Notes, as we know it, is a platform rather than a specific application. That, in itself, adds to the complexity to the Notes Client. When I ask people what Notes Client is, they say it's Mail, Calendar, and bunch of other Databases. But really if you combine it all, it's a platform, on which applications like Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Discussion Database are built. I will try to elaborate more in my blog in the coming Months. And show the power of this which can be exploited by everyone. I would like to start off my blog showing a simple and very useful add-on to the Notes Client.
Every Indian is excited and proud to have a symbol for the Indian Currency, which is "Rupee". Until now, there was no symbol, and most people used to write "Rs" before the amount. Well, thanks to the government and IIT professor, we now have a new symbol which people can use when referring to Rupees. This is
Now, until we have a FONT which includes this character and the keystrokes assigned to it, and then getting those fonts downloaded on each windows machine, we are stuck with trying to find ways on how we can add this to our documents. Given Notes's programming model and ease of adding a new extension, I just created a simple "add-in:, which once installed into your Notes Client, will allow you to add the Rupee Symbol within any Document. Here are the steps to do this:
- Copy the ZIP file from here -> Add Rupee Notes Add-in , and UNZIP the contents into your Notes Install Directory (if you don't know what this is, right-click on your Notes Client launch icon on your desktop, and select "Properties" which will tell you where the program is coming from. )
- Edit your "notes.ini" file (this is also typically in your Notes Install Directory). You can use "Notepad" to edit it.
- Search for "addinmenus" in this file.
- If the line exists, add ",addrupee.dll" to the end of this line
- If the line does NOT exist, add "addinmenus=addrupee.dll" line at the end of "notes.ini" file and hit ENTER
That's it. Once this is done, exit out of Notes and re-enter. Now in any document in a rich-text field (like the Body of your memo you are creating), click on "Action" menu and you will have a new menu option called "Add Rupee Symbol".
Select it to add the symbol into your document.
So excited about the upcoming release of 8.5.3. We have spent long hours getting the product completed in the timeframe promised to the customers. Here's a little teaser from Ed Brill -> Release date for 8.5.3
Along with making the product solid, we also have a number of features/enhancements that benefit the end-users. Here's a sneak-peek at some of the features from the 8.5.3 release. Entire list will be available once the product is released.key 8.5.3 features
I personally love the new Symphony 3.0 which is in the release. Very easy to use, and great when I want to send out PDF to others (easy conversion).
I will update the blog once we have posted the software on the web for download.
Recently we have started to look at the road-blocks customers find when moving to web based interface for their Mail. iNotes has come a long way, and you will find that in the 8.5.3 release, iNotes is way superior to most of the web based email products. And you have Domino as the back-end, which is the most secure and scalable messaging server you can have. I like the speed when using iNotes. I have used all the 3 different flavors of iNotes (Full, Lite, and ultra-lite) and find them useful in different situations. Just the other day, I wanted to check my email from my mobile (yes, I could install Traveler, but I did not). So I just tried the iNotes Ultra-lite, and was amazed how quickly the inbox showed on my mobile and how easy was it navigate around my mail and read what I needed to read. Truly amazing & fast (no 3G for me yet).
So for customers that do not require a full-blown Notes Client for their email, iNotes is great product. It is also something that can be used as an alternate method for checking mail, when you are away or at another office and do not have your laptop with the Notes Client on it.
I am sure that most of the customers are investigating moving their Notes/Domino environment to access via a browser. Are you thinking the same? Have you tried the latest iNotes & Lotus Traveler, and does that meet your requirements? What stops you from going ahead with this strategy?
Post away if you have thoughts around this.
Good article on the reason & benefits of the Browser Plugin in Ed Brill's Blog -> Ed's Blog Link
Ed is calling it the App-player, but I am sure in the next 2-3 months, final name will come out.
So, LS2012 is over and behind us. Judging from the response we had for the Notes 8.5.4 release, and especially the Notes Social Edition, I can see that we @Lotus have our work cut out. There's lots of enthusiasm amongst our users for the features in these, and we need to work hard to deliver these, in time, with quality. We will do our best!!
Embedded Experiences was another hot topic in the conference. In the final "Ask the developer" session, there were a number of praises doled out for the this. Kudos to Andrew Davis and his team for all the hard work that has gone into it. It's going to raise the Notes Client way above the rest of the pack. Read a lot about it in Ryan Baxter's
"Ask the Developers" is the last session at Lotusphere (besides the "Closing Ceremony"), where customers get to ask questions to the developers developing all these COOL Lotus applications. As always, the room was packed, and the stage was filled with senior techies from ICS/Lotus products (oh yah, this time, I was amongst one of them :-) ). Interestingly more than 50% of the quesitons were around C&S (Calendaring & Scheduling). Great news was that we have already implemented some of the key asks (such as Rolling Month, Weekly Planner view) in the 8.5.4 release. But sure, there were few that we will take back and look at over the next few releases. Great feedback from the users though.
