Notes/Domino

Friday musings about… Lotus Notes?

Lotus Notes/Domino isn’t something I’ve thought about much lately at all. I’ve not been working with it for the past few years (which I’ll comment on later in this post, because, reasons), however this week coming across a conversation on a popular social media platform got me thinking about a few things. The post was asking for suggestions for an on-premises email solution that “isn’t Exchange”, and it didn’t take long before some comments about Lotus Notes crept in (image heavily edited, lots of other replies removed, I only left in the anti-Notes ones): I found...

A Domino Server migration tip for part time / ex Domino Admins

One of the things I always loved about the Lotus Domino Server was how easy it was to move it to new hardware. Run the installer, copy the data directory (and .ini file if needed) and boom – server comes up as before, no problems. So when I recently did a migration (for my last remaining Domino customer) where the drive structure changed I was surprised to see logging errors appear as it was trying to access the old Domino Data path. Turns out the culprit was Traveler. To fix this, simply edit the %DominoData%\traveler\cfg\NTSLogging.properties file and update the...

Where does technical debt come from

Over the past year I’ve been dealing with some technical debt across a couple of different ASP.NET applications that we recently inherited. As part of that work I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about technical debt, how to deal with it, and how to avoid it. Describing the subject of technical debt as interesting might be overstating things a little however it is a subject which is relevant to most developers at some point in their career. So when I read this article (Lotus Notes - a Double Edged Sword) it struck me as a great example of...

Notes/Domino Application Review for Upgrading to Version 8.5.x

Application Review for Upgrading to Version 8.5.x – it’s pretty short, which is a good thing. I do think it’s kind of funny trying to sneak subconscious messages in there trying to remind “some” developers that Option Declare is good, but I guess when it comes to teaching best practice you have to do whatever works. If that means telling people that by not using Option Declare they may die them in their sleep, then so be it. Tags: IBM, Lotus, Notes/Domino

It happens a lot, Notes 8 client running with a Notes 7 mail template

Notes 8 client running with a Notes 7 mail template – it happens a lot, for various reasons (lots of them in the comments if you care). It strikes me that some of the positive things about being able to customise a mail template can also lead to some very negative things, such as being a software vendor and giving up a lot of control over how your mail environment appears to your users. In some ways, you’re putting potential customer satisfaction in the hand of Administrators – and while there’s some great admins out there, simply looking at...

On Vowe’s recent DNUG posting and similarities in NZ

You only have to glance at my tag cloud or my site introduction paragraph in the sidebar to the right to see that I’ve not called myself “A Notes person” for quite some time – however I still have clients who use the technology, and as such I can’t help keep an eye on things. Vowe’s recent post “Things I learned at the DNUG conference in Berlin” shows that a lot of the things I’ve noticed about the IBM/Lotus market in New Zealand are happening in other places too. New Zealand has always been a stronghold for Microsoft, and...

Fixing an issue where DominoBlog displays categories incorrectly

Issue: One or more of your categories in a DominoBlog isn’t displaying correctly. Instead of seeing the contents of the category you see a set of DX tags, i.e. $DXSubjectLink$ and so forth as shown in the image below: A quick search reveals that there's a few other people who have this issue, but no one mentioning the (rather simple) fix. As I don’t use DominoBlog it took me a little while to find out what was causing it so thought I’d mention it here in case it helps someone. Simply edit the content category...

OpenNTF projects for Feb

Yes, I know it’s March – I clicked this link in Feb but haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the video until now. There’s some very good stuff in here. The widgets I can mostly take or leave (although the File Manager one has some good potential for anyone using a Notes client for day to day use), however xTalk, the Next Gen Discussion template, and the xPages Wiki all look very useful indeed. On the developer’s side of things, part 2 covers some useful XPages controls. These are the...

My Notes Client Setup

After building my new Macbook Pro as well as rebuilding my main rig on its new Intel X25 SSD I wanted to briefly document my client setups for Visual Studio and Lotus Notes/Domino. So to get started, here’s the Notes/Domino post. Firstly.. I install the client! I’m currently using 8.5.1, but ideally would be running 8.5.1 with 8.0.2 basic installed concurrently. Why? 8.5.1 is an utter pig for making quick design changes over slow remote connections – and this is how I do a lot of work for my clients. Setting the project to build automatically often means making...

