Wed, Jun
4 New Articles

Technology Focus: Multiple Software Types Support Worker Collaboration on IBM i

Collaboration & Messaging
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Groupware applications, project tools, Web portals, and other apps for IBM i facilitate messaging and collaboration between employees.


Teamwork is essential to successful businesses, and teamwork can't thrive without information sharing. Particularly among workers with similar jobs in the same organization, staying abreast of what one's counterparts are up to, what they've recently learned, and what new policies and practices the enterprise is following can all be key pieces of data on any given day.


While the general public may think of communicating with peers in terms of Twitter, Instant Messaging, and Facebook, business users know that effective collaboration can be just as important to functioning in a stagnant economy as photos of Junior making mud pies can be to Grandma. And although the IBM i world may not be as cutting edge as the Apple iPhone 4S, there are nevertheless a number of applications for the i platform that support collaboration and messaging between coworkers, as well as between enterprises and their partners.


Application types that support messaging and collaboration are groupware, communications managers that facilitate communications via portable devices, document-management apps that provide workflow features, Web portals, and software-project development tools that offer built-in collaboration features.


In this article, we'll review the various types of applications that provide messaging and collaboration services and then list each separately by category at the end of the article with a brief summary of each. Just to be clear, we won't be covering applications that provide messaging services between the IBM i systems/applications and IT personnel. Although that's a valid form of messaging, it more logically belongs in an article about system management and operations than it does here, where we're discussing messaging between people.

Groupware and Other Software Collaboration Types

Groupware lets people who are in different geographic locations communicate with each other and coordinate some of their activities. Microsoft's Exchange and NetMeeting products are commonly known PC applications that support groupware functions, and IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino products are the best-known applications of this type for the IBM i.


Communications-management applications handle messaging between applications and users and portable devices. IBM's Lotus/Domino products are also the most common in this area for the IBM i and client machines.


Workflow is another feature that aids in collaboration, usually on documents, orders, or other text communications. Workflow features in document-management applications let teams of people provide input on wording of documents, as well as channel documents that need a chain of approvals to the next person on the list that needs to review them. Other features provided by this product type can include tools for building new approval chains, recording changes and movement through an approval chain for auditing purposes, and other archiving and control capabilities. For a list of document-management solutions, please see "Document Management: A Cornucopia of Solutions," previously published in MC Systems Insight.


Workflow capabilities are also featured in enterprise resource planning (ERP), project-management, and business-analytics applications because those applications often require information flows to particular users or processing of data in a specific sequence.


Wikis, or Web sites with multiple interlinked pages, have become a collaboration tool that lets colleagues share useful information about customers, products, sales techniques, and other topics useful in carrying out business tasks. Because wikis are Internet-based, there aren't any IBM i-specific products that support them, but there really don't need to be. There's a useful comparison chart of wiki software products available from Wikipedia, some of which run under Java, WebSphere, or Apache Tomcat and are usable on IBM i systems using those. There are some wiki-building applications available on a hosted basis, such as Atlassian's Confluence, that let users on any platform build wikis using Microsoft Word and other common tools.


Closely allied with wikis are Web portals, which are secured Web sites through which enterprises can offer virtually any kind of information to their employees and business partners. Portals can also offer forums in which authorized users can collaborate on any topic or process, and customers can track their orders, help requests, or other items of interest.


IBM i shops that use more than one programmer will be aware of another software type that features collaboration, namely application development tools designed with team development in mind. This kind of software enables developers in one location or multiple locations to coordinate work on a software project. It also provides a means for managers or interested end-user stakeholders to track project progress. Group software frameworks feature a repository and tools for change synchronization, version controls, and work-overwriting protections.


Below is a list of groupware and communications-management products that run on the IBM i, or else on Lotus Notes clients for use with IBM Lotus products, along with brief descriptions of the products and links to appropriate Web sites. In addition are lists of some representative products in the areas of document management, ERP, Web portals, application construction, and other software types that support workflow or enable other forms of collaboration between coworkers.


As always when looking for products or services, be sure to check the MC Press Online Buyer's Guide.

Groupware and Communications Management Products for IBM i

IBM Corporation

Lotus Notes/Domino

Domino offers a server-side home for workgroup email, calendaring, scheduling, and collaborative applications. Other members of the product family include these:

  • Domino Express—Domino Express provides messaging and collaboration services for enterprises with 1,000 or fewer users.
  • iNotes—iNotes is the Web client for Lotus Notes.
  • Lotus Forms—Lotus Forms is the product family's application for generating electronic forms.
  • Lotus Forms Turbo—Lotus Forms Turbo is a more automated version of Lotus Forms that lets users build e-forms from a Web browser.
  • LotusLive Engage—LotusLive Engage serves up Web-based collaboration help such as Web conferencing and Instant Messaging.
  • Lotus Sametime—Lotus Sametime provides Web conferencing, Instant Messaging, video chat, and voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.
  • Mobile Connect—Mobile Connect secures mobile-device access to Domino services and online host applications.
  • Notes—Notes is the application system's desktop client.
  • Notes Hosted Messaging—Notes Hosted Messaging offers messaging and collaboration services for enterprises with more than 1,000 users.
  • Notes Traveler—Notes Traveler replicates Domino services to mobile devices.
  • QuickR—QuickR is the product family's team-collaboration application.
  • Symphony—Symphony is productivity software for the Notes/Domino product family that helps users build documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and new Notes/Domino applications.


Kisco Information Systems


The SNDTWEET utility is a Twitter interface for the IBM i that lets users send short messages to a specified group of correspondents, or directed messages to specific Twitter users.

