Applications that are no longer used in day-to-day operations should be earmarked for retirement. But at the same time, the application data typically has to remain accessible to users long after an application has been retired.
When it comes to Lotus Notes and Domino application retirement, there are basically two ways to go. You can either choose to keep decommissioned databases on your Lotus Domino servers or decide to export the Lotus Notes application data to an open standard repository.
If you opt for the former, this chapter of the IBM’s Redbook “Lotus Domino Development Best Practices” provides a good guidance: Application Development Lifecycle: Retirement.
“The application retirement helps organization maintain a healthy, lean, and efficient application portfolio.”— IBM Redbook: Lotus Domino Development Best Practices
The text stresses the importance of proper planning and central monitoring through the course of Domino application’s lifecycle. It says that, “The application retirement is an essential step in the Domino Application lifecycle. The application retirement process helps identify the applications that are under-utilized or dormant.” Authors conclude that “The application retirement helps organization maintain a healthy, lean, and efficient application portfolio.”
On the other hand, you may want to export data out of legacy Notes applications to an open standard repository. In this case, you will need to find a solution that preserves the Notes data (and its original document rendering) and makes it available in context for future reference. This is especially important in the event of litigation or an audit.
There are several key requirements that you would need to pay attention to:
- Document rendering: Archived documents should preserve the original Notes form layout. The PDF format is the first pick for most organizations here.
- Metadata: In addition to documents, the system should export metadata obtained from Notes fields and formulas
- Context: Archived Lotus Notes Notes documents should be organized in a logical manner, preferably in a way that resembles original Notes views (including categories, parent/child structures and document links), so users can easily navigate, sort and search, all within their web browsers.
This approach will let you decommission your Domino servers (if you are migrating to another platform), or to offload unnecessary data from production Domino servers, so the servers can run more efficiently. In any case, you will benefit from reduced maintenance and license costs.
SWING Software offers solutions for Lotus Notes Domino data archiving. SWING PDF Converter and Seascape for Notes are proven tools used by hundreds of companies around the globe. In addition, our Premium Export Services provide a fast track for Notes application decommissioning.
Do you have a specific Lotus Notes application retirement or data archiving project you would like to discuss with us? Please send us your thoughts, comments or questions.