Export 2.0 Adds Key Features to HTML Archives

By Nigel Cheshire

Since we released Teamstudio Export in February, more and more customers have been installing the product and starting to create archives of their Notes databases. As with all new products, we've been getting tons of ideas for product improvements, and last week we put a bunch of them together into the release of Teamstudio Export 2.0.

I'll come on to what those improvements are in a minute, but for anyone who is not familiar with Export, you should know that it's a workstation based tool that allows you to quickly create XML and HTML archives of your Notes databases. Many of our customers had been asking us for a while about how to create archives of their databases without having to convert to a different database format or lose rich text and attachments by exporting to CSV. The XML format that Export creates allows you to re-import the data into pretty much any format at any time in the future, while the HTML output lets users easily browse and view the archived data using only a browser.

OK, so what about those new features? Well, when we first launched Export, we figured that most people would be interested in creating XML archives as a way to preserve the entire contents of their Notes databases in a vendor-neutral format. Actually, it turns out that people are just as interested in the HTML archive as an way of giving read-only access to archived data to users. So that's where most of our attention for this release has been focused.

Full Text Search

It may not surprise you to learn that full text search, arguably one of the handful of defining features of Notes when it first came out, was a key requirement to users of the HTML archive. So we added it!

View Filtering

Most Notes databases include a bunch of views that users are never meant to see - they are there for programmatic reasons. Some of them are explicitly hidden (by including the view names in parentheses), and others are semi-hidden by being included in collapsed categories in the view structure. Either way, you can now specify which views are shown in the HTML archive (hidden views in Notes are now hidden by default in HTML). You can also easily toggle between the filtered and raw versions of the presentation.

Field Formatting

Just as many views are hidden in a Notes database design, so many fields are never intended to be seen by users. Again, we've added the ability to hide fields, as well as being able to replace the field name with a field label. So if you have a field whose name is, say, "dpnbLName_WB", you could replace that lovely field name in the HTML display with a label along the lines of, say, "Last Name". Bonus: you can also specify which order the fields appear in, and add simple text formatting (bold, underscore, italic, etc).


We now support all doclinks in the HTML archive, including doclinks to other databases (assuming they have also been archived). 

At times, we've been concerned that we are trying to rewrite the Notes client in client-side Javascript (a key design goal for Export is that the HTML archive has zero dependency on a server of any kind).  However, we feel that these improvements to the HTML archives strike a nice balance of adding key features without overburdening the product with complexity.

By the way, although the focus of this release is on improving the user experience for the HTML archives, we haven't completely forgotten the Export tool itself. Export gets support for selecting multiple databases to export at the same time, for searching the list of databases, as well as some significant performance improvements.

If you're already an Export 1.x user, you will need to uninstall Export before you install version 2.0, and to see the improvements in the HTML archives, you will need to recreate them with the new version of the tool. (No need to recreate the XML archives, just the HTML.)

If you're not already an Export user (why not?!) then click below and we can set up a demo or just chat about your needs.