IBM are off creating the next "great" thing with Mail.Next. I can see the value of going "client-less" (i.e. web) but hopefully IBM are looking at IdeaJam and implementing many, many, many of the outstanding usability suggestions out there. So here you have it, my best, and last, suggestion to IdeaJam (and can you believe some people still post out there????).
Darren Duke   |   April 22 2014 10:50:26 AM   |    ideajam    |   Comments [5]

I'm also going to update the original post, but it appears there was an issue with the command in that original post:

-compactThreads 0 -updallThreads 2 -stoptime 5AM

You will see something like this in the notes.log on the server:

Image:Addendum to my Domino DBMT post (well, a correction)

use this one instead:

-compactThreads 0 -updallThreads 2 -stoptime 5:00AM

Yes, the ":00" makes all the difference.
Darren Duke   |   April 8 2014 07:39:04 AM   |    domino  dbmt    |   Comments [2]

So it has happened....yours truly is going to be a [non-IBM] Champion.....well for a day ;)

The Atlanta User Group (aka Atlanta Lotus User Group) is to host a pretty unique one-of-a-kind event on April 7th, 2014, that being the "Day of Champions". Each of the 11 "champions" gets a TED like 18 minutes or so to entertain, bedazzle and hopefully educate the attendees in all manner of things, technical or not-so-technical. Add to that a Connect-like Gurupalooza and speed-geeking and you are in for a real treat. Obviously this isn't your normal 2 hour quarterly meeting, this puppy is from 10AM until 4PM, hence the "DAY of Champions".

One of the things you'll notice about the 11 presenters is that most (10?) are from the Metro Atlanta area, an astounding abundance of resources for a single area of the country, especially as you will no doubt recognize every single presenters name. It's a veritable who's-who of the ICS community. Most, if not all, are current or former IBM Champions (hangs head in shame).

If that isn't enough two of the best IBM presenters walking this planet of ours are also presenting:
  • Scott Souder is giving the keynote and although he's from Texas we still love him. Mostly ;)
  • Louis Richardson. I could listen to this guy present on wall paper from the 1700's and still come away mesmerized.

You should come for these two alone, then add in the likes of Chris Whisonant, Tim Tripcony and Nathan Freeman to name but a few and you have a pretty stellar line up.

Anyway, there is no excuse not coming to see this event. Did I say it was pretty unique? Yeah, I did.....but again, it's unique. I think there will be attendees from far and wide so get on over to and register. Right now. Now damn it!

For my part, I'll be presenting a cut down version of the "World according to Darren" presentation, that debuted at MWLUG last year. Yes, IBMers should be worried ;)

Champion for a day.....I can cross this off my bucket list now.
Darren Duke   |   March 24 2014 12:48:26 PM   |    ATLUG    |   Comments [0]

UPDATED 04/08/2014 - the command is NOT "5AM", but is "5:00AM" is now fixed below.....

So with the release of Domino 9, IBM added the Database Maintenance Tool (or DBMT). This new tool is a bit like a Swiss Army knife of server tasks. It can run compact, updall and full text index tasks all from one command.

But for some server environments (I'm thinking clusters using archived transaction logging here) all you really want is to have view indexed rebuilt so that is a user if failed over (or 100's of users fail over) then there is no delay while all these mail file view indexes are re-indexed as many simultaneous  users open their inbox on the new server. This is a pretty hefty kick in the balls for the cluster server.

Well, DBMT can fix that.

Bear in mind that I want to re-index views in the mail files of all users, WITHOUT also running a compact (with DBMT will do by default unless you tell it otherwise).

To get DBMT to run we use a Domino Program Document with the following command line:

-compactThreads 0 -updallThreads 2 -stoptime 5:00AM

like this:

Image:On Domino 9? Have a cluster? You’re using DBMT right?

The "-compactThreads 0" tells DBMT to not compact at the same time. I don't want a daily DBMT changing the DBIID, so that will stop this. Note the the program starts at 11:00PM and will run until 5:00AM (-stoptime). When it starts again the next day at 2:00AM, it begins where it left neat is that? Note also that I'm using a cluster name in the "Server to run on" field, this makes it easier to manage than a program document per server, although if you have need you can do that.

The last thing to do is to remove (or comment out) the "ServerTasksAt2=UpdAll" line from your server notes.ini.

Once your DBMT runs you see see something similar to this in the Domino Console and log:

Image:On Domino 9? Have a cluster? You’re using DBMT right?

Voila, now when users fail over from server A to server B, server B already has the default views built so that users don't have to wait as much. You can use this for huge performance gains on clusters that are active-passive servers or clusters where you have your user population split in an active-active scenario (even here, failed over users indexes may not be built, and this fixes that).

In the above example I'm using 2 updallThreads. You can increase as necessary depending on how good your I/O is on the Domino Data directory.

DBMT can do a few more tasks too (Swiss Army knife remember?) and you can find out more here:

Open Mic slides :

Domino 9 Admin Help page :

Darren Duke   |   March 19 2014 08:03:27 AM   |    domino    |   Comments [4]

Update 3/20/2014 - Oh, yes, should have mentioned also need to be on mail9.ntf for your mail files.

