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.

3 Responses to “Interesting Thought: DOLS and the Weblicator are hot again”

  1. 1) Erik Brooks says:

    DOLs is awesome, and you raise great points, John.

    And it doesn't even need to be an i5 or i7 desktop. Domino HTTP serving to a browser is *significantly* less resource-intensive than running the current thick Notes client. Even a machine from 2-4 years ago can run web apps with more than adequate speed. It's just simply not that demanding to serve HTTP to just one user. Even the RAM requirements aren't bad.

    DOLS currently doesn't support XPages, but if it did it would be flat-out awesome. It might add a couple hundred MB to the initial install but again - that's just not a lot these days. And with DOLS' current capabilities of allowing the admin to choose which pieces get pushed down and which don't, you could even tweak that if you needed to.

  2. 2) John Head says:

    Erik - my point about DOLS being fast on a modern Intel chip was when it first came out, it was super S L O W. Modern day hardware, say in the past 4 years, can runs DOLS amazingly fast

  3. 3) Andy Stewart says:

    John,

    Very interesting post. I had previous experience of DOLS and as you say it was slooow. I will try again but unfortunately my test rig is W7 64bit so I'll be interested to see what I come up with.

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