ORLANDO, Fla. — Lotus is adopting the Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.3 standard for its future Domino versions, including Domino 6, which is currently being beta tested and scheduled for release in Q3 of this year.

“”We want to enlist as

many capabilities as possible,”” said Al Zollar, general manager, Lotus Software, IBM Software Group, at this year’s Lotusphere, adding the announcement is being made in order to further its customers’ collaborative efforts. However, according to Zollar, the adoption of J2EE does not mean Lotus has plans to drop Microsoft’s .Net platform.

Last year, IBM announced that it would be utilizing Microsoft’s .Net platform in its Web services capabilities. “”This is upward compatibility,”” said Zollar. “”We’re not about abandonment.””

As part of its J2EE offering, Lotus also announced the upcoming release of a set of fully integrated, e-learning modules. “”Customers see the value of learning delivered electronically,”” said Zollar.

The modules will include a learning management system and live virtual classroom and will enable the delivery and tracking of Web-based content.

According to Lotus, the J2EE-based e-learning solution will provide the technology and support to either replace legacy e-learning systems with a single, enterprise-wide system, or integrate with a company’s legacy system. “”In place of complicated wiring, it will be a matter of plugs and wires,”” said Zollar. “”Hardware components will become a thing of the past.””

Lotus also announced agreements with Cisco Systems Inc. and Captaris Inc. to develop an IBM Lotus Domino version compatible with their unified communications solutions. The solutions are targeted at enterprises and mid-market companies.

The new offering, according to Lotus, will enhance end-user productivity by providing a unified interface to voice and e-mail messaging clients, regardless of the client deployment strategy.

Unified communications will enable customers to access and manage voice mail, fax and e-mail via the desktop, telephone, cell phone, Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Notes or iNotes Web Access.

While Zollar’s opening address to conference attendees focused on its plans for its future releases of Domino and Notes, executives were quick to point out the applications that put Lotus on the map, 1-2-3 and SmartSuite, have not been abandoned.

Lotus is focused on “”modest enhancements”” and it is not trying to gain more marketshare — just maintain what the company has. However, Scott Cooper, vice-president, Lotus Solutions, Lotus Software, IBM Software Group, said SmartSuite has had regular new releases around the world, primarily outside of North America. “”There’s a big installed base,”” he said.

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