IBM said Friday that it is shipping Lotus Notes and Domino 8, the first major upgrade to its e-mail and messaging software in two years.
The package contains a host of modules that are designed to help users create a Web 2.0-style communications environment, with applications for instant messaging, real-time collaboration and built in support for Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds included.
Among the new e-mail features in Notes 8 are a collaboration history tool that lets users find records of all interactions with a given person, including e-mails, instant messages and shared documents. Another new tool lets users recall e-mails sent in error.
The Domino 8 server is designed to let IT managers centrally deploy and manage Notes from a single console. Lotus Domino Web Access lets users access a range of messaging and collaboration tools from a Web browser, while configurable probes allow support personnel to monitor network traffic.
Lotus Notes 8 is built on IBM's standards-based Eclipse platform, allowing developers to extend the platform by creating their own, custom plug-ins and add on applications using Lotus Domino Designer 8, which uses the Java 5 programming language.
IBM is hoping the enhanced features in Lotus Notes 8 will help it close the gap with Microsoft in the messaging market. Lotus Notes/Domino holds about 20% of the worldwide market for messaging software, compared to 31% for Microsoft Exchange, according to analysts at the Radicati Group
User licenses for the new software start at $104.00 each.