MyWidgets just got better – Option to reuse a single sidebar panel for a particular widget’s action

Please note: 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.

You can now specify if a widget uses only one sidebar panel or if multiple sidebar panels are allowed. You can set a preference in the widget XML to define whether a new Sidebar panel is opened for each widget action or whether the same Sidebar panel is reopened and overwritten for each action initiated by that widget. There are three types of actions that add a widget to the client sidebar panel.

  • The widget property “Contribute to Sidebar on startup.” When enabling this option, a sidebar panel is opened in the sidebar for the widget.
  • Right click on a widget in the My Widgets sidebar panel and choose Open in -> Sidebar. Every time this action is executed, a new sidebar panel is opened.
  • Create a Live Text action that puts the action results into the sidebar. Every time this action is executed, a new sidebar panel is opened.

If a user needs to look up multiple pieces of data using a particular widget, there would be a new sidebar panel opened for each lookup. Administrators and power uses can add a new “singletonSidebar” attribute to the palleteItem element in the widget’s XML definition after creating and exporting the widget. Valid values are “true” and “false” and sample syntax, where it would appear in the widget’s XML file, is as follows:

<webcontextConfiguration version="1.1">
<palleteItem singletonSidebar="false"


<webcontextConfiguration version="1.1">
<palleteItem singletonSidebar="true"

When set to “true” the three actions described will share the same widget sidebar view. When set to “false” the three actions above will open in new sidebar views.
Note: The default value is “false” so as not to affect Notes 8.5.1 and prior behavior.

Note: If there were multiple sidebars opened for a widget prior to applying this feature improvement and then you upgrade to a release with this feature improvement (and implement it), the previous sidebars will not be reused and will remain open until the user manually closes them.