Asleep at the wheel during a server upgrade

I’ve upgraded a LOT of Domino servers in my time, and so yesterday when I upgraded another one (Windows 2003) to Domino 8.5.1 I was expecting another smooth ride. After running the install wizard it informed me that the computer needed to be restarted – interesting, as I don’t recall needing to do a Windows restart for previous upgrades, but who am I to argue? As the box was coming back up it locked up at “Applying Computer Settings”, meaning logging in via console or RDP was unavailable. It took me a minute to realise what had happened –...

Searching the contents of Notes/Domino design elements

I recently posted asking for recommendations for Notes/Domino refactoring and analysis tools. Thanks again to all of you who responded, and also to Ryan from Ytria who emailed me directly (even though I’ve been too busy/slack to respond). After thinking about it, I realised that really it was the Find/Search side of things which was important to me, and Andre Guirard recently posted about how to Export all code of an NSF to file system, which looks to give me access to the solution I was after - even if it is a little bit manual. ...

Looking back on the past couple of years as a freelancer

It's coming up to the 2 year mark since I resigned from my full time job and went into freelancing / owning my own businesses. After many years of working as an employee, a contractor and doing small bits of freelancing on the side I probably thought that switching to freelancing would be a bit easier than it ended up being, which is part of why I wanted to write a little about my experiences. There's plenty of material out there offering freelancers helpful tips or things to avoid - this post is similar to many of those, but it's...

The obligatory Happy New Year post

This is the obligatory Happy New Year post.. so, happy new year all! I’ve got quite a few posts currently sitting in various stages of draft – I’d planned to write a bit around Christmas, however the novelty of actually having a break took over. So I’m a little behind, but feeling well rested. Here’s a quick preview of what I’ve currently got sitting in draft: My “lessons learned” post from experience over the past couple of years as a freelancer/small business owner. Writing down a bit about my experiences was helpful for my...

Notes/Domino refactoring/analysis tools

I’m in need of a refactoring/analysis tool for use on a couple of projects - truth be told I’ve needed one for a while. The main (possibly only) feature I’m after is a global “Find” function to search for a string inside all design elements of a database (equivalent to Visual Studio’s ‘Find in Files’ / ctrl+shift+f function). The obvious contenders are from Ytria, and TeamStudio. Ytria’s product installation had a few issues, and I’m not in the mood to create an account right now so will have to take a look at it later – although looking at...

Interesting bits from Notes/Domino 8.5 and 8.5.1 Redbooks

The other night I spent a bit of time reading a couple of IBM Redbooks on the Domino Wiki, the Upgrade Cookbook:  Upgrading to Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 and the Lotus Notes and Domino version 8.5 Deployment Guide. To some people that probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but I ended up coming across quite a few useful bits of information that I was surprised to not have already read about elsewhere. A few of the larger examples were: Windows® single sign-on for Web clients You can set up...

Domino Designer 8.5.1 fixed a lot of things…

But removing utterly stupid error messages wasn’t one of them.

Incorrect Domino Web Access ‘from’ address

One of my clients occasionally encounters an issue where a user’s return email address shows up incorrectly when they send email via Domino Web Access. It seems to only happen when someone has made an error with the initial user registration which has later been corrected by a rename or an edit. The person documents always look correct post rename and the from addresses of all other users in the Domain are showing up correctly. Here’s the fix which seems to work for me: Make a trivial change to the person document – just open it for...

…and we’re off.

Currently downloading the just released Notes/Domino 8.5.1. Hoping to get it all downloaded before the Americans wake up so I can give it a test drive tomorrow. Very interested to see whether this release fixes some of my current gripes with the full blown Godzilla client. I may finally put Notes on my Mac too, as apparently it’s more Mac like! Tags: IBM,Lotus,Notes

A random Domino SoS

Just in case anyone out there glances over this and has some ideas, I’m going to throw up a flare and ask a couple of quick Domino questions. *queue flare sound* Converting Word/Excel attachments to PDF on the fly in a Domino web application. The requirement is that a user clicks on a link which points to a $File attachment, I want to convert it to PDF and spit that out to them. Some of Jake Howlett’s DEXT code using Java and the lowagie packages looks incredibly handy and close to what I’m after, but minus...

