An IT manager in New Zealand writes about how he used Lotus Notes to coordinate volunteers after the recent Christchurch earthquake:

As part of my job I needed to help coordinate, and organise hundreds of volunteers helping out in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. To do this efficiently I quickly developed and deployed a Lotus Notes application that enabled people's arrival, departures, and accommodation to be arranged. Lotus Notes really delivered on a phrase I've heard used to describe what it is ... a rapid application development and deployment platform with built-in workflow.

With a couple of hours (literally work) the application had been developed and deployed to Christchurch while I was in Wellington (actually the developer building this for me was in Christchurch) but the user's requiring it were in Christchurch. Two days later additional functionality, checks, validations, searches, and views had been deployed and the application was not only doing what it was supposed to but impressing those who were using it with how easy it was to use and how powerful it was in terms of coordinating people and timings.
Why a double-edged sword?
The other side of the sword is the speed at which you can develop & deploy doesn't leave time to consider the user interface or experience and the default isn't particularly inspiring ...  I wish we could have time to put energy and thought into the user interface and experience so users beg for solutions to be developed in Notes.
In times of crisis, rapid application development and deployment -- as much as that term comes with historical baggage -- shines through in the Notes/Domino world.

Link: Mark Bennett: Lotus Notes - The Double Edged Sword >

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