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Notebook?! How to get your Lotus Notes 8.5 Basics Welcome Page to work with your Lotus Notes-based blog!

Now that I'm running completely on Lotus Notes 8.5, I wanted to continue with the new experiences and embrace change. So, I've abandoned the Workspace (at least for the moment), and decided to embrace the full-on Lotus Notes 8.5 client experience.

Lotus Notes 
8.5 - Basics

That works for me - gives me single-click access to most everything that I'd use at any given time... but I don't use "Notebook". Not too sure who does to be honest. I do however, have my custom template-based weblog (which you're reading, so you know that... yeah). My first thought was to modify the bookmark.nsf template and hack the WPDfaultBasic Form Design Element, and just point it to my blog. I even went as far as to create a logo-ed Image Resource for the replacement button... but was that embracing change???

So, I took a look at it from the user experience.

Lotus Notes 8.5 - Basics - Notebook Wizard

So, I could create a new Notebook, or - more importantly - define an existing Notebook via this simple on-screen option! I pointed this to my blog of course!

Now, after checking out exactly what this did (by opening the bookmark.nsf in the Designer Client). When you click on the New button from the Basics screen? Yep - simply launches the defined Notebook application's JournalEntry Form Design Element - not unlike an @Command([Compose]) call.

So, I did what any self-respecting developer would do in this situation: I added an additional alias to my "New Entry" Form Design Element of my custom blog application - specifically added JournalEntry as the 2nd of 3 names for said Form Design Element.

See, while the first name is for visual sorting, menu options, etc., and the 3rd option (or last option if you are already multi-aliasing your Design Elements like you should be) is for programmatic use (ie., that's the value stored in the form NotesItem, used in View Selection Formula, etc.), I simply added the JournalEntry as another alias: New Entry|JournalEntry|entry.

Now, when I click on the Notebook option, I get my blog. When I click on "New", I get the "New Entry" Form Design Element. Good times!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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