Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lotus Notes 8.5.2 Preloader Technote

Good Stuff !

Renaming a Domino Server running Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) in less than 10 minutes

Last week, one of our clients changed names and we had to rename all the Domino Environment.

Their naming convention for users and servers were:

  • Users -> John Doe/ABC@DOMAIN
  • Servers -> ABCxxxxx/ABC

Now, they are:

  • John Doe/ACME@ACME
  • ACMExxxxx/ACME

If you are a consultant I am pretty sure you have done this a few times, and even when this is not a crazy complicated task, it still requires a lot of planning specially if you have custom applications with Reader, Author fields, complex ACL and 3rd party applications.

BES is probably the most common 3rd Party App in a Domino environment. Also, I am sure at some point, even if you are not a Consultant you had to move BES to a new Server, Rename it or basically do something with it more than register users.

So, in case you are planning to rename a Domino server running BES this is what you can do and be back online and no-time.

 1.- Register the new Domino Server

 2.- Shut down Domino and all the BES Services (Windows Services)

 3.- If you are using the MS SQL Express version, download and install SQL Server Management Studio 1.-Express and connect to the DB server. If you use the paid MS SQL Version you can use the paid version of the SQL Management Studio. Also, you can use plain SQL Statemetns for this - but unless you are SQL Guru and hate Graphical Interface, I'd keep it simple.

I highly recommend installing the SQL Studio tool, It has helped me many many times when doing crazy stuff with BES servers. 

4.- Open the ServerConfig Table and enter the new Domino Server name (in canonical format).

5.- Open the Windows Registry (Yes, the Windows Registry !!) and do a search for any entry or key with the old Domino Server name (It must be Canonical format). 

Important: Backup your Windows Registry !!!

Important: They will all be found under Local_Machine, but make sure you are logged with the BES Service Account and also check under Current_User.

6.- Replace All Findings with the new name.


7.- Open the server's notes.ini and delete everything after the 4th line

Important: Backup your Notes.ini

8.- Restart Domino. The Wizard will let you to use the new I don't think I really have to explain this one.

9.- Using the Admin Client, rename the Server name in all Databases' ACL.

Important: Since there is no AdminP task that processes Server Rename (plus this is not a domino-controlled rename).

10.- Look at the Domino console and after confirming everything is running OK, type:

Load BES

Important: Remember to add the BES task to the server notes.ini - Since the notes.ini was re-created BES won't be there.

That's it , Done , Listo !!!

At this point your Domino and BES servers should running like nothing happened and your users will not notice the server rename.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome to

After 4+ years with my blog I think it was about time to have my own domain.

I will keep hosting it on Gloogle's Blogspot for a while since I still need to decide if I want to move to something else like WordPress or to a Domino Blog. Any recommendations ?

Please update your Links :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lotus Notes 8.5.2 Warm Start - Up and running in 5 seconds

After upgrading to Lotus Notes 8.5.2 and changing the following values in C:\Lotus\Notes\framework\rcp\deploy\


I get the following times:
  • 1 Second to see the Password Prompt
  • 5 Seconds to see my Workspace !!!
My machine is a Dell Latitude D820 running

  • Windows 7 32 Bits
  • 4 GB RAM Installed (3.25 usable).
  • HDD 80 GB 5400 RPM

Sorry about the resolution.. I don't have a fancy Mac or a nice recording tool. :)

Managed Replicas and Lotus Notes 8.5.2

Lotus Notes 8.5.2 was released earlier today and as the good techies we are, I am sure most of us are already running 8.5.2 on our machines (I has been running beta versions of 8.5.2 for last few months).

So, one of the new features being included in this new release is "Managed Replicas", which means the Notes client will take care of the replication process, schedule, creation, deletion (if needed or corrupt), fixup (question to IBM... what about compact) and more.

I personally think this a great feature that will make more organizations to use replicas, however, I haven't seen to much buzz about it. For many years, Local replicas has been available to the Lotus Notes client, and most of my customers are now using it. However, they didn't use them before because:

  • Didn't really understand the benefits
  • Afraid of extra work
  • Additional troubleshooting
  • PC Resources needed

IBM has published this Technote which explain Managed Replicas and its behavior, but, let's still make sure we explain why Managed or Standard replicas are good for you and why and how you should use/deploy them properly.

Configuring managed replicas using the Desktop Settings document

Another document I'd like to see in the near future is the difference between "Standard Replica" vs "Managed Replica". With Policies and Code (if required) you can fully customized how Standard Replicas are created and how the communicate with the servers without user intervention, so, with "Managed Replicas" you will be able to do the same but also allow the Notes client to control if a Managed Replica should be re-created or Fixed because of corruptions.

