Monday, May 25, 2009

Lotus notes to Iphone (EMail and Calendar) - Answer

My company uses Lotus Notes 7.x version. I own an iPhone and was upto my wits end to figure out a way to synchronize LN email and calendar to my iphone. While there are many solutions out there, none of them seemed to work for me. Here are some solutions:
1. NotesPro - A native Lotus notes app, expensive at $15 in the app store. Not too many satisfactory reviews. I was not about to spend 15$ on something that may not be reliable.
2. iAnywhere - Free app, but requires some server side work. Ruled out for me.
3. iClink - Very expensive. Period

So here is the answer that works for me.. It is free and it is reliable.. Until I find a native iphone app that works, I am going to live with this solution..

For Email:
  1. Forward your email to a gmail account using a LN rule.
  2. Add your company email address as one of the "accounts" in gmail. Google will send an email out to your company email address to verify.
  3. Verify your company email address.
  4. Create a new POP email account in iphone. Here is the trick to make your company email address appear in your replies: When you create a pop email account on iphone, use your company email address, but the smtp and pop servers should be smtp.gmail.com and pop.gmail.com respectively.
  5. Now your emails starts appearing in your iphone and you can reply without a problem.

For Calendar:

  1. Download lntogooglecalsync from http://lngooglecalsync.sourceforge.net. Its in beta 0.2 as of now. I have watched this opensource program develop from release one to what it is now and I like what I see. As far as I know, future releases are coming too..
  2. Extract the files from the downloaded file, to a folder in your computer.
  3. In your computer go to command prompt and navigate to the folder that has the extracted file. Navigate to the folder called "dist".
  4. Type java -jar icalbridge.jar and enter
  5. A window opens that will ask the url to your mail file. Easiest way to find the url for your mail file is to open your inotes. Copy the link and paste it.
  6. Enter your gmail address and password.
  7. Hit the Synchronize button.

Now your calendar has been sync'd with your google calendar. Use Nuevasync (http://www.nuevasync.com/)to sync your google calendar to your iphone calendar over the air. Thats it! You will have your calendar synch'd with your iphone calendar.

The whole process should not take more than 20 mins, for anybody who is used to google mail, calendar and iphone.

Emails comes to you automatically. Anybody who has written command scripts can automate the calendar sync part. I have done it. My calendar sync's first thing in the morning.

This solution is not an elegant solution, but it is free and it works. If you are worried about forwarding your emails to google account, I am sorry you have to live with the current apps in the appstore or wait for cheaper one to come!

Hope this helps!

58 comments:

  1. It it true that you will not have a record in LN of emails sent with the iphone?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes.. unless you bcc yourself and set a rule in iphone to move the emails that is coming from you with you in the bcc to move to sent folder..

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  3. Saketh,
    I really like your LN <> Google app. Thanks!
    Question: Is it possible to save the config in a file so that when you run the app it auto-fills the fields required to connect to both your LN server and Google as well as the proxy settings? Having to key in those can be a pain, especially if you don't know your LN URL off the top of your head. Thanks again.
    -Matt E.

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  4. Phreakincool,
    The LN<>Google app is not mine. It is being developed by Shin Sterneck. I just use it. I think he is planning a major upgrade release some time in the next couple of weeks. It may include what you are looking for.

    - Saketh.

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  5. Any idea where I find out where my LN mail file URL is?

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  6. Easiest way to find the URL is to login to your email account from your web browser. When you see the inbox, copy the URL from the address box(with the https) and paste it to the sync tool.

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  7. Hi all,
    same problem here, I can't find my LN mail file URL. Don't know much about LN but afaik I don't think I can access my email account from my browser. So I replicated my database locally to create a local mylogin.nsf file. Then I lanched icalbridge.jar and provided the URL to the local database file as file:///C:/(....)/mail/mylogin.nsf ... but it doesn't seem valid. Needs to start with a http(s)... confusing... Any help greatly appreciated!

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  8. jc,
    check with your mail administrator. They should be able to provide you with details. Alternatively, if you have local IIS installed, you can setup a virtual directory to your lotus/data/mail folder and see if it would work. I am not sure if it will, but I would have definitely tried it if I had the same problem..
    Hope it helps!

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  9. Hello,
    it's a great post about the problem that nobody solve before. At least i can't find any other info about sync calendar between LN and Google for free.
    My 50 cents: You don't need to use Nuevasync. My Iphone (2g, ver 2.2) already can do that themself. Just add new account for your gmail using "Microsoft Exchange" settings and "m.google.com" as a server and select what do you want to sync (Mail, Calendar, Contacts)

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  10. How do I add my company address as one of the accounts in gmail? gmail only lets you set an email up as something@gmail.com?

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  11. citrus,
    Not really. First thing is to make sure that you have added your office email as one of the trusted email accounts in gmail. Once you have done that, when you are adding email account in iphone, don't choose "gmail" account, but choose "other" email account and use your company email account with google password and google mail server information. Thats it. Next time on when you send emails from that account, it will appear as if you are sending it from your office account.

    Hope this makes sense!

    - Saketh

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  12. Dryn,
    I am actually using a caldav account to access gmail calendar from iphone. I will blog about it shortly.

