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Learn everything about IBM iNotes Customization


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Speaker: Eric Spencer, IBM Software Engineer, iNotes Development

Learn how you can customize IBM iNotes and SmartCloud Notes web to adapt your corporate look and feel, modify the available functional areas, and add new capabilities. See the improvements made in recent releases, which allow for easier customization and greater tolerance during the upgrade process. I’ll step through examples, such as modifying the items on the action bar. With some HTML and JavaScript skills you can easily extend your IBM iNotes or SmartCloud Notes web mail client to make it your own!

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Learn everything about IBM iNotes Customization

  1. 1. IBM iNotes and SmartCloud Notes Web Customization Eric Spencer, IBM Software Engineer, iNotes Development IBM SBT Webinar 10/23/13
  2. 2. Next Webinars ● ● 2 Tentatively November 6th: App Dev Update in IBM Domino 9.0.1 Recordings: © 2013 IBM Corporation
  3. 3. Disclaimers IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion. Performance is based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon many factors, including considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve results similar to those stated here. 3 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  4. 4. Agenda ● ● ● ● How customizable is IBM iNotes? Basic customizations ● demo Skins and skin components ● demo IBM iNotes page generation ● demo ● ● 4 Summary Q&A © 2013 IBM Corporation
  5. 5. How customizable is iNotes? ● ● ● 5 Can customize almost anything Different from Traditional Domino® Web Applications ● Design elements are separate ● Uses WebHybrid processing ● Uses tag-based textual markup similar to JSP ● Doesn’t utilize many agents ● Uses limited set of Domino Web Commands and some special URL arguments Requires Web development skills such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS © 2013 IBM Corporation
  6. 6. Template and Forms File References mail85.ntf iNotesForms85.nsf Inherits Most Design: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Images View Design Data Domino server mailJUser.nsf Browser 6 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  7. 7. Ways to Customize IBM iNotes ● Enable/disable certain Functional Areas ● Policies ● Special Forms (Custom_*) provided for basic customizations ● Modify action bar menu items ● Modify existing view columns ● Add masthead ● Modify banner logo ● Add fonts to rich text editor ● ● Modify forms ● 7 Edit skins and stylesheets Add widgets in sidebar panel © 2013 IBM Corporation
  8. 8. Enable or disable components or functional areas ● ● ● 8 Policies INI setting: iNotes_WA_Areas ● will still work but policy takes precedence URL arguments ● &PresetFields ● Example: http://{mail file path}/iNotes/Calendar/? OpenDocument&PresetFields= h_SkinTypeOverride;h_Blank,s_CalView;2,s_CalDate;20090301 ● See Deployment Guide for more information ● &Layout ● Example: http://{mail file path}/iNotes/Contacts/? OpenDocument&layout=BN!H*MS!H*OF!H*LO!H*SW!H*LP!C ● See wiki article for more details © 2013 IBM Corporation
  9. 9. iNotes Admin Policy Support iNotes MailSettings • User UI mode • Functional areas • Functional area at login • Maximum attachment size • Mail threads • Remote image display • Browser cache management • Logout scrubbing • Allowing attachments • Instant messaging features • Default spell check dictionary • iNotes ActiveX • Enabling feeds • Widget enablement (pre 9.0) • Lotus Quickr integration • Calendar subscriptions • Offline settings • Refresh inbox automatically • Enable unread count • Auto update unread count • Enable scroll hints • Disable warning on opening attachments • Filter out images from emails • Proxy servlet name/URL pairs • Show preferences • Allow archiving on the server • Allow local archiving  Initial sidebar display state  iNotes Display Language  ST Proxy Enablement  Extension Forms File iNotes Mail Settings (cont.) • *IBM Docs