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Could we have a standalone freeware NSF viewer? 
Use this IdeaSpace to post ideas about the Notes Client.

: 8
: 22
: 14
: Notes Client / Other
: NSF, databases
: Gavin Bollard1561 23 Nov 2007
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I've often thought that it would be good to have a freeware notes viewer that I could supply people with for offline reading of Notes databases.   I don't think it would need to be very powerful, certainly I wouldn't expect web rendering or lotusscript (ie: no form load events etc).
 
It would just need to support very simple security (so people couldn't use it to bypass security on ANY database) and would need to be able to display forms & views (and print).
 
I know NotesPeek does something similar but I'd like something that I could give to employees on an archive CD of their mail or other databases.   Something that doesn't require a licence so that it could be used to support NSF as a "supportable standard" (the same way that PDF used to work for acrobat before there were any imitator products) .



1) Slawek Rogulski8859 (24 Nov 2007)
And with time this reader would grow into the new lean and legacy free full fledged notes client. :-)

Gavin,
I think that the simpler applications such as the knowledge bases, the discussion forums and mail could be well suited to being opened in a reader. Essentially these are write once and read many times applications, reference sources.
Where it may be difficult to provide a viewer that maintains the required level of fidelity is for the more complicated applications such as those that implement some part of the business process and have considerable logic built in.
2) Grant Lindsay686 (24 Nov 2007)
Interesting idea. However, I see some problems with implementation. Would the user need a Notes id? If so, the usefulness drops dramatically. If not, the security is lost. Both are bad.

Any ideas to address this?
3) Andrew Pollack2909 (24 Nov 2007)
Notes isn't something you can just hand someone in a reader and expect to gain anything valuable from the experience to either party.
4) Gavin Bollard1561 (25 Nov 2007)
What if you could save a Notes Database with -Default- as reader but have a password on the actual file for the viewer? It might mean an addition to the ACL eg: -Viewer- which could be set. I was thinking that this would be useful for times when I'd like to;

a. Mail a database to a non-notes person
b. Save things into Archives

Most people seem to have mastered bookmarks in Acrobat. I'd expect the outline would translate to bookmarks and the forms to pages.

If this isn't appropriate, then perhaps some add-on to Notes that would convert the entire DB to PDF? It would achieve the same purpose I guess - just wouldn't be as user friendly.
5) Carl Tyler5446 (25 Nov 2007)
How about using DOLs to do this, then your browser becomes the viewer?
6) Scott Edwards174 (26 Nov 2007)
If you want to share Notes database contents with clients but they don't have Notes? There are many alternatives available, but what about a compiled version of a Notes database that might protect the integrity of the Notes NSF and the security around it?

Perhaps a tool to extract Notes & design elements from a database and place them into some form of .EXE? (Maybe like a <ahem> .chm file?)
7) Ben Langhinrichs7004 (27 Nov 2007)
For what it is worthm our Midas Rich Text LSX { Link } offers the ability to save as .MHT, which is the Internet Explorer web archive format. It sucks that it won't work in Firefox, but it is useful for sending a page that appears the way it does on a form in Notes. It isn't as good as having a viewer, but it is simpler and already available.
8) Kerr Rainey3855 (28 Nov 2007)
If you happen to find yourself with an .nsf and no Notes / Domino it would be useful if there was a free utility to extract the data. It might just be a DXL dump, but it would ward off some of the complaints of Notes being closed.

There isn't a published spec for the file format is there?
9) Peter Moline1403 (28 Nov 2007)
I think this is a good idea, but it might be tricky to implement while still honouring Notes security.
10) Richard Schwartz3723 (29 Nov 2007)
Aside fro security, I think the limits that would have to be placed on this (no @dblookups to other databases, and that's just the first thing I can think of) will make this too much of a maybe-it-works/maybe-it-doesn't proposition to really be useful.
11) Carl Rizzo1428 (10 Jun 2010)
I think it is not only a good idea, but I thinkit is possibly essential to Notes future. I think using Adobe as a model the key to success is a Reader. Not only would it be nice for entire DB's, but I would also like to package selected views and documents without having to go through the pain of exporting and coversion and everything else. If DB's need to perform look-ups than provide a way to bundle DB's together. There is so much improvement needed on this front. Lotus never plays nice with non-notes users and I think it is very short sided. I like the idea that mentioned DOLS. Having a Db or even a suite of DB's bundled and viewed as a web site is a great idea and one that Adobe can already do.
12) Troy Howard199 (17 Jun 2010)
This would be possible if Lotus would release documentation for the NSF format.

Vote up "Documentation for the NSF File Format":
{ Link }










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