Ytria databaseEZ - Another really useful tool for Domino Admins and Developers

Tags: Tools Ytria Domino Notes

I have been working with Ytria's excellent tools for many years now and there's not a single day in my life as a Domino developer or admin I don't use scanEZ or one of the other tools. That's one of the reasons we became a business partner with Ytria.

For one of our customers who is running several dozens of Domino-based enterprise web sites I had to change the "inherit design from master template" name in 46 databases. Doing this manually would have been very tedious, but using the soon-to-be-released tool "databaseEZ" made this a matter of only a few seconds.

When databaseEZ has started, the UI is very similar to aclEZ or agentEZ. The navigation pane on the left allows me to select the databases I want to see in the grid. Even when I select all databases on the server, the grid updates in a breeze. Since the property "Inherit from" is not displayed in the grid by default, I have to select it in the "Grid Data Composition" panel on the right, press "Apply" and the information is populated instantly. Then I just need to group the databases by this property, select the ones I want to change and select "Edit Database Design Properties" from the context menu. There I can change the name of the template the databases inherit from and after OK'ing the dialog the grid is updated with the new data. In order to actually save my changes I press CTRL-S or select "Server - Apply Changes" from the menu and I'm done.

That's just one of the many features in databaseEZ which make my Domino life so much easier. I will post a more detailed review of the tool soon, just wanted to share this today. Thank you guys!



Notes 8.5: Workaround for issue with vaulted ID and client setup

Tags: Notes IDVault Notes 8.5 Notes Client
For one of our customers I created an IDvault in a new Domino 8.5 environment. Everything worked well except the setup of a freshly installed client. Everytime I started the client for configuration and entered user and servername (in that format: (<servername>/<ou>/<o>), the client asked me for the ID file. There wasn't any message or log entry on the server which could have linked me to the couse why the client didn't download the ID file from the vault.

I checked the users access to the server, checked the ID in the vault, checked if all user data was replicated to the users home server, if the vault server was available and so on. Nothing.
But then I tried the IP address instead of the full qualified servername idvault.JPG
and voila, the client asked me directly for the password. The behavior is reproducable.

And as far as I can see I'm not the only one with that problem: look here or here.


Templates for small companies - What do you recommend?

Tags: Domino Notes Templates
I think we all know how powerfull Notes and Domino is within mid sized and large companies. We're often talking about high-end stuff like loadbalancing, failover, performance tuning and so on. But what's about the small companies? Lets say companies with 2 to 20 employees. Is Notes and Domino valuable for such a company? Do you know companies of that size using Notes and Domino?

I do have some of those small customers and I think Notes and Domino is valuable for them too. And the value begins with really basic stuff like email and calender. They don't need RnRMGR or stuff like that, but writing down meetings and share those informations with other colleagues, maybe while they are on the road with a notebook or via a BlackBerry, can be interesting also for a two-man-show.
But that's not all they need. There is a bunch of things you have to do in every office, regardless of the size. Every company has to deal with documents (in whatever format), with incoming mail (I mean the old-fashioned letter - do you remember? ), with administrative stuff like forms for every kind of process. And every company has to deal with customers and all what's related with them etc.
And maybe you agree with me that Notes and Domino is able to handle all of this. But the question I came a long today at lunchtime is, how to handle this for small offices? Where budget for developing is small or not available?
There are some good templates available within the standard installation and certainly the free templates from OpenNTF or the new TaskJam from Elguji Software.
But one of the major task for me isn't solved yet: the management of customer addresses. I'm not aware if there's something available for that task. But maybe you are?

My favorite free available templates are the DominoWiki and the new , which you can use for all administrative stuff, forms or as a knowledgebase etc. Those wikis can be used by everyone and deliver value from the first day on.

Let's start a discussion about this topic. What's your opinion on that topic? Which free available templates do you like, which one do you recommend? And please keep in mind that we're talking about really small companies and stuff that helps them to simplify their daily business.


What's wrong with these pictures?

Tags: Bug Fun Notes

Both pictures belong to the same database. Makes me wonder...

database properties: created 05.12.2006

replication history: last replication 22.12.1986

(Thanks, Stefan)


Notes 8.5 beta 2 on Mac - First Impressions

Tags: Notes
If you need to download the software, you can do it here.