Another successful, busy and crowded Lotusphere. Great meeting customers and interacting!!
Looking forward to the next one, planned from January 27th onwards.
(Now back to Littleton and a little bit of snow).
that's the official name as we have it. "Lotus Notes Browser Plug-in". There have been a number of questions which I will try to address here..
- This is not a replacement for XPages. Although both Xpages and the plug-in give you the ability to run your application inside a browser, XPage has huge advantages since it truly gives you WEB capabilities. The Notes Browser plug-in is mainly geared towards notes apps that you cannot move to XPages because you no longer have the original developer, nor believe it's cost beneficial due to it's in-frequent use.
- Notes Browser Plug-in will surface your notes application unmodified in the browser. Same UI, same actionbar, navigator, frameset, forms, embedded elements, views, etc etc etc.
- All the Notes components like dialogs (Ctrl-O), infobox, workspace, replicator will be available in side the browser.
- Some screenshots of the new welcome page, workspace inside Internet Explorer. (showing recent apps, link to Workspace), and some tips.
- Do post comments if you have further questions.
As we are almost done with the development of the IBM Lotus Notes Browser plug-in, now is a good time to talk about packaging & installation. We started the development of the plug-on with the following goals:
- Keep the browser plug-in size as small as possible. We were benchmarking with the Adobe Reader install size. This means a size of about 60MB.
- Keep the browser plug-in installer as easy as possible
- Shorten the installation time - our goal was a minute to install & setup.
Very aggressive goals to begin with (contrast this to the basic client install size of 200MB). But I am happy to note here that we have almost achieved these goals as some of you will see it in the code-drops you are getting, and others as you get hold of it at a later stage when it's GA'ed. We would surely like to get your comments related to this. What we have done is:
- Have a minimum kit - which is about 62 MB, almost all that you need to run your existing Domino Application in the 2 browsers we will support.
- Have a larger kit - about 125 MB, which includes the minimum above, but in addition also includes the Notes JVM which is required if you have applications that have Java in the design.
You can decide which is required by your users.
Another goal that we have achieved, is to simplify the installation. We will continue to have MSI installer, as requested by most of the customers we talked to, but the installation has 2 screen to begin with and then installs within a minute on my Windows7 desktop that I have. I think this is HUGE!! I am sure your admin's and user's will find this beneficial.
So the goal of Install & Setup of a minute-each definitely is something that is already achieved. It's so amazing that during some of the testing I was doing today, I literally installed/un-installed the product a good number of times, without much of a wait.
If you have any thoughts on the installation, packaging of the Notes Browser Plug-in, we would love to hear your thoughts. Do comment on this.
I have been looking at "Search" within Lotus Notes lately. Lots of discussions with customers on this. While researching this, I realized that there are a good number of hidden gems inside Notes which not many customers are aware of (well, we kept it well hidden). Using some of these would enhance searching experience in Notes. So let's take a look at some.
- Most users do not realize the power that's hidden underneath the "More" option in the Notes's Clients search bar.
All the options where the user can specify various conditions can help users create powerful search query to get the exact document they are looking for.
- And you can see the "Search Search" "Load Search" option which saves the query which you can recall later for re-doing the search. This is saving off the query so when you 'load' it back, it will re-run the query, so any new documents matching the creteria can be found.
- we also support specifying text to search for in internet format. In the "Notes" "Basic" preference panel, you will find the following preference:
- Last but not the least, when you select "Condition" "Form" above, Notes has a feature where you can specify the default form to be used. The name of the form has to be $DefaultSearch. Once you create this form in your application, when you click on the "Form" button below:
the default form as defined by the form with name $DefaultSearch shows up. Here I have created a form in my mailfile with fields which I most commonly search within (From, Subject, Message Body)
The most important part is, this is so intuitive for the user. For example, I just need to search for all the mails from "Simon" with a subject that has "plugin" in it, I will fill this:
hit "Add" and then "Search", which then gives me all the documents that are from "Simon" and the word "plugin" somewhere in the Subject.
Really a very powerful, yet hidden functionality. You can create a form like this in your own application with fields which are commonly found in it.