For example, my current client wanted to deploy Local Replicas to the entire organization (5,000 users) via Policies, but, a lot of these users are also Citrix users and they didn't want to have Local Replicas created when using Citrix. I was able to customize the whole process and now it works as the customer wants and they are happy with it. Based on this scenario, I have the following questions:

  • Will we be able to control how Managed Replicas works via LotusScript ?
  • Will Managed Replica replication be faster than Standard Replica replication (if not using selective replication)?
I will be able to answer my own questions in the next few days as I upgrade more and more servers, but in the meantime feel free to share your opinions.

Happy Upgrade !

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

IBM Whitepaper: The value of IT Certification

Great White Paper about IT Certifications and their importance in the Business World

Monday, July 26, 2010

We are hiring !!! .Net/Sharepoint and Java

We have immediate needs for the following positions:

Sharepoint / .Net – Needs to have 3+ years experience in ASP.Net/C#.  Should be strong in mid tier and back end with some experience in JavaScript/front end or the ability to learn front end.  Would be a huge plus if this person also knew EXTJS.  An ideal candidate would be considered a utility infielder, someone that can help out across all three tiers.    

Java – Needs to be a solid Java Developer (J2EE) with experience in middle tier and back end.  Should have some web experience as well.  

Please contact me at - lguirigay at if you are interested.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The OpenNTF IdeaJam has begun

Via Bruce Elgort.

Over the next two days OpenNTF is encouraging developers, end-users and other site patrons to contribute their ideas on how to improve the overall OpenNTF experience. There are already two pages of ideas and lots of comments. Please take a few minutes from your busy day to vote, comment and post your ideas. Also, if you haven't visited OpenNTF lately please poke around the site to see many of the new and revamped features. 

On behalf of OpenNTF I want to personally thank you for your participation.

Go and vote -

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Domino 8.5.1 64 Bits and ODBC - How to make it work

This is the scenario:

One of our customers was running Domino 7.0.4 on Windows 2003 (all 32 bits) - and decided to upgrade to Domino 8.5.1 but also migrate Domino to a better hardware. So we got a new machine and installed Windows 2008 64 Bits, Domino 8.5.1 FP3 IF1 64bits, migrated all the data and then switch servers. Everything was working great until we got an email from one user the the next day saying .. "Domino is not updating our AS400".

This customer was relying on ODBC to connect to AS400 (aka System i) and update thousands of records via LotusScript and ODBC.

We opened a PMR and found that Domino 8.5.1 64 Bits does not support ODBC.. but it will be supported on Domino 8.5.2. (like we could ask the customer to wait)

Going back to Domino 7.0.4 was one option (since old machine was still available), the other was to change to Domino 8.5.1 32 Bits - but wait - we had nice/powerful/new machine running 12 GB RAM - so I didn't want to loose that. Well, this is what I did - and what you need to do if facing the same issue:

  1. Install Domino 8.5.2 64bits (beta) on a different hardware (let's call it temp machine).
  2. On the temp machine, go to the "x:\Lotus\Domino\" and copy odbc.dcx files and/or odbc2.dcx (Lotus Connector files). 
  3. Optional - You can also copy ndctest.exe if you want to test the connectors.
  4. On the Domino 8.5.1, rename or backup the original DCX files
  5. Copy the DCX files from the Domino 8.5.2 (beta) machine
  6. Restart Domino 8.5.1

That's it !

At this point you should be ready to go, but in our customer's scenario, there was one last step to perform.

They installed the same iSeries Client Access they were installing on all machines in order to get the ODBC driver to the AS400. The issue here was related to the version of the ODBC drive itself. Usually (always??) you can get the version of iSeries Client Access from the IFS (\ProdData\Access\Windows\Install\Image). After installing the right version of the iSeries Client Access we got the right version of the ODBC Driver.

Everything is back to normal and customer is enjoying their new performance benefits and features.

Now... question to IBM.. can you guys just create a hotfix that replace the DCX files ?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We are hiring !!! EXTJS, .Net and Java

We have immediate needs for the following positions:

EXTJS – A strong front end developer with EXTJS experience.  Can also can consider strong JavaScript candidates with a background in JQuery though EXTJS is the preferred skill. 

