Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lotus Notes v8.5 released at MacWorld!

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As you may have heard already, Lotus Notes v8.5 has been officially released! AND it was released at Apple's last MacWorld conference. Customers and business partners can start downloading the Notes v8.5 client NOW! I'm glad to say that I already have it installed on my Mac OSX (Leopard).

Additionally, for the first time in many years, IBM has a kiosk there showing all of their software that works on Mac. I am lucky enough to have an Exhibitor Pass to MacWorld and will be here at the MacWorld Expo until Friday night! I'm also surprised that there are several IBM software brands will be at MacWorld: Lotus, IM, and Informix.

As a Lotus on Mac user, I'm thrilled that Lotus decided to announce Notes v8.5 today instead of waiting two more weeks for Lotusphere! With this announcement "out of the way" (so to speak), this leaves room for even bigger announcements at Lotusphere less than two weeks from today! Honestly, when Ed Brill announced they were going to wait after the Christmas holiday to ship Lotus Notes v8.5, I thought he meant they were going to wait until Lotusphere!

Here are some of the new features that I like the most:

  • Includes Lotus Symphony 1.2.1 beta for Mac embedded
  • Ability to add Calendars from Lotus Connections Activities, Google Calendar, and iCal feeds
  • Ability to take Lotus Connections Activities offline!
  • Ability to bookmark any document, database, and/or view in Lotus Connections Dogear
  • Includes Sametime v8.0.1 with the WebAPI plug-in (important to show ST awareness in web applications such as Lotus Connections)
  • Drag-n-drop emails into Sametime to add contacts to your Sametime list
  • Photos/Screenshots embedded into emails are automatically compressed when sending
  • File attachments are now shown at the top of each email (so that they are easier to find)
  • New support for LiveText on the Mac
  • Performance! Lotus Notes v8.5 on my Mac starts about 70% faster than Public Beta 2

Now, I know that you are wondering... "When can I get the Lotus Connections Activities sidebar to work on my Mac?" Well, the wait is over! Just like I hacked Public Beta 1 and Public Beta 2 to add the Activities sidebar to Notes v8.5 on the Mac, I've hacked the Gold release of Notes v8.5 so that you can add the Activities sidebar to your Notes v8.5 whether you are on Linux or Mac!!!

Once you download and install Notes v8.5 on your Mac, follow these instructions to add the Activities sidebar to it:

  1. Uninstall the previous hack if you had it installed. (File > Application > Application Management)
  2. Go to File -> Application -> Install
  3. Select Search for new features to install and click Next >
  4. Click on Add Remote Location...
  5. Set the Name to Activities Sidebar
  6. Set the URL to (Note: New URL)
  7. Click Ok and then Finish
  8. Follow the remaining steps and restart Notes for the changes to go into effect

Note: You will see several categories listed. Make sure you select the category named: Notes 8.5 Gold.

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