never been addressed.
We can move attachments out to different storage.
We can move view rebuilds out to different storage.
Why can't we move full text indexes to different storage? Why do they have to reside in the same OS directory/folder as the mail file?
With Lotus Notes 8, IBM tackled head on the user interface issues with Lotus Notes. Now they need to tackle the usability of full text indexes and their location on the server. Yes you can use a local replica, indeed on this very blog I show you how to set that up, but IBM, you must tackle the issue at the lowest common denominator, the server-based mail file user. With the plethora of thin client technologies on the market (Citrix, Terminal Services and VMware View) more and more organizations have to use server based mail files due to "thin clients" having no storage. Add to that the brilliant experience that is iNotes, yet for most it is crippled beyond simple actions like sending and reading emails due to, you guessed it, being a server based mail file with no full text index.
Tripp Black elaborates my feelings on Ed's blog (comment 30):
The reason that Google can get away with the Full Text comment is, that as implemented, most companies cram as many users on a box until the experience is pretty dismal - No FT Indexes allowed. At a couple RTP companies (which one converted to MS live but still has $$$ going out to reinvent the apps), I told friends how to setup local replicas, turn on replication and then have FT Indexes. Suddenly, Notes was fast, you could find something and it didn't SUCK!. What a concept...... It took years of crippling Notes to get Notes to be evil to escape at any cost.
User satisfaction is king. And right now, due in some large part to this restriction, the majority of user are anything but satisfied when it comes to searching. And the shocker here is not that lack of functionality but being able to enable said functionality. IBM Lotus need to focus on the removal of every single roadblock that prevents full text indexing from being enabled.
As indicated above, there is already an IdeaJam for this, and it already has over 70 votes. 70 votes? That's a pretty unanimous cry for help. As Hynek Kobelka comments on the idea:
Very good idea ! And it should be so easy to accomplish :-)
To reduce storage on the server IBM Lotus gave us DAOS and I would have to say this has been a leading factor in the massive and fast adoption of Domino 8.5.x in the last 18 months. If IBM wants to see another fast uptake on a Notes/Domino release why not add this? It is a win-win. The user wins with increased functionality and IT wins by being able to use cheap storage for FTI's.
What am I missing here?