January 10, 2005

Quote of the Day

In response to an anonymous poster who was complaining about pasting text from Internet Explorer into Lotus Notes:

"Morons who sit in 8x8 cubes and have no real insight into how an enterprise application has to be supported, should not post about which are better than others." -Anonymous
Posted by michael at 05:19 AM | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

LipSync for Lotus Notes and Mac

From Version Tracker:

Sync between Lotus Notes, Apple iCal, and Apple Address Book! Combined with Apple's free iSync software, you can sync Lotus Notes Contacts and Calendars with PalmOS PDA's, iPod, mobile phones, and more!.

It sounds like there are problems getting in contact with the company based on the feedback:

Since last November I tried to get someone at Kissworks to answer to my mails. 10 times, 20 times, no trial key code, no answer at all. At last, I ordered a number by fax, nothing happened. I already thought, this company has disappeared from this planet, then a kollegue came over with a order confirmation number, he just has buyed one day before. Do I have a bad karma or what? But after I have read the other comments to this product I know that I am not alone
Posted by michael at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2004

Zappata -- Step One

Before installing Zappata, check to make sure you are running Java 1.4.2 or later. Don't assume like I did.

bash-2.05a$ java -version
java version "1.4.1_01"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.1_01-69.1)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.1_01-24, mixed mode)

Posted by michael at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

ZAPPATA command line switches

- daemon - start headless (without launching the browser)
- shutdown - shutdown the running ZAPPATA application
- debug - write a debug log

Posted by michael at 06:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ZAPPATA Personal Groupware is available

ZAPPATA has released the first beta of their personal groupware. The makers of ZOE describe ZAPPATA as "a seamless infrastructure for private collaboration." I wasn't able to get it to work, but I wanted to document the steps I took on Mac OS X 10.2 in case anyone sees something obvious wrong.

1. Starting the .jar will enable the setup in your browser.


2. I received a message that I needed to open two ports after the setup.


3. Even after setting the password several times, I keep getting this message that I need to set my password.


4. I opened the ports on the firewall.


5. I configured an IMAP account that will only show "offline".





It looks like a problem with IMAP.


Posted by michael at 06:53 AM | Comments (4)

August 13, 2004

Eddie Bauer campus goes to Microsoft

Todd Bishop of the Seattle PI writes in his Microsoft blog that the Eddie Bauer campus has gone to Microsoft for $38 million in Spiegel's bankruptcy proceedings.

During my brief tour of duty with Spiegel/Eddie Bauer, I worked in the building across the street from the one pictured on the first floor. Microsoft occupied the top three floors. It gave me some serious street cred to be doing Notes development in the same building as Microsoft. Somehow, I think it's a little different for Gary.

Those pictures brought back lots of good memories of being introduced to the Northwest's winter drizzle, Christmas in downtown Seattle, and coffee shops on every block. This is a very cool place to live (but don't tell anyone.)

Posted by michael at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

SMTP mail routing problem in Notes 4.6

Yes, Notes 4.6. I finished configuring a Lotus Notes 4.6 test environment for some folks that are doing testing on a time travel machine, or something. They weren't at liberty to tell me. I salvaged an old Dell Dimension 410 and installed Solaris 2.8 Intel on it. Mail going out worked on the first try. Mail coming in was getting a user not found error. Of course it was -- sendmail was running. After stopping the sendmail process, mail worked as expected.

Posted by michael at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Power of the Radicati Group wiki over Google

Wow! Behold the power of Google and vowe.net. The Radicati Group wiki now ranks second behind the Radicati Group home page.

Posted by michael at 09:58 AM | Comments (2)

August 06, 2004

eWeek article on The Radicati Group scandal

From eWeek

At least one analyst from The Radicati Group decided to take the battle back to the bloggers, and posted responses intended to discredit their criticisms of the report—under a pseudonym.

Once it was revealed that a Radicati employee was actually making the posts, e-mails from recently opened Yahoo and Hotmail accounts—traced back to Radicati by Internet addresses in their header information—were sent to some bloggers' employers, urging that they fire the bloggers.

The message went on to call for punitive action against Elgort: "I hope that you take the appropriate action with such a clearly errant employee, who is accomplishing nothing but ruining [your] good name, image and reputation with his malicious online drivel. If you are unable to do so, I will be happy to escalate this matter to someone higher in the organization."

And Radicati said she has sent e-mails to IBM executives, including Ken Bisconti, vice president of Workplace products for IBM Lotus, urging Brill's firing. She has called for Brill's dismissal in the past as well, in part for comments he made on his blog referring to her company as "infamous."

More information at Radicati Group wiki.

