Just completed my presentation at IBM Connect 2014 along with my co-presenter (Hiro - Hiroyuki Okamoto), and I think we had a great attendance and response from the customer. Bumped into a few people who had good things to say about the session. Thanks for those who attended.
Here's my presentation that you can view on SlideShare -> http://www.slideshare.net/rajeshpatil/id111
I will try to post the examples which Hiro covered around customization at a later point.
Can't find the right mail in your inbox? What about being able to search your mail & archives and provide granular search strings? Our ICS Services team has created an Asset which you can use. It's a plug-in to be installed in Notes Client, and makes searching your mail & archives easier. It will continue to leverage the same Full-text index that is used by the client, but makes it easier to specify field values, like specifying "subject contains xxxx" and "sender is yyy" etc.
You can get more information about this -> https://www-304.ibm.com/connections/blogs/87f3fbd1-c0ec-4f28-be5b-39e1a20ef11b/entry/new_asset_ibm_notes_extended_search_plugin_for_ibm_notes_9_available?lang=en_us
If you would like to try this, you will need to get in touch with your local ISSC rep (link is also given on that page).
Henrik has a good information on the ID to use for downloading various packages -> http://per.lausten.dk/blog/2013/10/ibm-notes-9-0-1-and-ibm-domino-9-0-1-are-now-available-for-download.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Per_Henrik_Lausten+%28Per+Henrik+Lausten%29
For IBM Notes Browser Plug-in, the code to use is
Notes Browser Plug-in Lite (without JVM) CIQ96EN
Notes Browser Plug-in (with JVM) CIQ90EN
We have also updated the Notes/Domino WIKI and I can tell you that my colleague Archana Pawar has done a great job in putting together all the information for using Notes Browser Plug-in. This also includes all the notes.ini parameters we support. You can refer to it here -> http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/xpDocViewer.xsp?lookupName=Notes+9.0.1+Browser+Plug-in#action=openDocument&res_title=IBM_Notes_Browser_Plugin_9.0.1_NBP901&content=pdcontent
And thanks to each of the member of Notes and Notes Browser Plug-in team for getting this quality release out.
IBM Announced yesterday the general availability of IBM Notes 9.0.1 release as well as IBM Notes Browser Plug-in 9.0.1 and IBM iNotes 9.0.1. Lots of new features included in this update release, mainly to take care of key customer requirements. One that I would like to write here about is the most asked capability in the IBM Notes Browser Plug-in.
Access to Mail Template based applications - including mail-in databases
This was identified for a good number of customers as a blocker for their deployment of IBM Notes Browser Plug-in. In order to prevent Mailfile from opening, we probably went too far and disabled access to any database which was based on the mail template. And we found out from all your emails that most of you had used the mail template as a starting point in creating new application.
Well, we are now opening access to these applications inside Notes Browser Plug-in. You can freely open these as you wish and work with them. The only application we try to restrict is your mail file and which we re-direct to IBM iNotes (and I strongly recommend taking a look at 9.0.1 iNotes, lots of features you would love). So there you go. This should take care of any blocker you might have and I expect with this removed, and access to mail database in the back-end API, all of your workflow applications should now work.
Please go ahead and give this a try and let us know how it's working.
Modified by RajPatil
Notes Browser Plug-in is a product for accessing Notes/Domino based applications inside your browser, and not require any modification to your applications. For accessing Mail inside a browser, we recommend IBM iNotes (Previously known as Domino Web Access - DWA). We have modified Notes Browser Plug-in to form a mailfile URL in http when the user tries to double-click on the mailfile icon on the workspace or the bookmarks. For example, if my mailfile was on a server xyz/ibm, we find out it's http name (somethinglike xyz.ibm.com) and then append the pathname to the mailfile to it and fire it up in the browser. So it could come up as:
Notice that we always try to use https. But if your Domino Server's URL is 'http' only, where you want the URL launch your mailfile to be :
then simply add the following to your notes.ini file:
As I had mentioned in my earlier blogs, installation of Notes Browser Plug-in supports both GUI based and Silent Install options. As also mentioned before, there are multiple packages that we support - Standalone Notes Browser Plug-in installation (MIN & MAX), and one with Notes Standard Client.
