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

CharacteristicsLotus DominoExchange Server








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








Mail Routing

Person’s PAB data/ informationBased on Exchange properties in Person’s AD account
NNN basedAD site based
Notes RouterHub Role
NRPC for inter Domino plus SMTP for internetDefault protocol for SMTP
Foreign SMTP Domain, SMTP Connection document, and SMTP listenerSend and Receive Connectors
Global Domain and AliasesAccepted Domains
Implicit intra-organization send connectorServer having same NNN
AD site link for inter-siteConnect docs/NNN for inter
Link costConnect doc cost




Deleted Items / DB Recovery

TrashDeleted Items
Admin Approval / Recover from BackupSoft Delete / Disconnected Database
Recover from backupRecover Deleted items
Recover from backupPurges (Single Item Recovery)
Recover from backupLitigation Hold / Recover from Backup






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



User Management

Lotus Notes Admin ClientAD Users, Computers, and EMC
Third-party tools / Live ConsoleEMS
AdminP RequestsNew_Requests (Move)





Lotus Notes Client (NRPC)Outlook (MAPI and RPC)
TravelerActive Sync
DominoWeb Services Inbuilt



Offline Mode

OfflineOutlook Cached Mode / Offline Mode
Local mail.nsf FileLocal Outlook.pst file
MobileDir and Local ContactsOAB and Local Contacts
Access DelegationReader AccessFull 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.