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HCL Notes (Lotus Notes, IBM Notes)

Vangie Beal
Last Updated May 24, 2021 7:48 am

HCL Notes, formerly called IBM Notes (1995) and Lotus Notes (1989), is a groupware application originally developed by Lotus and later became part of IBM. In 2019, HCL Technologies (HCL) acquired several IBM software products, including Notes and Domino.

For many years, Notes was the only full-featured groupware solution that provided integrated business collaboration tools. It became a mainstay enterprise platform in the 1990’s, offering sophisticated replication features that enabled users to work with local copies of documents and have their modifications propagated throughout an entire Notes network. It was also the first application to support a distributed database of documents that could be accessed by users across a LAN or WAN.

HCL Acquires IBM Notes

According to this Teamstudio blog post, in 2016 IBM announced extended support for the then-current version of Notes/Domino, but there would be no further releases. In 2017, however, a new strategy was announced between IBM and HCL. Under the agreement, HCL would take over development of IBM’s collaboration software and modernize the platform.

The agreement, under which HCL would acquire select IBM software products for $1.8 billion, was closed in July, 2019. At this time, HCL also announced the introduction of HCL Software, a division to operate the enterprise software business, which includes several products acquired from IBM.

The HCL Software website offers the following description of HCL Notes:

“Notes integrates social collaboration, messaging and business applications into a single workspace. Notes is the email client software that gives teams access to email, calendar and contact management capabilities, and seamlessly integrates other collaboration tools and Domino business applications.”

Recommended Reading: Webopedia’s Domino definition.