How to set up IBM Lotus Notes V8 for Microsoft Outlook users

Learn how to set up IBM Lotus Notes V8 so that Microsoft Outlooks users have a smooth and easy transition to it.

Share:

Mary Beth Raven (mraven@us.ibm.com), Lead User Experience Designer for IBM Lotus Notes 8 and IBM Lotus Expeditor, IBM

Mary Beth Raven is passionate about involving users in the design of collaboration tools and has been redesigning Lotus Notes for more than two years, before which she designed five versions of IBM Lotus Sametime. She works with the Lotus Notes Design team in Westford, MA, and loves to travel, especially to visit customers. She holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.



19 December 2007

Also available in Russian

This purpose of this article is to describe the basic steps needed to make a smooth transition from Microsoft Outlook to IBM Lotus Notes V8. Here is an outline of these steps that we discuss in detail:

  1. As an IBM Lotus Domino administrator, you create a Desktop policy in which you set up:
    • The Window management style to be New Window
    • A policy to have a local replica of the mail file created automatically
    • A replication schedule so that the new users receive new mail in their local mail file frequently
  2. Set a special Home page, using one of the following two methods:
    • Create a custom database application and put Mail, Calendar, and Contacts each in a frame; then set the Mail File Location to Local, using the LocALLMailType Desktop Setting document, so that each frame points to the local replica.
    • Manually add Mail as the Home page, and add Calendar and Contacts to the Startup folder.
  3. Ensure that Preview on Side is the default for the Mail Inbox preview.

Setting the Window management style to New Window

In the IBM Lotus Domino Administrator client, create a new user policy and set the Window management style to New Window, using the Desktop Settings – Preferences – Window Management tab (see figure 1).

Figure 1. New Window policy setting
New Window policy setting in the Administration User Policy UI

You can set the policy while allowing users to change their preferences, in which case they can choose File – Preferences, expand Toolbar in the tree control, select Windows and Themes, and then select among the three different options under Window Management (see figure 2).

Figure 2. User preferences for Windows and Themes
User Preferences for the Window Management options

When the "Open each document in its own window" option is selected and users double-click a mail message in the Inbox (or any view or folder), the message opens in its own window, similar to the way that Microsoft Outlook does. Figure 3 shows a new Lotus Notes message opening in a new window.

Figure 3. Each message, calendar entry of Notes document opening in its own window
Each message, calendar entry of Notes document opening in its own window

Setting a policy to have a local replica of the mail file created automatically

If users have a local mail replica, it opens automatically when they open mail, and they may never need to switch to a server replica. Many Microsoft Outlook users expect mail to come to their client and to be stored there.

As part of the new user policy that you created using the Lotus Domino Administrator client, you can have users with this policy automatically get a local replica of their mail file, using the Server Options section in the Basics tab of the Desktop Settings document (see figure 4).

Figure 4. The "Create a local mail file replica" user policy option
The Create a local mail file replica user policy option

Setting up a replication schedule so that new users receive new mail in their local mail file frequently

In the new user policy, you must specify a replication schedule appropriate for your organization (see figure 5), selecting the Preferences – Replication tab. Note, however, that the default of 60 minutes is probably not frequent enough.

Figure 5. The Default replication schedule user policy setting
The Default replication schedule user policy setting

Users now automatically receive new mail on a regular basis; however, if they want to force a replication at any time, they can either:

  • Select the Send and Receive Mail option from the Tools menu
  • Click the Send and Receive Mail icon on the Action bar

Users do not need to go to a Replicator tab. If users explore the interface, though, they see that the Mail application (which includes Calendar) does indeed appear on the Replicator tab, and they can force replication from that tab if they choose.


Setting a special Home page

A Home page is sometimes called a Welcome page, but in this article we use Home page to refer to Homes pages and Welcome pages.

You can set a special Home page using one of the following two methods:

  • Create a custom database application, and put Mail, Calendar, and Contacts each in a frame by setting the Mail file location to Local, using the LocalMailType Desktop Setting document, so that each frame points to the local replica.
  • Manually add Mail as the Home page by adding Calendar and Contacts to the Startup folder.

Create a custom Home page database application

If you choose this method, you create a custom database application, and put Mail, Calendar, and Contacts each in a frame, and then set the mail file location to Local using a desktop setting.

  1. First, create a custom Home page database, and then create a new Home page, making one frame each for Inbox, for Calendar, and for Contacts. (This mimics the first summary screen in Outlook 2003).
  2. Select this page in the Default Welcome Page field on the Desktop Settings document (see figure 6).
  3. If you want to create a custom Home page database application, then you must also set the mail file location to Local, using a desktop setting (described later in this article). If you do not set the mail file location to Local, then this custom Home page always points to the server replica, which defeats the purpose of the previous steps of making a local replica and setting a replication schedule.

If you have never worked with a custom Home page before, you may want to refer to the developerWorks article, "Rolling out a Corporate Welcome Page," for further information.

If you want to force users to keep Mail as the Home page, then in the Home page selection field, select the "Do not allow" option (see figure 7). This prevents users from changing their Home page to a different page.

Figure 6. Creating a custom Home page (Welcome page) database application
Creating a custom Home page (Welcome page) database application

Now you must set the mail file location to Local using a Desktop Settings document. Doing this ensures that the Home page points to the local replica and not to a server replica. It also ensures that the Mail and Calendar tabs that load from the Startup folder also point to local replicas. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Set the Mail File Location field to Local, using the same Desktop Settings document that you use for the rest of the settings.
  2. Create this field on the Desktop Settings document, name it LocAllMailType, and set the value to 1. (The value is 0 for server, which seems to be the default, and 1 for local.)

