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Limited first beta of Notes Social Edition now available

A more broadly available version of Social Edition will be available in six to eight weeks

IBM has distributed to partners the first external beta code of Notes/Domino Social Edition, which will allow Notes client applications to run in a browser, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

The Notes/Domino Social Edition was formally introduced in January at Lotusphere, and allows some Notes applications to run unmodified in a browser on a Windows PC, once the browser has been equipped with a plug-in now called the Notes Application Player Plug-in.

While the traditional Notes client will provide the richest way to run Notes applications, enterprises were asking IBM for ways to get away from desktop deployments. Desktop clients for any software are some of the more expensive components for IT organizations today, Ed Brill, director of product line management at IBM Collaboration Solutions, wrote after the announcement at Lotusphere.

The first two browsers that will be compatible with Social Edition are Internet Explorer and Firefox, Brill said in his latest post.

The partners that have been able to get their hands on the code are still covered by a non-disclosure agreement, so users won't hear from them just yet, according to Brill.

The beta code is included in the third code release of the Notes/Domino 8.5.4 beta, of which Social Edition is a part.

Other additions in the latest code release includes updated iNotes calendar forms, SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) support, and a number of enhancements to the XPages development platform.

The next code release will arrive in about six to eight weeks from now, and will be more broadly available to beta program participants.

It will also include updates to Notes Traveler, Brill wrote. IBM is, for example, working on improving the Notes Traveler client for Android, with better calendar views and presence awareness.

IBM plans to ship Notes/Domino 8.5.4 with Social Edition by the end of 2012.

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