Understand the Difference between Lotus Domino and Exchange Server

Determining the best mail server or group ware between Lotus Domino and Exchange Server is a very complicated task. It is so because both email clients have similar goals and both applications allow users to exchange information via emailing. However, they are greatly different in the approach of delivering email messages. Thus, to avoid the confusion of users, we have come up with this editorial. Here, we will discuss the difference between Lotus Domino and Exchange Server. Let us start with a general introduction to both email applications.

Introduction to Lotus Domino and Exchange Server

Lotus Domino is a business collaboration application that is developed by IBM to host the critical tasks, emailing, and workflow. It provides high network and database security features to administer critical business operations. Lotus Domino can be utilized as a Web server for Lotus Notes application.

Exchange Server is a widely used Mail Server, Contact Manager plus Calendaring software that is developed by Microsoft Corporation. This email client offers high business-class messaging with enhanced security and scheduling features. It allows users to access their data any time from any smart device.

Lotus Domino vs Exchange Server: Chart Comparison

Characteristics Lotus Domino Exchange Server








Notes Address Book (NAB) Active Directory (AD)
Notes Remote Procedure Call (NRPC) / Replication Web service based or Public Folder
MDB generated on Directory Catalog (DC) server OAB generated on the mailbox server
A replica put into user’s home server CAS server copies OAB from MBX server and sends to the user
Local Contacts Local Contacts
Mobile Directory (MDB) Offline Address Book (OAB)
Notes Client >> dconfing >> Home Server Policy Outlook CachedMode >> Auto Discover >> CAS
Recent Contacts Suggested contacts
Type Ahead Auto-complete








Mail Routing

Person’s PAB data/ information Based on Exchange properties in Person’s AD account
NNN based AD site based
Notes Router Hub Role
NRPC for inter Domino plus SMTP for internet Default protocol for SMTP
Foreign SMTP Domain, SMTP Connection document, and SMTP listener Send and Receive Connectors
Global Domain and Aliases Accepted Domains
Implicit intra-organization send connector Server having same NNN
AD site link for inter-site Connect docs/NNN for inter
Link cost Connect doc cost




Deleted Items / DB Recovery

Trash Deleted Items
Admin Approval / Recover from Backup Soft Delete / Disconnected Database
Recover from backup Recover Deleted items
Recover from backup Purges (Single Item Recovery)
Recover from backup Litigation Hold / Recover from Backup






Column Vise Column Vise
Domain indexing for file system files / Domain Database in a single place Discovery mailboxes search for all the mailboxes of the organization
Advance Search (Field based) Advance Search (Property based)
Server FT Index / Local FT search Exchange Search / Windows Search
Attachment indexing based on Filters Attachment indexing based on Key View Filters



User Management

Lotus Notes Admin Client AD Users, Computers, and EMC
Third-party tools / Live Console EMS
Scripts Scripts
AdminP Requests New_Requests (Move)





Lotus Notes Client (NRPC) Outlook (MAPI and RPC)
Inotes (HTTP) OWA (HTTP)
Traveler Active Sync
Domino Web Services Inbuilt



Offline Mode

Offline Outlook Cached Mode / Offline Mode
Local mail.nsf File Local Outlook.pst file
Archive.nsf Archive.pst
MobileDir and Local Contacts OAB and Local Contacts
Access Delegation Reader Access Full access to the mailbox (Open MBX in Outlook)


After doing a deep analysis, we conclude that Exchange Server gains more popularity rather than Lotus Notes. Thus, if you are a Lotus Notes user and wish to export Lotus Notes to Exchange then, you are required to take help from a third-party tool as there is no any manual method to do so. Thus, we recommend to use SysTools Mail Migration Wizard to transfer Lotus Notes data to Exchange Server.

Concluding Lines

What is the difference between Lotus Domino and Exchange Server, is one of the most asked queries of computer users. In order to clear the confusion between these two email clients, we have compared their features on the basis of their performance and availability.