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Lotus gives date for Raven beta tests

By Andy McCue, VNU Net

Lotus claims its delayed knowledge management software, Raven,
will finally go into beta testing after the Lotusphere conference
in Berlin in a fortnight.

Raven is now set to ship by the end of the year, and is likely
to run only on the Windows NT platform, said Tony Cocks, UK
marketing manager of knowledge management for Lotus. “The next
versions after that, which will be months rather than years, are
AIX Unix, Linux and Solaris,” he said.

Lotus claims Raven will enable the sharing of knowledge and
expertise within businesses by affinity matching relevant areas of
specialisms with documents, people and applications.

“The deployment pattern initially will be our key Notes and
Domino customers who have lots of databases, and want to be able to
bring some kind of central content catalogue to that,” said
Cocks.

Early indications from Lotus suggest the product will not be
shipped with the Raven name because of branding problems using the
name worldwide, and is likely to cost around $100 per seat.

Analysts said the Windows NT only rollout made sense as a large
proportion of the Lotus-shop market runs on it.

“It will be taken up in quite a big way by people who already
use Domino for knowledge management projects,” said Philip
Carnelley, manager of applications research at analyst Ovum.

There are alternatives out there for users, but it depends on
specific business needs as they vary in functionality, said analyst
Gartner.

“The OpenText approach provides some basic content management
capabilities, expertise location and capture, and some
collaboration capability. There is also the Plumtree and eRoom
alliance. Those are options to look at,” said French Caldwell,
research director of knowledge management at Gartner.

First published in Computing