Option to install a widget from a .zip file, file structure, and focus on provisioning

Disclaimer: The following is from the release notes of Notes 8.5.2 so I don’t take credit for writing this. Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is in beta and there are no guarantees that the features described here will be in the final product that IBM ships.

Notes users can now install a widget that is supplied to them as a .zip file. Users can either drag and drop the .zip file into their My Widgets sidebar panel or use the Import menu option from the My Widgets sidebar panel.

This option is available for all supported widget types and enables the user to install a widget while working online or offline. The widget definition xml-file must be at the root of the zip file and the widget definition file name must be extension.xml. To make provisioning widgets self-contained in the .zip file, the updateSite URL in the widget definition must be set to jar:${zip.root}!/ and the updateSite itself must also reside in the .zip file.

The structure of the .zip file must be as follows:

features (DIR)
plugins (DIR)

When a provisioning widget’s .xml definition is processed, the updateSite URL is replaced with a URL to the embedded updateSite in the .zip file. Automatic update is not supported.