Posted by michael at 11:43 AM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2004

Meta Group Briefing: Understanding IBM Domino and Workplace

I just saw this and downloaded the MP3 audio of the presentation to listen to on the iPod this evening.


At Lotusphere, Lotus announced a road map through 2007 that emphasizes the integration of Domino and WebSphere-based services. At the heart of the plan is a strong commitment to a Workplace client technology and WebSphere Portal, which should open debates in every organization about the future of client and portal strategies. Briefing by Matt Cain and David Yockelson.
Posted by michael at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

The Radicati Group Caught Up in Scandal

CEO Sara Radicati of The Radicati Group and Teney Takahashi are caught posting "anonymously" to Ed Brill's personal web log. Follow the thread for an entertaining look at how the Domino blog community comes together and tracks them down. Good job on the detective work fellas!

Lesson learned -- don't send e-mail from the same IP address you send your anonymous postings. It makes the anonymous part impossible.

Posted by michael at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2004

Speaking of Ant

Take a look at Johan's Ant tasks for processing DXL.

The example "takes the file source_test.dxl and imports all the elements into the local database names.nsf."

Posted by michael at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

New Lotus Notes Vulnerability -- but to what?

There is a newly reported vulnerabiltiy -- [Full-Disclosure] Lotus Notes URL argument injection vulnerability that will allow a web page to issue additional options to the notes:// URL. The iDefense site explains how Notes can be started with a UNC share. I doubt very many companies are allowing UNC shares through their firewalls. The part that seems like a stretch is:

The attacker can create a malicious DLL containing arbitrary code that will be loaded and executed when notes.exe is starting up.

Could this really happen?

Posted by michael at 03:11 PM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2004

PC Organ Donor for Domino 4.6

Our old home PC that was replaced by the Apple eMac last year has been as useful after it's Apple induced death as before. The PC has been quietly resting in state in the basement, waiting to be called back into action. First, the 40 gig drive found a home in an external firewire drive and became the iTunes drive. Now, I'm pulling the SCSI CD-ROM to add to a test machine at work.

I'm working on installing Sun Solaris 8 for x86 Intel. After using Linux for the last R6 test machine, I'm spoiled. Since there wasn't a Domino 4.6 version for Linux, Solaris for x86 Intel is the next best thing. And, I really do mean the next best thing. I'm running into a common problem with ATA CD-ROM's. When doing Google searches for my CD-ROM problem, there's lots of people complaining about the same problem I'm having and very few answers.

The Solaris install reminds me of my first attempt to install Linux in 1999. Ughhhhh. When this ugly thought came to my mind, I remembered reading that the old Linux installs worked much better if everything was SCSI. Hopefully, this is the answer.

Posted by michael at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2004

Laurent says goodbye to Domino

Laurent deWalick has started a new project working on SAS and is saying goodbye to Domino. Good luck Laurent on your new project. I have learned over the past 12 years that it's usually just "until later" when leaving Domino. ;-)

Speaking of leaving Domino, our company's other two Domino developers are now doing .Net projects. One made the comment yesterday that he missed how easy it is to deploy Notes projects and changes. Is that the biggest thing to miss about Domino?

I've been so busy learning WebObjects, that I haven't really thought that much about what I miss. The more you understand about other environments through practice, the better you are at making informed recommendations. In Laurent's case, he should be able to give concrete examples of why Domino is better, more stable, scalable, etc... than Access for some types of applications. He probably also understands now that Access has some great features for reporting that Domino doesn't have.

Posted by michael at 05:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2004

Another OS X Lotus Notes Designer Client Request

Just for the record, another corporate Lotus Notes developer just stopped by my office and asked about Notes and OS X. I told him where the client CD was and he said, "I don't care about the client. I want the designer."

Posted by michael at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2004

New IBM Redbook

Using LDAP for Directory Integration has just been published.

We concentrate on some advanced LDAP tasks, such as referrals and schema extensibility. We also provide a scenario-based approach to discuss Directory Integration, using some of the leading directory products available: the IBM Directory Server, IBM Directory Integrator, Lotus Domino, and Microsoftís Active Directory.
Posted by michael at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2004

Lotusphere 2004

Lotusphere this year was so much better than last year! I didn't get to go last year either, but this year had so many nice Domino bloggers taking time from the few hours sleep allowed during the week to keep those of us back home updated on the exciting breaking news and funny stories. A huge thanks to my "homey" who let me borrow his Lotusphere login so I could see the session slides during the week. That made me feel even closer to the action.

This is a tremendous community that selflessly shares their news (good and bad), findings and excitement. Thanks to each and every one of the Lotusphere bloggers for making the community better.

