Thursday, January 07, 2010

Saving an email directly to the file system from Lotus Notes

I have pretty much lost count of the number of times MS Outlook users who have been upgraded to Lotus Notes have asked me how to save an email either to their file system or to their desktop. The most commonly stated reason for this is so that all the emails, files and documents related to a project can all be saved in one folder on a shared drive. Most organisations now recognise that collaborating through shared drives creates a whole raft of problems including security, duplication, compliance and the inability to find the "one version of the truth".

This capability is pretty much redundant to Lotus users since they have many ways of collaborating including Teamrooms, Quickr Places, Wikis, Blogs and Connections Communities. These tools include access control, search, versioning and all the various features that promote good information management. However, we must remember that users do tend to become a bit set in their ways, so if they do want to copy mail messages to their file system I point them at the free File Navigator sidebar plugin for Lotus Notes 8.5 and above available from OpenNTF.org.

My frolleague Darren Adams wrote about it last year. Quite simply it shows your file system in your Lotus Notes sidebar and you can drag and drop files and email to and from it. Specifically, you can drag emails to folders on the file system where they will be stored in their entirety as .eml documents* (including embedded graphics and attachments). You can also drag multiple emails at the same time. Very cool and great for knocking an old objection on the head.



Notes:
1. The Quickr Connectors can also create .eml versions of email messages by drag and drop but of course these are stored in Quickr Places rather then the file system.
2. Lotus Notes 8.5.x has an .eml viewer built in if you have the Quickr connectors installed: See here: http://tinyurl.com/ydm9xcy

30 comments:

René Winkelmeyer said...

Hi Andy!

You quoted "2. Lotus Notes 8.5.x has an .eml viewer built in". Are you sure? How can it be started?

I hat to write an EML viewer for the File Navigator because there is no EML viewer built-in.

-- René

Mr Ports said...

Hi Rene,

My Bad, the Notes eml viewer looks like it is part of the Quickr Connectors. See here: http://tinyurl.com/ydm9xcy

I will update the post accordingly

Cheers
Ports

Mr Ports said...

I accidentally removed this interesting comment from "Matt"

"Arghhh! The curse of the PST & MSG file! They create a major information management headache across government (and most probably in other sectors too). Thankfully Microsoft has finally decided to document the PST file structure (although that's just closing the door after the horse has bolted).

Of course users love them, as they can side-step all the quotas, filing and other onerous restrictions imposed on them by heartless management ;)

Sad (but understandable) that the only way to compete is to replicate all the bad things your competitors do..."

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Stephen Bailey said...

One other pre-requisite I found - the mail template must be version 8.* in order for this to work. (My client is 8, but my server is still running 7 (yeah, I know...). :)

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