    - Saketh.

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  13. Great post! thanks, I have been searching for an effective LN to iPhone calendar sync and this is perfect. Question: I created a batch file to launch the java program, but am not sure how to automatically make it synch. I still have to click the button. Could you share what you did to make it auto-synch?

    Thanks!

    Greg

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  14. Hi,

    My LN mail file is locally stored on my computer - how do i point this app to a local mail file? I've tried C:\notes\data\xxx.nsf and also variants like Notes:///Local/xxx.nsf Like previously reported, it doesn't seem to be a valid address. Any ideas?

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. How do I tell if my administrator has disabled my ability to create rules? I am having no luck with this. I really would like this to work.

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  17. Michael,
    I am not sure if I can answer your question. Please contact the developer of lngooglecalsync. I know he was planning on an upgrade to resolve this. But I can't help here. I am just the messenger..

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  18. Andrew,
    Go to Actions->Tools->Create Quick Rules when you are in your inbox. If you don't see this, then you probably don't have it.

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  19. Greg,
    Sorry at this time the only way to do this is interactively. Although, I have created a windows schedule to bring it up everyday at a certain time so that I don't forget. Imagine the extent to which we will go to get around LN ;).

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  20. I've followed your advice about forwarding email and have established an account on the iphone. However, my work email now shows up in both my gmail account and my "work" account on the iphone. Is there a way around this?

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  21. If you're exporting (not syncing) contacts - export them al as a vcf 3.0 file then email the thing to your iphone. Open the email - open the vcf file and the rest is straightforward

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  22. You are a genius among men. Thank you!!!!

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  23. I guess I did exactly as you told, but I can see all my gmail emails but no lotus notes emails.
    Step by step guide:
    Gmail: Settings - Add another account & verified

    iphone:
    1. Settings - Mail - other
    2. Add mail account
    3. Give company name, address, password - save

    I. Click POP - Incoming mail server
    1. Host name: pop.gmail.com
    2. username: company username (one in front of @)
    3. password: gmail password

    II. Outgoing mail server
    1. host name: smtp.gmail.com
    2. Username & password: same as above

    Saved & Verified.

    Why is it not working? I am just seeing mails from my gmail account.

    If I give my company password, the account says username & password incorrect

    Kindly advise. Thanks.

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  24. Kay.Jay,
    Are you forwarding your emails from lotus notes to your gmail account using the lotus notes rules?
    - Saketh

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  25. Saketh, How do I forward my mails from lotus notes to my gmail account using lotus notes rules? any tutorial link? Kindly advise.
    Kay.Jay

    ReplyDelete
  26. Kay.Jay,
    Google is your friend.. here is what I found googling, but there may be better tutorials out there..
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/creating-a-rule-in-lotus-notes-6.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks a lot Saketh for the link, I created a rule in lotus notes and now I am going to test it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Saketh,

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. I've been looking to a solution for a while.

    My Lotus Server (Domino 8) lists the emails sent using this method as "From" my company email address, "To" my company email address, but includes a separate "Sent by" line with my gmail address. Is there any way around this?

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  29. lilshortie740,
    If you company provides smtp access to your lotus domino, then you can do this. In your gmail->settings->accounts tab, go to your company gmail address that you have verified and edit it. Gmail will ask you to either choose gmail server or your custom smtp server and when you set up your custom smtp server, the "sent on behalf of" will no longer appear in your emails.

    Hope this helps.

    - Saketh.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Did it work for KayJay? I still can't get it to work... I'm actually using WinMo, but I figure that concept is the same.

    e-mail address: company address
    name: my name
    incoming server:pop.gmail.com
    user name: gmail address
    password: gmail password
    outgoing server: smtp.gmail.com

    and when I sync, nothing shows up. In my regular Gmail set in WinMo, the forwarded mails are showing up with other emails.

    so what am I doing wrong?

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  31. Saketh,

    Is there another work around to get rid of "sent on behalf of" instead of using custom smtp server.

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  32. Saketh,

    Great solution, thanks so much - but I am having a big problem.

    I have confirmed my work email address with Gmail so that I can send email from my iPhone. I'm receiving email just fine from the Lotus server.

    But, when I try to reply, it tries for a bit and then tells me the "sender address is invalid". I'm stuck, I've tried changing things around to no avail.

    Again, the work email I'm trying to use IS confirmed and valid with Gmail.

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  33. Saketh,

    Thanks a lot for your excellent post. I, and undoubtedly many others, are extremely grateful for your help.

    The email solution works great, although i don't have smtp address for my work and thus have to live with the "sent on behalf of XXXX.gmail.com " - but that's only a minor inconvenience.

    I have not been successful with the calendar sync though, as the walk-through is a bit difficult for a non-technical person like myself but i will keep on trying....

    carlos

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  34. Carlos,

    Can you post what your configurations look like (no screen needed, typed is fine) so that I can compare with mine? I did as above but it won't let me send out email.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Can you share the scripts you created that automate the syncronization process for the calendar? I've also emailed the creator as one of the features on the site states "Schedule automatic and regular uploads to Google Calendar"
    Thank you,

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have tried many iPhone<>Notes solutions, the only one I have found that works reliably is the iPhone mNotes solution from Commontime. It has an annual fee, a service runs on the same PC that you are running Lotus Notes which sends your info to a Commontime server which you then sync with your iPhone through Exchange.