Integration • *IBM Connections Files integration Shared Mail Settings • Mail basics • Follow up • Attention indicators • Message recall • Calendar basics • Calendar display • Notices • Scheduling • Automatic processing • Rooms and resources • Mail and Calendar • Disclaimer text • Disclaimer position • Soft Delete Time Shared Desktop Settings • Right double-click to close • Mark documents read on preview • Save sent mail • Sign sent mail • Encrypt sent mail • Mail notification • Internet mail format • Prefix each line with a char • Wrap lines at a certain length • *Widgets Security Settings • Password Quality • Certificate Expiration • Notes ID Vault • iNotes Proxies • Password Expiration Archive Settings • Server-based archiving • Prohibit archiving • Prohibit private archiving criteria *Newer settings with 9.0 Social Edition 9 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  10. 10. Can't set policies in SCN ● ● 10 Some settings are available in SCN Administration Account Settings Under System Settings – IBM SmartCloud Notes © 2013 IBM Corporation
  11. 11. New architecture in 8.5 ● Full mode uses the “lite” architecture that was introduced in 8.0.1 ● Tabbed UI ● Uses widgets ● ● Some forms still use the “classic” architecture ● Full mode Calendar*, Contact, To Do, Notebook entry forms ● Lite mode Calendar and Contact entry forms ● Home page ● Preferences Forms, etc. that are new for the “lite” architecture have “_Lite” in the name * Calendar forms converted to new architecture in 9.0 Social Edition 11 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  12. 12. Extension Forms File ● ● Created from template ● If the file exists on the server, customizations will be used ● 12 Customization subforms are in this file Customizations are not overwritten by updated Domino version © 2013 IBM Corporation
  13. 13. Extension forms file in IBM SmartCloud Notes ● ● ● 13 Requires brief contract with ISSC Must use Extension Forms file template downloaded from the service Some restrictions on customizations © 2013 IBM Corporation
  14. 14. Extension Forms File mail85.ntf iNotesForms85.nsf Forms85_x.ntf Domino server mailJUser.nsf iNotesForms85_x.nsf Browser 14 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  15. 15. Custom_JS_Lite subform ● JavaScript form to centralize most customizations ● Script file which is available on all new architecture forms and views ● Contains customization functions ● Also a location to store your own script ● 15 Is cached on server with rest of static common user script ● Add stuff to l_SessionInfo/f_SessionInfo/s_SessionInfo form if you need per user or per mail file formula computations (special subform added in 8.5.3) © 2013 IBM Corporation
  16. 16. Some functions in Custom_JS_Lite Form Callbacks and Functions Custom_Scene_Actions_Lite Custom_Scene_PostLoad_Lite Invoked after each widget is initialized Custom_Scene_PreSubmit_Lite Invoked prior to submitting an action to the server API_TimeZones_Lite Add additional time zones API_SetPortalMailViewColumns_Lite Set which columns get displayed for the Mail portlet. API_ GetWhoAndAltWhoColNamesForView_ Lite 16 Add, remove or change actions Set which columns get displayed when alternate name is enabled © 2013 IBM Corporation
  17. 17. More functions in Custom_JS_Lite Helpers API_GetSelectedDocs_Lite Returns array of strings representing UNIDs API_IsView_Lite Returns true if view page API_GetMailfilePath_Lite Returns URL path up to and including “.nsf” Custom_ActionsHelper_Lite subform addActionsLite removeActionsLite Remove menus or submenus from action bar repositionActionsLite Changes position of menus or submenus checkActionIDs Display menu IDs checkActionPositions 17 Add new menus or submenus to action bar Display menu position numbers - “classic” forms © 2013 IBM Corporation
