Mainsoft likes to integrate SharePoint and IBM Products. They've done it with IBM's WebSphere Portal and with Lotus Notes. Today they are announcing that the Lotus Integration is going a few steps further covering more versions of the popular email client and Lotus Sametime.
As you may or may not have heard, many organizations tend to have a mixed basket of Enterprise CMS solutions in house -- thus the need for a CMIS specification. What you likely also know that this type of situation is not unique to content management -- it also includes mixed technologies such as email clients like Lotus Notes and document management like SharePoint. Thus the need for a third party provider like Mainsoft to help solve these additional types of integration problems.
That's what Mainsoft does. They provide integration solutions between SharePoint and .NET applications and IBM middleware products like WebSphere, Lotus Notes, Sametime and others.
According to Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO of Mainsoft, “Until now, Lotus users that adopt SharePoint get stuck with limited compatibility between their messaging and collaboration platforms, which hinders productivity and makes email content management all but impossible. Mainsoft SharePoint Integrators combine IBM messaging and workflow capabilities with the document sharing and collaboration capabilities of SharePoint. This strategic coexistence can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of migrating to a single vendor strategy, and without disrupting the way Lotus users are accustomed to working.”
SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes
As recent as May of this year, Mainsoft announced their Lotus Notes and SharePoint integration solution called the SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes. This solution worked for version 8 of Lotus Notes only.
Today they have widened the Lotus Notes support for the SharePoint Integrator to include versions 6.5.x or 7.x. The integration works a bit differently with these older versions because they aren't based on Java or Eclipse. Unlike with version 8 where you see a sidebar for SharePoint, the older versions get a "docked" standalone application as shown in the figure below. Lotus Notes 6.5 Integration
SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Sametime
Along with the additional versions of Lotus Notes now supported, Mainsoft has also developed a SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Sametime. Sametime is Lotus' instant messaging software. Lotus Sametime 7.5 Integration If a Sametime user wants to discuss a SharePoint document with another Sametime user, they can simply start a chat session and drag and drop the document directly into the chat window. This works for Sametime versions 7.5 and 8.x. Lotus Sametime Integration
How Does the Integration Work?
These integrators are not duplicating SharePoint content into Lotus Notes or Sametime. They are built on SOAP based Web Services and FrontPage RPC interfaces which access SharePoint directly. The integrators work for both WSS3.0 and MOSS.
Mainsoft Knows its Market
A recent survey question by the LotusNotesGroup in June of this year asked users how important SharePoint content integration with Lotus Notes was. Over 58% of the respondents said it was a high priority.
Lotus Notes is going to be here for awhile and as we all know -- so is SharePoint. So it is good to see there's a way for the two to play nicely together. Not sure if the proposed CMIS specification will affect how Mainsoft develops its integration solutions, but we expect they may be able to leverage the new standards.
Mainsoft's current pricing for the SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes is US$ 115.00 for 100 users. We would assume this pricing will remain the same and that the Sametime pricing is very similar. You can also get volume discounts and custom integration solutions that may net you an even better price tag.