I hope you all have checked out Ed Brill's latest blog announcing the Public Beta of Notes/Domino 9 Social Edition. If not, please see this -> http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf
I attended the Webcast for this event, and could see the presentation, and the nice demos. Very well done by Ed, Scott and the rest of the team.
Very excited about all the cool things in this release that we have been working on. And looking forward to all of you getting hold of this when the Public Beta goes out in mid-December. Very cool features in the Client, iNotes, Social Capability in both, and also the new flavor of the client "IBM Notes Browser Plug-in". Lots of demos, so please download them when available and drool over.
As the public beta gets closer I will try to post more information on some new features. For those attending IBM Connect 2013 in orlando Florida in January 2013, you can see and hear about all the features in detail at that conference.
I am a die-hard Notes Client user, having worked on the client for the past 17 years. Not much of an iNotes user until the latest 9.0 Social Edition release (maybe I was forced to start using iNotes because of the work I had to do for the Notes Browser Plug-in). But as we get closer to the Public Beta for the IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition release (& iNotes & Notes Browser Plug-in), one thing that struck me is the ease of switching between the 2 products (Notes Client & iNotes). The development and the UX team has put in tremendous efforts in ensuring that the user interface between these 2 products is almost identical, and easy to use.
- Both the products support the same "Social Edition" theme so overall color scheme is identical.
- Both the products have the same banner at the top to allow for easy launch of common applications (mail, calendar, workspace, homepage etc)
- Here's a quick screenshot just to get you excited about the new BETA coming out very shortly.
You will see the same look & feel if you use iNotes or the Notes Client.
There are lot of cool things coming in the 9.0 Beta, for which I will post updates in the next few days.
Happy waiting for the Beta :-)
Woohoo! Looking forward to all of you downloading the latest Public Beta that was just announced about an hour back and available for anyone to download & try:
Notes 9 Social Edition Public Beta
I am excited about the entire product as the development team has worked hard to make all the enhancements requested by you, the customer. I am also, very eagerly, looking forward to your feedback for the "Notes Browser Plug-in", which is part of this beta. Encourage everyone to try this out. The announcement mentioned the plug-in as "IBM Notes Browser Plug-in: allows rapid delivery of IBM Notes Social Edition applications to the web". So please try and provide the feedback in the forum.
As we went into the Public Beta, we have made some changes to how you install this Notes Browser Plug-in. Prior to these changes, we had a separate installer for the Plug-in, and what it meant was that the user could either have Standard Client (or Basic) OR Notes Plug-in. We found that the users needed to gradually move to the plug-in, atleast those that are using Standard Client now, and will need to switch between the Standard Client, and iNotes/Browser Plug-in combination.
So as you download and try to install the standard client, we now provide you the following option:
selecting the "notes browser plug-in" option will install the add-ons into the Firefox & Internet Explorer browsers so you can work on your notes applications inside these browsers. Go ahead and try. All you need to do after the install is to bring up FF or IE, and type "notes:home" (make sure you are not running any notes client at this point - since we do not support running the 2 clients simultaneously).
(Windows only for this release)
I have been using the Notes 9 Social Edition client for the past few months as we are adding new features to it. I have seen it take shape into a brand-new client. I do like a good number of the new features in the product, but the Top-3 in the release are below:
1. Quick Launch Bar -- Huge + for me. It's always there. Saves me from using the OPEN drop-down completely. As you can see, I have added HOME and Workspace to it so I can easily access them (yes, I still use Workspace for some DBs)
2. New Welcome Page (Discover Page) Quick Links -- allowing me to quickly access my last 6 applications - I think this is a great functionality as I can quickly open an application which I had previously opened. Typically I am working in 4-5 applications besides my mailfile. So they are pretty much there in this list and I don't have to click on "Open" to get to it. Very convenient.
3. Quick Search -- really a nice enhancement to quickly search for a name in the inbox, which is what I do most of the time. Great that it automatically sorts the column I want to look for (prior releases required me to manually sort the column). And the nice part is that it has the "Recent Contacts" like type-ahead functionality to help me with the name rather than requiring me to type the entire name.
What are you favorite 3?
Recently I had received some queries from 1 or 2 customers about training videos for Notes Client. I was actually thinking of creating some simple videos and let people know how they can get started in IBM Notes, but thanks to my colleague, Jayant Koppikar (owe you one), who pointed me to a pool of existing videos which are available for anyone to view. This is a great thing, and for me it was a hidden jewel. Not sure if you all know about it. but here they are:
Check them out. You can find small 1-minute videos all the way upto 5-6 minute ones. You can know how to get started with Notes, all the way to how to use a Delegated Mail file, how to effectively search, and more.
