Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lotus Notes/EZ Notes Search on Windows 8 Release Preview

Microsoft has made available the Release Preview version of Windows 8 with its new Metro user interface.  Since the final version of the operating system has not been released yet, IBM Lotus Notes is not supported on this OS.  We would like to support EZ Notes Search on Windows 8 when Lotus Notes is supported, so we did some initial testing to see how the two will work together on the platform.

The Windows 8 Release Preview software (Evaluation copy, Build 8400) was installed in a new Hyper-V Virtual Machine on a Dell Vostro 64-Bit laptop.  Once that was done, IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 was installed and configured.  Finally, EZ Notes Search V2.2 (64 Bit) was installed.  No notable problems were encountered installing any of the software. 

Metro User Interface
The new Metro user interface is different from the Windows 7 user interface in a number of areas.  One way to think about the Metro UI is that it is the "Start" Button menu popped up and filling the screen.  There is no "Start" button on the desktop anymore.  From a keyboard you bring up the Metro interface by using the "Windows" key.  The "Start" button also popped up on Windows 7 when you pushed the "Windows" key.  (The Windows key has the Windows logo on it and is usually near the Alt or Ctrl keys).

Users can search Files, Apps and the Control Panel from the Metro user interface.  From the desktop the user can search other content sources like Lotus Notes (if EZ Notes Search is installed) using Windows Explorer.  This can be done by using the "Search Again in" drop down on the Windows Explorer ribbon interface and picking the EZ Notes Search option.  Another way to initiate the search is by opening the "IBM Lotus Notes Content (EZ Notes Search)" Search Connector which is found in the user's "Searches" folder.


Behavioral Differences
One of the big differences between Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 from the EZ Notes Search perspective is what content stores are searched by default.   In Windows 7 the search would be done against Files, Applications, the Control Panel and any custom protocol handlers (like EZ Notes Search, MAPI and others) when you clicked the Start Button and typed your search term(s).  Similarly with Windows XP, when you typed in the  query box on the task bar, it would search all the content stores.  With Windows 8 Release Preview if you push the "Windows" key and start typing only the "Apps" are searched.

EZ Notes Search
If you would like to do some experimenting yourself or would like to try EZ Notes Search on Windows XP or Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit versions), you can download a trial version here:  You can also see it in action (on Windows 7) on YouTube.