Even though your mail database is where you'll spend a lot of time in Notes, Lotus Notes is much more than email. The primary purpose and function of Notes is to be a collaboration toola place for you and your co-workers to come together for discussions, sharing, and editing of documents and information, as well as communication through email. The features and functions of Lotus Notes that you learn in this chapter are common to all databases. The mail and help databases are used for our examples, but what you learn here will apply to any other Lotus Notes databases including those created and provided by your company.
Every database contains two documents intended to convey to you the purpose of the database and how to use the database. Those documents are the About this Database document and the Using this Database document. The About document is an overview of the database and how it is intended to be used. The Using document is intended to explain how to use given features of the database. However, these documents might be blank in a given database because the composition of the documents is in the discretion of the designer of the database. Assuming these documents are populated, the About document displays when you open a database for the very first time.
To view these documents, you must first open a database. To open a database other than mail from a bookmark, click on the Databases folder icon on the Bookmark bar to display the Databases bookmark page (see Figure 6.1). Click Browse for a Database to open the Open Database dialog box and select the database you want to open.
Figure 6.1. Select a database from your PC (local) or from your server. If you don't have the proper access (rights) to open a database, Notes will notify you.
Because it's impossible for us to know what databases are available to you, we're using the mail database for many of our examples. To see the About document for a database that you have opened (such as mail), choose Help, About this Database from the menu. Figure 6.2 shows the About this Database document for a mail database. To close the document, press the Esc key.
Figure 6.2. The About this Database document conveys the purpose of a database.
A database can also contain a Using this Database document. The Using document provides more detailed information on how to use the database. To access the Using document, open a database or select it on the bookmark page and select Help, Using this Database from the menu. To close this document, press the Esc key. Figure 6.3 shows the Using this Database document for a mail database.
Figure 6.3. The Using this Database document provides information on how to use a database.