Both of above installations support "Silent Install"
Go to Command prompt. and change the directory where setup. exe /installer is copied.
Provide below command from command prompt.
The -s -a -s are required for any silent installs now.
e.g. : setup.exe -s -a -s /v"SETMULTIUSER=1 PROGDIR=\\"%s\\" /qn"
The first -s silences the Package For the Web wrapper UI
The -a passes all following command line options to the embedded package
The second -s silences the embedded package's extraction UI
The /v passes the rest of the quoted string to the msiexec engine.
Install NBP at default location :
setup.exe -s -a -s /v"/qn"
Default installation directory can be changed to your preferred directory with below command
setup -s -a -s /V"PROGDIR=C:\<nondefault Path> /qn"
Note : Default Data directory path of NBP can not be changed.
Users Planning to install standard client + NBP can add below parameter to their silent installation command
setup.exe /s /v"ADDLOCAL=NotesPlugin /qn"
setup.exe -s -a -s "/v ALLOWNBPUPGRADE=1 /qn"
For more information on Notes silent installation
A common occurrence these days of rapid acquisitions is where an organization using Notes/Domino acquires a company that's using Outlook/Exchange, and until the infrastructure is replaced with notes/Domino for all the users, there's a need to exchange emails between the 2 groups. This requires some changes to the Domino setup.
A nice step-by-step article for doing this is published by my colleague recently. I would recommend this for everyone or bookmark it for future reference.
Do add comments on the WIKI directly if you have suggestions.
So how does IBM Notes Browser Plug-in authenticate with the Domino Server when user tries to access any databases/applications?
- As I have been mentioning from the beginning, the Notes Browser Plug-in uses NRPC protocol to talk to the Domino Server, not http. So you will need to use your Notes Client password rather than the iNotes or http password you might have setup.
- Another fact you need to understand is that the Notes Browser Plug-in continues to use the ID file that you have been using with your Notes Client. So all the features and access control that were available to you in Notes client will continue to be governed when using this plug-in.
What this means is that if you are using an ID Vault with your Domino Setup, the same can safely be used with Notes Browser Plug-in. If you had setup NSL (Notes Shared Login) for use within your organization, the same would continue to be supported by the Notes Browser Plug-in. Or if you were using the old Single sign-on with synchronization with windows password. All of these, because the ID file and underlying security code is re-used by the Notes Browser Plug-in, remain the same.
In this first release of the Notes Browser Plug-in, we do not support SAML though.
That's the question that keeps coming up again and again. I get an email from some customer about this atleast once or twice a week. And my response is the same.
We provided Notes Browser Plug-in with the Notes Standard client (an option during the installation) only for you to install & use it to try. This is for you to see what it is, how it works and use it to test and ensure your applications work with browser plug-in. But once you have verified this, for the roll-out within your organization, you should use the standalone browser plug-in installation package.
The main intent of Notes Browser Plug-in is to give you a light-weight way to access your Domino Applications inside a browser, with iNotes being your primary mail access.
since you can access all your apps in the standard client along with the mail, you really do not need the browser plug-in.
It's upto you whether you need a browser access for all (Notes Browser Plug-in + iNotes), or desktop based application access (standard client)
Having both for all your users does not make sense and defeats the purpose of trying to go to all-web strategy, unless you want this during the transition phase, in which case, go ahead and roll-out the standard client with the Notes Browser Plug-in selected.
the above gives a choice to the user as to what they want to use.
Please note that you cannot use Standard client and Notes Browser Plug-in at the same time on the same machine. You must completely exit out of one to launch the other. This is by design.
I know there are lots of questions about installation of IBM Notes Browser Plug-in. Following article will clear up all the questions:
The Notes Browser Plug-in can be installed in below two different ways:
Notes Browser Plug-in with Notes Standard client:
If you want to be able to run the Standard Client and Notes Browser Plug-in on the same system at various points, you should select this so you can install both the clients on the same system. Please note that you cannot run both the client at the same time. You must exit one to start another.
Steps to install Notes Browser Plug-in with Notes Standard Client:
In the Standard Client installation user Interface, once you specify the directories for Program Files, and Data Files, you get to the below screen.
