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What's new in Lotus Notes 8 client?

Technote (FAQ)


What's new in Lotus Notes 8 client?


Built on IBM's version of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP), Lotus Notes 8 was developed on a componenitized service-oriented architecture (SOA). As a result, Lotus Notes 8 is more extensible and, as a server-managed client, less time-consuming to administer.
Table of contents:
Two configurations
New features in Notes 8
New features in Domino Designer 8
User interface changes in the Notes 8
Additional References

Two Configurations

Lotus Notes 8.x client is a single install, and it has two different configurations it can run in: Notes 8 (Standard Configuration) and Notes 8 (Basic Configuration).

Notes 8 (Standard Configuration) is a culmination of new goals, and new technologies to support those goals; it makes use of the Java-based Eclipse technology to enhance existing Notes functionality (mail, calendar, contacts, etc.) and provide new features such as sidebars, etc. Eclipse architecture allows the integration of other applications, such as Productivity Tools and Composite Applications, into Notes.

Notes 8 (Basic Configuration) is very similar in experience to the Notes 7 client. It is available for cases in which the client machine's memory is too low to run the standard configuration. As in previous releases of Notes, clients running the basic configuration can access only applications that reside on Domino servers, and can use only the 3.x implementation of embedded Sametime Contacts.

To launch Notes 8 (Basic Configuration), create a shortcut on your desktop to point to nlnotes.exe in the Notes program directory. Or, simply launch nlnotes.exe. In addition, you can create a shortcut which executes notes.exe within the Notes program directory and add one of two command line switches, -sa or -basic. For example: C:\Program Files\Lotus\Notes\notes.exe -sa.

As of Notes 8.0.2 and Notes 8.5, there is a Notes.ini parameter that can be used to control launching of Basic and Standard. Adding UseBasicNotes=1 to a Notes Standard install will launch Notes Basic instead. If the ini is not present or is set to UseBasicNotes=0, the Notes Standard client will run.

Refer to technote 1318037 for a caveat with Multi-user setup and UseBasicNotes parameter.

Why the two configurations?

From Chapter 2.12, "Lotus Notes 8 'Basic Configuration' "of the Notes and Domino 8 Reviewer's Guide:

The system memory requirements for running the Lotus Notes 8 client with the Java-based interface are higher than those required for running previous versions of the Lotus Notes client. It is accepted that not all organizations will have the required workstation specifications throughout their organizations and therefore might not be able to upgrade to the Lotus Notes 8 client with the Eclipse-based interface configuration at this time. However, for organizations not able to take advantage of the Java-based interface configuration, it is still possible to install the Lotus Notes 8 client without this interface, or to install the Lotus Notes 8 client with the Java-based interface but not to load the option until the workstation has been upgraded to the required specification. The system requirements for this configuration are the same as those for the Lotus Notes 6.5/7.x client. Certain functions and features will not be available with Notes 8 (Basic Configuration). The full list of features and their requirements is listed in Appendix A, Lotus Notes 8 client feature requirements" on page 145 of the Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Reviewer's Guide.

How do you know which configuration you are currently running?

There are several ways you can determine which configuration you are running. The user interface for the Standard Configuration looks quite different from that of the Basic Configuration. See the "User interface changes" section below. Also, if you select Help > About IBM Lotus Notes you will see the current configuration cited. For example, the standard configuration looks like so:

New features in Notes 8.0

Notes 8 Eclipse-based ("Standard") configuration only
Notes 8 "Standard" AND "Basic" configurations
User Interface
  • Access to the Notes Getting Started Page using Help -> Getting Started Page from the main menu.
  • Sidebar to provide access and mini-views of Sametime Instant Contacts, Feed Reader, Calendar and Activities
  • Consolidated user preferences
  • Choice of preview pane location, below list or beside list.
  • "Open" button to open applications.
  • Ability to set how Window tabs display in user preferences.
  • Embedded Web browser, with the option to set default to your chosen browser.
  • Easier methods to find and work with Location documents.
  • New user interface for Help that lets you keep the Help pane open as you work.

  • Improved choices for "Reply to All," "Include History," and "Include Attachments."
  • Thread layout display when applying to a mail thread.
  • The ability to right-click operations for an entire mail thread, such as deleting a thread or moving a thread to a folder.
  • The ability to perform operations for an entire mail thread, such as deleting a thread, or moving a thread to a folder.
  • Within the Inbox, the ability to see all related messages in a thread.

  • Recent Contacts view that shows users with whom you have recently interacted, such as e-mail correspondence or chats.

