Monday, February 9, 2009

Why is there no Runtime way to run nsf files?

Maybe someone has a better idea on ideajam

Go vote for this if you want it, someone inside Lotus reads these things, sometimes.

Years ago I lamented this, when I was inside Lotus. But here it goes again.

I believe in most major programs there is a way to run your application on its own, except in Lotus Notes.

A friend of mine wants a demo of a db/app to give to his customer and asked me to mock something up. Naturally Lotus Notes being a RAD type of environment and my appdev skills being so excellent, ahem, I figured why not just make the main form, a main view and a "report" and see what happens.

The problem is my friend, and the client, do not use Notes. So, wihtout my being there, how can my friend do the demo(he knows nothing of Lotus, he's in construction) without a Lotus Notes client.

In fact, how can anyone demo an nsf file without a Lotus notes client?

I have only come up with 2 ways and a 3rd which I have yet to test. Oh and a 4th but it's a sort of hack.

1) HTTP is your friend in this case. BUT they may not want a browser based app, my friend says, I said it doesn't matter, it's "The Cloud" and laugh like Vincent Price.

2) Sametime meeting and I can demo it for them. Perhaps but something tells me in this case its not going to happen.

3) DOLS? Maybe. Lars suggested this but I am not sure, in the 24 hours i have to do this task, that it can get done in a way that makes sense,

4) Kiosk mode. Yes, quiet and unassuming this has been out there for years, just add /kiosk at the end of the notes.exe run statement properties.
Like so: C:\Lotus\Notes\Notes.Exe /Kiosk demogod.nsf

Pedrorq suggested having my browser be autoloaded for the nsf from my HTTP server. Problem is browsers don't read .nsf extensions anyway so this goes back to #1.

I had at least 5 different responses on twitter which either asked for the answer or were stumped themselves.

So to all my readers out there, even you guys at Microsoft, any ideas are appreciated for this conundrum of a project.

Even if there was a program 10 years ago to do it, let me know I will find it and make it happen.


  1. Give him a Nomad install of the Notes Client (sans id file) with the app set as the default homepage.

  2. Nomad + Kiosk mode = nsf-Runtime

  3. Nomad won, although NOMAD has an issue with my VISTA laptop. Luckily my trusty XP Ideapad worked fine.

    Just an odd situation to be in, normally I wouldn't have this issue.

    The things we do for bring them into the yellow world.

  4. This sounds like it could have been a cool business opportunity for vmware to make a variant of their PocketACE vms in self-destruct mode for demo use, combine with a time limited Notes client.

  5. self destruct mode, I like that idea,