Posted by michael at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2004

FlowBuilder 3.0

Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts about FlowBuilder 3.0?

As more Lotus Notes and Domino organizations look to incorporate the benefits of Java into their collaborative IT environments, FlowBuilder 3.0 enables them to use their existing Domino developers to build standards-based applications in Java and XML without the complexity of Java programming.
Posted by michael at 09:07 AM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2004

Melissa Gena starts blogging

Melissa Gena, another West Coaster, has started blogging this month. We'll be seeing more entries from her as soon as she thaws out from her Wisconsin trip. Welcome Melissa!
Posted by michael at 08:52 PM

January 05, 2004

Domino: The Future Gets Clearer

Matt Cain from the META Group has a new paper out now explaining the future of Domino. For those that don't know, Mr. Cain is one of the most respected analysts in collaboration software. Unfortunately, I am no longer a META Group customer, so I don't have access to the document. Can anyone out there with access give us a summary?

After two years of equivocation, IBM now has a concrete evolution, coexistence, and migration plan for Lotus Domino users. To ensure business continuity and investment protection, organizations must establish long-term strategies during the next 12 months.
Posted by michael at 10:10 AM | Comments (3)

December 23, 2003

Sametime Client for OS X

A Mac OS X Sametime client has been released. Mercury 0.2 is written in Objective C and Java using the Sametime Toolkit.

Posted by michael at 09:40 AM | Comments (2)

December 02, 2003

Netcraft Survey : Domino Servers

The Netcraft Web Server Survey for December has been released. I started looking back over the past few Decembers and couldn't stop. Here's a chart of Domino's growth. Does anyone know if InterNotes publisher or an early Domino might have been called WebNotes in 1995?


Posted by michael at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2003

AAA Braly, Michael

I'm going to change the name of my blog to "AAA Braly, Michael" to see if I can move up 13 spots on Johan Kanngard's Invaluable URLs. I'm thankful my name isn't Ulysses, or I would be ranked below Duffbert.

Posted by michael at 11:57 AM | Comments (6)

November 20, 2003

InstallShieldTuner for Lotus Notes Quick Start Guide

I don't use the InstallShieldTuner for Lotus Notes often enough to remember how it works each time I create a new Lotus Notes client install package. Here's a quick how to guide written mostly to jog my memory on the next release.

Install InstallShield Tuner. This is found on the Lotus Notes Install CD.

Create a \makeinstall directory on my local harddrive. Then, under the \makeinstall directory, create a \data directory, \win32 directory and \602cf1 directory. The \602cf1 would the version that is being created.

Copy the install file directory for the Lotus Notes client from the CD to the \makeinstall\win32 directory.

Start InstallShield Tuner and pick the LotusNotes.itw file from the \makeinstall\win32 directory.

Don't worry about doing a Prevalidation because it gives many warnings that do affect the success of the build.

Create a new Transform file. This is a two step process. First, pick the MSI file from the \makeinstall\win32 directory. Next, pick the \makeinstall\data directory for you Windows Install Transforms file. I name my MST file with the version that I'm creating (i.e. 602cf1.mst.) Click "Create Transform File".


Under 2. Setup Organization, Default Destination and Organization, opitionally add your Company Name.

Under 2. Setup Organization, Features, you will be able to select which features should be installed.


Under 3. Target System Configuration, Files, you can copy additional files to be installed. I'm going to experiment with copying a replica of our custom bookmark.nsf to overcome the bug of Desktop Policy documents not working.

A quick warning -- do not remove Notes Minder from Shortcuts/Folders or you will get "Internal Error 2705. Directory" when trying to run the install.


Add the two server locations the installation files will be located. This will ensure the Windows Installer always has access to the files needed for fixing a corrupted install or adding files that have been marked "This feature is run from the source, CD or network."

Under section 6. Prepare to Package, Package, Location, pick C:\makeInstall\602cf1 for the location. This is the location of your custom installation files.

Under the Package, Setup, I select "Create Installation launcher (setup.exe)", and add "/qb" for Windows Installer Command line arguments. This runs the install in "silent but deadly mode."


Finally, from the menu, select Project, Package.

Posted by michael at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2003

Open Source Portlets

Via CNet
Portal software makers Plumtree Software, Documentum, BEA Systems and Sun Microsystems on Monday announced the creation of an online library of open-source portal applications, or 'portlets.'
The site is hosted at development Web site SourceForge.net.

It appears that WebSphere also support JSR-168.

Posted by michael at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2003

Maybe IBM is right?

Three things happened in the last ten days that makes me think IBM is right about their direction with Domino as collaboration components for WebSphere and that in the future you won't see Domino server / Notes fat-client apps anymore than you see FoxPro apps now.

