Mainsoft Integrate Your SharePoint Calendars with Lotus Notes 8.5
Earlier this month we talked about how Mainsoft (news, site) was helping integrate SharePoint and IBM Rational Team Concert, providing SharePoint collaboration capabilities inside the Team Concert world. Good stuff for project teams.

But what about organizations who live inside their Lotus Notes environments? They also need some SharePoint love. And Mainsoft is providing it to them as well with the latest version of their Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes.

What's new in Version 2? Come have a look.

Lotus Notes Users Like SharePoint

Maybe you wouldn't think it, but there are a lot of organizations who use Lotus Notes and want it to be able to integrate with SharePoint. Due to some major changes in how Lotus Notes has been developed and a company that specializes in Notes to SharePoint integration (Mainsoft), it is possible.

Here are a couple of stats you may find interesting, based on a survey of LotusUserGroup.org members that are currently evaluating Lotus-SharePoint integration software:

  • 78% of the respondents said SharePoint content integration with Lotus Notes is a top priority, a high priority, or a priority
  • 63 percent said they want to integrate SharePoint with Lotus Notes 8.x.
  • 45 percent said they are evaluating SharePoint for their team collaboration infrastructure.
  • 37 percent said they want to integrate Lotus Notes with Office SharePoint Server 2007.
  • 18 percent said they want to integrate Lotus Notes with Windows SharePoint Services.
  • 7 percent said they want to integrate Lotus Notes with Microsoft SharePoint Online

Interesting? Here's another interesting piece of information. According to Yaacov Cohen, CEO of Mainsoft, Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator costs 1/10th the cost of a typical email migration strategy.

How does it do that? By encouraging the use of SharePoint for documents instead of emailing them back and forth. Cohen says that 60% of the costs related to email usage are caused by attachments in emails.

What the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes does is take those documents out of email whenever possible and get them into a SharePoint site, while offering an integrated view of SharePoint directly in Lotus Notes.

What's new in Version 2

There are some interesting new features in this latest version of the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes:

SharePoint Calendar Integration

Lotus Notes 8.5 now supports iCalc, which means that you can integrate any calendar that supports iCalc with Notes, including Google. In this case, you can easily add any number of SharePoint calendars to your Notes.

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Mainsoft SharePoint Calendar Integration

You can color code your calendars to easily tell which calendar entry is from which calendar.

What's also nice about this integration is that you can create SharePoint calendar events inside Lotus Notes. And if you want to copy events from one calendar to another, you can do that to. Copy your Lotus Notes event to one of your SharePoint calendars, or copy one of your SharePoint calendar events to Lotus Notes.

Support SharePoint Taxonomy and Goverance

The Mainsoft Integrator always supported the ability to add documents to SharePoint from within Notes and vice versa. Now it goes a step further by also supporting document properties and check in/check out requirements.

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Mainsoft SharePoint Properties Prompt

When you add a document to a SharePoint library, you are automatically prompted to check it in. If there are required properties to complete, you are also prompted to add these -- within Lotus Notes.

Send Links, Not Documents

You may as a default send an actual document in an email, but the Integrator can now prompt you to add that document to SharePoint and only send a link. This would direct users to SharePoint to open and view the document.

There are properties within Lotus Notes that you set to add your SharePoint sites and set a default one if there's one you use more than others. Setting a default site will result in your document automatically going to that site. Setting no default means you will be prompted to select the site to save the document to.

Notes Preferences can be provisioned by the Domino Notes administrator. This allows you to set default rules for the organization. These preferences can still be overridden if it is required. For example, if the person you are sending a document to doesn't have access to SharePoint, then you obviously don't want to send a link.

Integrate with SharePoint Online

You don't need to have SharePoint installed locally to use the SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes. The Integrator is built using Web Services, so you can hook up SharePoint online sites as easily as those on premise.

Working with a SharePoint Online site is no different than working with an on premise one.

The World of SharePoint and Notes

The reality is, and we've said it before, we will never completely leave our email world behind. So we need solutions that help us manage that email usage smarter. Not just for cost savings, but also for compliance and eDiscovery.

It's obvious that you don't have to be a completely Microsoft-based organization to use, or want to use, SharePoint. At the department level it's already a given that SharePoint is a useful tool for document collaboration. Cohen says they are starting to see it used even more at the enterprise level.

The Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes offers us part of the solution. It offers a way to get and keep our documents in a central repository other than our inbox, where it can be easily shared, monitored and searched.

The SharePoint Calendar Integration capability takes us another step by enabling us to work from one central location, even though we may have multiple calendars.

If you are an organization who uses both SharePoint and Lotus Notes, this is a solution you need to consider.