In this screen, if you expand the "Notes Client" feature, you will see an option to install "Notes Browser Plug-in". By default, this option is disabled. If you wish to install the Notes Browser Plug-in, please "uncheck" this option.
3. Once the installation of Standard Client is complete, it will also register the plug-ins for Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Notes Browser Plug-in stand-alone
Use this if you want to only have IBM Notes Browser Plug-in on your system, and plan to use iNotes for mail.
There are two variants of the stand-alone Notes Browser Plug-in installation: NotesPluginMax and NotesPluginMin. These will always install a multi-user version of the Notes Browser Plug-in.
NotesPluginMin – does not contain attachment viewers, JVM, or spell check.
NotesPluginMax - JVM is required if you have any application which has a Java Agent in it.
Both of these packages are packed into "setup.exe", so you simply need to run "setup.exe" and accept the License agreement. The remainder of the installation is done in the default path as follows:
Program Directory: C:\Program Files(x86)\IBM\Notes
Data Directory: C:\users\USER_NAME\AppData\Local\IBM\Notes\Data
Both of these installations support "Silent Install" and all of its options.
By default, this will be a multiuser installation. Since the new installers do multi-user installations, and due to the change in the Install & Data directories, your old data may not get migrated. After the installation is complete, and before launching the client, please copy any of your existing saved data (bookmarks, names.nsf, etc.) into the new Data directory.
Once the installation is complete, the first time you bring up the browser (IE or Firefox), it will ask you about a "new Plug-in" which has been installed, and whether to enable it. Please make sure that the answer to this is "Yes".
Once the installation is done, it will create a desktop icon "IBM Notes Browser Plug-in". Double-click the icon to launch the Notes Browser Plug-in. For the first launch, you have to go through the configuration wizard.
Welcome Page. Hit Next
User Information - Enter your name, Domino server. Hit Next
Notes ID File - Specify the path to your Notes .id file. Hit Next
Select “Yes” if you want to copy the id file to data directory in next prompt
Enter password for user in password prompt and hit “Log In” button
You can see the starting home page for user opened up in browser. From here you can access user's iNotes, Workspace, database and documents
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.
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.
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.
On my way to IBM Connect (formerly Lotusphere) being held in Orlando @Swan & Dolphin, from January 28 to 31. There are 2 Notes Browser Plug-in sessions that might be of interest to you if you are going to be at IBM Connect.
"ID111 - All you wanted to know about IBM Notes Browser Plug-in" on Wednesday 30th January, from 10am to 11am in "Toucan 1" in Swan
In this session, Hiro and I will be going through everything that's in NBP for the Notes 9 release and also talk about some futures.
BOF 304 - IBM Notes Browser Plug-in (Wednesday January 30th in Macaw 2 in The Swan from 5:30 - 6:30 PM)
This is an important session where we would like to hear your thoughts on what you will like to see in the future in the IBM Notes Browser Plug-in. We will share our thoughts and get your feedback so we can firm up our plans.
And you can always find me in the "Meet the developers Lab" and ask any questions you have on the Notes Client (or share any feedback).
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!"
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?
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 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 :-)
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
Wow! What a response we have received for "Notes Application Browser Plugin for Windows" (what a long name - but that's just the 1st attempt). It's mind blowing. Never expected such a response from all the customers. So a quick recap of what it is (& I am proud to have been working on it along with some of my colleagues)
- A small Notes Client package, which includes:
- Components of Basic Notes Client which are needed to run notes applications
- browser integration components
- Allowing, customers to run their Notes applications nside a browser, UNMODIFIED. The last word has huge significance for customers. No Modifications needed to get their application running inside a browser.
This is huge for customers that have thousands of applications, and cannot move all of them to XPages. Yes, they do want to move applications to XPages, but it takes time. New applications definitely can and will be on XPages, but existing applications, especially the old ones which are used rarely, can now be webified with the help of this plugin, no modifications needed.
This allows customers to also move earlier to the Web for their notes/domino needs. They can use iNotes for Mail (and if you have not, please check out the 8.5.3/8.5.4 version of iNotes - lots of new features), and use the Browser Plugin for the rest of their applications.