First, I installed WebSphere 5 on Linux for a department that wants to start testing. My problems were mostly with Linux and I think I wouldn't have had any problems installing it on Windows. It appears to me the WebSphere installation has really progressed. The web configuation is nicely done. Who had the big brain to store the WS configuration data in XML instead of DB2? Good thinking.

Second, I met with an internal customer that wanted a change made to their ten year-old Notes application, which was in their view, get rid of Notes. We started talking about the problem they wanted to solve and I found myself sounding like an IBM PR speaker. I was explaining that they wanted Domino to be a collaborative component of their process and it could integrate in with the other software they are using to manage documents. And, it made sense to them.

Third, I got an e-mail from BoomVang saying they are no longer going to be BoomVang. They are changing their name and business model. Reading between the lines, it appeared to me that they were going to start branching out to partner with other companies and not be a Notes-only shop. Smart.

Posted by michael at 02:59 PM | Comments (2)

October 22, 2003

Script Library Problems?

In our staff meeting yesterday, it was mentioned that on the servers that have been upgraded to 6.0.2CF2, the LS agents that use a Script Library were failing. Editing the script in the Script Library with a space and save would fix it. Anyone else noticed this?

Posted by michael at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2003

Notes 6.5 more like Outlook

The September 29th Computerworld headlines that the added features similar to Microsoft Outlook could warrant move to Notes 6.5.

Posted by michael at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2003

Lotus Uniting Collaboration Apps

From eWeek News

Lotus Workplace, a Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition-based messaging and collaboration platform released earlier this year, will be the focus of IBM's Lotus Software division going forward. Notes and Domino and other Lotus applications such as Instant Messaging (formerly Sametime) will be delivered as components of Workplace, according to Lotus officials.K

Posted by michael at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2003

September 16, 2003

Open Source Web Log Files Article

October Lotus Advisor Cover

The October Lotus Advisor magazine should be out soon. Article on web log file reporting using Open Source and free software will be inside.

Posted by michael at 12:15 PM | Comments (3)

September 15, 2003

Crashing Server

The new DSAPI Authentication filter seems to have had a bad effect on the server. After three years of not crashing, it's crashing occasionaly now. The cool thing is with Fault Recovery enabled, there are no 4:00 AM calls from Production Control, just an e-mail waiting for me when I get to the office.

Posted by michael at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2003

Load Testing DSAPI Filter

We have a DSAPI authentication filter working now that will allow a web user to authenticate against an Oracle database. I'll write more about the lessons learned later this week after it's in production. Right now, I'm trying to put a load on it and make reasonably sure there's no memory leaks. WAPT 2.0 from Novosoft is what I'm trying out on it. It was easy to configure and has a 30 day trial to boot.

Posted by michael at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 2003 Web Server Survey


The Netcraft September 2003 Web Server Survey is available now. It looks like Domino is following the trend that Apache is following.


Posted by michael at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2003

C API -> C++ API -> Lotusscript

My new conclusion after looking at the C API documentation and hacking away at the secdom sample code is the C API is hard to understand because of the documentation. Everyone always says, "The C++ API is so much easier than the C API." Well, that's because it's documented much better. Heck, I think the only reason Lotusscript is easier than either API is because of it's documentation. (I know that's a stretch, but it made sense in my punchy, sleep deprived mind.)

Another thought -- "documentation" can include how much the user community has written about a programming language. How many Google hits show up the DSAPI event FilterAuthenticate?

How many Google hits show up for the Lotusscript event onload?

Posted by michael at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

Domino C API

The Domino C++ API is much easier to understand than the C API. I can crash the dev server by commenting out two lines of code. I also seem to be able to crash the server writing two lines of code!

Posted by michael at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2003

Dynamic Workspace continued

Our issue with the Dynamic Workspace has been confirmed by Lotus Technical Support as a problem with the feature basically not working. There are lots of issues that can lead to this problem, but the main culprut is when a client uses a connection document in their Personal Address Book to connect to the server. We don't do that, but there's plenty of other reasons for it not to work.

Posted by michael at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003


They're back to even! A guy from IBM just returned my e-mail about compiling the clientlv application. How cool is that? I thought after the first e-mail of, "I don't support that anymore, but there's someone that might help...", it was all over. But no. They're working on it.

So our friends at IBM are closing the morning with one in the Win column and one in the Loss column.

Posted by michael at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

Custom Workspace

This is the longest I've ever had a case drag on with Lotus Technical Support. It's been 10 days now and Level Two support still has contacted Level One support with any information. The person that has gotten this to work once in Tech Support hasn't contacted me to try and walk through the same steps in our environment. The e-mail promised to me detailing the steps they took to make this work still hasn't arrived.