  • New centralized search interface for queries and results (Domain Search, Find People, Find Application, Web/Intranet Searches available as search scopes).
  • New Search capability for Help that searches across all "books" in the help system, such as Lotus Notes Help and Activities Help.
  • Optional Desktop Search that can be launched by right-clicking Live names, and is also available in the Search scope drop-down menu.

Composite applications
  • Composite applications that make it convenient for a user to access a collections of components (applications) to address a business need for a particular group of users.

  • The Home Page includes buttons for the IBM Lotus Productivity tools (Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations), however, these tools are not included with the basic configuration of Notes, and the buttons are not active. To use these tools, you must install the standard configuration.
  • Ability to view collaboration history with another user, such as e-mail correspondence, saved chat transcripts, or shared documents.
  • Message recall
  • In-line spell Checking
  • Out of Office improvements
  • Advanced menus
  • Make available offline
  • Multilevel undo
  • Inline spell checking
  • Resilient mail threads
  • Display of unprocessed calendar entries
  • Display of canceled calendar entries
  • Locate free time for subset of invitees
  • Add personal notes to a meeting invitation

  • Changes to Contact form
  • Recent Contacts view is not available in the Notes 8 Basic Configuration but the storing of recent contacts does take place; they are available for user in mail addressing. Recent contact information can also be synchronized through the replicator.

Integrated Instant Messaging
  • In the Notes 8 Basic Configuration, the integrated messaging functionality that was available in 6.5/7 is available, but not the instant messaging functionality based on Lotus Sametime Connect 7.5.

New features in Domino Designer 8

Eclipse-based ("Standard") configuration only
"Standard" AND "Basic" configurations
  • Narrow view organization - what columns do i see? do they wrap, etc.
  • Threaded views
  • Split action buttons
  • "Hide a column header" option
  • Show partial response hierarchies
  • Business card view
  • Alpha table view option
  • Default expandable column option
  • Add separators to outlines
  • @IsUsingJavaElement function
  • Onselect event in views
  • Agents that run "on server start"
  • Ability to hide all system right-click actions in views
  • Ability to edit Query Views (QVs) and DB2 Access Views (DAVs) in non-DB2 replicas
  • Improved design synopsis thru Tools/DXL Utilities/Transformer
  • Thumbnail files
  • On-demand collations for better performance
  • Database property to disallow searching without a full-text index
  • Set a field to show ellipsis (...) if contents will not fit in display area
  • K/M/G format for view columns
  • @GetViewInfo([GetFormName])
  • @function to return what folders a document is in
  • Java 5 support

User interface changes in the Notes 8 (Standard Configuration)

This section cites some of the user interface changes.

"concept" in Notes 7 client
equivalent in Notes 8 client
Bookmarks Open list
Personal Address Book Contacts
Welcome page Home page
Databases Notes Applications

Notes 8 is a big plug-in to Lotus® Expeditor. Expeditor provides Title bar, Menu bar, “Open List”, Tab management, Toolbar (including Search), Sidebar (Thin, Open, Closed), Status bar, and Visual theme.

Open list

The contents of the "Open list" are the same order as your Notes 7 bookmark bar.

You access the Open list by clicking the Open button in the upper left corner of the Notes client, just below the File menu.

Note the "Databases" item was renamed to "Applications".

Items new to Notes 8 appear at the bottom.

For example, you can see "Documents", "Presentations", and "Spreadsheets", representing the new Productivity Tools that ship with Notes 8. The Open list provides a way to launch a new word processing document, presentation, or spreadsheet.

You can easily get back to the Home page from the Open list by clicking the Home icon at the bottom.

Applications added to your Notes Workspace get dynamically updated in the Open list.

You can right-click the Open list and select "Dock the Open list" so it appears just as the Notes 7 Bookmark bar does, permanently on the left side of the screen. Or, to "undock" it, right-click in an empty area of the docked list and toggle off the "Dock the Open list" option.

Search options on Toolbar

The new default search syntax is more "web like". It is automatically scoped to “all documents” ($Search), but you can easily define your search scope as desired (for example, "All Calendar" searches only your Calendar entries).

Related information

Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Reviewer's Guide
Redbook: Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Deployment Guid
developerWorks article: What's new in Lotus Notes and D
A simplified Chinese translation is available

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Messaging Applications IBM Domino Designer Not Applicable Windows 8.0

Document information

More support for: IBM Notes
Client UI

Software version: 8.0, 8.5

Operating system(s): Linux, Windows

Reference #: 1264877

Modified date: 24 July 2015