Re-Soft International


Castcadia is an email router for Notes traffic specifically designed to handle broadcast traffic. It gives administrators the ability to capture Notes broadcast requests, approve and schedule them, and move broadcast messages into a different traffic stream from other email. It also builds Notes distribution lists from a variety of sources.


Compliance Attender for Lotus Notes

Compliance Attender for Lotus Notes is an email policy compliance oversight utility for administrators. It captures email messages before they are routed, enabling collection, archive, quarantine, and disclaiming of messages to ensure compliance with messaging policies. It also archives email messages to a secure location.


Instant BuddyList Manager for Lotus Sametime

Lotus Sametime users build Buddy Lists as a shortcut way of building a contact list. When changes occur in directories, user names, and other attributes, Buddy Lists don't automatically update. This product lets administrators index, view, update, rename, and modify Buddy Lists for groups and individual users.


Instant IMtegrity for IBM Lotus Sametime

Instant IMtegrity logs, saves, and archives Lotus Sametime Connect clients and AOL Instant Messenger client chats, maps anonymous AOL screen names to corporate user identities, and sends customizable company disclaimer messages to IM chat parties.


Instant Queue Manager

Instant Queue Manager creates virtual queues that automatically sort Sametime chat requests and directs them to the next available queue agent. It also creates and manages Sametime Instant Messaging queues, prioritizes lists of queue participants, and tracks all queue activity in a database.


Mail Attender for Notes

Mail Attender for Notes enables email policy management for Notes and Domino installations, provides centralized control and authority over Notes email databases, identifies email messages related to a specific legal action, and prevents users from saving, sending, or deleting email messages that they shouldn't.



SecureIQ.trailer uses email headers and footers to provide legal security for email correspondence, integrates security disclaimers and other messages in outgoing email messages, and offers flexible rule sets for sending different disclaimer messages (or messages in different national languages) to specific groups of users.

Representative Applications with Workflow Features for IBM i


Automation Centre

Tracker Suite

Tracker Suite is a product family that provides project management, IT management, human resources, and sales-force automation applications that use Lotus Notes/Domino as the foundation to facilitate coworker communication and collaboration.



Infor10 ERP iEnterprise (LX)

Infor10 ERP iEnterprise (formerly Infor LX) is an ERP suite that helps manufacturing companies build and fulfill orders, handle pricing and promotions, and handle workflows of documents and related communications.


International Presence


Presence is a workflow application for document management that automates document routing and processing, captures emails and other electronic and paper files to a central repository, and streamlines approval processes.



JD Edwards World

JD Edwards World offers a suite of applications for managing distribution, human capital, finance, and manufacturing operations, all of which include workflow features that help employees collaborate.


RJS Software Systems

Enterprise Workflow

Enterprise Workflow helps users manage collaborative document construction and distribution, features a design tool for creating new workflows, creates work logs and audit trails to demonstrate regulatory compliance, and works with processes as well as documents. The product also offers security controls, a Web interface, and hooks for integrating it with other applications.


Swing Software

SWING Integrator

SWING Integrator is a printing, reporting, and document automation solution for Lotus Notes that integrates Microsoft's Office and OpenOffice PC applications with Lotus Notes/Domino. It helps users produce highly formatted documents and charts using Notes data, updates Notes database fields from Office documents, integrates Office applications with Notes, and provides tools for building new Notes and Domino applications.

Applications with Web Portal Features for IBM i


BCD International

Nexus Portal

BCD's Nexus Portal provides a single point of access for all enterprise information, supports IM and other communications between employees, and offers tools for generating additional portals.


BugBusters Software Engineering


Rendezvous/400 lets users add forums, chat rooms, private newsgroups, and customer-support facilities to existing Web sites to improve enterprise collaboration efforts.


NewGeneration Software

Decision Assist

Decision Assist is a business-analytics suite that includes applications for financials, business performance, and the healthcare industry. It includes a built-in data mart, a Web portal, and built-in workflow features.

Representative Application Development Tools with Collaboration Features

Arcad Software


ARCAD-Skipper combines software configuration management and application development tools in a group environment that helps developers communicate within the product to maintain coordination of software features and project work.



iAM Suite

The iAM Suite is designed to support team application development and deployment based on LANSA's multiple software-building products, as well as IBM i development languages such as COBOL, Java, and RPG.


IBM Corporation

Domino Designer

Domino Designer is a development environment for building applications based on Lotus Domino that supports collaboration by development teams.


IBM Mashup Center

IBM Mashup Center promotes developments of mashup applications and includes repositories for sharing application components and communications between members of a development team.


Lotus Expeditor

Lotus Expeditor assists in the development of composite applications for client and server and includes collaboration tools for development team members.


Lotus Workflow

Lotus Workflow specializes in helping developers build workflow applications based on Lotus Notes/Domino. It supports team collaboration as well as document sharing and approval routing between any number of interested parties.




Integrity is a software product-lifecycle management system with collaboration features that let users manage development artifacts, track development projects, and manage product requirements, software testing, and software configuration.


Rocket Aldon


ALM is a software lifecycle-management application that offers communications between team members, control of software development and deployment, and management of IT services and other aspects of software configuration and deployment.


Softlanding Systems


TURNOVER is a change-management application for developing, deploying, and maintaining server, Web, and client applications.


Thenon Holdings


SEE/Change helps users control software development projects, track development activities for auditing purposes, and oversee all aspects of lifecycle management.



John Ghrist

John Ghrist has been a journalist, programmer, and systems manager in the computer industry since 1982. He has covered the market for IBM i servers and their predecessor platforms for more than a quarter century and has attended more than 25 COMMON conferences. A former editor-in-chief with Defense Computing and a senior editor with SystemiNEWS, John has written and edited hundreds of articles and blogs for more than a dozen print and electronic publications. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: