Lotus Notes now comes with a blogging feature for companies.

Version 7.0.2 of the collaboration software comes with log templates for the Domino database that allow employees to create, design and update blogs working within Notes, said marketing manager Alan Lepofsky.

Building blogs within Notes gives enterprise users a secure infrastructure on which to produce either internal or external blogs, Lepofsky argued.

Parent company IBM already runs several of its employee blogs on the new Lotus functionality, including Lepofsky's own site at alanlepofsky.net.

The new release also comes with the ability for users to publish feeds from any Notes application to most standard RSS readers, Lepofsky said. "Rather than having to check and see if something new has been updated in a database, you will have an update to your RSS reader that can automatically let you know," he said.

IBM also added new mobility technology to Notes. For the first time, mobile workers can run the program from a USB pocket storage device with a small-footprint version of the application that fits in 512Mb of flash memory, Lepofsky said. When a user installs Lotus Notes 7.0.2, one of the options they have is to install the client directly onto a USB stick.

Lepofsky said the feature should be a big hit with workers who travel frequently and may need to access their Lotus application on the road, even if they don't have their laptops handy.

Also new in the 7.0.2 release is support for more operating systems The software can now run on Microsoft Windows 2003 Server R2 X64 Platform, Novell SUSE 10 Linux (32-bit and 64-bit versions), and 64-bit versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Sun Solaris, and IBM AIX, i5/OS and z/OS.

Original reporting by Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service