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  37. Thanks. It's great idea to sync Notes<>Iphone but I think it's not fit with my cpmpany policy.

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  38. Apparently if your employer doesn't provide a web-based lotus notes access, this tool won't work.
    I was looking at the code and it does require an http based mail file URL to be able to connect.

    In other words creating a local mail file won't really help.


    So if you are like me where your corporate administrator's security policies are still from the 1960s - your LN rules are locked preventing you to forward emails to an internet based account and you have no web-based LN email access, then you keep praying that someday there will be a storm that'll take lotus notes & the administrators along with it and end our misery.

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  39. I have followed the instructions as described above and the process works great. When I send emails from my Iphone or Gmail account, it shows my company email address, but under that it will say "sent on behalf of" my gmail account. Can anyone advise how to fix this so it will just show my company email address on sent emails? Your help is appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi there, I have been trying to use your process with no luck. I have the rules working but when I try to add my work email address to the user name for Incoming Mail Server and Outgoing mail server it give me the error "The user name or password for pop.gmail.com is incorrect." I have validated the password and the email address and they both appear correct. Any advice. Thank you

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  41. Hey Saketh,
    I can't find the option "send copy to" when creating the rule in LN, I'd tried all the different options in the first 2 fields, any ideas are welcome, thanks in advance.

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  42. Michael Bryant,
    You have to validate your work email in gmail.. Go to Settings->Accounts and Import tab and add your work email in the send mail as section. Then you should be all set..

    Good luck!

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  43. This just isn't working for me. Won't let me send email from my iPhone with my work email - keeps saying it's not valid (even though I validated it twice in Gmail/responded to the Gmail email validation request sent to my work email)

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  44. I have everthing working on my iPhone. The issue im havng is sertting the rule to forward all incoming e mail. Im only using LN 6.5. Can anyone advise how I set it to forward all mail? Thanks in advance

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  45. I'm really struggling with the mail configuration here.

    When I compose new e-mail from the account I have set up on my iPhone, the "From" field displays me@work.com but, when I receive the test e-mail I send, it comes with the gmail address.

    My settings are:

    LN rule is to forward all to me@gmail.com

    Registered me@work with gmail and verified.

    IMAP Info:
    My Name
    me@work.com

    Incoming
    pop.gmail.com
    me@gmail.com
    password for gmail

    Outgoing
    smtp.gmail.com
    me@gmail.com
    gmail password

    Any ideas?

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  46. Hi Saketh,

    I currently have a Sony Ericcson C905, and I sync only my Calender and Address Book with my offices' Notes 7.x. Hence I am able to maintain only 1 address book and 1 calender across all my devices (largely helping me in case I lose a phone, etc).

    Do you know if there is a similar option available for the iPhone? I am planning to move to the iPhone, and my biggest worry is that I wont be able to sync my address book!

    Thanks in advance....

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  47. For syncing between Lotus Notes and IPhone, you could mention Lotus traveler to your company's admins. It comes at no extra cost when the company has Lotus Domino, and provides OTA syncing of mail/cal/contacts/... in a secure fashion.

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  48. I created a gmail account and then I went to http://www.awesync.com/download and downloaded a free one month trial of the software to sync LotusNotes with gmail. Then in google mail URL http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740 I followed the instructions to sync my iphone with gmail over the air. It works great. I am not sure what the software will cost after the one month free trial but there are 50% off coupons.

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  49. Can this be done with yahoo Mail oo? I dont know if there is a trusted email account like in gmail?

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  51. That's just an awesome article. I dont really care so much about my calender, but this advise about mail has really resolved the problem I had. Now I can read and answer my LN mails from ANY computer (or phone) with ANY operating system at ANY time without having to deal with our web client for LN, that only works with IE:S So far I havent noticed any "sent on behalf of" issue.

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  52. it is very attracted public where as erliar days this much of technolgy not have every thing dependent,whenever ceame into existing i phone totally changes the world.so i lilke it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. http://iphone-unlock.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-unlock-samsung-galaxy-s2-t.html?showComment=1337554883946#c7414650791509243686

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  54. Wish to reply e-mails from your iPhone as if they are replied from your Lotus Notes account? http://www.awesync.com/blog/awesync.mail

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  55. Another open-source tool which works fantastically well is iNotes-exporter https://github.com/javabean/iNotes-exporter which can expose your Lotus email as a POP3 server (it needs access to the webmail only), along with exporting to a variety of mailbox formats.

    And for easy migration to Outlook, there is even a great web interface available at https://github.com/javabean/iNotes-exporter-web

    To work around the "sent on behalf of" Google smtp server addition, you can use Yahoo's smtp servers (same steps: add you work email to your Yahoo account first).

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  56. If somebody is interested in a tool for syncing mail and contacts from Notes to Google, have a look at Awesync.Mail - http://www.awesync.com/awesync.mail.release-candidate

    ReplyDelete