You know how the people call wanting to ask questions about your experience with Technical Support after the case is closed? I think I might take the time to share my experience on this case.

Posted by michael at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

Dynamic Workspace

There hasn't been much activity from Lotus Support this week on the custom workspace problem. I followed-up with them and just got an e-mail back that they don't think the feature actually works. It kind of sounds like to me they're waiting to hear back from the team that wrote it to get a confession that it doesn't work.

Posted by michael at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003


I found it interesting that there were no technical books on the Amazon Purchase Circle for Lotus and all technical books on the Amazon Purchase Circle for Microsoft.

Posted by michael at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)


I was working on updating the version of clientlv, the client level tracking application from Notes Net this week. First, I tried changing the code to account for the new R6 log.nsf design and re-compile it. There was one big error that I couldn't overcome.

So, I got my friend that's a top-notch C programmer to take a look at it. The best he could tell, there was a missing header file that I needed.

I wasn't going to be stopped there. The code was documented with the original author's name, so I tracked him down through the Internet and determined he was an IBM employee. Using the IBM Employee Directory, I found his e-mail and sent him an e-mail last night. This morning, there was a reply cc:ing the person that's working on updating it.

When/if I get the updated version, I'll share it here if it doesn't go up on Notes Net.

Posted by michael at 09:02 AM | Comments (2)

July 18, 2003

Custom Workspace

I'm still working with Lotus Support on the Custom Desktop problem. Something very strange is happening. The custom desktop doesn't appear on Windows machines until you open it from the server, close Notes and then re-start Notes. On the Mac, that trick doesn't even work.

Posted by michael at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2003

Crazy Desktop Settings

I have, on occasion, gotten the Desktop Policy setting to add the custom workspace and bookmarks to a client. I have not been able to get it to work all of the time. I haven't even been able to get it to work most of the time.

Out of desperation, I called Lotus Support and was told that there's one person in support that got it to work once. Once. We'll give it another try tomorrow when the holder of the secret is in. If we get it to work, I'll let you know the trick.

Posted by michael at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

Open Source targets Exchange (Notes?)

CNET News has a story about OpenGroupware.org being an Exchange replacement.

Somehow, I feel a little slighted that Gary Frederick, leader of the OpenOffice.org Groupware Project, is publicly targeting Exchange and not Notes. Hey! Look over here! Come kick our butts too!

Posted by michael at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2003

Domino Web Servers

The July Netcraft Web Server Survey is available now. It looks like Domino web servers, aka "Other", have been holding their own the last couple of months. I wonder what other servers fall in the "Other" category?

Posted by michael at 10:12 AM | Comments (3)

July 01, 2003

Notes Desktop Setting

I got the Notes Desktop Setting to work in the Development environment a couple of months ago. Now, I can't remember what "the trick" was to getting it to work. Looking back over my notes, I found an entry that exclaimed my excitement, but I didn't write down what the solution was.

I have a policy document which points to the Desktop Setting dodcument. The
Desktop Setting document has a link to the database with the custom desktop. I edited and saved both of them and did Assign Policy from the Admin Client. What was the other thing I needed to do?

Posted by michael at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2003

Portland Bloggers

It looks like there will be a few Domino bloggers possibly attending the Portland Lotus Notes User Group meeting.

Thomas Duff

Joe Litton

Ed Brill

Bruce Elgort

Any others?

Posted by michael at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)

June 11, 2003

Nearly Famous Speaker at User Group

Ed Brill - Nearly Famous
Don't forget to RSVP by tomorrow for the Portland Domino/Notes User Group meeting where the nearly famous Ed Brill will be speaking. Have you noticed that when you meet a famous, or in some cases nearly famous person, that they always seem shorter in person than on the big screen or on a blog?

I'm planning to make the drive down Interstate 5 to Portland to enjoy what Seattle doesn't have -- a real Notes User Group meeting, no sales tax and a Powerball lottery. How can one city have so much, while we have so little? I blame Microsoft. :-)

Posted by michael at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2003

Faster LDAP searches

Directory Assistance
If you are using Domino Directory Assistance (DA) with LDAP, you can speed up authentication with a couple of changes to your DA document. In my case, before the change, authentication was taking 15 or more (lots more) seconds. After the change, a second. ROCK!

Are you using R6? You need it because the R6 DA template has the new features. Here's how to speed things up a little.

On the third tab, change Dereference alias on search to "never."