  18. 18. Additional customization forms and subforms Custom_Welcome Add additional web sites for Web page panel choices Custom_JS_Edit Add new fonts in the rich text editor Custom_Masthead Add a masthead at the top of the page Custom_CSS Add additional CSS styles Custom_Banner_Lite Modify the displayed banner Custom_Page_Dictionary Custom_xxx_Dictionary Custom_About Display forms file version and a user-specified file version number in iNotes console 2 New in 8.5.1 Add code to lazy load table Add code to be run on logout Add items to session info object 3 Classic_Custom_SessionInfo 18 2 2 Custom_SessionInfo 1 Inclusion of new NotesFields and NotesVars 2 Custom_LazyLoad_Subforms Custom_Logout NotesVars available for use in Custom_CSS 1 2 4 New in 8.5.2 Add items to session info for classic forms 3 New in 8.5.3 4 New in 9.0 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  19. 19. checkActionIDs and checkPositions functions ● ● ● 19 Call these functions to display IDs or position numbers of action bar menu items. checkActionIDs( s_MenuID ) - new architecture views and forms ● Displays the menu ID in the hover text of “MENU ID” item ● Displays the menu item ID in the hover text checkActionPositions(s_TopBranchId) - “classic” forms ● Displays the position number next to the menu item. © 2013 IBM Corporation
  20. 20. How do you edit IBM iNotes markup? ● ● ● 20 Forms and Subforms ● Domino Designer ● Forms85_x.nsf or Forms85.nsf Images ● Domino Designer within ResourcesFiles Skin elements ● Domino Designer within ResourcesFiles ● l_ShimmerSkin-xxx for Lite mode ● f_ShimmerSkin-xxx for Full mode ● h_ShimmerSkin-xxx for: ● “classic” forms ● 8.0.x Full mode ● 7.x and earlier releases © 2013 IBM Corporation
  21. 21. Demo 21 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  22. 22. Referring to new resources ● ● ● 22 Added to the Extension Forms file ● Add the file to ResourcesFiles ● src="/iNotes/Forms85_x.nsf/LotusSoftware.png" ● background-image:url(@{s_EFF}/act-hyper-hover-images.gif? OpenFileResource&MX); ● s_FF = Forms file ● s_EFF = Extension Forms file File on Domino server ● Put file into <Domino data directory>dominohtml ● src="/file.html" On another server ● src=”' © 2013 IBM Corporation
  23. 23. Migrating customizations from 8.5.x to 9.0 Social Edition ● ● 23 Rename Forms85_x.nsf to Forms9_x.nsf Run agent to change value of $FormsTemplateFile field in icon note to: ● "iNotes/Forms9.nsf" © 2013 IBM Corporation
  24. 24. Skin groups and types ● ● Skin Type (Skin) ● Member of a skin group set ● Contains HTML markup to emit within the page body to govern overall page layout ● Special Skin type: h_Stylesheet (CSS file) ● Contains CSS definitions Skin Group ● A set of skins sharing the same stylesheets ● Primary skin group is f_ShimmerSkin ● Two less significant skin groups: h_ShimmerSkin_UB (unsupported browser), h_ShimmerSkin_ACC (accessibility…not used) ● Prior to 8.5.1 there was a separate skin group for each browser type Example: f_ShimmerSkin-h_ListFolder 24 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  25. 25. Which skin is used? ● ● ● 25 Skin type h_ListFolder is used for all views ● unless h_SkinTypeOverride is set – by URL arg or NotesVar h_MailPage is used for new architecture document forms “classic” forms have 2 vars defined on the page to identify skin: ● h_CurrentSkinName var identifies skin group ● h_CurrentSkinType var identifies skin type: ● h_MailPage: Mail Message, Contact, Notebook Page ● h_ApptPage: Meeting, Appointment, To Do © 2013 IBM Corporation
  26. 26. Stylesheets ● ● ● ● ● h_StylesheetView ● Used for views h_StylesheetDocuments ● Used for documents – mail and meeting notice in Lite mode only h_StylesheetOverride ● Used for “classic” forms h_Stylesheet ● Used for things not specific to view or documents h_StyleSheetPortal ● Used for IBM WebSphere® Portal Example: f_ShimmerSkin-h_StyleSheetDocuments 26 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  27. 27. Skin components - h_ListFolder Custom_Banner_ Lite ShimmerSwitcher_ SkinComponent_Lite ShimmerMainTabs_ SkinComponent_Lite SceneLabel_ SkinComponent_Lite Modepanel_ SkinComponent_Lite Search_ SkinComponent_Lite ServerTitleAndMailQuota_ SkinComponent_Lite PageContent_ SkinComponent_Lite 27 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  28. 28. Sample skin HTML segment <div id="e-maintabs-container" class="s-toppanel"> <InsertNotesSubForm name="ShimmerMainTabs_SkinComponent_Lite"> </div> <div class="s-toppanel" style="height:1.5em;"> <InsertNotesSubForm name="Modepanel_SkinComponent_Lite"> </div> Skin components ● ● 28 Skin components are in subforms Other elements you will see: ● com_ibm_dwa_ui_widget_class ● widget definition ● <v:fill> (IE) or <canvas> (Mozilla) tags ● gradient fills © 2013 IBM Corporation
