Summary: Through this post, we will tell you about IBM Lotus Notes and its journey. We will discuss all versions of IBM Notes from its release around 30 years ago till now.
HCL Notes, earlier known as IBM Notes & Lotus Notes is a desktop-based email client used by organizations for emailing & calendaring solutions. It needs HCL Domino (earlier known as IBM Domino & Lotus Domino) server that offers collaboration tools to share files, instant messaging, discussion groups, business workflow, document libraries, etc.
To store complete mailbox data like emails, contacts, notes, appointments, attachments, tasks, to-do-list, etc. it uses NSF file format i.e. Notes Storage Facility.
Know History of Lotus Notes
In the year 1989, Lotus Notes Development Corporation developed Lotus Notes. IBM purchased Lotus Notes in the year 1995 and has created IBM’s new division known as Lotus Notes Development.
In December 2018, IBM decided to sell Lotus Notes to HCL. In July 2019, HCL acquired IBM Lotus Notes.
The development of Lotus Notes was encourage by PLATO Notes which was create in 1973 at the University of Illinois.
In year 1984, Ray Ozzie who worked with PLATO, fix a deal with Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus Development Corporation. As a result, in 1984, Iris Associates was formed to develop products that can merge the potential of PCs with collaboration tools introduced in PLATO.
This is how the Lotus Notes development began.
Lotus Notes 1.0 Released in Year 1989
In the year 1989, the first release was presented and it records sales of around 35,000 copies. During that time, DOS 3.1 or OS/2 was only there to run Notes.
It provides features include: Functionality of data export/import, Quick creation of users and mailboxes, Access control, Dial-up functionality, Ability to send emails, receive return receipts, notification for new mails, autocorrect misspelled names & notification for new emails, and encryption, signing & authentication via RSA public key for secure transfer of documents.
Later in 1990, v1.1 was introduced with a minor update.
Lotus Notes 2.0 released in the year 1991
This was a major release which has focused on scalability. After its success in the initial stages, Iris wished to scale Lotus Notes to support 10,000 users & target big organizations as their initial target was small & medium organizations.
In 1990s, the result of this release is large organizations start buying Lotus Notes.
Lotus Notes 3.0 released in the year 1993
In May 1992, Lotus Notes came with 3.0 version comes with features like full-text search, hierarchical names, forms, views and filters.
By this time, more than 50,000 users & 2000 companies used Lotus Notes. However, the aim behind releasing this version is cross-platform compatibility. It aimed at the larger market with less price tag. It was suitable to 200 users simultaneously.
Lotus Notes 4.0 released in year 1996
This v4.0 was released in the year 1996 with a new look & redesigned user interface as per user’s feedback. In this version, it comes with a simplified interface which made it easier to handle by all users. This year, Lotus Notes released an HTTP server add-on called Domino. This allows Notes documents to render as web pages.
Later on in December 1996, Domino web server release 4.5 version of core Notes Server and the whole server program was re-brand.
Lotus Notes 5.0 released in year 1999
In year 1999, Lotus Notes & Domino Server 5.0 were released. It has parts of architecture like in v1.0 and compatible clients released for v1.0.
This version offered new user interface with browser-type features. It also supported various internet protocols.
Lotus Notes 6.0 released in year 2002
With this version 6.0, it improved the UI and scalability of the Notes and Notes client. At this time, the world was dominate of instant deployments, low ownership costs, and increased productivity.
In December 2003, version 6.5 of Lotus Notes was released providing integration with IBM & Lotus technologies like Domino Web Access or iNotes Web Access.
In this version, calendaring & other functionalities were improved.
Lotus Notes 7.0 released in the year 2005
In August 2005, Lotus Notes and Domino 7.0 were release to make them easy to handle and work with minimum resources. This version made it available for Windows, Mac & Linux/x86.
Read about Installation & Configuration of Lotus Notes 7.0
Lotus Notes 8.0 released in the year 2007
In June 2005, version 8.0 of Lotus Notes & Domino was introduced. In August 2007, some changes were create to earlier versions. Now, you can use Lotus Notes as open source & on a java-based platform.
It included collaboration and messaging products with new UI, new productivity tools, new functionalities & extended support.
Later with minor releases, IBM started support for Google gadgets and widgets. Also, many UIT performance and stability enhancements were done.
Lotus Notes 9.0 released in year 2013
In March 2013, users got version 9.0 with an updated Interface, IBM Notes browser plug-in, improved iNotes integration, & embedded application support. Later minor updates were done to fix bugs and improve features consisting support for Windows Server 2016 & ADFS 3.0 with the 9.0.1 FP8 release.
Lotus Notes 10.0 released in the year 2018
A major release in October 2018 with 10. The version was there having various feature improvements, including Domino Query Language, performance monitoring interface, extensions for database, etc. This version also supported CentOS.
Version 10.0.1 was release in May 2019 with the option to configure CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing). Which permitted web applications from another origination to approach to assets on any Domino Web Server.
Lotus Notes 11.0 released in the year 2019
In December 2019 with the release of the 11.0 version, IBM Notes rebranded it as HCL Notes. To encrypt the local database, it came with a 128-bit AES option.
Lotus Notes 12.0 released in the year 2021
In June 2021, users got HCL Notes 12.0 and HCL Domino 12.0 with flexible & backup options.
This is all about the history of IBM and HCL Notes. In case your organization is working with Lotus Notes & HCL Domino for emailing, calendaring & collaboration but wants to move to MS Exchange or MS Outlook, we recommend using NSF to PST Converter by Softaken. This application will help you to convert NSF files to Outlook-compatible PST file format. This software will also offer you various export options & a demo version for complete features evaluation.