Last week I read an interesting statement from an IBMer outlining a pending announcement in September of an updated policy on the Support Lifecycle for Notes/Domino. The standard IBM Support Lifecycle Policy commits IBM to supporting any version of its software for 3 years from its release date. With Notes 9.0.1 having been released in October 2013 we are now less than two months away from the official end of support date for Notes/Domino. So clearly IBM needs to make some change or risk the ire of a passionate community who have been paying maintenance for three years without getting a new release.
The statement also suggests that Notes/Domino 9.0.1 Fix Pack 7 will be released in September. As a number of people have noted, the current Notes/Domino Fix List does not show any fixes assigned to Fix Pack 7. Instead we have 250+ fixes assigned to release 9.0.2. I would expect a large number of the fixes and enhancements that have been assigned to 9.0.2 to be included as part of 9.0.1 Fix Pack 7. The reason for not calling this latest iteration of Notes/Domino 9.0.2 are not clear to me, although I have commented previously that it is more than likely tied to the above Support Lifecycle policy.
Since Notes 9.0.1 was released Pete Janzen has attended a large number of conferences giving the traditional Notes/Domino Roadmap sessions. In these sessions Pete provided indications of the things the engineering team were working on. During those three years it is a safe bet that a number of those new features have been developed and ready for release. So I would expect to see a number of those items such as support for Java 8 and the ability to store View Indices outside the NSF container to finally become available. Not as a new release but rather via a Fix Pack.
There is no Notes/Domino Roadmap session being given at MWLUG later this month. In fact the IBM lineup is distinctly different to Engage six months ago where Martin Donnelly, Pete Janzen, Ed Brill, and Inhi Cho Suh all attended. That represented the entire food chain for Notes/Domino at the time and provided attendees the opportunity to hear from all levels of ICS. At MWLUG IBM’s focus seems to be on BlueMix, Verse and Toscana. I am not confident there will be much clarification from IBM about the end of life for Notes/Domino at MWLUG but I am sure it will be the topic of many heated discussions late into the night.
The only reason I can see a 9.0.2 release being made available would be if it is a requirement to deploy IBM Verse on-premise which we now know IBM are hoping to release before Connect 2017. A clearer picture should become available when we see what enhancements are included as part of 9.0.1 Fix Pack 7. We should also be looking at how large the product management and engineering team remains after September as a guide to how much, if any, further work is planned on Notes/Domino.