Beating a dead horse or rather a dead cash cow

The latest Notes & Domino fix pack is out and some news from IBM about the future.
There are some really good articles about it:
Peter Presnell: Was that it?
It probably was. Peter’s insight and thinking are as usual spot on. But are there really still 50’000 ND customers? I heard that number years ago and it must have changed since then. What I would really like to know is, how many developers in IBM are still working full time on ND? Five? Ten? How many do you need to make 81 fixes? Not a hundred, I am sure. Most will probably work on Verse anway.

Richard Moy: The Future of Domino from the POV of an ISV
I always liked Richard’s way to look forward and not back. He sums it up quite nicely, why Domino is such a good database system and why it is difficult to replace it with anything else. And he is prepared for a live without ND.

David Leedy: No More
The view of a developer. Also spot on. I agree, that ND would be better of and kicking, would OpenNTF get the whole thing.
I am looking forward to his next article.

Do you remember ND 8.5.4? Never happened. It became ND 9. Too many features for a point release they said. Now it’s the other way round. Not enough features for a point release. Just fix packs … until at least 2021. By then it will be Version 9.0.1 FP 27. Does that sound like a vibrant product? No. Does that sound like a product IBM is actively looking for new customers? No. Does that sound about a product where IBM is looking for happy partners? No. Even if IBM is continuing support beyond 21, do you really want FP 397? No. And IBM can call this a „Feature Pack“ until the cows come home, it does not replace a Notes Version 9.0.2. For everybody the naming speaks volumes, there are going to be mostly fixes and not many features. Apart from those that fix something.
While IBMers claim they hear customers loud and clear about what they want from IBM, what did the customers actually say?
„We need the following features (fill in what you like) from you and we need them quick, because our whole ecosystem of thousands of suppliers and customers depend on you.“ Probably not. It is more like:
„Dear IBM, we would really like you to continue developing ND, otherwise we are forced to look for an alternative“.
Then IBM responds: „Well dear customer, I am glad that you mention this, we have a nice new cloud product called …“.
„But IBM, we like Notes, it does what we want for a reasonable price, but it just isn’t modern enough“.
„The new cloud product will have all the design features you like and …“.
„But IBM, we would really like you to continue to develop Notes“.
„But dear customer, you just said you look for an alternative? Look here on these screen shoots …“.
„But IBM, we have our own developers who do a great job with Notes …“.
„In that case you might want to do a resource balancing. We have great training possibilities where your new developers will learn all they need about …“.
„Look IBM, there are a few things that need to be fixed in Notes ASAP, otherwise we run into problems.“
„I see, why don’t you open a PMR and I will see what I can do. On the other hand, our new product is cloud based and will always be on the latest release with the latest fixes installed.“
„Sorry IBM, but we don’t want to go cloud. We need our data in house, regulations, you know“.
„In that case, we have wonderful on premises solutions and we have the perfect service offering for the migration of your legacy apps … what was it again … a yes, Lotus Notes …“

For all those who absolutely want to see ND as a product with a future … there could be a future, but in that case we would have to get rid of IBM’s hold on ND. But right now … well imagine this picture. It is not about beating a dead horse anymore, by now we are cocking glue out of the carcass. Still useful but this is about the last thing you can do with it. And stuffing the head for the memories.