Posted by Theo Heselmans on April 5th, 2008
Around 1993 I worked for and co-managed a company called Vers a Versa. I was responsible for the AppDev team. We developed applications for our customers, primarily using MS Access, MS Excel, 4th Dimension and Filemaker.
One day, this guy, Luc Limère, showed up at our office. He was Business Development manager for Lotus in Belgium, and had with him a weird tool called 'Lotus Notes': Version 3 ! If you've never seen/used this version, head over to 'The History of Note and Domino': a great nostalgic read. The first months I played with it, I started to see the potential. Two things stood out for me: distributed (off-line) working and workflow. The development environment itself was weak compared to e.g. Access or 4th Dimension. Many (stacked) dialogboxes, no IDE, no 'decent' programming language (only Formulas), no fixed form-layouts,...
As I grew accustomed to it, the tool itself began improving. Notes 4, arriving in 1996, was a huge step: IDE, Lotusscript, Actionbars, Calendars (in 4.5),...
We started getting lots of business, and hired some dedicated 'Notes' people. I went to my first Lotusphere in 1996, and came back exhilarated !
Notes kept evolving, improving with every release. Even after 15 years, I still get excited when discovering new stuff, new ways to satisfy customers. I wish I kept (at least screenshots of) all the apps I wrote !
I'm happy I got into this 'groupware' thing, into this community.
Update: I'm pleased to see the blogosphere picking up on this idea.
I compiled a 'Hall of Fame' !