PermaLinkPreparing For BP123
03:34:59 PM

The session begins in 45 minutes, and Declan and I are setting up. The room is empty in the time slot before ours, so we've got plenty of time to get ready. We even have time to blog. We both dropped in on the OpenNTF BOF for a few minutes, said our hellos, and then came over to the Swan. We did a dry run last night, and we know what we're up against in terms of timing. It's going to be an interesting session. That's really all I can guarantee.

The day has been quite busy. My wireless card has been acting up, so I haven't been able to post from the sessions I've been in. I think the real highlight of this show could have been IBM's Activity Explorer. It really could have, but it falls just short. It's still an early stage product, just making the jump out of research and into product -- but I took the opportunity to speak to the presenters in one of the sessions that covered it, and told him that Notes document support is the missing feature that, if it were there, would cause it to be a real break-out product. If you could drag a Notes doclink into Activity Explorer and make it part of an activity thread, then the biggest installed base of collaboration users -- 108 million Notes and Domino users -- would have a very, very good reason to start working with IBM Workplace right now. The fellow I was speaking to started saying that Notes integration will come with the Notes Plug-in for Workplace Client Technologies -- and of course it will -- but I interrupted as politely as I could and told him not to wait for that. It should be in the product today.

There is the minor problem of the fact that there's no documented way to get Notes doclinks off the clipboard, but that's another conversation (which, by the way I have had with several IBMers here at 'sphere), but IBM engineers certainly ought to be able to get access to the clipboard data formats to make that happen, even if the rest of us can't.

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Comments :v

1. Stephan H. Wissel01/25/2005 09:18:40 PM

Hi Richard,
Notes Doclinks are PLAIN text and can be processed easily. When you create a doclink into the clipboard, try to paste it into Notepad. You will get somethin like this:
Notes/Domino 6 Forum - Business Process Management
<REPLICA 00256C3E:0030650D>
<VIEW OFC21908BA:F7E06EB0-ON85256A39:006EAE9F>
<NOTE OF1A88F6FA:AD088559-ON85256F94:0080CA1C>
<REM>Database 'Notes/Domino 6 Forum', View '1. Date\Threaded', Document 'Business Process Management'</REM>
(This is a document from, if you have a connection to Notes1/NotesWeb on in your Notes client you can verify that).
Save this into a file with the extension .ndl. When you double-click -- voila you get the exact document.
We use this to deal with mixed environments (non-notes email and notes client apps): Instead of a doclink we send an ndl file as attachment.

2. Richard Schwartz01/26/2005 12:33:46 AM

Stephan, that's only true if you copy the link to the clipboard via menu commands. The plain text clipboard format is not available on a drag and drop operation. The only types available on a drag and drop operation are undocumented Lotus-specific types, and some Microsoft OLE2 types -- and I have been unable to find any sample code from Microsoft that demonstrates how to use the OLE2 clipboard types that Notes creates.


3. Stephan H. Wissel01/26/2005 01:38:02 AM

Hi Richard,
Your'e right. I could use my contact to the dark side to get some information how to shed light on the OLE mystery.

4. Richard Schwartz01/26/2005 01:45:54 AM

I'm actually going both routes. I have been having conversations with anyone who will listen at IBM, and have also been working on getting in touch with the right person at Microsoft. What I'd give for a bit of sample code dealing with OLE drag-drop!


5. Stephan H. Wissel01/31/2005 12:09:52 PM

Hi Richard,
did some Drag & Drop studies in VB.NET. A Notes Document does have the following data types when dropping:
Notes Private Data
Notes Private Link
Link Source Descriptor
Link Source
Since you can drop this into exporer I suspect Win uses the Link Source/Link Source descriptor. I didn't find information about that. Drop an eMail or IM if you want the VB.NET code.

6. Richard Schwartz01/31/2005 01:46:58 PM


I've been through this -- believe me. My VB.Net code probably looks a lot like yours. I also have C++ and C# code Link Source and Link Source Descriptor are related to OLE drag-drop, definitely. Unfortunately, there is no documentation or sample code on MSDN that describes how to make use of them. I have talked to Microsoft people, and I believe that I can get through this eventually, but I think my point is that it shouldn't be this difficult. One shouldn't have to be major guru of OLE interfaces in order to just get the rep id and unid of a doclink off of the clipboard. I talked to many IBM people at 'sphere this year, and all agreed with me. I'm hoping that some of them will be able to help out, either by publishing an API, an article on DeveloperWorks, or just some sample code in the SandBox. I volunteered to help them in whatever way I can.


7. Ale12/04/2005 07:51:59 PM

Wow, so I'm not the only one out there... did any of you guys make any progress on this? It's sooo frustrating...

8. Richard Schwartz12/04/2005 08:15:40 PM

I'm afraid not.


9. Nick Christie02/18/2007 09:42:26 PM

Examining the memorystream which is the LinkSourceDescriptor there appears to be:
0-3 size of LSD
4-20 16 byte number - probably related somehow to UniversalNoteID
20 - 23 - an integer
44-47 - pointer to string "Notes Link"
48-51 - pointer to database name
53-74 "Notes Link"
75-xx database name

Who knows if the 16 byte number is encrypted or whatever , however i'm looking at the following approach to pull email from notes via drag drop:

1. detect notes dropped object by presence of notes Private link dropformat
2. during the drop process (so currentitem cant change in notes) a) connect to NotesUIWorkspace
b) get the currentview (if nothing then drag is occurring from a document which we can't reliably identify uiview.currentdocument is close though)
c) get the caretnoteid from the current view
d) get the documentbynoteid from the database of the uidatabase
e) export body and attachments into local application

10. Jamie B01/03/2008 09:36:04 AM

Has anyone had any joy on the formats used to extract details re notes?

11. Abeish Babu02/26/2009 06:43:04 AM

I am also looking for the same.

Does anybody able to get the value in Link Source Descriptor. As Nick Christie told in comment 9, how is it possible to get the currentuiworkspace from an outside Java application?
Is there any workaround?

12. Richard Schwartz02/26/2009 08:09:49 AM

@11 There's no support for the Notes front-end UI classes in Java.

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