Lotus Notes and Domino

Garrett bithistory at gmail.com
Thu May 24 22:51:37 CDT 2018

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!

*Garrett Meiers*

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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 wrote:
>> 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 "Online" to
> "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
> such that:
> 1)  Deletes from the server copy were not replicated into my workstation
> copy.
> 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
> problem.)
> 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 Gmail.
> 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

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