Quickr 8.5 Ships - Is this truly the Domino.Doc successor we have been waiting for?

September 21 2010

Today marks the 'shipping' of IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5 for IBM Lotus Domino. While there are many important new features in this release, one of the biggest goals of Quickr D 8.5 is to be the successor to the Domino.Doc product line. With the cease of development of Domino.Doc, IBM has targeted this release for DomDoc customers to migrate their document management systems to. A bit of history:

Last March, I spent the month in Cambridge working on the Self Assessment and Strategy Guide for Migrating from Domino Document Manager red book. There are many references to a future version of Quickr that will help with the migration of Domino Document Manager applications and use cases - Quickr 8.5 is the release we were talking about.

Now that Quickr 8.5 is out, is this the magic bullet release that gives Domino.Doc customers a migration path? As you might expect, that is a loaded question. The answer is Maybe. The best way is to answer by use case.

Use Case #1: High End Document Management with legal standards requirements or millions of documents

If you are using Domino Document Manager for serious high end document management, it's time to get off Domino. I know this will cause a lot of people to react negatively, but really - use one of the high end products designed specifically for this use case. Domino.Doc customers under maintenance not only get Quickr 8.5 entitlements, they also can request C(ontent manager)8 or FileNet entitlements for free. These systems are high end, enterprise scale document management systems. And with Quickr 8.5, you can use the Quickr user interface to interact with these products - including the Quickr Connectors. Seriously, move off Domino here.

Use Case #2: Basic Document Management

If you are just using Domino.Doc for basic document management in a team, migrate straight to Quickr 8.5. You don't need any other tools. You could use the Lotus Connections Files entitlement if you want, but the move will be fairly easy.

Use Case #3: Moderate Domino.Doc Usage and Customization

This is where the majority of Domino.Doc customers will fall. They use DomDoc with multiple libraries. They have custom document types with sub forms. They probably have customization in the DomDoc Events script library and some agents that help them process workflow. Quickr 8.5 is where you want to migrate - but it won't be all 'happy happy joy joy' for sure.

There is a migration tool that allows you to move the Domino.Doc hierarchy and documents to Quickr 8.5. You need to work with a business partner to get access to this - PSC happens to be one of those partners and we would love to help. You will have to rebuilt the majority of your customization's from scratch - some agents can be repurposed. This is not a quick move - don't expect to do it over a weekend. Customization's have to take advantage of the Quickr API and the new hierarchy.

Use Case #4: Heavy Domino.Doc Customization or Heavy Offline Document Editing

If you have a very heavily customized Domino.Doc environment, or one where lots of users create and edit documents offline, I would probably recommend that you do not migrate Domino.Doc to Quickr 8.5. I know this is a controversial suggestion, but it is based from my experiences on seeing customers move form Domino.Doc to other solutions. The Lotus Quickr Connectors do not have the offline capabilities of the Doc Neighborhood with the Attache Case. The heavy customization's are possible in Quickr, but there are places where you can do the same with better development methods. My two suggestions would be Docova (if you want a Domino based solution) or Alfresco. Alfresco is an open source document management that Quickr 8.5 supports via the ECM support. PSC has worked with both solutions, but we are not an official partner of either.

Final Thoughts

No matter which Use Case you fit in above, I think it is time to move off Domino.Doc in every case. The product is definitely showing it's age. The choice on where to move too is not very easy. Not only will you have to decide between Quickr 8.5 or Quickr 8.5 + ECM or another product (we haven't even talked about SharePoint here ...), this is the time to revaluate your document workflow process and customization's. This is not a small process. Do not take it lightly. There are lots of business partners out there who have gotten certified that can help. I highly recommend you engage with one of them - including PSC.