Next, change Type of search filter to use to "Custom." This is where you need to look at the documentation to form your filter correctly. We are only using uid, so I entered "(uid=%*)" for the Authentication Filter. By default, Notes uses (|(cn=%*)(|(&(sn=%a)(givenname=%z))(&(sn=%z)(givenname=%a)))) which seems to do quite a bit of thrashing.

Posted by michael at 04:52 PM | Comments (2)

June 08, 2003

Send e-mail for US$400

I started looking into DSAPI products that would allow Domino to use an Oracle database for authentication. There was a trial version of one that I tried out which worked quite nicely.

I thought it would be worthy of a longer test and got the OK to spend the money on one copy. But first, I wanted to make sure they would be able to respond to any questions I had before we spent any money. My test was they had to respond to my question e-mailed to support in 24 hours. It's four days later and no reply. And, for not replying back with a "yes" or a "no", they're out US$400.

We're going to build our own now. I'll keep you posted on what I learn about writing DSAPI authentication plug-ins.

Posted by michael at 11:11 AM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2003

Domino Directory Assistance

I'm not sure who I don't want to be more right now? Me, the guy that's had to resort to Lotus Technical Support for help late on a Friday night. Or, the second level support guy, on the East Coast, that's having to sober-up real fast on a Friday night and get back home to his computer.

Update 11:34PM my time/2:34AM their time. They understand the problem now. Ldapsearch works fine, but Domino is having problems. This is a good sign because we're working on the same problem now.

Update 12:15AM my time/3:15AM their time. I suggest that we use Instant Messaging for the quick, "Try this" messages. Let's see if they go for it.

Update 3:08AM my time/6:08AM their time. The sun should be up there now. Second level support guy had me create a new database from the R6 template, which didn't work. Level Two guy is out of ideas and Level One guy is calling his manager to see if we can go to Level Three.

He didn't take me up on the IM offer, but I could tell he was IM'ing the Level Two guy.

Update 7:08AM my time/10:08 their time. OK. I'd rather be the Level Two guy that had to go home early, but isn't worrying about this right now. Everyone agrees -- this is a strange problem. I did get to go home, sleep for two hours and shower. The guy on the phone is IM'ing the Level Three guy.

Update 10:06AM my time/1:06PM their time. There are two Level Three guys now and they're on the phone with me. We cut out the middle-man in charge of IM'ing everything I said.

They both agree -- this is a very strange problem. They're looking at source code. Now we're getting somewhere!

Update 3:40PM my time/6:40PM their time. It's done. The battle is over. The machines have lost again. The LDAP server had ACL settings that allowed enough access for LDAPSEARCH to work, but not enough for Directory Assistance to work fully. All eight of us agreed -- that was strange and not a very good way to spend a Saturday and a Friday night. I'm guessing we'll see a little more verbose logging for directory issues in an upcoming release.

The Lotus guys did a heck of a job, stayed positive and had some great ideas for solving this darn problem. Thankfully, it's over.

Posted by michael at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Directory Assistance Testing

When Domino reloads Directory Assistance, it tests the LDAP connection with "Garbage"...

scope=2 filter="(|(cn=GARBAGE)(uid=GARBAGE)(sn=GARBAGE)(givenName=GARBAGE)(mail=GARBAGE))"

If you're having problems getting the results back (like I am right now), you'll see this in the log on the LDAP server every two minutes.

Posted by michael at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2003

Domino Twisties

When I first started looking into adding custom color twisties for the views on my R5 web site, I found a couple of articles explaining how to do it with code. Since my site was the only one on the server, I chose instead to create my own collapse and expand images to replace the default blue ones.

Now that the site is migrating to R6, I wanted to take advantage of the custom twisties capability in the view column settings. To make it easier for others, Iíve included the Adobe Photoshop files Iíve used for R5 collapse.gif and expand.gif as well as the R6 twisite set.

To replace the R5 expand.gif and collapse.gif, you can simply overwrite the appropriate files in your \data\domino\icons directory. Use the expand.psd and collapse.psd to create the .gifís.

To use the custom R6 twisites, create your image using the Adobe Photoshop r6twisite.psd file. Guides have been added showing the left and right side. There has to be a blank pixel in the middle of the two images. The expand image goes on the left and the collapse on the -- you guessed it -- right.

From Photoshop, select File, Save For Web. I chose GIF 32, No Dither for the GIF settings. You can name it anything that you choose.

From the Notes Designer, select New Image Resource and import your new .gif file. Select 2 for images across and check Web Browser Compatible. Next, go to the properties for your expandable column in the view you would like the twistie to appear in. On the Column Info tab, select your twistie Image Resource at the bottom.

Download dominotwisites.zip

Posted by michael at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2003

Hate Lotus?

