During the opening session of Lotusphere it was mentioned that all Lotus Passport holders would be entitled to one free license for Workplace Services Express. It was also mentioned that it was a 3 CD, 5 click, 30 minute install. Now for anybody who has ever tried to install Websphere Portal or Workplace before this sounded very very nice. So I just had to give it a shot.
After downloading the 3 CD’s and uncompacting them I had a look at the requirements, a Windows 2000 or 2003 server with the latest service packs and 4Gb ram. In this day and age that’s fairly reasonable for a production server that’s going to be handling a lot of hits but I didn’t have anything like that hanging around so decided to see what would happen if I installed it on my laptop that is running Windows XP professions and only 2Gb ram. Double clicking the setup batch file I was expecting to see it complain about OS or hardware but to my surprise it launched with no problems.
A couple of clicks of the next button and a quick move to the keyboard to enter in the admin username and password and the installation progress bar started running and as promised about 30 minutes later it had completed. One more click to start the server and another to exit the setup wizard and I was done. Still being sceptical about it running on Windows XP I launched the Workplace homepage and there it was, the first screen was waiting for me to log in and start playing around.
At the Lotusphere opening ceremony I think a lot of people were very impressed by the slick interface, the slide out pallet of portlets and the general usability of the system and I have to say that actually having it up and running on my laptop generated the same reaction. It’s just wow. It’s so easy to just drag and drop stuff onto the screen. I even managed to install the IBM Lotus Web Content Management Portlet to bring up content from our LWWCM based company intranet. very slick indeed. My only problem was the speed on going to a page for the first time but I put that down to the WinXP based machine with only half the recommended amount of ram so I can put up with it for testing, returning to page you had open before is, however, very quick. I look forward to playing with this a bit more.
One thing to note, if your planning on testing this on WinXP and you also have the beta of the Microsoft AntiSpyWare software installed then the server start and stop batch files won’t work. It seems the AntiSpyWare software stop the batchfile for security reasons. Then again, you probably wouldn’t be running that on a production server.
If you haven’t already managed to get your hands on this then talk to your Lotus Passport rep or business partner as soon as possible.