I will write more on this in the coming months as we have customers use this and provide feedback. Here's a quick snapshot of my discussion database opened inside the browser.
it's been a great 1st day at Lotusphere 2012. Attendance has been really good. Most likely same as last year, or slightly more than that. Bumped into a lot of old-timers (like myself) who have been attending Lotusphere every year. It was great to see all of them.
OGS - the Great kick-off
Lotusphere really begins with the OGS (Opening General Session) which kicked off @8am on Monday morning. Everyone eagerly awaited the celebrity guest, and Michael J Fox (Back to the Future) got a standing ovation when he was announced. It was sad to hear all the health issues he has gone through, but great to see him fight back and do so much for the illness.
After this, the entire OGS was pretty much taken over by DEMO's. Lots and Lots of demo's of new features coming in the next few months to a year.
Connection Next, Social Mail, and multi-party Audio-video received good response from the audience.
I was eagerly waiting for the Notes/Domino segment of the OGS, which was handled by Keven & Doug. But of course, Ron was the key guy doing all the demoing. I could not believe but the very feature I am driving for the release, Notes Application browser Plugin for Windows, got a big round of applause from the audience. I was nervous going into this not knowing how it would be received, but was pleasantly surprised.
So what is it? -- Notes Browser plugin is a small 50-60 MB plugin to be deployed in Firefox or IE, wihch provides access to Notes applications in a browser. This ia great for customers who want to move to WEB for email, but still need to retain notes client for non-mail applications. This allows them to move the userbase to browser based access, with NO MODIFICATIONS required to the applications, lowering their support cost.
So far, I spent 5 hours in the "Meet the developers" lab showing this to the customers and have lots and lots of discussions with them. It's been great so far.
Let's see what the 2nd day has in store.
It's that time of the year when I do my annual pilgrimage to Orlando, Florida for Lotus's (now ICS) annual technical conference called "Lotusphere". This year's event wil be at the same place from January 15th through the 19th. You can find more about it here -> Lotusphere 2012
A new addition to this years event is an event called "IBM Connect". Will post an update as I get to this.
As always, this is a great place to be for all the Messaging and Collaboration enthusiasts. Nothing like being in person at the Opening General Session (OGS) where the demo god (Ron Sebastian) runs through the demo's so effortlessly, I as a developer of some of those features, just watch it in awe. It's simply edge of the seat moment. Also looking forward to who the Mystery Guest will be.
Of course, Lotus will have some key announcements during this event. I am excited about 1 such which I am working very closely on. Looking forward to see how the customers react to it. I will be in the "Meet the developers" Lab to answer any questions and demo the new feature :-) So excited!!!!
So off I go...
Sorry Karthik for stealing your session title at Software Universe, to be held on the 20th October
which is going to cover everything you needed to know about IBM's Social Collaboration portfolio, mainly the IBM Connections product. We use this product extensively within IBM, and I keep wondering how we used to manage things without this product. It's so easy to get used to things which are so intuitive. Connections has now become an integral part of the portfolio used within IBM, similar to everyone's Notes Client. Few components I use a lot are the:
Profile - where I can get to know more about the person.
Communities - I can subscribe to a community that I am interested in, and keep track of the updates.
I just think with the ease of use of these and the integrated nature of these products, it's easy to get used to and possibly addicted to. And it's all part of my job as developer in the ICS brand. I personally work on the Notes/Domino product, but as we can see in various discussions around email & social software (one such post from my colleague
), the two products need to co-exist, in fact merge into 1 product. You can't any longer have 1 without the other.
Recently I read an interesting post from Gartner about Social Software trends in 2010 and beyond
. When I first saw it a while back, it probably didn't register, but as I look back on it now, I can see some of it coming true already, and it's only 2011. There's still quite a few years to go in what has been predicted. I am sure the social software within an enterprise is probably limited to large organizations at this moment, but smaller enterprises will start adopting Social Software soon. In fact, the earlier you start to embrace Social Software, the easier it's adoption will be within your organization.
Reminds me of this cartoon:
It's so easy to google it nowadays as I am watching TV with my kids, and a question pops up. At work, I pop into Connections when I am looking for some technical information. That's the power of Social Collaboration in an enterprise, and if you haven't embraced it yet, you are missing a lot!
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.
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.
