What is the widget catalog and what can I do with it?

The widgets catalog is a server-based application that contains all centrally managed widgets and their underlying XML extension definitions, including content types and recognizers. The catalog is based on the HCL Domino® server-supplied Widget Catalog template (toolbox.ntf) and its access is controlled by a combination of application ACLs and Domino policies or Eclipse™ preferences (plugin_customization.ini file), as well as widget catalog categories.

Power users can configure new widgets and publish them to the catalog for user access. End users obtain the latest widgets, of the catalog category to which they are enabled via policy or preferences, from the catalog on a scheduled basis. Depending on how users are configured they can browse the catalog for new widgets and update their local widget catalog on demand. The local catalog is updated based on a replication schedule, which by default is the same as the Notes medium priority schedule.

The widgets catalog contains some advanced recognizers, and their content types, such as the following:

  • Person (name)
  • Place (address)
  • Organization
Note: These supplied, advanced Live Text recognizers are currently available for American English-only and some German names. You can create your own Live Text recognizers using Java™ regular expressions as described in this help system.

The widgets that a user would see in their sidebar, and actions that are available to users based on category provisioning from the catalog, are stored in the local copy of the central catalog.

Catalog documents

Each widget is represented in the catalog as a Notes® document containing the following elements.

  • Widget graphic for display in the catalog document
    Note: You can use the default graphic or specify another for display in the catalog document. However the graphic you specify for the catalog document has no effect on the widget thumbnail used in the My Widgets sidebar panel. The widget thumbnail is specified in the .XML file attachment using the imageUrl variable.
  • Title, Description, and Detail

    Use the default widget name or specify a different catalog document title. Use the Description and Details fields to describe the widget.

  • Category

    Control user access to the widget based on widget category grouping such as team name or job.

  • Type

    Specify if the widget is a content type only, recognizer only, component, any combination, or a feature and plug-in type.

    Note: Content types and recognizers do not need to be bundled with a component to be added to the catalog.
  • Platform

    Specify where the widget can be used.

  • XML extension attachment

    This contains the widget XML itself and is named extension.xml.

    If the widget deploys a client plug-in, the extension.xml contains <installManifest> information that defines how to obtain and install the plug-in.

Catalog views

The catalog is supplied with the following views:

  • All Widgets
  • By Author
  • By Category
  • By Type

Catalog access rights

The administrator can assign catalog access right based on user type, using a combination of Notes application ACLs and policy or preference settings.

  • Using catalog application ACLs

    A user with a minimum of Author access and the [WidgetAuthor] role can create widget documents in the catalog. New widgets can also be published to the catalog from the My Widgets sidebar panel. Widgets can be placed into categories which, in use with policies and preferences, can force deployment to specific users or groups. This user can view and use all widgets.

    In addition to creating widgets, a user with Editor access or higher and the [Admins] role can edit and remove any widget in the catalog.

    Note: If you are assigned the Administrator role in the catalog ACL and are not provided with the Administrator features in your local replica, you may need to enable Enforce consistent access across replicas in the ACL of your local replica.
  • Using policy or plugin_customization.ini file preferences

    The administrator can manage Widgets and Live Text and catalog access setting using policy. If using Widgets and Live Text outside of a server-managed environment, there are equivalent settings in the Notes plugin_customization.ini file. For example, an administrator can control widget deployment based on categories. Categories are created in the catalog, but are administered by way of user policy or preference settings. Specific widgets can be deployed to specific users based on the category in which a given widget resides and the categories for which a given user is assigned.

Catalog action buttons

The catalog contains the following action buttons:

  • Open

    This allows you to open and view the selected catalog document for the purposes of viewing and optionally adding it to the My Widgets sidebar panel. Provided you have edit rights to that document, you can also open it for edit.

  • Add Widget to Catalog

    Use this to add a widget to the catalog. This action opens a dialog in which you can attach an .XML file and add a title, category name (optional), type designation, short description, and detailed description.

    Note: To automatically create a new document in the catalog for a specific widget in the My Widgets sidebar panel, if policies or preferences allow you to do so, you can right-click the widget in the My Widgets sidebar panel and select Publish to Catalog.