IE11 has been out for a while and with the likes of Google saying IE9 will no longer supported on their stuff, more and more organizations and people are moving to it. The thing with iNotes is that fixes may or may not be in a Domino Fix Pack. They may be in a completely separate download. You have to select "iNotes" as the product in Fix Central.

To support IE11 with iNotes you need to be at Domino 9.0.1 with iNotes fix 9.0.1 IF1 or higher (IF2 is now available so go with that).

Anyway, get the fix from Fix Central, here's a Windows Domino server link

There are three files on the ZIP file:
  • Run the executable, as you would a fix pack
  • Copy the CAB file to the /data/domino/html folder, replacing the one that is there (take a backup if you are)
  • Copy the NSF to the /data/iNotes folder, replacing the one that is there (take a backup if you are)
  • Your mail files need to be on mail9.ntf
  • Restart the server, bask in the glow that is IE11 (alright, that was a joke).....

There is also an IBM TechNote that lists iNotes support by browser and Domino version, although it only goes up to Firefox 26.....surely we're up to 103 by now no? ;)

One would hope that Domino 9.0 and 8.5.3 would get IE11 support too......As the great Beyonce would have said "if you want, you should have put a PMR on it"
Darren Duke   |   March 18 2014 10:13:00 AM   |    domino  inotes    |   Comments [1]

I do a lot of VMware. Seriously, a lot! A common thread I see with virtualization deployments is that soon-to-be-virtualizers download the ISO from VMware and rock and roll. But wait. There is a better way! No, really there is. But for most folks it's unknown. Until now.....

Almost all server hardware manufactures have a customized version built specifically for their iron. Usually this involves adding drivers and monitoring stuff, but if you've ever tried installing a CIM package, then you know having it already bundled into the installer and installed for you is a huge time saver, not to mention you'll swear a lot less......

The server vendors maybe a "U" or so back, but I'll take that over manually installing device drivers and CIM packages.

You can get IBM's customized ESXi images from here:

Simply look for this:

Image:When installing ESXi be sure to get your server’s customized installer

Other vendors have similar images, a few minutes on Google will point them out to you.

Oh, you still need to get vCenter from the VMware site, but get your ESXi ISO elsewhere when you can.
Darren Duke   |   March 18 2014 09:24:20 AM   |    vmware    |   Comments [0]

I have many issues with SocialBizUG. Many, many, many, many. Did I say many? Too many to write about, especially as Twitter has removed any capability I ever had to write long form blog posts.....

Anyhow. One issue I have is outline below and that has consequences for the community at whole.....

Image:The issue with SocialBizUG - or you are missing REALLY important posts

See the post outlined in bold? That's a post from Kramer Reeves. Or as you may know him, "the new Ed Brill". But you wouldn't know that from that screen shot of PlanetLotus right? No. because every single post coming from the SocialBizUG site is practically anonymous. Now, I know this is Connections, and I know you know that I rate Connections just north of monkey poo, but the long lived BleedYellow site didn't have this issue (and it too was based of Connections) so it is something SocialBizUG are actually doing. On purpose.

Why is this an issue you ask? Well, over the past few weeks there have been several (many?) posts asking where we get the information that Ed used to disseminate. We apparently have a new outlet (Kramer literally has Ed's old job), but you never know it unless you clicked on every, single post ever created on SocialBizUG.

So, SocialBizUG, please, please, please fix this and list the author as the "poster". You may make me like you a smidge more. Just a smidge mind you. This is not an offer to get engaged or anything......
Darren Duke   |   February 4 2014 07:45:32 AM   |    domino  notes    |   Comments [5]

January 22 2014 Wednesday

My schedule at Connect

No sooner had I tweeted this, I suddenly got inspiration.....

Not my full schedule by any means.....
  1. Friday night party. Friday is the new Saturday.
  2. Stroll to the beach to watch beach footie on Saturday
  3. Stroll to mai-tai
  4. Stroll to BALD
  5. Get all dolled up for the Penumbra dinner, make IBMers uncomfortable at said event
  6. Naked live tweet the OGS from the comfort of my Dolphin hotel room. I think Andy Donaldson volunteered to photograph this a while back on Twitter....
  7. Attend the 7-10 or so sessions that pique my interest
  8. Attain buyers remorse for spending all this money for 7-10 sessions
  9. Go to the labs. Be told "we'll take that back"
  10. Go to Ask the PMs. Be told "we'll take that back"
  11. Go to Ask the Devs. Be told "we'll take that back"
  12. Spend 51 weeks wondering where "back" is
Darren Duke   |   January 22 2014 10:28:12 AM   |    connect  lotusphere    |   Comments [3]

I alluded to this a a few days ago in my ManageEngine Desktop Central (DC) post (not that you need DC for this, it just makes it easier if you have a application that can push out files to the OS....Group Policy can probably do it too) but you can simply customize a notes.ini file and have Notes fill-in all those complicated user-prompted fields like server, address, name....etc.