Since I posted my blog entry for how to add the Rupee Symbol in Notes, I have been asked a bunch of questions. Why didn't I do it this way, and that way. So here's my attempt to answer those.
- First of all, yes, this is WINDOWS only, and I am working on a LINUX version of it. Hopefully in the next couple of days.
- I have created this as a Notes Addin, rather than a Notes Plugin. My main intention was to have it available for any version of Notes. I know there are some users within IBM and some customers who are still on 7.0.x release of Notes Client. For them, this AddIn would work, but a plug-in would not have worked.
- Yes, there is a FONT available, which can be downloaded by end-users and installed on to their system. This would give them the character rather than an Image, as I am pasting in the document. The main problem with using a FONT is that each time the user wants to insert Rupee Symbol in their document, he/she would have to change the Font, add the character and then re-change the font back to the one they want to use. Requires too many keystrokes. Also, what if the other person who the document is mailed out ot does not have the font, there will be display issues.
Hope this explains my logic for creating this as an add-in.
In my previous post, I talked about Lotus Notes Client’s
extensibility and provided a way for an add-in to contribute a menu
option in Notes so a user can quickly add “Indian Rupee” symbol
into any Notes document. I am sure as you start to use the new Rupee
Symbol, you will want to also add it when you are chatting with your
colleague using the Lotus Sametime client. Beauty is that the Lotus
Sametime Client is also a client which can be customized, by adding what
we call “Plugins”.
Thanks to Bidisha Ghosh,
who was able to create a plugin for the Sametime Client. Once you have
installed this plugin, you will see a button in the ST Chat, like
This does require you to have Sametime Client 8.0 or later, or am
embedded sametime client within your Notes Client (Standard Client).
Here are the instructions on how you can download this plugin and
install it in your sametime environment.
Find the ZIP file at -> Access Sametime ZIP file
First download this file, and unzip it on your hard-disk. (let’s assume you unzipped it at c:\rupee)
If you are using Standalone Sametime Client Version 8.0 or higher)
Select “Tools->Plugins-> Install Plugins” menu optionselect “Search for new features to install”Select “Add Folder location” and provide the folder where you unzipped the above file (e.g c:\rupee)click on “Finish”In the next dialog, select the “checkbox” and again go through the dialogs, selecting “I agree” to complete the installation.Restart the Sametime Client to get this Rupee Symbol.
Similar steps need to be done if you are using integrated Sametime
Client in the Standard Version of the Notes Client. First you need to
enable the Installation Option to install the plugin. Do the following:
1) Browse to <note_install_directory>/framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini
2) In the plugin_customization.ini file add the following line and save.
3) Start up your Notes client.
4) Select the File -> Application -> Install menu option to install the plugin (Follow the same steps as above)
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.
It's been a long time since I am thinking of starting my own Blog. Just getting to it now finally. I know there are a large number of blogs on the Lotus Notes/Domino and the Lotus Collaboration Suite of products. Why would I want to get another one that talks about the same. Well, I am going to try and see if I can add a different flavor to it.
Along with giving out periodic information about the Lotus portfolio, concentrating on the Notes/Domino product line, I would like to see if I can give it a growth market flavor, with India as a backdrop. I have been working in IBM India for the past 6 years, and working with Indian Customers have given me some insights into what their expectations are and how they differ from the customers in the developed countries like the US and Europe. I hope to shed some light and tailor my blog to the customers & users in the growth market regions like India, China. Hope I succeed in this. As I continue to blog, I would love to get feedback from all of you, so feel free to comment and let me know how I am doing with my goal.
Quick Summary of my professional career:
Spent most of my professional career in 2 companies (well maybe more, if you count subsidiaries)
Data General Corp - primarily worked on their Word Processor Software
IBM Corporation - Lotus Notes
Joined Iris Associates - original developers of Lotus Notes (which was then a subsidiary of Lotus) in April 1995,
May 1995 - IBM buys out Lotus
Jan 2003 - Moved to IBM India to work at IBM Software Lab, India
Aug 2006 - Promoted to STSM (Senior Technical Staff Member)
Areas of Expertise:
Lotus Notes Client Development since release 4.6 (currently working on 8.5.3+)
Integration of Notes Client in Expeditor/Eclipse framework
Major UI enhancements in the Notes Client