Interesting Thought: DOLS and the Weblicator are hot again

April 14 2010

So I find myself thinking back to the time when we had the Lotus Weblicator; it took web pages offline; and Domino Off-line Services (DOLS) and they were pretty active and hot technologies. The ability to take web applications off-line with no Notes client installed? I remember being very impressed - seeing as this was the R5 time frame. The DOLS Manager gave us a client-front end to manage those applications and even allowed admins to have some level of control. Click a link on an applications and it was added to my DOLS Manager list. Replication was supported too.

The problem with DOLS is it basically ran a Domino Server (nserver.exe) with the HTTP task on the client machine. Hardware couldn't handle that back then. Have you tried using DOLS today? On some of the new hardware, like an i5 or i7 desktop, it screams! Yes - DOLS is still supported and ships with Domino 8.5.1 ... even if DOLS Manager seems to dislike Windows 7 64 Bit OS.

With all of this talk about off-line Web 2.0 applications using Google Gears and HTML5, someone at IBM has to be thinking about how they were the leaders in this space long ago. IBM Project Vulcan needs off-line capabilities for the browser client. Why not just update DOLS to use modern technologies and use that to build the foundation of a Vulcan Rich Client? Lightweight, cross-platform and bring the proven security and replication of Lotus to the Web 2.0 applications.

I know the folks at IBM who work on the Lotus products can't talk about this ... but I hope we hear something about this in 2010.