RDBMS-based Intranet groupware products vs Notes : RDBMS vs proprietary

RDBMS-based Intranet groupware products vs Notes : RDBMS vs proprietary

Post by Chris Wysopa » Tue, 16 Jul 1996 04:00:00

> Notes versus other groupware solutions?  To me, it appears to be the
> battle of the proprietary choices: GroupWise, Collabra, Exchange (if you
> can truly call that "groupware").  Over the next couple of years I
> suspect we'll see dozens of Internet-based solutions pop up, all claiming
> to be "open" because they use Internet communications protocols, but in
> reality they'll all just be more proprietary solutions, many of which
> will die off over time.

You are correct.  An internet based groupware solution has popped up
claiming to be open: Radnet's WebShare.  I do work for Radnet so this is
definitely biased.

Here is how WebShare is more open:

- WebShare uses a RDBMS accessed through ODBC as its database. The product
  is bundled with Sybase's SQL Anywhere.  You can replace this with the
  RDBMS of your choice.

- WebShare can optionally store file attachments and BLOBs like our picture
  field in the file system. This gives much higher performance.

- Forms and views are designed in native HTML.  There is support for
  JavaScript built into WebShare Designer.

- The server scripting language is Visual Basic compatible.

- WebShare can use several different user authentication methods to
  piggyback off of directory services you already have:

  MAPI directory services
  NT authentication
  HTTP basic authentication

  or you can use WebShare's built in authentication method.

- WebShare can integrate with the web server of your choice.  WebShare
  comes bundled with a Spyglass SSL server but can be used with any
  CGI or ISAPI compliant web server.

Quote:>What about data publishing?  Contrast the cool features of Notes with the
>brain-dead troff-wannabe that is HTML.  Java is so complex that it'll be
>years before there are robust releases of standard tools that make it
>accessible to non-programmers.

Of course there are limits to what you can do with HTML compared with a
proprietary client but there is great deal you can do with HTML.  We think
the tradeoff is worth it to support the new universal client - the web

Some of WebShare's cool features include:

- File attachments*
- Edittable Picture fields*
- Collapsable views
- Pictures in views
- A graphical calendar view
- Dynamic column sorting
- Unread marks
- Private views
- All administration is done through the web browser.

*WebShare uses Form-based File Upload in HTML (RFC 1867) which is currently
available only in Netscape 2.0+.

Radnet has a 60 day fully fuctional trial version of WebShare available for
download from www.radnet.com.  Also, the 8 starter applications that ship
with WebShare can be tried out online.

Chris Wysopal



1. RDBMS-based Intranet groupware products vs Notes : RDBMS vs proprietary doc. storage

I don't have any solid answers, my guess is that it depends on what
the specific situation is. I will make a couple of points:

First I'd like to mention that RDBMS's are "proprietary" formats as
well.  you access them via a "common" command set, namely SQL (as you
can Notes), but the On-Disk structures of an Oracle DB are different
from those of say a Sybase DB (as both are different from the Notes DB

Then there is the issue of whether an RDBMS is the right product for
what you describe above.  I think not, Notes excells at manitaining a
dattabase of documents, and that is what you seem to be describing,
trying to fit "thousands of Word, Excel etc. files" into an RDBMS
might work, but the amount of work it would take to get them into the
DB might be more trouble that it is worth.

Next is cost, Lotus has done a study on Notes vs. Intranets, I'm
pretty sure that it is on ther web site. I wouldn't take it as gospel,
but it is a place to start.  As you can guess, their study shows that
Notes is a cheaper solution, especially when you count the
administration time/personnel factors, it also points out the
advantages of using a unified solution like Notes vs. pulling together
an assortment of products which may or may not work together.

One last thing, I don't have the figures, but I'm willing to bet large
amounts of money that "a bi-processor Sun Ultra 2, 256 Mo RAM" would
be able to handle a LOT more than 200 Notes users.

--Danny Lawrence, Tiassa Technologies
  Lotus Notes Configuration, Development and Managment

 "Tiassa Dreams and plots are born"  --Steven Brust

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12. Notes vs. WWW = GM vs. US Interstate Highway System

13. Lotus Notes v.s. other Groupware..