Why Integra?

March 10 2008

Image:Why Integra?

Since Lotusphere and the announcements between Integra and PSC came out, I have gotten quite a few questions that boil down to "John, why do you like Integra for Notes?" So I figured this was perfect blog fodder. It gives me something to write about on a regular basis and its a topic (integration of Notes with Office and Symphony/OpenOffice.org) that I can really provide value. So the goal going forward will be to have a new post every Monday. Let's see how well I can do on this.

So to kick this off, one of the man reasons I like Integra for Notes, and why you should be using it as your integration framework, is that it provides reporting and integration almost everywhere. Not only does it integrate with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel (or Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets for the Integra for Notes Symphony Edition), it also provides Export and Import support for CSV and text files, as well as Export for XML. These Export and Import report profiles run on the Notes client, scheduled on the Domino server, and inside your web applications.

So, as an example, you can have a report definition that provides an export of your time slips database to Microsoft Excel. The first worksheet is the exported data, the second is a pivot tale, and the third is a chart. This can run on demand from a Notes client application when the user clicks an Action Button or Hotspot and from the Integra Report menu when the select the Integra Icon on the toolbar. Inside a web application, they can click the same Action Button or Hotspot. You can also have this report run on a scheduled basis, like every Monday at 6 AM. The report can be emailed or saved to a Notes document. To me, this covers all of the customer usage scenarios that I find in the field.

Image:Why Integra?

Now, to be fair and honest, there are some differences in what can be done in a Integra Profile when creating for the Notes client, Web Browser, and run scheduled on the Domino server. You can choose to install Microsoft Office on the server, and get all the functionality. Or you can not, and you get about 85% of the functionality. Now, installing Microsoft Office might not be possible (your Domino server could be running Linux) or desirable, so you can run Office on a workstation set-up to run locally scheduled agents for scheduled reports. This leaves the option in the customers hands based on their requirements.

Integra for Notes is super powerful without preventing business users from building reports. Check it out or send me an email to schedule a web conference demo.