Lotus Notes 8 Sidebar - Part 1

October 23 2007 Comments Disabled
One of the most visible user interface changes in Lotus Notes 8 is the addition of the Sidebar on the right hand side of the screen.  The Sidebar is an incredibly useful new feature, providing quick and easy access to a variety of tools and information.

Image:Lotus Notes 8 Sidebar - Part 1

In Lotus Notes 8.0, Lotus shipped four Sidebar applications:  Sametime Contacts, Day-At-A-Glance, RSS Feeds, and Activities.  Soon (8.0.1?) we will be adding Lotus Quickr to the list of out of the box applications.

Sidebar applications don't have to be "stand-alone" tools, each doing their own thing.  Items in the Sidebar can interact with other parts of the screen.   For example, selecting a document in a Notes application can cause information in the Sidebar to update.

Since Lotus Notes 8 can be customized far more than previous version, your company's developers, as well as Lotus Business Partners, can learn to build Sidebar applications, providing a huge variety of new functionality.  I've already posted a few blog entries about ones such as Journal It and My Lotus Learning, and recently I've started getting more and more emails from Lotus Business Partners whom are creating them.   (please contact me if you have).   I picture a huge new ecosystem being built around this.

The method for installing new Sidebar applications is still a little too complicated, but the User Interface team is working hard on simplifying the process.   It is my hope that this will end up being as easy as adding Extensions in Firefox.  It will be fantastic to one day see catalogs of Sidebar applications which users can easily pick from to customize Lotus Notes to do almost anything they want!   How about an iTunes app?   YouTube?   Flickr?   LinkedIn?   Skype?   Wikipedia?  Come on developers, get coding!

In my next few blog entries, I am going to go over some of the basic things you should know to help you use the Sidebar.   For example, how to open and close it, how to float applications in their own windows, how to rearrange the order applications are shown in, and more.

The Sidebar... just one of the many reasons to love Lotus Notes 8.