Hard times for us hardcore Domino developers:
- No IBM Domino release announced for 12 months on any conference or user group meetup
- extended support announcement for the current version (9.0.1) until 2019 (2017 +2 years)
- no major release for over 3 years
- above repeated for at least 4 user group events in this year
I could continue this list with tweets and blog posts regarding the discouraging mood that is in the air, and I will do (please read further before opening those links):
In March 2016 we were introduced to our new General Manager for ICS Inhi Cho Suh who was the first IBM exec showing slides on which Domino wasn't part of the current roadmap - no release, no number, no other figures. In a BP call we had some weeks later they said that IBM focuses on IBM Verse on premises instead of pushing Domino forward. It sounded like just a postponement to us willingly believing folks. As IBM Verse on premises is going to be GA next month we are now missing the message that Domino is going to be focused on now afterwards. MWLUG passed last week and still no annoucement and the same slides of the roadmap.
The community and BP are getting nervous and - even worse - they are looking for alternatives. Don't get us wrong, it's not about us being volatile - we are not. But hearing nothing for years concerns us.
We have to do business - with existing or new customers. Especially new customers need confidence in our work and the product itself. Our product is depending on an IBM product which doesn't seem to have a future - on this platform. So we are re-orientating ourselves as we want to do business in the near future. The near future is per definition for the next 5 years. This is exactly the amount of time IBM announced to give support for the latest (3 years old + 2 extra years) Domino release. And then?
As IBM is pushing Bluemix and the XSP runtime with Domino I could imagine having Domino as a PaaS for the years after that named period of time. Is this really an option? Most of the customers won't onboard to cloud services (at least what we experience). Licenses also have to be purchased for the cloud model (Smartcloud) if you want to run the "hybrid" mode.
The questions now are: which platform do we have to choose and in which technology are we going to invest?
As a member of this great community I have to ask myself: "will I be a part of it in 1 or 2 years again?" Don't get me wrong, being an IBM Champion is a great honor but I doubt that this program will be an option for Domino related administrators and developers. There will some of us remaining who do IBM Connections and related stuff. The Domino peeps will disappear. So I will do.
It's not a selfish thing but the credo of an IBM Champion is delivering "outstanding contribution and commitment to the ICS community" - which won't be possible if we aren't able to use that software anymore with the engagement we'd like to give.
We are still using IBM Domino, develop our products on and with it and are still using XPages as this technology is working for us and the customers we have. It provides versatile options for on-premises solutions as well as cloud-based configurations and native mobile access. We will adopt new technologies as well to be a valid and valuable partner for customers.