While my machine slowly chuggs away downloading the beta code I have been reading the release notes to see what I can find of interest to those thinking of evaluating it and I’m distilling what I think are important points here.
Widgets and Live Text support on the Linux and Mac OS platforms is introduced with this release; previously, Widgets and Live text was available on supported Windows platforms only.
Notes 8.5 adds support for Notes standard configuration installation and use from a USB drive. ( otherwise known as NOMAD in previous releases it used to only support the basic client in 8.0x )
Add Google Calendar entries, another Notes user’s calendar, or an iCal feed.
Forward contacts as a vCard from Contacts. Select the contact(s) you want to forward as a vCard and choose “Forward vCard”.
New Notebook (formerly Personal Journal template). The Personal Journal template has a new name, and a new look. When you install or upgrade to Notes 8.5, any new Notebook you create will use the new template (Notebook8.ntf).
The Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS) reduces the total cost of ownership of maintaining any participating Notes database by storing all file attachments in a separate repository on the server and retrieving them by reference.
The auto-populated groups feature uses pre-defined criteria to automatically determine and update group membership. Use the auto-populated groups feature to apply policies to users and groups based on their home servers.
A Notes ID vault is an optional, server-based database that holds protected copies of Notes user IDs. An ID vault allows administrators and users to easily manage Notes user IDs. When IDs are lost, new copies are easily recovered from the ID vault. When users forget their Notes passwords, administrators can provide help instructions that are displayed when users click the new Forgotten Password button in the Notes login window. Authorized personnel can reset (change) the passwords, without requiring access to the ID files or the vault.
The Domino Web server can serve files compressed by gzip (GNU zip); this feature is enabled by default.
Domino Designer moves to the Eclipse platform for Notes 8.5
A new Ultralite mode provides mail, contacts, and a day-at-a-glance calendar on the Apple iPhone or iPod touch.
The full mode of Domino Web Access is on a new tabbed framework for documents and views. This new framework has the look and feel of the lite mode that was introduced in 8.0.1. It provides more parity with the Notes client, and is more efficient.
Before installing or upgrading to Notes 8.5 beta, you should first uninstall your existing Notes client.
Domino version 8.5 public beta 1 introduces new ODS level 50. Domino databases are not upgraded to the new ODS level by default, and no conversion is required as part of the upgrade. Use Create_R8_Databases=1 to upgrade to the latest ODS. ( note this may be in your notes.ini if you added it there to upgrade to ODS48 in the 8.0x server )
The Notes Client on Macintosh now runs Java agents. Locally scheduled background Java agents, foreground Java agents (actions), and Java agents running in a background client thread are all supported. Background agents that use LS2J do not yet work