Microsoft Re-Ups On Domino Migration Tools

The tools, partially an upgraded version of last year's model will be available as free downloads over the next 30 days.

Most of the Microsoft Transporter Suite for Lotus Notes code is home grown in Redmond, Wash. although some code was acquired from Proposion, also a Lotusphere attendee and IBM partner.

One goal of this offering is to analyze existing Domino applications and assess how difficult they will be to move to Microsoft's stack, namely Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 foundation, Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2007.

Solution providers say moving data and mailboxes from one system to another is relatively straightforward but migrating actual applications can be a bear.

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"This [tool] is similar to what we did last year but it was not integrated last year and now has a common user interface and [offers] a better overall experience for IT professionals managing a transition," said Elisa Graffeo, group product manager of collaboration and portals for Microsoft

Also coming from Microsoft are seven free templates to ease construction of SharePoint My Sites. The aim is to jumpstart custom portal creation. Users can create role-based My Sites that offer private and public views of their corporate information.

Some of these templates will be available within the month although five of the seven role-based templates will roll out over several months, Graffeo said.

Another set of templates were created to jumpstart custom applications running atop Web SharePoint Services in organizations.

This press release shows that Microsoft and IBM continue to duke it out for the e-mail and collaboration budgets of corporations, even as the frontier broadens to include what many call "Unified Communications" offerings which bring VoIP, instant messaging and other channels into a bundled offering with traditional e-mail and collaboration.

That move puts mail vendors like Microsoft and IBM into contention with erstwhile partners like Cisco, which attack the same market from the network layer and offer similar functions to customers.

As CRN first reported last week, the spotlight at Lotusphere in Orlando will be on "social networking" tools to make wikis, blogs, and other technologies that have taken root on the Web palatable to security- and compliance-conscious IT staffs.