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MS Exchange 2007 VS IBM Domino 8
 (Last updated: 09-01- 2008)


Queries the following Comparison is trying to Answer:


IBM Lotus Notes & Domino 8  VS Microsoft Exchange & Outlook 2007

How does MS Exchange 2007 & Outlook 2007 compare  to IBM Lotus Notes & Domino 8?

Advantages & Disadvantages of MS Exchange 2007 & IBM Lotus Domino 8

What is better IBM Lotus Domino 8  or Microsoft Exchange 2007? How?

Independent Unbiased Comparison IBM Lotus Domino 8 & MS Exchange 2007


IBM Lotus Notes & Domino 8 VS Microsoft Exchange & Outlook 2007 Introduction:

If you have reached this page you are more probably considering to build or upgrade the e-mail system for your organization. Either way you are probably looking for the best e-mail system that meet your organization needs. We are offering and are preparing many comparisons regarding e-mail systems. At this page we are comparing between the two most common  e-mail systems in the market today. Microsoft and IBM are the two major vendors for E-mail Solutions today. Other e-mail Solutions Comparisons can be reached from the menu in the left side. At this comparison we will focus on the competitive information of Microsoft Exchange 2007 & IBM Lotus Domino 8. It will has a high over view of MS Exchange 2007 Versus IBM Lotus Domino 8.



 IBM Lotus Domino  VS       MS Exchange 2007




Supported Platform

Support Windows 2003, IBM AIX, Linux (on Intel), Linux (System Z), IBM i5/OS, IBM z/OS, and Sun Solaris.

Only Support 64-bit Windows Platform in production.

ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

IBM Lotus Domino 8 is the definite winner when it come to the number of platform it support. Exchange 2007 support only Windows 2003 64-bit version which limit a lot of organizations who is running at different platform than Windows. Even if you are running windows 2003 you will be forced to buy window 2003 64-bit edition, as the 32-bit addition is not supported in production any more.

Complementary Products

Sametime instant messaging, IBM WebSphere Portal, Tivoli Directory Integrator, Websphere Application Server are only examples of the IBM Complementary products IBM Lotus Domino Customers are applicable for.

Microsoft does not offer any specific complementary product with Exchange 2007, but offer extra paid products that can integrate with Exchange 2007.
ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

IBM Lotus Domino 8 is the definite winner when it come to the number of Complementary products. Microsoft will charge you an arm and leg to get features equivalent to the free complementary products IBM Lotus Domino 8 customers applicable for.
Virtualization Support

Hardware & Software virtualization support

Does not support Virtualization

ITComparison Team Comments




-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* We are not sure what is Microsoft idea of not supporting Exchange 2007 in any type of virtualization at the moment and not even releasing a date when it will be supported. Yes, it might work but won't be supported by Microsoft.


* In the other hand IBM support Lotus Domino in both hardware virtualization (Power Series) & Software Virtualization (VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3)


* As Virtualization becoming to be the market trend at the moment due to the fact of it saving money, space, hardware, and easy provisioning it seems a real catch when Microsoft does not support it when exchange 2007 requires a lot more roles and more hardware which could been virtualized and allow good  saving on the hardware cost.

Upgradeability & Integration:

In Place Upgrade from earlier versions

Integrate with earlier versions

Earlier versions Application Support



















       Yes, but not 5.5




ITComparison Team Comments



-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM Lotus Domino 8 can do in place upgrade of earlier versions of Domino, where Exchange 2007 can only do a complicated migration of earlier versions. It even requite upgrading Exchange 5.5 to 2000/2003 prior to migration.

* IBM Lotus Domino 8 can integrate with earlier versions of Domino, MS Exchange 2007 can do the same with Exchange 2000/2003, but not with Exchange 5.5.

* Applications written to work with earlier versions of Lotus will most likely work with Lotus Domino 8, where applications written for earlier versions of Exchange will more than likely not work with Exchange 2007 which is a huge waste of investment. 

Solution Type

  Complete Solution

Messaging only       Solution   

ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM Lotus Domino 8 offers e-mail, Contacts, Calendaring, team spaces, forums, Integrated IM & Presences awareness, and development tools.


* MS Exchange 2007 only offer a messaging solution and if you need any further functionality you have to pay for an extra product.

Composite Applications:                Yes                   No
ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM Lotus Domino 8 has NSF-based composite application that includes both NSF and Eclipse components that offers an easy way to make applications that integrate into Lotus Notes without extensive coding. In the other hand, Microsoft does not offer any equivalent to that.

Clustering Type:

   Application Level             OS Level
ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM Lotus Domino 8 Cluster is on the application level which make it more flexible and give a higher availability than Microsoft Exchange 2007 Cluster which is OS Level cluster and highly dependant on the OS Clustering capability of windows 2003.

Replication Reliability:

              High                  Low
ITComparison Team Comments


-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM Lotus Domino has implemented replication for ages to be one of the most reliable and efficient replication methods available.

* MS Exchange 2007 is the first Exchange version to support replication. The replication was not reliable in the RTM release and got a bit better with SP1 but still not the best. In addition, Exchange 2007 replication is not efficient and requires a large amount of dedicated bandwidth which can be expensive.

Software Release Approach: Fully Tested - Ready for Production     Half-Raw till SP1
ITComparison Team Comments





-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* IBM has release Lotus Domino 8 as a solid product fully tested and ready for production, but was a bit late to market.

* Microsoft as usual early to market with half raw product at the RTM version of Exchange 2007 with many bugs and features missing few examples:

- Public folders Management GUI

- Replication was not working unless implemented directly by Microsoft with some secret hotfixes.

- Single Copy Cluster was not working unless installed with certain hotfixes in certain orders which was not mentioned any where on Microsoft website and not applying the fixes will make the cluster resources jump from a node to the other.

Note: these were few of the issues Microsoft fixed with SP1, but even SP1 had its own issues that Microsoft admit in the release note of SP1 and the installation of SP1 has not been smooth for many customers.

Maintenance:    Install & Forget Time-Consuming
ITComparison Team Comments


-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* Microsoft as usual has kept their product maintenance quite time-consuming doing updates for exchange, operating system fixing failures and recovering data stores. It seems they are trying to help administrators look busy to keep their jobs.

* IBM has kept again the Install & Forget approach. After Domino has been installed you only need to visit the box if you need to add or enable a feature. It does not mean administrators will lose their job, but will have an easier life.

Microsoft Office Integration

Yes, but require a free connector

      Out of the Box
ITComparison Team Comments

-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

* As Microsoft Office is a Microsoft product which as expected  integrate better with Microsoft Exchange 2007 and without the need for any extra packages, though IBM has released a connector for Lotus Domino that will provide a quite good integration with office. In the other hand, IBM has their own mail Client Lotus Notes which is a great one.


offers advance security features including: local encryption, digital signatures, Server & user defined level SPAM control, and granular access control.

Although Microsoft has put a lot of effort into building some spam protection and enhancing their security features in Exchange 2007 they still struggle as usual with many security leaks, virus propagation and security holes.


up to 4096 bit RSA encryption keys and 128 bit symmetric keys

offer some type of encryption, but optional.


Initial License costs for only messaging system (non redundant):

Initial License costs for only messaging system (redundant):

Initial License costs for full solution:

Full Solution including hardware, licenses, and software cost.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)



 A bit more   expensive




















  A bit cheaper







 More Expensive




  More Expensive





 More Expensive





ITComparison Team Comments





-: IBM Lotus Domino 8 VS MS Exchange 2007 :-

Exchange 2007 get to be cheaper only if you calculate the initial licenses for non redundant setup. In all the other calculation and TCO Exchange 2007 will be in a loss situation. Exchange 2007 require newer 64-bit hardware and more servers (at least 6 server in case of redundancy) where Lotus Domino can reach full redundancy with two servers only, this is due to the new roles Exchange 2007 came up with. More servers means more licenses and clustering with Exchange require windows enterprise licenses which not required with Lotus Domino. All this give Domino an initial setup advantage when you look at the full setup cost. In addition, if your setup require features like forums, portal, and instant messaging you will have to pay for an extra three separate products with Exchange where all of these are integrated into Domino server for free. All that Make Domino the TCO winner.


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