MS Exchange 2007 vs IBM Lotus Domino 8

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Email server case study

Postby mikebyrne » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:07 pm

I'm doing a case study where I have to implement an email system into a hospital for 350 users.

I've decided to go with an "Enterprise" system like Exchange 07 as my email server because I only need an email system and possible the calender function etc to arrange meetings

Any idea where I can get an accurate costing for Exchange and Domino??
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RE: Email server case study

Postby forumadmin » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:44 am


The best way for you to get a real cost of the two is to ask an IBM partner & Microsoft partner in your area for a quote. You are not obligated to buy by asking for a quite. As hospitals usually get special pricing from both vendors, internet pricing might not apply to you. I believe your way to go is asking for quotes from both vendors in your area :).

forum admin
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In two minds but on balance prefer Domino

Postby Inadorel » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:27 pm


Was very interested to read the broad range of views on the subject. Comparison between two products like this is always going to polarize opinion - but as someone with experience of both - here is my take on it.

I'm a Domino/Exchange administrator with a 25K+ user base. After 12 years experience with Domino - I administered Exchange/Outlook 2007 for the first time 18 months ago when we migrated over. I've never seen Domino 7 or 8 in action though - so my comments relate to R6.

Firstly - positive points - our user base adore Outlook 2007. I've only spoken to one person who preferred the notes client (albeit the R6 client). Secondly - when Exchange is running well - it is pretty nice to administer. Thirdly - my experience has been that MS are a much more responsive company to work with than IBM. It is great having all the user administration come from one directory rather than having to maintain AD and the Domino Directory - I'd happily say goodbye to both id file administration and the vaguries of adminp.

Negative points. Getting Exchange clusters up and running is a great deal more complicated than Domino. And when it goes wrong - oh boy - you know all about it - it can be a nightmare to fix problems. The integration with other MS systems is also great when it is working - but makes system administration a nightmare when things start to go wrong. To give an example - a couple of years ago we had an 'issue' where we had major problems with AD. Domino just went on running with its own directory and its own 'pretend' DNS - and it was about the only system we had that was still available. Exchange would have been flat on its back under those circumstances. Restores from backup are hugely easier in Domino than in Exchange. Exchange has no real equivalent of the Domino administration client natively - so to get one you have to purchase an expensive add-on from a third party.

So as an administrator - I have to say I prefer Domino on balance (though I do quite like Exchange) - but I think end users prefer outlook to notes.

One cautionary note however. Before you consider migrating from Domino to Exchange - think long and hard about all the things Domino does for your organization. We migrated the mail accounts without too many problems - but 18 months later - we are still struggling with the 1000s of custom Domino applications we have. Essentially we have ended up in a position where we have Exchange Servers to administer for mail - and nearly a hundred legacy Domino servers which we can't get rid of because they are being used for apps.
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The comparison is definitely biased, but not much

Postby A_flj_ » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:01 pm

I'l just list where I think it is biased.

Complementary products: Microsoft's entire offering is one large family of complementary products. Right, you have to pay for them separately, but you have to do so for Tivoli or Sametime too.

Composite applications: IMO this is not a criteria to separate email servers. Composite applications are something related to application servers, but the article compares email systems. Or doesn't it?

Speaking of which, of course Lotus/Domino are a much nicer and better platform for application delivery, since Exchange is not at all an application server. You need to deploy .Net, IIS, Sharepoint and MS SQL Server on the same platform to come close to what Domino offers, but this should be the subject of another article, IMO.

On the other hand, you have .Net APIs to Exchange, so you can extend and build on top of its messaging functionality with .Net as easily as you do it on Notes - in principle. In fact, the exposed .Net APIs are a lot more cumbersome to use than what Domino's integrated Designer provides.

Another issue I have with this comparison is: what is actually being compared? Clients, servers, or both? Domino wins hands down as an email server, although it is much more than just an email server. Notes looses hands down as an email client, although it is actually not an email client but a rich client for running collaborative applications.

My proposal for a fair comparison: come up with a small, well define number of business cases, characterize each in terms of requirements, and see which infrastructure meets these requirements best. That would be a fair comparison, IMO.
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Re: What a croc of bull, this is biased and say no more.

Postby A_flj_ » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:28 pm

amagladon wrote:I have been a Sr. Manager of IT for many years in Fortune 500 companies. Some of my responsabilities include testing, evaluating, recomending and choosing technology. I have implemented both Exchange and Notes in their various versions and I can tell you that Notes 7 and Notes 8 are just getting to what Exchange was in 5.5.

Did the forum administrator who "classifies" Notes as a superior e-mail system actualy installed or has ever installed either product, I think all he is doing is going over the IBM literature and not really performing a real comparision based on experience and hands on.

Notes is by far an inferior produt, Notes 8.0.1 (I just Installed) claims to be more like Exchange - Outlook and I can tell you that it is, it is trying to mimic Exchange - Outlook but is is Outlook 97 and Exchange 5.5 many years behind the feature functionality of Exchange.

The problem with all IBM software is that IBM builds products from the Top down, extremely complex and extremely difficult to integrate with anything, in the process they miss the simple user interaction and user friendlines, opposite of Microsoft's approach startt simple and build up from there.

Keyboard shortcuts, copy and paste, linking and embedding, dirctionary, etc. are all user needed functions and functions that Notes suck at big time, on the other side, the cost of maintaining Notes every year cost as much as a full Exchange implementation and that I have the paper and invoices to prove.

Exchange has its share of problems and no one is perfect however Lotus Notes losts all its early glory after IBM bought it, no inovation and harldly anything has changed on Notes since the mid 90's. IBM announced 3 years ago it was discontinuing further development in Notes and moving their e-mail system to websphere (as everything IBM) IBM is trying to make websphere the one product that runs the entire enterprise.

IBM lost some of their biggest costumers due to their announcement that in 2009 Notes would be out of mainstream support, they had focused all their resources on the new product but provided no upgrade to existing customers which meant all customers running Notes would have to build their e-mail systems from scratch, at that point Enterprises faced with the decision selected Exchange (easier implementation, less cost, less hassle and you don't need a PHd to deploy).

IBM took a big blow and reversed its course releasing Notes 7 and now 8 and now IBM is plegdging 1 Billion worth of innovation and upgrades in the next 3 years to bring Notes up to par to Exchange with unified communication and other features that Microsoft put into Exchange 2003 and imporved with 2007.

In my opinion IBM is doing too little too late. If you are face with the decision of Notes vs Exchange, take it from a real pro who gets his facts from the real world and real life experience. With Exchange you will save time, money and effort and your users will be a lot happier, I can't name a single person out of my 20,000 notes users today that can say they prefer Notes over Outlook.

No wonder big companies, especially financial ones, got to where they are today, if this is the type of people they hire as senior administrators.

I work as a developer of Domino applications for a small company, but our customers are mostly multinationals, many of them implementing Exchange for mail and calendar, and the company I work for also does .Net development, so I'd say my experience is at least as relevant as yours.

I do agree that the Notes email application is years behind Outlook in terms of usability. But what can one expect from non-IT personnel, if even you, as a professional administrator, aren't able to make the difference between a pure, dedicated email/calendar client and a general purpose rich client? If you don't like the default mail application, go and download the OpenNTF mail template, maybe this will suit your needs better. Now go and ask a programmer to customize Outlook, and compare the costs.

As for the servers, Exchange seems to me like a big pain in the ass whenever you have a more complicated deployment, even when it works well (which it often doesn't). As opposed to Domino, where you can deploy one server or a thousand with relatively the same ease. Plus, Domino actually works. Besides getting you all sorts of other stuff for free, and not having any problem at all with spam, viruses and the like. Did you ever ask yourself how come that in a history of over 20 years since its first release, in spite of being the messaging platform of choice for most large companies for a long time, not a single Notes virus exists?

I do think the comparison is biased, but I also think your opinion is biased too. It may be that I'm wrong, but it seems to me you're one of those administrators who like to click a lot. I like administrators you don't notice - people who like to automate everything. Doing the kind of automation I think is beneficial for users is something that always seemed complicated to me with anything coming from MS.
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Re: MS Exchange 2007 vs IBM Lotus Domino 8

Postby zlatan24 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:35 pm

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Re: MS Exchange 2007 vs IBM Lotus Domino 8

Postby hackkira » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:32 pm

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Re: MS Exchange 2007 vs IBM Lotus Domino 8

Postby zlatan24 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:45 pm

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Re: MS Exchange 2007 vs IBM Lotus Domino 8

Postby zlatan24 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:43 pm

hackkira wrote:As far as nightmares, they can appear with both Exchange and Domino. As far as nice features, they both accept some. I've formed with both and abundant adopt Domino. Another adviser was advertence how his applicant has a huge IT department, about all of them were acknowledging Microsoft products. Domino requires far beneath abutment people. Abutment spends a ton of time always applying Microsoft patches.

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