  29. 29. Customizing ultra-light mode ● Styles: ● m_StyleSheet_xxx ● iphone.css and standard.css – for 8.5 and earlier ● ● Layout and code are combined in m_xxx forms and subforms ● 29 Does not use skins Images are in mxxx files in ResourcesFiles © 2013 IBM Corporation
  30. 30. Demo 30 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  31. 31. More on skin customization ● ● 31 Gradient fills ● Specified in ● See wiki article for more details Consolidated icons ● One image file that contains many icons ● Icons are selected by x, y coordinates in the styles ● Files: basicicons.gif, commonactionicons.gif, commonactionicons.gif,mailoutlineicons.gif, viewactionicons.gif © 2013 IBM Corporation
  32. 32. IBM iNotes Web page construction ● ● ● 32 All Forms/Subforms use pass-thru HTML Special tags are interpreted by server to: ● Insert skin ● Insert skin components ● Insert subforms ● Evaluate computed blocks (@formulas) ● Determine persisted and computed-only items Full mode is now using Lite mode architecture ● Use combination of skin components (loaded by server) and widgets (client) ● More AJAX (lazy loading, etc.) © 2013 IBM Corporation
  33. 33. iNotes code/forms ● ● Loaded by InsertNotesSubForm Browser specific: ● xxxCode – IE ● xxxCode_Gecko – Mozilla ● xxxCode_Safari – Safari ● f_xx – used by Full mode only ● l_xx – used by Lite and Full mode ● 33 INI setting iNotes_WA_Debug_SubForms=1 – subform names are displayed on the server console as they are loaded © 2013 IBM Corporation
  34. 34. Special server-side tags Insert content from other design elements ● ● 34 <QuickPlaceSkinComponent Name=xxx> ● Inserts contents of subform named xxx_SkinComponent <InsertNotesSubForm Name=SubFormName> ● Name may be a computed value ● <InsertNotesSubForm Name=@{...}> ● Conditional insertions by using @If and specifying empty string ● optional="yes" for optional subforms © 2013 IBM Corporation
  35. 35. Special server-side tags Insert content from other design elements ● ● ● ● 35 <NotesField Name=ItemName> ● Define persisted field ● Type=Text|TextList|RichText|Mime|Number|NumberList| Time|TimeList ● InitialValue= ● Evaluated if item doesn’t exist within document ● Value= ● Evaluated as page is generated and as page is saved ● Example: ● <NotesField Name=Subject> <NotesVar Name=ItemName> ● Define a computed for display only item ● Same element attributes as Notes field <NotesDictionary>…</NotesDictionary> ● Block which may contain NotesVar and NotesField tags All support an includeif={@formula} attribute for conditional inclusion © 2013 IBM Corporation
  36. 36. Special server-side tags Conditionally include content ● ● 36 <NotesFragment includeif={test}> ● Includes the content if test is true ● <NotesFragment includeif={s_Gecko="1"}> background-color: blue; ● </NotesFragment> <NotesFragmentSwitch> ● Simulates the if ... elseif ... else ... pattern: ● <NotesFragmentSwitch> ● <NotesFragment includeif={s_Gecko="1" | s_Safari="1"}> top:1px; ● </NotesFragment> ● <NotesFragment> top: 0px; width: 0px; ● </NotesFragment> ● </NotesFragmentSwitch> © 2013 IBM Corporation
  37. 37. Demo 37 © 2013 IBM Corporation
  38. 38. Miscellaneous ● ● 38 String resources in separate file ● File: ● In ResourcesFiles ● Easier to add / modify strings ● Customizers can add new languages Log messages to the iNotes console ● Example:, “”,"message”); ● level: ● 0 = error ● 1 = warning ● 2 = info ● 3 = detail © 2013 IBM Corporation
