What is the Lotus Notes of today?

Sunday 7 December 2014

I have a document challenge. It's a perfect job for Lotus Notes. What do I use in its place today?

I want to keep track of a bunch of web sites, say 100-200 of them. For each, I want a free-form document that lets me keep notes about them. But I also have structured information I want to track for each, like an email contact, a GitHub repo, some statistics, and so on. I want to be able to display these documents in summarized lists, so that some of the structured information is displayed in a table, and I can sort and filter the documents based on that information.

This is exactly what Lotus Notes did well. Is there something that can do it now? Ideally, it would be part of a Confluence wiki, but other options would be good too. (Please don't say SharePoint...)

CouchDB is the perfect backend for a system like this (no wonder, it was written by Damien Katz, and inspired by his time at Lotus), but is there a GUI client that makes it a complete application?

Say what you will about Lotus Notes, it was really good at this kind of job.

» 14 reactions


Eric H 12:20 AM on 8 Dec 2014

Google docs spreadsheets?

Diane Trout 12:27 AM on 8 Dec 2014

if you like emacs org mode

If you like JSON maybe Smallest Federated Wiki?

Pam 12:53 AM on 8 Dec 2014

Hypercard? (Here's a link about a Python implementation http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PythonCard)

Randy 1:11 AM on 8 Dec 2014

Google Sheets, Podio, and Zoho Creator would be my recommendations. (GSheets has a query() function which gives you SQL-like powers.)

Andy Armstrong 3:01 AM on 8 Dec 2014

I wrote the Metadata Plugin for Confluence to solve exactly this problem. I wonder if we can use it on a hosted Confluence.

Antonio Rodriguez 4:03 AM on 8 Dec 2014

Because now the fashion is to take any particular vertical usecase and make a SaaS application that looks like Basecamp, traps your data, is inflexible, and ultimately ends up looking like a CRM. It is happening to everything that would have gone into a spreadsheet and into a desktop database.

My suggestion: google for "site tracker" or "clipping service" and I bet you'll find plenty of features masquerading as apps.

Handly Cameron 4:09 AM on 8 Dec 2014

IBM Notes and Domino still does this job perfectly!

Matt Doar 4:10 AM on 8 Dec 2014

How about JIRA for the structured data and confluence to gather it all together as a page?

Chris 6:08 AM on 8 Dec 2014

It seems like there should be a plugin for a wiki engine to do this. Enter your metadata into an infobox, and have the engine generate an overview table.

Example how the page/data could look:


Theo Heselmans 6:52 AM on 8 Dec 2014

I would definitely go for IBM Notes too. Still the best of its class.
If you really looking for an alternative, check out Intuit Quickbase.

Lionel 12:54 PM on 8 Dec 2014

Hi Ned, I would definitely recommend Atlassian Confluence. It's an impressive Wiki application that is flexible, full of excellent features and reliable. I wanted to develop something similar but when I discovered Confluence I abandonned. Cheers !

Luca P. 1:14 PM on 9 Dec 2014

Try OrientDb there is a lot of feature comparable with Notes

Lotus Notes 5:16 AM on 11 Dec 2014

I'm not dead yet!

Konstantinos 9:37 PM on 12 Dec 2014

I use the brain application.
It is very flexible.
There is no notion of structured fields,
but I would probably add them as subnodes of an existing node.
There are some features for which you have to pay but I think the free
version is sufficient for most of the things.


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