Using Lotus Notes Policies to Improve the User Experience: Part 1 – Dynamic Desktop

Using Lotus Notes Policies to Improve the User Experience: Part 1 – Dynamic Desktop

I’ve been speaking with many users on Twitter who have restrictive policies imposed on their Lotus Notes clients.

Here are a few policies you can push out by default to improve your Lotus Notes users experiences from the get go. I usually just set the initial value, so users can modify these settings after the fact. For instance, the majority of our users want previewed mail to be marked as read, which Notes doesn’t do by default. I turn this on with a policy and educate users they can change it if need be. Users need to be aware what options they have. If they don’t like a feature, they need to know they are able to change it.

All of these are in my Desktop Settings/Dynamic Desktop policy.
Basics Tab
Enable “Syncrhonize Contacts” on the Replicator = Yes
Set to ensure Notes users have their updated address book in iNotes.

Widgets Tab
Enable Live Text
Show the My Widgets panel in the sidebar
Live Text and Widgets are awesome so let users know what they are and that they have access to them. But before you do this, you should really build and publish a widget catalog!
Train users to email each other widgets, show them how to download and add Google Gadgets to their sidebar panels. For a head start, check the Widget Library on OpenNTF and please check out the Lotus Learning Widget.

Mail Tab
Allow refresh of Mail Quota on hovering over indicator = Enable
Have you ever adjusted a quota and told a user to “just wait a bit” for the quota indicator to change? Just tell them to mouse over it for an instant update.

Enable silent failover when a server goes down = Enable
Why tell users your primary mail server is down and make them choose if they want to fail over to another replica? Allow seamless transition to the secondary server.

Enable upgrade of all local NSFs to latest ODS version = Enable
Users can benefit from the latest ODS on local applications only if they actually have the latest ODS on local applications. This makes it easy to do.

Preferences Tab > Miscellaneous Sub Tab
Mark documents read when opened in preview pane = Enable
Make Internet URLs into Hotspots = Enable
Drag and Drop save as eml file = Enable
This is great if a user wants to pull an email out of their mail file. Show them it’s there!

Preferences Tab > Window Management Sub Tab
Display Sidebar = Yes
Hide “Sametime Contacts” Panel = No
We want our users logged into Sametime and have the panel visible every time they launch Notes. This is one of the few policies I don’t let users adjust.

Custom Settings Tab > Notes.ini Sub Tab
AttachmentActionDefault=1 OR 2
This will ensure a user doesn’t have the pesky pop-up asking them if they want to open, edit, view or save the attachment they just double clicked. Setting this to 1 will open the attachment by default. Setting it to 2 will edit the attachment by default, enabling them to save it back to the document they just opened it from. We’re saving clicks and making things less complicated for users with this one.

Custom Settings Tab > Managed Settings Sub Tab
We use Sametime, so many of these are related to our Sametime environment or how Sametime interacts with the Lotus Notes calendar or our embedded Sametime clients. FYI, I’ve already enabled token based single sign-on between our Domino, Sametime, Quickr and Websphere servers.

authType=ST-DOMINO-SSO;, Enforce
Lets us use single sign-on to our Sametime server.

loginByToken=True;, Enforce
Login by token.

tokenLoginOnly=True;, Enforce
Token only login.

savePassword=False;, Enforce
Disables a user saving a password. When they do it seems to mess up that token login. 😉

autologin=True;, Enforce
Automatically log the user into Sametime

logging.service=service.notes;, Enforce
Ensures the user’s chat history is saved to their mail file.

logging.default=0;, Enforce
Ensures the user automatically saves chat history.

Ensures Sametime client cache is refreshed upon each Notes login

logging.enabled=True;, Enforce
Enables chat logging.;, Enforce
Sametime host name.;, Enforce
Sametime server name.

useCanonicalNamesOverride=1;, Enforce
Ensures we use canonical names to allow presence awareness in Notes views;, Enforce: SetOnce
Sametime meeting server name.

serverPort=9082;, Enforce: SetOnce
Sametime meeting server port.

useCommunityCredentials=true;, Enforce: SetOnce

Lets the user use their Domino server credentials;, Enforce: SetOnce
Sametime community server name.;, Enforce: SetOnce
Authentication server name

useAuthServer=true;, Enforce: SetOnce
Set to use our an authentication server (i.e., our Domino server) as the authentication server for Sametime

resetUser=true;, Enforce: SetOnce
Resets the user settings to ensure they pull down the latest and greatest settings on login to Notes

earlyStartupLogin=false;, Enforce: SetOnce
Disables the Sametime login window. Why give them the login window when you’re using single sign-on? Don’t.

autoChangeMyStatusInMtg=true; SetOnce
Automatically change the user’s Sametime status if they’re in a meeting.

whenIamInAOnlineMtg=true; SetOnce
Automatically change the user’s Sametime status if they’re in an online meeting.

enabled=true; SetOnce
Enables status changes for user calendar entries

notes_enabled=true; SetOnce
In Calendar Service page, specify whether to check Lotus Notes calendar for meetings to allow auto status changes.

If you have other tips on other desktop policies to enhance a user’s experience, please let me know. I’d love to hear about them.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Mail Settings



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