That's not as simple a question as it seems. Workplace
isn't a single product, or even a single platform. On the one hand, it is a related family of services:
These services include components that dip into the Notes and Domino world, but at a different level. Workplace
Messaging, for instance, is meant for a huge base of lightweight mail users who are not normally tied to a workstation, unlike the typical "all info, all day" Notes user scenario.
also includes a set of desktop components, based on the open-source Eclipse environment. This is where things start to get interesting. IBM doesn't have a "migration path", as such. The future Notes client will also be based on this technology. Workplace
and Notes will share the same client space. Notes will not be replaced by Workplace
; it will BECOME Workplace
. Migrate? Don't have to. If you have Workplace
services running, you can run both them and Notes apps in the same client, interacting with one another to provide a "contextual collaboration" environment. If not, well, you can still run Notes and Domino as a standalone environment. If you are predominantly a Workplace
shop, you can add Domino in to provide functionality that would be difficult to duplicate otherwise (interapplication mail, workflow, all the things we take for granted in Notes).
Oh, and the Workplace
Designer client means you don't need to become a J2EE wonk to produce real applications in the Workplace
environment. It is largely modelled on the Domino Designer paradigm (although it is a thoroughly new client, and doesn't suffer from the same backwards-compatibility issues that DOmino Designer has), in that you design an application using standard building blocks (like Domino's Forms, Pages, Views, Agents and so on) and code to an easily-understood set of classes with clearly defined functionality.
So the MS people are, at some level, right. You will be moving to Workplace
in a way, even if you stick with a pure-Notes environment. It will be completely transparent to you though -- it will just be a new Domino release, a new Notes client based on the Workplace
Managed Client, and suddenly, without migrating anything, without ripping or replacing, just by doing a normal release upgrade, you will be using some Workplace
technologies. Whether or not you actually step into the wider Workplace
world to add apps that are best not done in Notes or migrate any existing apps is up to you. If you want to, you can mix and match seamlessly.