Briefly touching on Notes/Domino 8.5.1

This interesting collection of hints about the potential quality of Notes/Domino 8.5.1 (the NDA has been lifted from beta testers) makes for some interesting if slightly saddening reading. Personally if the bits about improving Domino Designer performance are slightly true then that’s probably going to be enough for me as a casual user only, but at the moment switching between using Visual Studio 90% of the time vs Domino Designer 10% of the time makes for an interesting comparison between the 2 environments. A post about IBM quality control seems like a suitable place to drop in this little...

Notes/Domino 8.5 FP1

Fixpack 1 for IBM Notes/Domino 8.5 is out now, and fixes a fair few issues which might take the pressure off any administrators who are anxiously waiting for 8.5.1. Some links: 8.5 FP1 Download (requires an IBM ID) 8.5 FP1 Preliminary Fix List (some of those items look “interesting”, and not in a good way) Tags: Lotus,Notes,Domino

Notes/Domino 8.x maintenance release plans

I’ve had this link regarding the maintenance release plans for the Notes/Domino 8.0x stream in my browser for quite some time, as I’ve wanted to make a quick comment on it. 8.0.2 is the last planned/scheduled maintenance release (MR) for the 8.0x codestream. Notes/Domino 8.0.x will continue to be supported for a minimum of 5+3 years (following IBM SWG policy).  In lieu of producing a Notes/Domino 8.0.3 MR, more frequent 8.0.2 FixPacks will be provided.  IBM will continue producing both maintenance releases and fix packs for Notes/Domino 8.5.x, and customers who have deployed Notes/Domino 8.0.2...

Bulk importing from a filesystem into Notes

Last week I needed to bulk import a large number of files into a Notes document library. The client had already organised the files, and so they wanted that file system structure (which was many levels deep) duplicated when the files were imported into the document library. Sounds simple, but I was quite surprised that I couldn’t find a code snippet out there which did what I was after – surely this is a fairly common requirement? So after a few minutes of looking I gave up searching and wrote my own 10 minute bulk import agent in...

What doesn’t help Domino Server performance?

This. To quote Split Enz, “I see red I see red I see red!”. When you work with Domino you get used to people blaming it for various things – in this case, poor performance. To any aspiring Windows Admins out there, please take note – before you blame Domino, you might want to check the obvious things first.

A great example of why Notes/Domino stuggles in the New Zealand marketplace..

Link: Notes/Domino 8.x deployment survey (EdBrill.com)

8.x Domino SMTP issues

I’ve had a couple of recent annoying Domino SMTP issues with a customer’s server I thought I’d post my findings here. The issue seems to have cropped up somewhere after the initial 8.0 release. Basically, SMTP mail gets stuck in the mail.box (can sit there for days) and the console displays: Router: No messages transferred to SAMPLE.COM (host SAMPLE.COM) via SMTP: The server is not responding. The server may be down or you may be experiencing network problems. Contact your system administrator if this problem persists. If you restart the router or issue “tell router update...

Domino on Windows 2008 Server

If you’re planning to throw Domino onto a Windows 2008 Server, you should probably have a quick read of this link first: Domino Server console and Windows Server 2008 Session 0 Isolation. It might save you a few minutes of wondering “Where’s my console gone?”.

Domino Administration 101

I'm after some simple Domino Administration guides for a client. The background is that they have some very capable network administration staff who haven't used Domino before.. and they're not really interested in learning. I'm after a few simple guides on the basics, and just the basics – user creation, user deletion, editing groups, access control lists etc. Nothing more than that. While there's a lot of great Domino books out there, and the Administration Help is a great reference, what I'm really looking for is just the basics with some screenshots. Any help would be...