Anyway, the idea here is to in no way require a user to know anything except their Notes password when they run Notes for the first time on a PC. This information is available in a few places on the web, but it none of the sources I found like Mat Newman's post had everything in one place. Basically they should never see this or the subsequent screens after it:

Image:Use a custom notes.ini file and pre-populate user settings on Notes first startup

For this to work I'm assuming that:

1) Your %USERNAME% Windows environmental variable resolves to your Domino short name (or some other name that Domino can map). For example if your Domino name is "Samantha Fox", your Domino shortname is "sfox" and your logon user name for Windows is "sfox" (that is what %USERNAME% is). And yes, I did get to mention Samantha Fox in a blog post.....
2) You are using a shared user Notes installation.
3) You are using ID Vault on your Domino servers and your users can download said ID files.
4) You have someway to execute batch files that have elevated rights (ie, admin rights to the PC) on the PC.

OK, so to provide an exceptional user experience we need a four files. First we need a custom Notes.ini file. I actually have two, one for Notes 8 and another for 9 mainly due to IBM not being able to keep the same install path for longer than I wear a pair of underwear. The third file is a custom setup.txt file used by the notes.ini's. All these files are stored on a file share and will make their way down to the PC or laptop via a batch file, CopyLotusNotesFile.bat that is ran when any user logs on the PC  (the fourth file, and the one that I use in DC):

Image:Use a custom notes.ini file and pre-populate user settings on Notes first startup

All of these files reside on a file share on a server (in this case the share is \\server1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\). Here is the meat of each file:

NotesProgram=c:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Lotus\Notes\

NotesProgram=c:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Notes\


ECHO R9 file does not exist
IF EXIST %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Lotus\Notes\Data\notes.ini GOTO R8

echo R8.x
XCOPY \\server1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\notes8.ini %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Lotus\Notes\Data\notes.ini /Y /V

echo R9
XCOPY \\server1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\notes9.ini %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\IBM\Notes\Data\notes.ini /Y /V


OK, so now we have the files the way this works is pretty simple.

1) The CopyLotusNotesFile.bat runs on the local machine and copies the correct version of the notes.ini file to the correct local "all users" directory
2) When the user runs Notes for the first time, Notes copies this new notes.ini file to the users local Notes data folder.
3) The new notes.ini file hits the ConfigFile= line the then reads the assigned settings from the setup.txt file into the Notes executable, filling on the client configuration parameters on the fly.
4) If Notes can hit the server listed in the setup.txt file (using Domino.Name and Domino.Address), Notes then downloads the ID file for the %USERNAME% user and prompts the user for the Notes ID password.
5) The user enters the password and Notes is fully configured and working.

There are some issues here (and that's why I use DC) being needing admin rights to change the notes.ini files so if you don't have anything that can do this then you may some hacking to do with logon scripts.

Another point worth making is that this does not affect a user that already has a profile on a given PC and has already configured Notes. It is only ran when a user runs Notes for the first time (or when the user data folder is deleted).
Darren Duke   |   December 2 2013 12:10:32 PM   |    lotus notes  notes.ini    |   Comments [0]

I mentioned in my last blog post that ManageEngine's software was one of my winners for 2013. They make great, reasonably priced software. I use DesktopCentral and OpsUtils all the time.

Anyway, DesktopCentral has deployment templates for tons of software, but not Notes. They do have a "How to" for Notes on their website, but I thought I'd post mine here as (a) it does it a bit better and (b) you almost always want to chain a Fix Pack after the install.

I'm assuming you know your way around DesktopCentral (DC) here....

First Notes, in this case 8.5.3:

The command is

\\SERVER1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\lotus_notes853_win_en.exe -s -a /s /v"SETMULTIUSER=1 ALLUSERS=1 PRELOADNOTES=1 /qn"

Where \\SERVER1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\ is your UNC path to the Notes file. I'm also doing the pre-loader that was new in 8.5.2 too.

Image:Using ManageEngine’s DesktopCentral to deploy Lotus Notes

Then I add 8.5.3 Fix Pack x (in this case 5):

The command is

\\SERVER1\install\DesktopCentralCommonApps\lotus_notes853FP5_win.exe -s -a /s /v"/qn"

Image:Using ManageEngine’s DesktopCentral to deploy Lotus Notes

Once I have both my software deployment packages added, I then create a configuration to assign to either a PC, user or group, just make sure that the FP is after the Notes install:

Image:Using ManageEngine’s DesktopCentral to deploy Lotus Notes

Voila, There you have it. This makes installing Notes on new PC's (and all the other software you see in that list) very. very easy.

FWIW I also use DC to push out a custom notes.ini file so any new users logging on are only prompted for their Notes password, not all that other crap like server, protocol and their name. At some point I need to blog that......

Darren Duke   |   November 26 2013 03:42:40 PM   |    lotus notes  desktopcentral    |   Comments [4]