Webcast recap: What’s new in mail and chat in V10

Webcast recap: What’s new in mail and chat in V10

I recently joined Ram Krishnamurthy and Andrew Manby on a webcast discussing some of the new features coming with V10 of Notes and Verse On-Premises later this year.  If you missed the webcast then you can watch a replay here, and read this as I share some of my most anticipated features.

Verse On-Prem Calendar Redesign

Many of you may have already deployed Verse On-Premises (VOP) and, if so, you will have noticed the vastly different UI between the mail and calendaring areas of the client.  In short, the VOP calendar looks very much like (if not identical to) the iNotes calendaring interface which differs in both look and behavior from the mail features. For V10, the entire VOP calendaring behavior has been rewritten using fast, client-side programming (React) that involves minimal client-server calls. This makes working with your calendar and creating appointments fast and — yes, I said it — elegant.  Let’s look at some examples:

Creating A New Calendar Entry

The first small feature that I think is a big improvement is the type ahead when inviting someone to a calendar entry.  As you can see, I have typed “ra” and we would normally expect this to show us people whose first or last names begin with those letters. However, in this new design the “ra” is matched in any part of the name. So as well as finding “Ram Krishnamurthy,” it also finds “Margaret Rora.” This works for both mail addressing and in view quick search as well.

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Below is the form for a new calendar entry in VOP.  Note that the calendar itself appears on the right-hand side, so as I create new entries they appear on my calendar.  While I’m creating the entry it is in “draft” form and appears on my calendar in a color denoting that it is a draft.  I can save the entry in draft form at any time and come back to finish it later. In this way I can easily pencil in entries and see how my calendar is filling up.

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On the above screenshot you can see that as I type in my suggested day (Mar 5 2019) and invite Ram, the screen immediately refreshes to show his available calendar slots for that week.  As I click on each slot it shows on my calendar so I can easily see if I’ve created a crowded day for myself.

As I type another name, “Andrew E Davis” (below), you can see that the calendar has adjusted and removed slots for “Monday” when Andrew isn’t available, only showing slots that match all attendees. The behavior is fast and immediately visible on the calendar.

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Each calendar entry also has four standard icons allowing you to choose advanced options such as creating an all-day event, setting an alternate time zone and setting repeating appointment options.

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You can also choose to display an alternate time zone on your actual calendar so that your entries can be seen in both.

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These are some of my favorite VOP calendar changes that are coming. But what about the Notes client updates we can expect? Along with the return of the Notes Workspace and customization options for the theme, colors, and fonts, there are significant changes coming to Notes mail as well.

The first is improvements to send mail policies. Mail policies will now be checked before sending on the client and the user will be prompted to correct any issues upfront rather than having the mail be rejected after sending. Each policy setting can be configured as a warning or an error. In the screenshot below you can see the user is warned that the message has a blank subject and that it is addressed to external recipients —  neither one of these warnings will prevent the message being sent and can be dismissed. However, there are error warnings such as over the total document size, the size of an attachment, or the number of attachments that will prevent the message from being sent. These settings are customizable by the administrator and can be applied via policies to everyone or to specific users.

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The next new mail feature is something many of us have wanted for some time: the ability to delay mail for future sending. In the screenshot below I have selected a delivery date in the future. When I press send, the message will arrive in the server mail.box with a flag telling the router not to deliver the mail until the time specified. This means that I can write emails and send them all for delivery in the future, then go on to shut down my laptop for the day — knowing that the server will send them at the right time. This feature is controlled via a flag in the document so all your application developers can use it in your designs for delaying application mail as well.

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The new updates also include the introduction of calendar forwarding of invites controlled by the invite chair. This means that if I receive a meeting invite and the chair has allowed it, I can invite others to that meeting. As shown below, the chair can choose to either not allow additional invites at all, allow and auto accept them, or allow them based on approval. This setting can be changed at any time. If I set up a meeting and decide to initially allow additional invites, but then discover that my 8 person meeting is turning into a 20 person one, I can turn of the setting so no-one else can be invited.

This is a great new feature because it can be controlled at a granular level, on a meeting-by-meeting basis.

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Finally, I want to talk about what’s coming in Sametime V10. HCL has shared that the V10 release will be focused on upgrading the Community Server (Domino) element, and not any of the WebSphere elements such as Meetings or Proxy. Those will continue to work with the new V10 Sametime Community Server, however the big change will be providing support for 64 bit installations. Currently, the Sametime Community server must be installed on a 32 bit version of Domino but with V10 that will change to provide full 64 bit support on Domino. For those of you who have Sametime already that means a re-install of your Community server on a 64 bit Domino server but provides more options for deploying Sametime alongside other Domino services.
Another major change coming in Sametime V10 is support for persistent chat, which means that users logged into to multiple clients (desktop, mobile etc) at the same time will be able to keep their conversations in sync across devices. Offline messages across those chats will also be supported. To help you benefit from the new feature there will be a change to the entitlement licensing, allowing you to use Sametime on mobile as well as integrated into your Notes client.  That’s good news for licensed Notes customers who use Sametime and will be able use the iOS or Android chat clients at no additional cost.

These are just a handful of the exciting things coming in Notes V10 and Verse On-Premises, and more can be seen in the full webcast — including details of client customization options.

If you are planning to move to V10 or Notes, Domino, Traveler, Sametime or Verse On-Premises later this year, then be sure to keep an eye on the Destination Domino site and register for the newsletter to stay in the know about all things Domino. I am currently producing a webcast series on Youtube called #Perfect10 to help people plan their V10 upgrades. If you have any questions about upgrading or infrastructure in general, feel free to reach out to me via my blog at http://turtleblog.info or via twitter @gabturtle.


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