In our series of articles, we’ve hit on IBM Lotus Notes and Domino and how you can use it as a great platform for your intranet. Well, it’s time to add another tool to your arsenal with the release of Lotus Quickr.
Quickr is the evolution of Lotus Quickplace. Quickplace has been around for more than eight years, and has always been a self-service team room and document management system.
Quickr one-ups that formula by adding connectors and integration to a variety of software products, as well as adding a Web 2.0 makeover to the presentation.
AJAX and brightly colored gradients are prevalent, but they really make this product seem like something fresh, and not a legacy product from 1999.
Quickr is something you may want to consider adding to your Domino intranet as it facilitates teamwork and collaboration with very little back-end effort.
At the heart of Lotus Quickr is the team room concept. A team room is a place where a group of users can collaborate.
You could give project teams or departments their own team room, and allow them to work together using all of the security you are used to in Lotus products.
Each room can have administrators, editors and readers, so you can lock down each one to your liking.
Each team room has a variety of features you can add for the team to use. Some of them include:
In addition, you can also create blogs and wikis separate from the team rooms. If you’ve been reading my previous articles, you know that these are great additions to your intranet, and now you have the ability to do it via Quickr as well as Domino.
These are all great features, and combining them in team rooms will really allow your users to collaborate more effectively.
However, the biggest killer application in Quickr is definitely its document management capabilities.
Manage Your Content
Quickr contains a nice engine that you can use to manage your documents. There’s version controls, check-in/check-out capabilities, full-text searching and you can even use workflow to manage your documents.
You can also dictate security on a per document basis. So if you want a document visible to a team, but only want two people on the team to have edit capabilities, you can do so.
This alone is a nice feature, but where it becomes truly useful is when you connect the content libraries to other software.
Quickr comes with connectors that can link you to four different products. Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime Connect, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Windows Explorer.
Once you install the connectors (Windows only at this point) they give you access to Quickr functionality from within your other products.
You can save directly to, or open files from your content libraries without ever opening your browser.
In Lotus Notes, the integration also allows you to save email attachments to your Quickr team room. Say I want to send a word document and a PDF to my editor.
I create an email and attach the files. When I click send, I get a new dialog that asks me if I want to save the attachments to Quickr and send links instead.
If I say yes, those attachments are uploaded to the Quickr team room of my choice and a plain email is sent off to my editor with a link taking him directly to the document in Quickr.
This should cut down on email traffic considerably. Instead of someone sending the same attachment to all 20 people on their team, they could put it in one place and save considerable space in their mail file.
Lotus Notes 8 will also have a sidebar section that shows the documents in your Quickr libraries.
This will allow you to open documents within Notes or even drag and drop them (creating a link) into your email.
The Microsoft Office integration allows you to open or save documents directly to your Quickr team room as well.
So, for example, if I were writing this document in Microsoft Word, I could click Save to Quickr and choose where I wanted to save it to. Users can still use their familiar tools, but this connector allows them to share documents easily.
The Windows Explorer integration allows your Quickr libraries to show up much like a network drive. You can drag-and-drop to Quickr from Windows just like you would save to a folder on the network.
This really allows you to ease users into using Quickr. People that might not be comfortable with the web application can still get and save documents without ever really realizing that they are connected a whole document management system.
The final connector is for the Sametime 7.5.1 client. It will show much like the sidebar in Lotus Notes 8. It will list your libraries, and will allow you drag a document into a chat or instant message for you to collaborate on.
Quickr is a nice alternative to Domino if you don’t have the time to develop applications yourself, or a nice addition to Domino for the document management capabilities.
It allows you to get collaboration up and running in a fairly short amount of time, and integrates very well with other Lotus products (as well as Microsoft Office.)
In addition to the capabilities outlined above, Lotus is working with SNAPPS Software to add twelve open-source place types for use in Quickr.
Additonal features coming down the pipe include Surveys, Meetings and Agenda Management, Contact Management, Image Repositories, specific Project Management features and more.
The nice thing to realize about Quickr is that this really isn’t a scary version 1.0 product. It’s just the evolution of Quickplace with a missing vowel.
You can be comfortable using Quickr knowing that it has an eight year legacy and a renewed future within Lotus.
Quickr is available now for USD $70 per user, or part of a collaboration bundle that gives access to Quickr, Connections and Sametime for USD $195 per user.
About This Series
This series of articles on intranet solutions with IBM Lotus Notes/Domino and it’s companion products is intended to help readers understand the fundamental methodology and capabilities of the product and how to utilize it to deliver a feature-rich, secure, and functional corporate intranet solution.
It will include implementation strategies, case studies, industry-tested tips and tricks, and, with your input, true value to the administrator or developer who wants to utilize IBM Lotus technologies to deliver winning intranet solutions.
If you have any questions on the series, Lotus Notes/Domino, or if there’s something you’d like to see addressed, visit the Intranet Journal Discussion Forum.