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...intermittent thoughts

AppIcon Plugin for Domino Designer 8.5.2

One of the new features available in Notes 8.5.2 are the 24Bit icons for DatabasesApplications. Having seen and played around with the new feature in the Beta stages of 8.5.2 I have to admit, I really like this feature. It makes me kind of more productive in a special way: it makes me feel better when seeing them and it allows me to realize some of the applications more easily on my Workspace an the Tabs than the old 16 color icons:

There were a few things I personally missed with the new feature but that I also see not as being necessarily implemented into core Domino Designer by default. So I thought I just extend Domino Designer with a small plugin that provides this functionality:
  • As the new 24 Bit Application Icon is really an Image Resource under the hood, one could easily export it to disk, if he was given the opportunity by Designer. As exporting such is not Designers purpose, this is a feature that can be added by the AppIcon Plugin
  • Did you know, your Application Icons are easily available from any web browser? Yes, they are: one could use the ?OpenIcon URL command to get a perfectly rendered version of the Classic Application Icon and <database.nsf>/$DbIcon?open for the new 24 Bit Application Icon. Not everyone likes this to be exposed to anyone who has HTTP Access to a server. Well, the new Application Icon could be hidden from Web as it is actually a special kind of an Image Resource. But as it is a special Image Resyource that is not so easy: it is hidden from the NSFs Image Resources listing and so you don't have a chance to see it anywhere in the database design. Normally a very good idea but not for this particular use case. AppIcon thus allows you to hide and unhide the new 24 Bit Application Icon from Web access with an easy click. But of course there are more general methods like using SecureDomino (a short hand setting is available in the current release) to generally block all requests of such a kind to all databases on a sever - but sometimes you can't be sure SecureDomino is installed on the server you are deploying your database to and so this granular solution might be a good solution.
  • I thought it might be a good idea to be able to export the Classic Application icon (the traditional 16 Color one). Sure, one could do so by putting the database in question to a server and use the ?OpenIcon URL command - but honestly, if that are the things I would have to do for getting hands on a file version of the traditional database icon I would be too lazy most of the times. The AppIcon Plugin allows for storing the Classic Icon in PNG format easily and directly from Domino Designer.
Sounds interesting? Well, I have good news: The AppIcon plugin is freely available. Easiest way to install is to drag the widget descriptor to your Lotus Notes "My Widgets" sidebar.

A long time of silence

It has been quite silent on this blog for a longer time now - and the reason is not that this blog is dead - it is only because I had too much to do. I was working on so many things at the same time - I simply did not find the time to write. Sure, some things I was working on were under different NDAs and I was unable to write but that was not sufficient for an excuse and over time my bad conscience became louder and louder ;-)

Especially when we we released new Versions of SecureDomino or the FireNotes Mozilla Plugin I was involved in writing things down for the Web and could have easily posted some information here too - and I should have. But there were other things that I was working on or playing with : Eclipse Plugins for Notes and Domino Designer, writing articles, preparing conference sessions, working with new exiting stuff in XPages, at some point even participating in a podcast and last but certainly not least doing my normal job and having a private live ;-). Really exiting times and I promise to post stuff here more frequently in the future.

There is so much stuff that I could write about - I really have to pick some of all those interesting topics an post about it. Expect more to come ;-)

SecureDomino on Domino 8.5.2

It took only a couple of hours after the release of Notes/Domino 8.5.2 until I got the first question whether SecureDomino is supported on Domino 8.5.2. I am happy to have an easy answer to that: Yes.
We have done plenty of tests with SecureDomino on the Beta versions of Domino 8.5.2 and know the software is ready for this release. So from that side, there's no reason to not update a server to Domino 8.5.2 - especially if you think about the new features that came with 8.5.1 and 8.5.2 like SPNEGO Single Sign on. But there are organizations that just can't update all their servers straight to the latest release - reality often covers some pitfalls that force organizations to stay at least with one server on an elder release. In such situations the rollout of new features like SPNEGO can become less remarkable as end users rather see the event of being challenged for a password and do not understand the background (why should they even want to). Especially such situations can be solved with SecureDomino's current release: allowing for a more seamless activation of SPNEGO Single Sign On in organizations - by enabling Domino Servers prior to 8.5.1 and even non Windows Servers for an unchallenged login using SPNEGO and a Designated Authentication Server.