The following text is from the Lotus Domino 8 Administrator Online Help (in the User and Server Configuration section, "Using policies to assign NOTES.INI or Location document settings to Notes client users" subsection):

You can use a desktop policy settings document to add or set NOTES.INI variables for Notes client users. This is an easy way to assign NOTES.INI variables to all Notes client users, or to a specific subset of Notes client users, at one time. You can also use desktop policy settings documents to set field values in Location documents for users.

To use a policy to assign a NOTES.INI value or a Location Doc setting to Notes client users, use the Domino Designer to add a new field to the desktop policy settings document. The new field must be named $PrefVariableName, where VariableName is the name of the NOTES.INI variable you want to set. In the new field on the desktop policy settings document, enter the value you want assigned to that NOTES.INI variable. That is the value that is set in the NOTES.INI for the assigned Notes users.

In the Server Options section of the Basics tab, select the "Create local mail file replica" option.

For example, assume that you want to use a policy settings document to add a font size setting of 5 to your NOTES.INI file. To change the font setting, do the following:

  1. From Lotus Domino Designer, open the desktop policy settings document form.
  2. Create a new field named $PrefDisplay_font_adjustment, and assign it a value of 5.
  3. Save and close.

To set a Location document setting using a policy document, add a new field to the policy settings document. The new field must be named $LocAllVariableName, where VariableName is the name of the fields you are setting in the Location documents. In the new field on the policy settings document, enter the value you want assigned to that variable. That is the value that is then assigned to all the users' Location documents.

These new values are set on the assigned users' clients the next time they authenticate with their home server.

NOTE: Some settings require that the Lotus Notes client be restarted for the settings to take effect.

For more information about adding the new field to the Desktop Settings document, see the Lotus Domino Designer documentation.

Manually set each user's local mail file as the Home page

This is the second of the two choices. If you created the custom Home page (Welcome page) database, then you do not need to complete this step.

Here you set each user's local mail replica as the Home page. Unlike using a policy, this option requires that you manually set each user's client. To do this, ensure that Local is the first choice in the list of possible replicas in the Open Replica pull-down menu, and then select the "Set Bookmark as Home Page" menu item.


Add Calendar and Contacts to the Startup folder

Now add Calendar and Contacts to the Startup folder so that when users start the client, they see a tab for mail (now the Home page) and one each for Calendar and Contacts. Because there is no user policy for putting Calendar and Contacts in the Startup folder, you must open Calendar and Contacts and then drag the open tabs to the Startup folder. The Startup folder is in the More Bookmarks folder.

Users can now see that Mail, Calendar, and Contacts are in the Startup folder and can move them out of this folder by dragging them to another folder or to the top level of the Open list. Putting Calendar and Contacts in the Startup folder ensures that users see the three tabs at the top of their Lotus Notes client and can just click a tab to switch from one to the other.

Having these three tabs immediately visible in Lotus Notes is conceptually similar to Microsoft Outlook's three buttons for Mail, Calendar, and Contacts as shown in figure 7.

Figure 7. Comparing Outlook's three buttons in the lower left and the Notes tabs across the top
Comparing Outlook's three buttons in the lower left and the Notes tabs across the top

Click to see larger image

Figure 7. Comparing Outlook's three buttons in the lower left and the Notes tabs across the top

Comparing Outlook's three buttons in the lower left and the Notes tabs across the top

Ensure that Preview on Side is the default for the Mail Inbox preview

Finally, note that the Preview on Side setting is the default, so users should see a preview window of a selected mail message on the side (rather than on the bottom) as shown in figure 8. Just be sure not to change this default. (You can see this setting by clicking the Show button at the far right-hand side of the Action bar; the other options are Preview on Bottom or Hide Preview.)

Figure 8. Ensure Preview pane remains on the side
Ensure Preview pane remains on the side

Conclusion

If you want Microsoft Outlook users to make the easiest possible transition to Lotus Notes V8, we recommend that you configure Lotus Notes with a Desktop policy that sets up:

  • The Window management style to be New Window
  • A policy to have a local replica of the mail file created automatically
  • A replication schedule so that the new users receive new mail in their local mail file frequently

Then set up a special Home page and ensure that Preview on Side is the default for the Mail Inbox preview.

Resources

Learn

Discuss

Comments

developerWorks: Sign in

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).


Need an IBM ID?
Forgot your IBM ID?


Forgot your password?
Change your password

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.

 


The first time you sign into developerWorks, a profile is created for you. Information in your profile (your name, country/region, and company name) is displayed to the public and will accompany any content you post, unless you opt to hide your company name. You may update your IBM account at any time.

All information submitted is secure.

Choose your display name



The first time you sign in to developerWorks, a profile is created for you, so you need to choose a display name. Your display name accompanies the content you post on developerWorks.

Please choose a display name between 3-31 characters. Your display name must be unique in the developerWorks community and should not be your email address for privacy reasons.

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

(Must be between 3 – 31 characters.)

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.

 


All information submitted is secure.

Dig deeper into IBM collaboration and social software on developerWorks


static.content.url=http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/js/artrating/
SITE_ID=1
Zone=Lotus
ArticleID=277832
ArticleTitle=How to set up IBM Lotus Notes V8 for Microsoft Outlook users
publish-date=12192007