The installation was easy as always. After the start I received an error:

01.09.08 12:28:59 [0x0-0x3f03f].com.ibm.lotus.Notes[423] 2008/09/01 12:28:59.122 SEVERE CWPCA8515E: Application failed to open: ::class.method=com.ibm.rcp.portal.app.ui.internal.serviceImpl.DoInternalUIService.showServerErrorDialog() ::thread=main ::loggername=com.ibm.rcp.portal.app.ui

But after clicking OK it seemed like everything was working. At first I recognized happily that all the language related problems in the UI are gone. Which is really nice because I didn't like to switch my Mac to english just to see everything in Notes in a clear shape. Also that the sidebar "Day-At-A-Glance" plug-in is working again is fine, because it didn't show any values within beta 1. After that I did some additional tests:
  • Mail file - check
  • Calender - check
  • Application A - FAIL
  • Application B - FAIL
  • Application C - check
The error I received with application A and B was a white page with a stop sign and the message: "Could not create the view: Unsupported or unrecognized format"

(For details look here.)

The design of application B and C was identical. The behavior was the same on the server and with the local replica. I figured out that a new copy of application B would resolve the problem. But it was no workaround for me because I didn't like to create a lot of new copies of applications and local replicas around all my clients.
After all I tried the good old (and as a former Windows user) well known reboot and tata: eveything works as expected now. The error on client start is there as before but so far I didn't receive any new error.

IBM's repsones to the 8.5 Public Beta Forum are fast and valuable:
This is caused from upgrading between beta 1 and beta 2. The recommendation is to first uninstall beta 1 and then install beta 2. Alternately, a workaround if you do upgrade directly is to reboot, however upgrade is not supported in beta 2 and additional issues may be encountered.


But nevertheless it would be great if they had listed this in the readme PDF. Because there's only mentioned, that upgrading a Domino server from beta 1 to beta 2 is not supported.


Not only for admins: Interesting sidebar plug-ins

Tags: Notes Stuff
Do you need to look to log files of domino servers from time to time? And do you need to know, what agents are running in a database when and where? And what about small, fast (and dirty) manipulations of Notes documents?

If you answered at least one of the questions with yes, you should have a look to the sidebar plug-ins Jeff Gilfelt ist providing on OpenNTF.org.

Secret Agent
Secret Agent shows you quickly the details and schedule of all agents in the currently opened database.

SideLog gives you access to the latest log entries of a Domino server or a Notes client. And it also provides the possibility to open single log file documents just from the side bar.

Formul8 allows you to execute formulas written in the Lotus Formula Language against selected documents from a Notes View.
This tool is really cool for me as a Mac user, because I can do some basic stuff without switching to my Designer installed in a VMWare.


Where is my production license?

Tags: Notes

I have a coexistence installation of Lotus Notes 6.5.x, Notes 7.x and Notes 8 on the same machine. When starting Notes 8, I get the following message.


I think this is an unsupported scenario, but the message irritates me. How do I convince Notes 8 that I have do have a license?

Maybe I lost my license since yesterday


Notes and Domino 8 Gold is available....

Tags: Domino Notes
for download in the IBM Software Access Catalog.

Domblog will be hosted on a Domino 8 Server soon.


Notes/Domino 8 available from August 17

Tags: Notes

Notes and Domino 8 will be available electronically from August 17 in English for download. The German version will be available on September 19.

For other dates, see the IBM press announcement.

Via Ed.


Deletion Stubs - a Lifetime Myth Uncovered

Tags: Notes

Ok, many of you probably already know this, but as it is with Notes - even after working with it for a long time you never stop to learn new things. I am slowly catching up listening to Bruce and Julian's excellent "Taking Notes" podcasts. When listening to episode 43 (interview with Eric Houvenaghel, CEO of Ytria) last weekend I learned two interesting things which Julian and Bruce didn't know either at that time.

When I attended my first Lotus Notes classrom training the teacher gave us quite a few good tips which were not covered in the course material. One of them - and he told us that in a conspirational voice - was that the lifetime of deletion stubs was one third of the number of days set in the replication settings dialog - space savers tabs in "Remove documents not modified in the last X days" (the purge interval time). Obviously this myth lived in the heads of many Notes geeks for many years since Bruce and Julian thought so as well.