A couple of quick Notes/Domino links

A few links which are worth a read for those of you still keeping half an eye on the world of Notes/Domino (i.e. not you Doug!). Notes 8.5 – ignore the incredibly descriptive page title, this post contains a nice summary of some of the new features in Notes 8.5. How do you like the DDE? – DDE being Domino Designer on Eclipse. Read the comments for a good cross section of opinion on the updated designer client. What's new in Lotus Notes 8.5? – Official IBM technote, which is the usual overly verbose IBM document. They...

Notes/Domino 8.5 now available

Grab it from a Partnerworld near you!

8.02 clients falling like Dominoes

Over the past couple of weeks I've done 2 Domain upgrades to From Domino R7 to R8. Both experiences have been a great reminder about what a great server product Domino is, and go a long way to explain why Domino Administrators love the product - much to the bewilderment of their users who just don't get the attraction. The upgrades just worked – no hassle, no problems, just Then there's the R8 client. I'm just not that impressed. I did a bit of testing with the R8 client betas, testing both the basic and Godzilla standard versions,...

Domino Superior

Meet Domino Superior is a post from Nathan Freeman discussing and demonstrating a few features of Domino XPages. It looks interesting, although I can’t work out if the prospect of having @DbLookup available inside JavaScript is interesting or just scary? Tags: Notes,Domino

Notes performance tuning

An excellent tip for all Notes/Domino developers. Indeed. Yeah. Uhm. Sweet. Tags: IBM, Lotus, Notes, Domino, Godzilla

On Notes, Domino, and New Zealand

Overview I recently threw a couple of quick tounge in cheek comments up in response to this post by Alan Lepofsky on Ed Brill's site. My original comment was posted with a large dose of sarcasm, but the discussion has sort of ballooned out a wee bit. So I'm going to take my tounge out of my cheek and expand a little for anyone who's interested. About me First, a little about me. I'm no longer involved with Notes/Domino, but I used to be. I've worked with it since release 3, and have 11+ years of solid experience across multiple countries. I'm an IBM...

Have you seen Notes 8?

"Have you seen Notes 8? Wow! Seriously, wow," he says. That's what I said when I saw the lack of speed and the excessive RAM consumption too! Link: Some generic piece of PR bullshit Link: A vacuous link to a generic piece of PR bullshit Technorati tags: IBM, Lotus, Notes

Subtle Lock in - liberating my data from Notes Databases Part 2!

The final part of my data migration involved migrating the site's comments, and placing them against the correct entries in the newly populated SQL Subtext database. I used the same techniques as previously to get the bulk of the SQL script created, with one minor addition. Can you spot it? utcDateTime := @Text(@Year(@Created)) + "-" + @Right("0" + @Text(@Month(@Created)); 2) + "-" + @Right("0" + @Text(@Day(@Created)); 2) + " " + @Right("0" + @Text(@Hour(@Created)); 2) + ":" + @Right("0" + @Text(@Minute(@Created)); 2) + ":00.000"; NewEntryID := "set @newentryid = (select top 1 ID from...

Convert Notes Dates and Times to UTC format

This is a quick question to my Notes/Domino readers out there (yes, both of you!): I'm doing a bit of work migrating some data out of Notes and into SQL databases at the moment. For all my Date/Time fields, they obviously need to be converted into UTC Dates before they're going to be compatiable with SQL inserts. I was sure the @Function language would have supported this by now, but it seems not! I know Mike Golding (of the now defunct Notestips.com) had a rather large piece of code which would do the job posted on his site,...

Domino Web Access does not work in Safari

For those who are interested (both of you!), Domino Web Access does not work with Safari for Windows. Why is that interesting? Well, it's not really, however there was some speculation that it *might* work if you could get past IBM's horrible obfuscated browser detection JavaScript contained in /inotes/forms7.nsf. Speculate no more in the knowledge that it simply doesn't work! Tags: Notes/Domino, Safari,

@FizzBuzz

Imran on Tech recently wrote about using FizzBuzz to Find Developers who Grok Coding. The post basically talks about asking job interviewees to write a simple piece of code based on the following: Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print “FizzBuzz”. The point of the exercise being that there are a surprising number of people which fail this simple task, however what follows in the comments...

It's not just me!

Volker talks about his experiences with the IBM Lotus Salesperson test. I'm glad I'm not the only one who ended up guessing most of the answers in order to pass that exam!