Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In response to Rod Boothby's simplistic assertions

Rod Boothby recently posted a blog entry about how simple it is to migrate a Notes application to a "Web 2.0" paradigm. He was thoroughly trounced, so he tried again. And had various body parts handed back.

First he suggested screen scraping Domino data out of HTML. Crude, but effective... but then what? Ripping data out of Domino is easy. The hard part is getting the business logic, the workflow, and the other eleventy billion bits to translate to another platform. Furthermore, Rod is proposing doing everything on the WEB! Rod, I suggest you talk to real users, not management types. I know people who have quit jobs because tools they used were moved to web-based apps. Users hate them, with a passion.

In my experience Rod's so-called "innovation creators" and "knowledge workers" accept that what they use at home or for personal use is not appropriate for them getting their work done. Rod goes on to suggest that end users should be responsible for making changes to applications on the fly. If users are tweaking apps who is doing their real job? I agree that users need to be involved in the design process, but the answer isn't to give them a completely open tool with little structure and tell them to design what they need. It is possible, even with Notes, to deliver a structured system based on user input and feedback, that is extensible and flexible.

Just who is Rod Boothby, you might ask? He's a management consultant for Ernst & Young. His only exposure to Notes has been as an end user. Somehow in his mind that makes him an expert on the Domino platform and what it takes to implement new solutions as well as migrate away from it. I must not be as smart as him because I've not been able to do it. Read my blog, you'll see that I've tried and failed. I guess all the people Microsoft put on their Red Bull initiative must be likewise untalented. It sounds like Mr. Boothby has struck a goldmine since he's the only one capable of doing this.

Actually I think he's a crackpot. If his proposition weren't so absurd he might even be dangerous. As it stands, I think the following from Despair.com is fitting:

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