In the interview Eric pointed out that this is, in fact, not the case. Actually the deletion stubs in a Notes database are retained for at least purge interval time. With a period of one third of the purge inteval the updall task (for server based databases) checks the database for deletion stubs which are older than the purge interval and removes them. So if the purge interval is set to 90 days, deletion stubs will be purged after 90 to 120 days. This is also quite well documented in this technote "How Does Purging of Documents Occur in Notes?" which exists since 2005. Maybe I should start reading the technotes from A to Z.

I am going to cover the second thing I learned in my next post, but that won't be before Tuesday.

Here it is...


Available - Notes and Domino 8 beta 3

Tags: Notes
While the ILUG2007 started in Dublin, IBM made the new beta release of Notes and Domino 8 (beta 3) available for download.


Lazy error

Tags: Notes

The Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2 works pretty well. Obviously Lotus has built in some easter eggs to let us know that it is still considered to be a beta....


@Contains broken in Lotus Notes 6.5.5

Tags: Notes
A customer called in today and told us, that she was not able to enter German umlauts into the title fields of a CMS we have built for this customer. The CMS (Lotus Notes app) complained that the usage of "special characters like ", ', \ and NEWLINE" would not be allowed.

As a lot of our other customers (and we ourselves) are using this application for websites in German language this sounded very odd. In fact we were not able to provoke this very error message - on all machines but one in our office (Jens' notebook). That turned out to be good - otherwise we would have blamed this to be an user error. So we did some more testing and investigation.

We compared Lotus Notes settings, operation system settings, ... - and Lotus Notes versions to find out.
And we found out:

@Contains ("รถ"; @Newline)
will result in
on Jens machine, which is running Notes 6.5.5 (other than all other machines...).

In fact every non basic ASCII characters in the @Contains formula will lead to this misbehaviour in Notes 6.5.5.

The knowledge base did not help us, but the partner forum pointed us to SPR #LMAN6CXKXG (fixed in Notes 6.5.6), which is not available yet.
Looks like we have to fix our application even though it is not broken.


Too much SPAM - even for Notes

Tags: Notes

Despite having a SPAM filter server I am still getting quite some SPAMs delivered to my inbox. To prevent at least SPAM from the individual senders I simply added them to my blocked address list. Until today. Notes just seems to have enogh of SPAM and told me so:

message: limit for blocked addresses reached.

The good thing is that this event is actually captured and the user is not confronted with an error message like "Field is too large". The bad thing is that I had to edit my blocked addresses list. Since you can only remove addresses from that list (by opening the rule for the blocked senders list) I used my dear ScanEZ to get the content of the field "$Filter_BlockAddressList" in the calendar profile document of my mail database. I then used some search&replace in Word to reduce the number of entries, pasted the result into ScanEZ, did a "uniqe" and sorted it there and finally saved the changes. I will have to block more domains instead of individual addresses to keep the list from growing to large...


Lotus Notes Client for Linux announced

Tags: Notes

IBM announces today thas this month a native Lotus Notes 7.0.1 client will be available for Linux. The software will be available for download from July 24 from the Passport Advantage website.

See coverage by Ed Brill, heise online, CNET, CRN, and probably many others today.


Do you want to cancel?

Tags: Notes
I just looked at the status bar of my Notes 7 client, and noticed a small block, running from left to right and back:
Image:DomBlog.de - Notes, Domino, Workplace, and Stuff - Do you want to cancel?

So something was going on. Clicking on the X gave me the following prompt:
Image:DomBlog.de - Notes, Domino, Workplace, and Stuff - Do you want to cancel?

What operation?

I clicked "Ja" (yes), and got the following result:

Image:DomBlog.de - Notes, Domino, Workplace, and Stuff - Do you want to cancel?
After 30 minutes my client is still canceling (something).

Does anybody know what the heck is happening here?


Notes Hiccup

Tags: Notes
Notes opened my mail file in the Domino Designer instead of the client.

For whatever reason my Notes client decided that the Domino Designer would be the perfect frame for my mail file today. Just thought I'd share...




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