IBM Workplace

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IBM Workplace was a brand of collaborative software applications from IBM's Lotus Software division. It was intended to be the next generation of collaboration software that would work with IBM's Java EE-based WebSphere Portal server software. Introduced in 2003, the brand was largely disbanded by 2007, with its core technologies and many of its products rebranded as Lotus or WebSphere.


In 2002 at Lotusphere, IBM's annual conference for Lotus customers, IBM's Lotus division announced its Java EE-based "NextGen" initiative.[1] This became the Workplace brand, which IBM first introduced at Lotusphere 2003. The first Workplace product was Workplace Messaging, a lightweight e-mail solution.[2] More Workplace applications were introduced later, such as instant messaging and document management.[3] In 2004, Workplace 2.0 was released, which could run inside of a desktop rich client as well as a web browser.

Because the goal of Workplace largely overlapped IBM's existing Lotus Notes and Domino software, Notes and Domino customers became increasingly worried that Notes and Domino would either be discontinued or at best marginalized in favor of Workplace.[4] To assuage this fear, IBM demonstrated in 2005 how Workplace and Notes/Domino products would be integrated with each other.[5] IBM also started to include Lotus Notes and Domino within the "Workplace family."[6]

However, by 2007, most Workplace-branded products were being either discontinued (such as Workplace Messaging)[7] or rebranded as Lotus or WebSphere. Mike Rhodin, general manager of Lotus Software, said that Workplace was a way to shake up the Lotus team into creating innovative technologies, and now that technologies had been created, they were being folded back into the core brands. Lotus also heard that having the Workplace brand in addition to its other brands was confusing.[8]

Foundational Technologies[edit]

IBM Workplace Client Technology was an application platform that was built on top of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) 3.0, which itself is written in Java. It provides tools to manage rich clients, such as synchronization so that clients can work with data offline, and provisioning so that servers can automatically push down the latest version of applications onto clients.

Workplace Client Technology has evolved into IBM Lotus Expeditor.


IBM Workplace Collaboration Services[edit]

IBM Workplace Collaboration Services is a single product that provided a set of communication and collaboration tools such as e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, awareness, instant messaging, e-learning, team spaces, Web conferencing, and document and Web content management.

IBM ended support for Workplace Collaboration Services on September 30, 2009.[9] It has been superseded largely by Lotus-branded products, such as Notes, Domino, Sametime, Quickr, and Connections.

IBM Workplace Managed Client[edit]

IBM Workplace Managed Client was a server-managed rich client for IBM Workplace Collaboration Services. It offered offline support for email, calendaring, scheduling, and document management. It also included a plug-in for running Lotus Notes 7 applications, and a set of productivity tools for office documents, forked from 1.1.4 (the last version released under the Sun Industry Standards Source License).[10] Version 2.6 was released 23 January 2006.[11]

Workplace Managed Client introduced a collaboration tool called Activity Explorer. It let teams of users manage projects via an object hierarchy, which groups together information objects (such as files, messages, and web links) that are related to an ongoing project and are shared among team members.

Workplace Managed Client is no longer being actively marketed. It was superseded by Lotus Notes, Domino and Symphony. Activity Explorer functionality is now part of IBM Lotus Connections.

IBM Workplace Forms[edit]

IBM Workplace Forms was a suite of products for developing and delivering data-driven, XML-based electronic forms to end-users. The product is now known as IBM Lotus Forms.


  1. ^ Wylie Wong, IBM brews Java for Lotus software, CNET, January 28, 2002
  2. ^ Martin LaMonica, IBM accelerates Lotus consolidation, CNET, March 3, 2003
  3. ^ David Becker, Lotus to expand collaboration tools, CNET, November 4, 2003
  4. ^ Stacy Cowley, Lotusphere: Customers eye Workplace with interest, but are wary, IDG News Service, January 28, 2004
  5. ^ John Vaughan, Get your shades: Lotus looks bright again,, February 2, 2005
  6. ^ Ed Brill, IBM View: Lotus Notes Is A Part Of The IBM Workplace Family, IBM Lotus (op-ed in Information Week), March 16, 2005
  7. ^ IBM, Software withdrawal and service discontinuance: IBM Workplace Messaging, December 12, 2006
  8. ^ David DeJean, Good Riddance To IBM Workplace, InformationWeek, January 22, 2007
  9. ^ IBM ,IBM Software support lifecycle: Workplace Collaboration Services 2.6.x,, October 14, 2010
  10. ^ Hillesley, Richard (6 July 2011). "OpenOffice – splits and pirouettes". The H online. Heinz Heise. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  11. ^

External links[edit]