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What to Put on WAS vs. Domino

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This chapter explores those functions that can be accomplished by both WAS and Domino, with an eye towards deciding which program is best suited to each function.
This chapter is from the book

"'Domino and WebSphere: So Happy Together.' Both Domino and WebSphere are thriving because they solve different customer problems."

E-Pro Magazine, June 2001

When looking to combine features of both Domino and WAS (or J2EE) in a single application, designers and developers often find that some application elements could be supported on either WAS or Domino. This chapter explores those areas where WAS and Domino offer comparable function and tries to provide some insight as to which platform may be more appropriate for a particular set of requirements. Although there are certain cases where there is a clear choice of where best to place a function, it is our experience that there are also cases where there is no clear choice in terms of function alone, and other factors such as development skills or familiarity may be the basis for the final choice. In fact, these other factors, especially development skills, may override any purely functional benefits.

At a high level, the type of application is an important factor in deciding on which platform to build. As discussed in earlier chapters, the strengths of Domino lie in collaborative applications. Domino is good at applications involving user interaction, providing a scalable document data store, rich content handling, and a robust security model. WebSphere Application Server (WAS) is ideal for transactional applications, highly leveraging a relational data store, and providing enterprise-level J2EE application hosting. WebSphere Portal excels at application and data aggregation, providing a rich framework for Web-based applications.

Assuming that we have an application that has both collaborative and transactional elements, let's review some of the key features of each platform to help understand which parts may be supported by which platform.

Lotus Domino Server

Lotus Domino is a comprehensive application platform for collaboration that handles both connected and disconnected requirements for data and applications. Many customers initially purchase Lotus Domino for the built-in enterprise e-mail, calendar, and scheduling applications, making those types the most-widely deployed collaborative applications. The majority of customers, however, exploit the document-sharing and form capabilities that support core business processes, which enable employees to work together efficiently and securely. Domino is comprehensive; it provides the complete infrastructure needed to create, test, deploy and manage distributed, multilingual applications including directory, database, application server, administration, security, connectivity, Web server, e-mail server, calendaring engine, and so on—all in one system.

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