Integrating with a Document Management System

Integrating with a Document Management System

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Just last week a new paper was posted on OneNote's MSDN site: Integrating OneNote 2007 with a Document Management System. Alex Simmons, another PM on the OneNote team, has been working on this document and it is a great whitepaper helping explain how to program something that integrates OneNote and a DMS (document management system).

I would recommend this paper to anyone who is interested in developing someone with OneNote. There are some great gems in the article such as:

Files Are Saved Automatically

Any changes made to the files are saved automatically. This happens on an interval, which differs based on where the file is actually stored:

  • Local drive: 5 seconds
  • UNC share: 30 seconds
  • SharePoint library: 10 minutes
  • HTTP share: 10 minutes

By default, notebooks are stored in the user's My Documents folder.

Working with the OneNote Cache

When OneNote saves a change to a file, it first saves the change to the OneNote cache, and then later replicates and merges it with the actual .one file. The .one files may be stored on the local drive, on a share, or in a SharePoint library. The cache enables users to have continuous access to their notes, regardless of where the files are actually stored or if the user is online or offline. Users can make edits to files while they are offline and OneNote automatically merges the changes back to the file when the file is available again. This also prevents OneNote from writing the entire file from the cache each time replication happens. Instead, only changes are replicated and merged with the actual file.

If your document management system supports SMB/CIFS or WebDAV, it may be possible to open the files stored in the document management system directly. However, if your version-history model is to create a copy for each version of a file, this does not work well, because OneNote continuously updates the open (and checked out) files as they are edited.

By default, the cache file is stored at C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\OneNote\12.0.

  • Cache file name: OneNoteOfflineCache.onecache
  • Cache thicket folder name: OneNoteOfflineCache_Files

Pasted from < 

Nice work Alex! If people have comments on the document please comment below.

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  • I often print documents into onenote, then make comments on the document and more comments and questions on the side.  With flagbs to mark important parts, questions, etc. it works great.  But it seems to create enormous files -- even when the document I print to onenote is just a few pages long.  Is there a way to make them smaller?

  • Jack - Thanks for the feedback

    We have heard a lot of this feedback and made improvements for B2TR where the images are smaller and preform better.  Please try B2TR when it comes out and let us know what you think.  It should be a lot better, I just tried this today and I was very happy with the results.
  • Regards to the File save times - are you refering to the time to update the cached version to the actual storage. For example if I store a file on WSS 3.0 and you state it is 10 min time delay I am assuming that it is being sent to the cache immediatly and then within 10 mins it will be merged to the WSS file.
  • Yes you are 100% correct.  We always work out of the cache and then it is a matter of time until we sync it to the master file.  So in your example it would take ~10 minutes for the WSS file to be in sync with the cache.
  • How can I restore this file OneNoteOfflineCache.onecache to my One Note files, due to I need that info I can no longer see. I used to work with Vista, but reverted back to XP. Please who can help me.

  • We run into issues with the users profile limit being exceeded (30 megs). I believe this is attributed to the OneNote Cache file location - can this be changed to somewhere else? We do redirect their profile/home folder to another server.



  • Thanks for this information. I have been reading also the other entries but have not found an answer to my problem.

    I had my main OneNote file on my Desktop PC and synchronised my laptop automatically whenever I was on the road.

    I had a harddisk crash and had to do a complete reinstall, but my laptop  does not synch anymore as the original file does not exist on my desktop. I am therefore working in the cache file on my laptop. Is there a way to solve this? (Restore my desktop file using the cache file on the laptop? Thanks

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