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.

2 Responses to “Why Integra?”

  1. 1) Curt Carlson says:

    In my case it was "Why not Integra?"

    I spent a significant amount of time evaluating this product last summer for a client who eventually chose not to use it. There were several reasons but the biggest was that they felt that Integra used wording on it's web site that was not very accurate...example, Integra's website claims that Integra is.....

    "it is non-invasive - not requiring any modifications to your Lotus Notes installation nor does it require any changes to the design of your Lotus Notes apps"

    This sounded great but in fact if you want to run any reports on the web, you have to copy several design elements from the Integra database to all the apps you want to report on. I am not saying that the product is bad or it does not do some cool things, I actually liked the product quite a bit, but this type of language led my client to believe that it did something that it does not. They need to modify the language a bit to prevent this type if misunderstanding. In this case it lost them the sale.

  2. 2) Alexia Mizzi says:

    Thanks Curt,

    We are following up in order to proceed with the changes to clarify the above metnioned.

    Alexia (Integra4Notes)

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