  39. 39. QueryOpen/QuerySave agents ● IBM iNotes doesn’t use these within core application ● Add iNotes_WA_QueryAgents=1 to NOTES.INI to enable this functionality ● ● ● 39 Two NotesVars are used to invoke agents ● $$QueryOpenAgent ● $$QuerySaveAgent ● Example: ● <NotesVar NAME={$$QuerySaveAgent} INITIALVALUE={“YourAgent”}> Please refer to the Manipulating Data in Domino Web Access developerWorks article for a working example of QueryOpen and QuerySave agents Starting in 8.5.2, agents can be in Extension Forms File © 2013 IBM Corporation
  40. 40. Debugging tools ● ● Firefox ● Firebug IE Developer Toolbar (in IE9 and later: F12) ● Visual Studio ● ● ● 40 Safari ● Develop menu Chrome ● Developer tools © 2013 IBM Corporation
  41. 41. Obfuscated code ● ObfuscationList.txt ● In ResourcesFiles ● 41 Unobfuscators available: ● ● © 2013 IBM Corporation
  42. 42. Updates in 8.5.2 ● ● ● 42 Design elements in Extension Forms File do not inherit design changes New subforms: ● Custom_xxx_Dictionary ● Custom_LazyLoad_Subforms ● Custom_Logout ● Custom_About Agents can be stored in Extension Forms File © 2013 IBM Corporation
  43. 43. Updates in 8.5.3 ● ● Policy to set Extension Forms File ● Custom_SessionInfo ● 43 Can now update menu items iNotes_WA_RunQOAgentsForNewLiteForm © 2013 IBM Corporation
  44. 44. Updates in 9.0 Social Edition ● Classic_Custom_SessionInfo ● Adding Custom_Masthead will cause 9.0 masthead to be hidden ● 44 Standard 9.0 masthead can be modified using Custom_Scene_Actions_Lite © 2013 IBM Corporation
  45. 45. Summary ● ● ● ● 45 Some ways to make basic customizations are provided ● Policies ● Using Custom_* forms and subforms Look of IBM iNotes pages can be customized by editing skins, skin components, and stylesheets For more complex customizations, you need to understand how IBM iNotes pages are generated Useful tools for examining page layout and debugging JavaScript are available © 2013 IBM Corporation
  46. 46. IBM iNotes Customization Resources ● ● ● ● 46 Notes and Domino wiki ● ● Community Articles, Lotus iNotes, Lotus iNotes Customization Wiki article ● ion Notes / Domino 8.5 forum on developerWorks ● ● Product area: iNotes, Technical Area: Customization Notes / Domino 9.0 Social Edition Forum ● ● Category: iNotes © 2013 IBM Corporation
  47. 47. Resources and Questions ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 47 Home page: SDK: GitHub: StackOverflow: #ibmsbt Twitter: @ibmsbt YouTube: Playground: © 2013 IBM Corporation
  48. 48. Acknowledgements and Disclaimers Availability: References in this presentation to IBM products, programs, or services do not imply that they will be available in all countries in which IBM operates. The workshops, sessions and materials have been prepared by IBM or the session speakers and reflect their own views. They are provided for informational purposes only, and are neither intended to, nor shall have the effect of being, legal or other guidance or advice to any participant. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in this presentation, it is provided AS-IS without warranty of any kind, express or implied. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising out of the use of, or otherwise related to, this presentation or any other materials. Nothing contained in this presentation is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creating any warranties or representations from IBM or its suppliers or licensors, or altering the terms and conditions of the applicable license agreement governing the use of IBM software. All customer examples described are presented as illustrations of how those customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics may vary by customer. Nothing contained in these materials is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, stating or implying that any activities undertaken by you will result in any specific sales, revenue growth or other results. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. All rights reserved. – U.S. Government Users Restricted Rights - Use, duplication or disclosure restricted by GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp. IBM, the IBM logo,, Rational, the Rational logo, Telelogic, the Telelogic logo, Green Hat, the Green Hat logo, and other IBM products and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. 48 © 2013 IBM Corporation