Thursday, December 17, 2009

Delighted that Sametime 8.5 has finally shipped

Almost all of my focus at work for the last few months has been on the Sametime 8.5 project. This is a major upgrade to the IBM/Lotus Sametime product and I am delighted to say that the product has finally shipped. The official announcement says that is will ship on 22nd of December, but the development team have completed all of their work at this stage and the gold master has been passed to the release lab. There was major pressure to have the produce ship before the end of the year, so you can see that we just made it by the skin of our teeth.

Sametime 8.5 includes updates to several parts of the product. Many customers will be excited about the new meeting room client which provides maximum functionality and is ideal for the frequent user of Sametime. However, I suspect that the feature most customers will get excited about is the new Java free web client. Obviously the server is mainly coded in Java, but there is no Java code downloaded onto the browser. We are using the Dojo Toolkit and the latest AJAX techniques which means that the code executed in the browser is all JavaScript. As well as ensuring we are fully buzzword compliant, this means that user can join meetings mush faster because there is no Java Applet to download. It also means that we can now support virtually any browser. Our officially supported browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari which should cover a large percentage of users. For other browsers (e.g. Google Chrome) we don't guarantee them, but if you try them you will probably be pleasantly suprised to find they work.

If you want to try it out for free you can visit Lotus Greenhouse. Currently a Beta version is installed on Greenhouse, but I am sure it will be upgraded to the gold coe very soon.

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