R8 Sidebar applications.

I just read this blog post by Mikkel Heisterberg on Sidebar application in R8.5.

I had to link back to it here because it’s just such a cool article, and there are links to some killer sidebar applications.

When I first started using R8, I started to play around with a couple of Widgets and the sidebar. I instantly realized what the real potential of R8 could be. There are so many tasks that can be added to this location to significantly cut down on the time typically needed to perform that task or gather that particular bit of information (depending on whatever the widget/application does).

In Mikkel’s article above, he lists several sidebar applications. On his list, I found 3 that sound fantastic, written by Jeff Gilfelt.

They are as follows:

  • Formul8 for IBM Lotus Notes 8
  • Secret Agent for IBM Lotus Notes 8
  • SideLog for IBM Lotus Notes 8

Foruml8, for example could be used against person documents in your address book. I mentioned in a post a few days ago about how I was updating the design of our address book. When picking through the design, I found 30+ agents, many of which were there only to perform changes to several person documents at once and were only needed once. For example, I found one that was used to change the country field from Brasil to Brazil. Another one changed the homeserver to a specified server name, etc. etc.

With Formul8, an agent and modification to the design of the NAB wouldn’t be needed.

SideLog also sounds very handy.

I also use the Google World clocks widget to the display the local time in each of the sites that I support. I could easily calculate it by opening windows clock in my Windows XP toolbar and adjusting the time zone, or visiting a site such as http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/, but having it right there in the sidebar saves lots of time (no pun intended).

One comment that I have about the sidebar widgets is that it seems difficult to understand how to get them installed. I fumbled around initially with the world clocks google widget for about an hour and a half before I figured out how to get it to work. At a Lotusphere comes to you session in Hong Kong, I spoke with Kevin O’connel and Stephan Wissel in great detail about how we could set these up in policies so that we could roll them out to a mass of users (enabling their productivity) without complicated instructions on how to install them.

Leave a Reply


I'm currently available
for Lotus Notes / Domino consulting engagements.


Connect with me: