Deploying client plug-ins with widgets and the widget catalog

You can use a widget to deploy a new feature and corresponding plug-in to an existing Notes® client using a combination of the widgets catalog, an NSF-based update site in which the feature resides, an XML file attached to the widget that calls the feature's update site, and Domino® policy or Eclipse preferences.

Before you begin

This process is written as an ordered procedure and assumes you have a valid Eclipse update site containing a features folder, plugins folder, and site.xml file and that all JAR files in the update site folders are properly signed. It also assumes you want to deploy this plug-in to an existing user such that it be installed, and that any updates to it be automatically provisioned, for that user.

About this task

Once you have performed these steps, users will be automatically provisioned with the feature called by the widget's extension.xml. The feature called by the widget you are about to create will be installed when the user's local widgets catalog is updated. As well, any updates you make to the feature will be provisioned to the user by way of the widget. The client checks the widget catalog for updates periodically and upon user request.

CAUTION: You can use the Features and Plugins option on the Getting Started with Widgets wizard in Notes® to simplify the process of creating a feature and plug-in deployment widget. See How do I configure a Features and Plugins deployment widget? in IBM® Notes® 9.0.1 Social Edition Help for usage details. The wizard especially simplifies the process of creating the widget's attachment XML.

You will use these items to complete the process:

  • Widgets catalog on named Domino® server
  • Correctly configured Widgets section of Domino® Desktop policy settings document
  • Correctly formed and signed Eclipse update site containing the feature(s) to deploy
  • NSF-based update site containing your Eclipse update site
  • Widget resident in the widgets catalog and of the same category as the user's policy or preference
  • Correctly formed widget XML file attachment that calls the update site
    Note: The Start Configuring Widgets wizard dialog (click Getting Started with Widgets in the toolbar or My Widgets sidebar panel) contains Features and Plugins option. This option launches a wizard sequence designed to simplify the process of creating a Notes® client plug-in deployment widget. The wizard guides you through the widget definition and extension.xml creation process.

The main steps for deploying a new feature using a widget are as follows:

  • Place the feature's valid Eclipse update site, containing the signed features and plug-ins, in a central location
  • Install or upgrade the server and client, create the widgets catalog, and set widgets policy or preferences
  • Create an NSF-based update site and import the Eclipse update site
  • Create the extension.xml that the widget will use to call the feature's update site
  • Display the Widgets sidebar and verify or set catalog access
  • Create the widget in the widgets catalog and attach its extension.xml file to call the update site
  • Test the widget by dragging it from the catalog view to your My Widgets sidebar
  • Communicate to users how to obtain the widget or inform them that they will be automatically provisioned with the widget and its feature
Note: In addition to the topic references in the procedure steps, the following topics provide additional information.
  • Catalog options and access
  • Format of the Eclipse update site
  • Specifying available update sites
  • Controlling feature install and update with update sites
  • Controlling My Widgets access with Eclipse preferences
  • Updating a widget-deployed client feature or plug-in

Related information is also available in the Notes® and Domino® wiki.


Perform the following tasks: