Hands-on Lotus iNotes UltraLite in iPod Touch - a little review

I rarely post articles about Lotus Notes despite I am a certified for IBM Lotus Notes software. Well, my blog is more about technology and lifestyle. So I spend this little time to make a quick review of using iNotes UltraLite, a web-based email solution from IBM Lotus Domino 8.0.2, specially designed for iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2nd generation users.

First thing, I really don't want to mess up my laptop configuration just for this trial. I have Domino 7 running well and don't want to install Domino 8 until 'the day' is coming. Company's infra  also should not be changed. Yepp, I think we're not ready for Domino 8 yet until end of this year. Fortunately, IBM Lotus gives us opportunity to test iNotes Ultralite using IBM's infrastructure, by signing up to a project called Lotus Greenhouse.

Basically we just need to sign-up to this project and create a mailbox with a valid email address, then we'll have a new mailbox at lotus (something like Alisanta.Tjia@greenhouse.lotus.com). After all is set, then open Safari Browser from iPhone or iPod to open Lotus Greenhouse project url : https://greenhouse.lotus.com/home.

So, more detail steps :

  1. Using your computer/laptop, open browser and point to http://greenhouse.lotus.com
  2. Click "Join Now" button on top right corner
  3. Fill some information correctly
  4. IBM Lotus will send you confirmation email with a link to click. Follow the verification process.
  5. You will be brought to a home screen.
  6. Click on "My Account" link on top bar ( before logout button)
  7. On the account profile screen, There should be a button for you to create a mailbox. Click it!
  8. Now throw away your computer and focus on iPhone or iPod Touch

I'm using iPod Touch 2nd generation, but this is applicable to iPhone users

  1. Tap Safari browser icon to open
  2. Open this url : https://greenhouse.lotus.com/mymail-ulite to open directly iNotes Ultralite.
    (Or, You can go to home menu and find Ultralite link on the right).
  3. Enter your username and password for login.

    4. iNotes welcome page will be displayed. 5. You have full access to Mail, Calender, To Do, and Personal Address Book.

    6. Screen when reading and replying email like this

My Experience

Sure IBM Lotus has been doing great job to make iNotes template to be iPhone-enabled. Full functionality of your Inbox and Calendar means people can work anywhere as long as they have Internet or Wifi access.

iNotes Ultralite is not an iPhone native application. It is just a web-based application optimized for Safari browser. All menu and icons are created to imitate iPhone native menu, but actually they are just clickable image. One plus point is Domino Admins don't have to visit all iPhone / iPod users just to install application, maintenance or template upgrade can be instantly applied to all mail databases. It also need less data compared to traditional iNotes or iNotes Lite.

But on the disadvantages of this web-based approach is it heavily relies on Internet speed. Navigation from Inbox, open list of messages, reading and replying emails always trigger request to Domino server. Even after replying email and want to back to Inbox one still need to wait for data from server. It seems that web 2.0 has not implemented yet. If you are browsing on office internal intranet, then I think using this iNotes Ultralite is a fun, but when you are using slow Internet connection somewhere outside office expect a little patient there.

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