HCL has given users of versions 9.x and 10.x of its Domino groupware platform two years warning that they’ll have to upgrade or live without support.
Domino started life as Lotus Notes before IBM bought the company and milked the groupware platform for decades then offloaded it to India’s HCL in 2018. HCL has since released two major upgrades: 2020’s version 11 and 2021’s version 12.
Now it looks like HCL wants to maximize the ROI on those efforts – a suggestion The Register makes as the company today emailed Domino users warning them that versions 9.x and 10.x won’t be sold as of December 1, 2022, and won’t receive any support as of June 1, 2024.
“Due to the age of these releases, HCL will not be offering extended support for these specific product versions,” the email states.
That’s fair enough for Domino 9.x, as it debuted in 2012, and HCL had previously committed to support until 2021.
Users of Domino 10.x may have grounds to be a little more miffed, as that product just debuted in 2018 and some customers might have migrated even more recently.
While the option of unsupported operations remains, HCL pointed out that licences entitle users to an upgrade to version 12. The latest cut of the platform has added lots of new functionalities and can be deployed to the clouds or hybrid clouds, making hardware less of a hassle.
HCL promises upgrades are now easy, which will only be partly true. A big part of the strength of the Notes/Domino platform was creating custom apps and workflows, and they’re hardly ever easy to lift and shift.
In the late 1990s, Domino’s combination of messaging, workflow, and app development was unique. But the platform was steamrolled by Microsoft’s Exchange and has arguably been legacy tech – even when users deployed new versions. HCL, and IBM before it, occasionally pointed to new buyers – but such case studies were few and far between.
HCL’s acquisition of the product confirmed it was not likely to rise again, as the Indian giant’s software acquisitions tend to focus on products that have long tails of committed customers rather than attempting to make new markets.
Users of Domino 9.x and 10.x almost certainly know they’re a long way from the bleeding edge. Some won’t mind that and will make the move. For others, HCL’s deadline may serve as the final push they need to make a move away from the Domino platform. ®