If I was reading this on someone else's blog, I would think it was made up. I just took a quick peek at the web stats and there was one search referral from the Microsoft Network for the words "hate lotus."

Hate Lotus

This quite possibly could be the funniest thing I hear all day.

Posted by michael at 10:47 AM

April 22, 2003

Blog Wars

First, I would like to direct your attention to the lower right side of the main page. You will notice this blog is powered by MovableType. After this not so nice discussion about Domino Blogs, I'm glad.

Here's the conversation I would like to see taking place over Domino Blogs :

"Who needs some help adding an RSS feed to your Domino Blog tempate?"
"I do!"
"Great. Here's some code and links that will get you started."
"Thank you for your help. Let me know if I can help you with something."
"I will. Thanks."

Posted by michael at 09:19 AM | Comments (7)

April 16, 2003

Websphere Install

websphere Should it really be that hard? First, it took our Keeper of the IBM Passport several months to work out with IBM the correct access rights to be able to download Websphere. After I got my hands on the software, I realized that there wasn't very much information about how to install it. Here's how I got Websphere 4.0 to work with Domino R6 on my XP laptop...

First, I installed IBM DB2 Personal Developer's Edition as the database. I saw there was an option to use Oracle, which is what we use at work, but I decided it would be safer for my experiment to go with DB2 running locally. When I install this on the sandbox server, I'll go with the Oracle option and let you know how it works out.

Next, I installed Websphere Application Server 4. I did a custom install and did not check HTTP server, because Domino will be doing that and did not select Plug-in because Domino is not an option.

I believe there is a problem with XP and DB2 and Websphere being able to validate the username and password to use for running as a service. I used my account name for DB2 and it told me it couldn't verify it, but let it move to the next install screen. Websphere didn't work until I entered the Administrator name and password.

Let's hear it for Notes Net! I found the registry setting to change so Websphere would know where the plugin-cfg.xml file is located. Add the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\WebSphere Application Server\4.0\Plugin Config

Value = C:\WebSphere\AppServer\config\plugin-cfg.xml

Finally, edit your Server record in the Domino Directory and add C:\WebSphere\AppServer\bin\domino5_http.dll under the Internet Protocols, HTTP tab to DSAPI filter file names.

Restart your Domino server and, with good luck from your clean living and winning attitude, you'll see "DSAPI WebSphere HTTP DSAPI Filter loaded."

After it started, I thought, "Well. Now what?" Now, it's time to get some of those cool JSP Tag Libraries that our guys have developed and see if I can make them work in our Domino environment.

Posted by michael at 06:47 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2003

Notes 6.0.1 Mac Install (bug?)

Notes R6I've been in the lab testing the new Lotus Notes 6.0.1 native OS X installer. It works great, if you are installing from the CD. When I attempted to do the install from the network, it presents the error, "There was not enough free space on the hard drive to complete the install process."

(2003.04.11) But wait. There's more. I just talked to our Mac technician and he informed me this happens with about 5% of application installs now, not just Notes. For some reason, some installs just want the files to be locally instead of on the network. His suggestion was to copy the files locally to run the install.

Posted by michael at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2003

Re: The NextGen Echo

Ed Brill is going to respond to The Turtle's commentary in the April 2003 issue of ePro magazine (p.64) soon. I'm anxious to hear the inside scoop. I believe The Turtle, absent the inside information from IBM, is correct in his perception. However, I don't think he has all of his rumors straight.

Here's the rumor I heard from an IBM/Lotus Systems Engineer with my own spin added for good measure...

The NextGen Mail product was created for a VERY large corporation that wanted to extend basic e-mail service to something like 300,000 users. These workers were mostly people that would be accessing it via a kiosk on a weekly basis. I'm guessing they are assembly line workers. You don't want to give a $40 US Notes client to someone who doesn't need 90% of that functionality and would require hundreds of dollars of training and support. They only need to see the new mail and read that benefits enrollement starts soon or the holidays are approaching.

So IBM built this product and decided that they could/should market it since it's already built. My guess is they gave the first big company a break on price and plan to make it up by selling it a few times more. Heck, it's built on DB2 and you should be able to scale it down also.

I don't think Notes is the target market IBM is aiming for with NextGen. Two different needs; two different products.

Posted by michael at 09:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2003

Web Stats

Mike G. noticed that there was a slack week before March 22nd, which got me curious. Not really curious enough to actually check, but curious. Then Libby challenged us with "What's the strangest way you've ever been googled?"

I don't know why, but that makes me giggle when I think of being googled. So that got me curious enough to check the stats. I too had a slack week the same week Mike G. did. As far as being googled in a strange way, I'm afraid it was all very much normal.

