The plugin was released more than a month ago but I am just now getting around to installing it.  However I am really impressed by how useful this plugin really is, especially if you are an avid user of the Files application in Connections.  Even if you aren’t you may be after installing this plugin.  You can download the installer and plugin from Greenhouse here.  (You don’t have to have a Greenhouse account to download the plugin.)  Once you download it you just need to unzip the file and launch the setup.exe.  This will walk you through installing the plugin.  The installer will warn you, but as a reminder, make sure you don’t have Notes running when you run the installer.

If you don’t have a Connections deployment in your organization you can play with you have two options.  First if you have a Greenhouse account you can use the Connections deployment there.  Your second option is to register for a BleedYellow account and use their Connections deployment.  The only configuration you have to do is to set the URL to a Connections server in the Notes Connections preferences and supply your username and password.  Once that is done your ready to use the plugin.

As you would expect, the Files plugin adds a new view to your sidebar.  By default it will display your files.  However you can switch to several other views as well.  In addition to your files you can view files that are shared with you, and files that are shared by you.  You can also view files from anyone in your organization as long as they have made them public.  You can do this by searching for a persons name at the top of the plugin using the search bar.  The search bar even gives you type ahead!  As you move between different views in the plugin you can easily navigate back and forth using the navigation arrows and home button.

To upload files its as easy as drag and drop!  You can pretty much drag and drop a file from anywhere on the computer to the sidebar and it will upload the file.  This includes your desktop, Windows Explorer, and any Notes document.  You can also upload files from Notes documents by selecting an attachment, right clicking and selecting one of the options.  You can upload only the selected file(s) or you can choose to upload all attached files from the document.  When you do upload a file you are prompted to select how you want to share the file.  The options are pretty much the same as if you were using the web UI.  You can choose to make the file private, public, or share it with specific people.  If you do choose to share it with specific people you can again take advanatage of the great type ahead feature to select who you want to share the file with.

From the sidebar you can modify any file you have uploaded to Files.  If you right click on the file you have a ton of options, you can download, open the file in a browser, upload a new version, share it, delete it, rename it, etc.

This plugin is great because it eliminates the need to go to the web UI when having to do things with Files in Connections.  You can do everything you can do in the web UI with a file, right inside of Notes.  Avoiding that context switch saves you time and makes you more productive, plus it’s pretty damn cool too!  It’s just another reason why you should love Lotus Notes.  (Copyright Mat Newman?)

Ryan J Baxter

Husband, Father, Software Engineer