Lotus notes was great! I was a system administrator back around 1997 or
so, managing Lotus notes running on a larger AIX server at HQ, and a bunch
of smaller AIX systems at various remote offices. I really enjoyed
working with it. Sadly, it was the only place I ever got to work with it!
=Helping to protect and preserve our computing history=
On Thu, May 24, 2018 at 12:27 PM, Grant Taylor via cctalk <
cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
On 05/24/2018 11:08 AM, Grant Taylor via cctalk
Though I've got to say, I think the absolute
very BEST online / offline
email client integration that I've ever seen was Lotus Notes and Domino.
(I'll send a follow up email with details as to why I was /so/ impressed.)
I was EXTREMELY impressed with how well Lotus Notes worked as an email
client for Lotus Domino when it came to online / offline use.
First: I had Notes configured to replicate my email (DB) off of the
Domino server so that I could have access to it even if I was offline.
I don't recall how Notes behaved if I transitioned between online /
offline in the event of a network (dis)connection. (It rarely happened.)
But I was easily able to change the so called "Location" from
"Offline" (or any other location that I defined) on the fly with absolute
minimal impact by clicking a drop down and selecting a different location.
The most likely small burp would be if I naively left it in the Online
location when starting up without the company VPN connected, thus unable to
communicate with the Domino server. In such a case, Notes might take 15 ~
30 additional seconds to open as it tried to connect before it would give
up trying to connect and say "Unable to connect to server, starting in
Offline mode." I could easily start the VPN after the fact and switch to
"Online" mode and do a Replicate (what Notes termed the Send & Receive).
I could easily draft email while offline and it would sit in my outbox
waiting for the next time I replicated.
IMHO it worked great.
Aside: I had this same type of behavior for other non-Mail DBs inside of
Notes too. My employer used a LOT of Notes DBs for various things.
Vacation planner was a Notes DB. Inventory was a Notes DB. Team
documentation repositories were Notes DBs. Each team have a different
document repository (Team Room) Notes DB. Different people had different
levels of access to different DBs.
Further Aside: I could easily enable DB level encryption of the local
replica of a Notes DB trivially. I could also turn encryption off or
change security level easily.
*ALL* of my Notes DBs benefited from these (and more) features;
replication, online / offline, encryption, meta data indexing, full text
indexing, and many more.
Second: The thing that I did with my email that was *SO* impressive to me
was that my email DB on my workstation was a replica of my email DB on the
Domino server. With the exception that my server replica was < 300 MB
(disk quota) and my local workstation replica > 2 GB. ? Yes, the same DB
had bidirectional replication between > 2 GB and < 300 MB.
This is what amazed me.
I configured custom replication between the my workstation and the server
1) Deletes from the server copy were not replicated into my workstation
2) The server copy only maintained messages that were < 30 days old.
(I needed to replicate within that window, but 30 days is not a
3) ALL modifications to the local copy were replicated to the server copy.
This allowed me to use my email like I had no disk quota at all. (Based
on amount of storage on my workstation.) I could leave all my messages in
my mailbox /with/ attachments left in tact. (Many colleagues removed
attachments form messages to shrink their inbox. I didn't have that
problem.) All the while I was able to stay well under the 300 MB disk
quota and stay out of "Mail Jail".
As an added bonus, I was able to leverage the company provided web mail
interface and access the email that was still on the server (within the 30
day window). Anything I sent / received / marked as (un)read would get
replicated into my workstation copy the next time I replicated.
In my (not so) humble opinion, Lotus Notes & Domino has got to be, hands
down, the absolute BEST replicated email infrastructure that I've ever seen.
I do think the UI was fairly ugly and somewhat clunky. That being said, I
was able to do compose email / team documents with features that I LONG for
In hind sight I would have liked to have a tiny Domino server (which Notes
was in some ways) that was an IMAP / SMTP interface for a local copy of
Thunderbird. - I think that would have given me the aforementioned
features /and/ what I considered to be a better UI.
Grant. . . .
unix || die