Extending Notes 8

Brand Connect plug-inBoth Alan Lepofsky and Ed Brill have posted articles about extending Notes 8 through plug-ins and composite applications… but I thought I’d share this one with you, a great example of something being rolled out within IBM. Chris Freestone of the Lotus Technical Sales team here in the UK has developed a plug-in which provides members of the Financial Services business unit with a quick reference guide to who in Technical Sales (across the five IBM software brands) has expertise in which products.

The data source at the back-end is a good ol’ Domino database, but it could be anything (just a matter of Chris telling the Eclipse plug-in what to read). And you can see from the screenshot here that the names are made live by the wonders of Sametime… double-clicking starts a conversation with the person you’re looking for (even if they’re on a mobile device).

This is version 1.0, and I know that Chris already has some enhancements planned for the next upgrade (actually this should be version 1.0.1 because he did a small tweak to make it automatically collapsed when opened).

So, it’s a great example of quickly and easily extending Notes’ functionality, addresses a business requirement (quickly finding and connecting with people), and also demonstrates integration with other plugged-in solutions (i.e. Sametime). Nice one Chris. Try doing this with Outlook.


  1. nice one, Daz and Chris! Would be interesting to see how this could be tied into something like Bluepages — surf to other parts of the organization coordinated around a customer.

  2. OK tell me why you say this “Nice one Chris. Try doing this with Outlook.”

    This is totally possible with Outlook. Seriously, to remain credible you can’t just throw that out there, you need to make sure what you’re saying is true. Now if you said, try doing that with Outlook in Java then you’d be telling the truth.

    You should really investigate the add-ins that are available for Outlook, some of them are very clever have IM awareness, hook into SAP, SQL, DB2 etc. Outlook may not be considered “Open” because it isn’t Java, but it actually has lots of published hooks available for 3rd parties to use, and sorry to tell you this, many of those hooks are much easier for 3rd parties to use than those in the Notes client.

    I love Notes, use notes, but you need to understand Outlook capabilities better to really be able to take on Outlook advocates.

  3. Thanks for the info Carl. You are right of course… some clever folks have written Sametime add-ons for Outlook, and some other clever people are working on a Quickr Connector for Outlook. So I acknowledge the fact that this should be possible in Outlook too.

  4. Very cool app. It’s a buddy list, flipped on it’s head, to dynamically represent online experts. Slick
    BTW, it would be difficult to do this in an Outlook addin…I’ve built a few 🙂

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