Major Challenges Faced While Migrating Lotus Notes to Outlook

By | February 20, 2018
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Lotus Notes is a desktop-based email program being developed by IBM. Users can use this email application for personal as well as email communication management. It also helps to manage the mailbox items like emails, calendar events, tasks, meeting, etc. and stored in .nsf format. IBM Lotus Domino has been around for decades. Small and medium-sized companies have been using the IBM Domino that supports business processes; all of those applications can be business critical, e.g. because they save information that is subject to any legal requirements. But an IT world keeps on changing and the new technologies come out every year.

Due to which companies need to continuously analyze their IT strategy in order not to fall behind. Most of the companies have already been decided or are in process for Lotus Notes Migration. Therefore, in this blog, we are going to discuss various challenges faced while migrating Lotus Notes to Outlook. Along with this, we have also discussed a third party tool i.e SysTools Mail Migration Wizard to migrate Lotus Notes mailboxes to Outlook.

Reasons to Migrate Lotus Notes Email Client

Earlier Lotus Notes has become popular for group chat, email management and bulletin boards that provides online collaboration workspaces for end users. IBM Notes replica allows the user to keep the multiple replicas, maintaining the .nsf Database files on different servers and on a local desktop. Ever since various sites came into fashion, Notes started losing the UI and customize formatting available through the Lotus Notes client. Although it really helps in keeping the data safe and secure it becomes too complex and expensive when its come to the maintenance. Usually, users are capable to migrate data from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail and many other email clients.

Major Challenges Associated with Lotus Notes to Outlook Migration

Projects need to migrate towards other applications are mainly driven by cost-saving considerations. In very rare cases, technical aspects may also be the reason, for e.g. because the application does not fit to the company’s overall IT strategy or because the application which has reached the end of its life cycle and the vendor will not support in future. The major challenges addressed during the application migration project can be dignified into two groups such as Business and technical aspects. The major challenges faced during Lotus Notes migration can be divided into two aspects such as:

Business Challenges

Let us start with Business challenges that are commonly faced by every small company. From the business perspective the major challenges of Lotus Notes are discussed below:


The main cost drivers for migrating NSF files are:

  1. Analysis of data that needs to be converted.
  2. Selection of the suitable technology replacement.
  3. Customize your target Email client to implement the required functionality.
  4. Definition, improvement, implementation, and control of conversion process.
  5. Ensure that we will get high-quality context after exporting data from a Lotus Notes.

Legal Requirements

To ensure that full legal compliance throughout the migration process can be one of the most expensive elements of such process. The entire procedure must be defined, implemented and controlled in order to make sure that all the documents are to be migrated without any errors but there may be a chance of occurring errors if done with a hand.

  • Technical Challenges

The technical challenges are more complicated than business challenges. From the technical perspective, various challenges need to be addressed for IBM Lotus Notes Migration. Let us have a look:

  • Encrypted Documents

The encryption of a document is possible in Lotus Notes applications. If an application that contains encrypted documents, the technical approach can be used to migrate Lotus Notes documents to other email clients must support on-the-fly decryption of each document during the extraction of Lotus Notes to Outlook.

  • Different types of Documents

A single Domino email client may contain multiple documents with different data types, each with the number of files, links, attachments, and metadata. When users want to convert data from NSF database and saving information into the new system, it is necessary that each document is migrated in a way so that none of this information and the document will be lost on its way from IBM Domino to a new target platform.

  • Document Attachments

The documents in Lotus Notes that can contain other files as either normal attachment or as an Object Linking and Embedding objects. Normal attachments can be extracted and stored easily as a separate object. However, the OLE object requires some special processing for exporting Lotus Notes documents to another email client.

  • Versioned Documents

Versioning is the main feature that is more commonly used in IBM Domino applications, especially in a document library and maintain other data files like updated metadata of the file or updated file types. When we extract a document from IBM Domino mail client, it becomes more important and a challenging task to preserve the edition and keep all data safe so that the development of a specific document from the initial creation to the last modification could be easily traced.

Professional Way to Migrate Lotus Notes NSF Database Files

To overcome all challenges, users can take help of a reliable third party tool i.e., Mail Migration Wizard. It is capable enough to convert Lotus Notes to Outlook application. It provides various advanced features to the user to make the migration process simpler. It also comes with the user-friendly interface that can be easily understood by the novice user too. Some of the unique features of the tool are:

  • Supports to export Domino Server mailboxes to MS Outlook
  • IBM Domino Environment is required on conversion machine
  • Provides an option to translate Canonical Name into SMTP Format
  • MS Exchange Server is must perform Lotus Notes migration
  • Apply various filters to export selective data without any data loss


In the above blog, we have discussed certain reasons behind Lotus Notes migration. Along with this, we have covered all major challenges of Lotus Notes migration as per business or technical perspective. Else, users can take help of a commercial solution i.e., Mail Migration Wizard that helps to convert Lotus Notes to Outlook PST/ MS Exchange Server/ Office 365 in an efficient way.

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James smith

He is a data recovery expert who works as freelancer technical blogger. He has been in the Data recovery industry for 10+years and specialized in data recovery solutions & data management techniques. He researched on various email client issues & now willing to share information among people through the Web.
Category: Technology

About James smith

He is a data recovery expert who works as freelancer technical blogger. He has been in the Data recovery industry for 10+years and specialized in data recovery solutions & data management techniques. He researched on various email client issues & now willing to share information among people through the Web.