The international flavor of the visitors is surprising to me. Here are the top ten countries visiting my site:

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

Posted by michael at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2003

Cert ID

Rune Carlson brought up a good topic on Bruce's Blog about how companies use the expiration date on ID files.

One of the best uses of expiration dates I've seen is for contractor's ID files. Many companies have lots of contractors coming in-and-out, which can be difficult to manage. The Notes Admin will set the expiration date to coincide with the end of the contract.

The hiring and releasing of contractors is usually done at the line of business level instead of a centralized HR function. It's easy to have a termination process for regular employees that includes terminating Unix access, NT access, Notes access, etc... The process for contractors that can be in for days, weeks or months is more difficult.

Posted by michael at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

ServerTokens ProductOnly

I was using Netcraft today to find some information about a web site that I stumbled across that was running Domino. Netcraft showed it was running "Lotus-Domino/0" which I immediately assumed was R6 since so few sites have implemented the DominoNoBanner=1 in the notes.ini to suppress the version information in R5.

In the Apache httpd.conf file, there is an option to only show that it is an Apache server and not show the version number. Add the line:

ServerTokens ProductOnly

That took me to my next line of thought, which was "Why would a software company show what product is running at all?" It would seem more secure to not know it is an Apache or a Netscape or a Domino server.

Marketing! That information is what drives the stats that lets Apache brag about having the most and Microsoft and IBM to show they are gaining/losing market share. If Lotus didn't show it was a Domino product, how would they know when they overtake Apache? Is there more to it than this?

Posted by michael at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2003

Incremental Mystery

In our test environment, we have two exact Compaq DL360's that have had the same software installed, same OS, same service packs, same Compaq utilities. During the 6.0 to 6.0.1 upgrade, the first machine complained about iNotes files, js32.dll and nxmlcommon.dll before I "fixed" the problems and finally got it to install.

I was dreading the second server upgrade. It upgraded without any complaints. Not one. It just did it.

I'm not angry. I don't hate Lotus. I don't hate IBM for buying Lotus. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Websphere taking over the world. I still love Notes. But, I am curious why something like that still happens with incremental upgrades. Not curious in an angry way. More like, what is so hard about incrementally upgrading Domino software. I know there's a very frustrated software engineer at Lotus that explains to people all of the time, "You don't understand. This is hard to get right because of..."

Posted by michael at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2003

Client Level Tracking

I was just reading through the rest of Chris Miller's site and saw that he got surprised by some 4.6 clients in the middle of an R6 upgrade. We're in the middle of our R6 upgrade and I was worried about old clients as well.

There's a cool utility on Notes.Net (I hope you don't mind if I continue to call it Notes.Net...forever) that will search through your logs for the version of clients logging in to the servers. Here's how to use it...

Add LOG_SESSIONS=1 to your notes.ini on the server to track client sessions as they start and stop. This will log their user name and the client version.

Copy the clientlv.exe to the notes directory on your machine where your notes executables are located. From a command window, run "clientlv your_server -cc" to output to the screen with comma delimiters. I copied and pasted that into an Excel spreadsheet and did a quick sort. Surprise! You find people running 4.6 clients and others running R6 second beta clients.

I ran this against our servers world-wide over the WAN without any problems.

Posted by michael at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)

User Groups

Hopefully there will be some interesting conversations taking place over at Ed's place about Chris Miller's pondering of User Groups.

Are any User Groups relevant now that we have the Internet, IM, e-mail and blogs?

Posted by michael at 05:14 PM | Comments (3)

March 07, 2003

Fav Icon

One of the great new features of the R6 server is removing the HTML information about the OS and version of Domino that you're running. It made me laugh when they added a new "flag" that shows your server is running Domino R6 on the web. The favicon.ico is a cute little Lotus Domino icon that Lotus has added to the \[data]\domino\html directory. This is the web root directory. You can easily replace the default icon

with something more customized. Here's how...

There are two ways to add a favicon to your pages. First, as Lotus did, you can add a favicon.ico to your root web directory. Don't have one? It's really easy to create one following the GoLive in 24 Tutorial.
Now that you have a custom icon, place it in the \[domino_data]\domino\html directory, replacing the Lotus favicon.ico.

The second way to add a favicon.ico, which I haven't tried yet, is to insert a LINK tag in the <head>...</head>tag of your pages.

<LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://www.rockondomino.com/anicon.ico">

I'm sure there is a good reason for doing it this way, but I don't know what it is.

So when do these icons appear in your browser? It depends on your browser. In IE/Win, it appears when you bookmark a page. In IE/Mac, it doesn't appear at all. In Safari and Camino, it appears all of the time.

Posted by michael at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)