One of my favorite is this video about all the cool features in Notes 8.5.3. This clearly explains what those are, how you can use them, and where you need to go to enable them. Simple 5-minute video for you to get effective in Notes 8.5.3.
Check them out. If you find anything missing, we now know who to contact and get them created/added. So do let us know what else you would like to see a video about.
Happy viewing!! And wishing all the readers "Happy Holidays & a Very Happy New Year!"
As I write this blog, IBM Notes 9 is released for general availability (GA). I am so happy about this as me & my team have been working really hard on the Notes 9, and the Notes Browser Plug-in for the past 1.5 years. Good to see it released so customers can also use & love what we have put out. Here are some links on where you can get hold of IBM Notes 9 & rest of the released components:
Passport Online/PSPT -
Customer base: Passport Advantage and Passport Express customers.
Customer received a user name and password when they first enroll in the PA
program. The customers are provided downloads of all DSW products they have
purchased through the Passport licensing program.
Software Access Catalog/SAC
Customer base: Business Partners
Academic Initiative/AI --> https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/academicinitiative/
Customer base: Academic customers
IBM Web MembershipIWM --> URL: http://w3.webahead.ibm.com/w3ki/display/iscswias/Home).
base: any (this is where the Trials, Evaluation and Non-Warranted kits are made
I have seen some cool YouTube videos. The most hilarious is this one -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ydEz3ddeo&feature=youtu.be
The one I like which shows the IBM Notes Browser Plug-in in action as used by one of the user to test is -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSxvayxOfXc
(Thanks Ben for complimenting us)
For folks that want to try the Notes Browser Plug-in, you can definitely use the Standard Client installer, and select the option (under Notes Client twistie) to install the Notes Browser Plug-in also.
Looking forward to more users trying this and providing feedback.
Since IBM Notes Browser Plug-in is a new product released couple of days back, we have tried to gather all the information that could help you get started with it, and also help you use it with iNotes. All the information has been posted on our Domino Wiki at this place:
Please refer to this for any questions you might have. If you find something that's missing and would like to see added to the Wiki, do let me know via comments to this entry and we will do the needful.
IBM Notes Browser Plug-in released as part of IBM Notes 9 release
is a great product which allows you to open any existing Notes/Domino
Applications inside a browser. If you have created new applications
using XPages or converted your old ones using XPages, they can be opened
in browser even without this plug-in. The Notes Browser Plug-in is for
older apps which you do not want to or cannot convert to XPages.
As can be seen from the above picture, a combination IBM Notes Browser Plug-in & IBM iNotes together provides the same functionality in a browser as you would expect from an installed Notes Client. Your Mail access will be via iNotes and the applications can be accessed via the Browser Plug-in, all within the context of the same Browser. And you will have support for all the features you are used to in the Notes Client - mainly, Local Replica, Replication Page, Workspace.
Key functionality here is the tighter integration between the Notes applications running inside the browser & IBM iNotes. I will try to summarize the integration capability added in the IBM Notes 9 release.
As we talk about Mail & App integration (iNotes & Browser Plug-in), following are the integration points supported:
Access to applications when in IBM iNotes:
- We have provided a button on iNotes so you can launch to the welcome page of the IBM Notes Browser Plug-in: ->
- If you have a Document Link/View link or DB Link in an Email you open up, as long as the link has a URL of "notes://" (look for the link url on the status bar), this will then launch the Notes Browser Plug-in and open the content inside the same browser (a new tab). Please make sure the Domino server has a setting to format the link as Notes:// link instead (or in addition to) http://
Mail integration in IBM Notes Browser Plug-in
- IBM Notes Browser Plug-in does not allow you to open mailfile or mail applications in the plug-in.
- Trying to open your mailfile via the workspace, or mail bookmark will get re-directed to your mailfile in iNotes. So it's seamless for the user to open his/her iNotes mail from the Plug-in.
- Any mail operation you do in your application, such as "Action->Forward", will create a new memo in iNotes and include your document in the BODY of the email.
- Any back-end mail operation done in your application will work as is.
- We do not expect any issues when using your applications and any mail based workflow you might have.
- There is also an icon on the Notes Browser Plug-in menubar to launch iNotes similar to the above icon on iNotes launch bar.
So all you need to do is to upgrade to IBM iNotes 9 to get the new icon to launch the IBM Notes Browser Plug-in, and install the Notes Browser Plug-in 9 on your desktop, and use these together to get your work done. For this release, we only support Windows & Citrix OS and IE/Firefox browsers. But hopefully that will cover a major sets of users who can try this new functionality in the product. Give us your feedback on your experience.