by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Gets a ‘Lil IBM Lotus Love: New Collaboration, Developer Tools Due in ’09

Jan 21, 20093 mins
Enterprise Applications

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) and IBM announced earlier this week that the two companies will soon be offering new Lotus collaboration tools, as well as a couple of new utilities for BlackBerry developers, in a push to make collaborating in real-time and while on the go, simpler and more effective for the companies’ business customers.

Both the IMB Lotus and BlackBerry logos

The upcoming Lotus collaboration offerings for the BlackBerry platform, which are being shown this week in Orlando to attendees of IBM’s Lotusphere event, include mobile access to IBM Lotus Symphony documents; IBM Lotus Quickr, the company’s collaboration-specific software designed to help users locate, access, share and modify corporate information in the form of documents, images and video clips; and bulked up IBM Lotus Connections functionality for better access to corporate resources like blogs and communities. (For more on Connections, read “Understanding Lotus Connections, IBM’s Version of Web 2.0 for the Enterprise.”)

The RIM/IBM partnership isn’t a new one—the two companies have long been working together to deliver IBM Domino mail and services to BlackBerry users. And the companies initially announced the first phases of BlackBerry Lotus Connection support almost exactly a year ago, at the 2008 Lotusphere event.

RIM and IBM also unveiled two new developer tools at Lotusphere 2009: BlackBerry support for IBM Lotus Domino Designer, which works with the BlackBerry JDE for Eclipse to simplify the process of creating Lotus/Domino-related apps for BlackBerry; and XPages, which will let BlackBerry developers write rich applications once for future customization. For more on the upcoming BlackBerry developer tools, visit IBM’s site.

Lotus Symphony documents, which are based on the open-source Open Document Format, are expected to be accessible via BlackBerry before the second of half of this year, along with the new Connections features; however, Quickr for BlackBerry and the new developer tools won’t be available until the third quarter of 2009, at the earliest, according to RIM.

Microsoft is currently seen as a leader in the enterprise-collaboration-software space, but earlier this month, IBM said it’s making some serious gains; the company now claims to have 145 million Notes licensees worldwide, up almost 4 percent from the 140 million licensees it reported last year. And in the 15 months leading up to Sept. 30 last year, IBM won more than 12,000 organizations and companies as first-time customers, many of them former users of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, it said.


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