.Net – Needs to have 3+ years experience in ASP.Net/C#.  Should be strong in mid tier and back end with some experience in JavaScript/front end or the ability to learn front end.  Would be a huge plus if this person also knew EXTJS.  An ideal candidate would be considered a utility infielder, someone that can help out across all three tiers.    

Java – Needs to be a solid Java Developer (J2EE) with experience in middle tier and back end.  Should have some web experience as well.  

Please contact me at - lguirigay at psclistens dot com if you are interested.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Nice new feature/interface for the Replicator/Sync page

While this is not guaranteed to make to Gold release, Lotus Notes 8.5.2 (still in beta) has this new progress bar which make local replication to look nicer.

I like it!

Follow me on twitter @lguiriga

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SMTP: Exchange vs Domino

While working at one of my clients (which is migrating to Exchange) I got asked for some help regarding their SMTP (Internet inbound and outbound servers).

They have 2 Domino servers handling all SMTP messaging for about 10K users. About 40% have been converted to Exchange. The idea was to have all messages coming from the Internet to these Domino Servers and if the messages go to an Exchange user it would deliver the message to Exchange, if the recipient is a Domino user it goes to Domino. Simple !

The 2 Domino servers are running each:

  • 2 GB RAM
  • Domino 7.0.4
  • Single CPU
  • Windows 2003 32Bits

The 2 Exchange server they implemented are running (each):

  • 32 GB RAM
  • Exchange 2007
  • 8 CPU (dual quad-core)
  • Windows 2008 64Bits

Here is when the fun starts. One day the Exchange Administrator calls me and says: "Hey Luis, what can we make Domino to deliver messages faster, it is falling behind and the queue is getting larger and larger, Domino is slow"

I asked him to enable SMTPClientDebug=1.

Surprise ! The receiving SMTP servers (Exchange) were not capable to handle all messages coming from Domino. They called Microsoft and two different support groups gave 2 different solutions: Add more power, add faster disks.

The solution ? Add 2 more Exchange servers.

Now... 4 Exchange servers, each one with 32 GB RAM, 8 CPU and 64bits OS are doing what 2 Domino servers, each with only 2 GB and 1 single CPU were capable to handle with no problems.

Do you think migrating from Domino to Exchange is still technically reasonable ?

Follow me on Twitter @lguiriga

Saturday, May 15, 2010

30th Birthday cake for a Lotus geek

2 months ago was my 30th birthday and my wife ordered this cake for me.

Here is the link to Magaly's Page on facebook where you can see other creations!/pages/Naperville-IL/Magaly-Moreira-Cake-Designer/315791061678 - she has great ideas when designing cakes, or everything you want.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Using Lotus Domino...Want to Migrate to Exchange/Sharepoint ? Wait and Look at XPages, Vulcan and let PSC help you

During the past couple of months I have been involved in conversations with 2 companies migrating from Domino to Exchange, I understand sometimes is a political or a business decision and sometimes it is because users complain Lotus Notes is slow or because the applications look ugly.

Also, you must think ahead and plan for the future - Yes, Exchange is nice but did you know (for example) Exchange is only supported on Windows servers, in order to be clustered you must have an OS cluster which means both machines must have same exact configuration, etc.. while Domino allows you to cluster at the application level - think about a 3 members cluster:

Member 1 - Domino 8.5.1 running on System i (AS400)
Member 2 - Domino 8.0.2 running on AIX
Member 3 - Domino 7.0.4 running on Windows

Try that Exchange !

Also, IBM is already working on Project Vulcan and., let me tell you, it looks amazing! - so while you are considering to migrate, think about this:

Health Check your Domino platform - I have been doing these projects for years and we have changed customer's opinions about Notes. Sometimes, when you upgrade, you are only putting the newest code on the server but not implementing the newest features, upgrade ODS, enable compression, etc. We can help you to identify all those issues/items that are preventing you from using the most out of your platform.

Lotus iNotes - If you don't want to use the Notes Client anymore that doesn't mean you have to migrate. Let's use iNotes - it is the web based version of your Mail. It comes in 3 flavors: Full, Lite and Ultralite. You can decide - as an end user - which one to use with just one click based on your machine or bandwidth performance. It supports almost everything that's supported on the full client but is web. No client installed, easier to support (less clients to upgrade/maintain).

Ugly/Old Notes Apps - let's XPage it !!! - we (PSC) can help you with this. Have you seen xPages ? It is the future of Notes Client and Web development. We have being working with xPages for a long time now and can guarantee you will surprised with what you can do. Another cool fact - when you develop your application using xPages it will looks just same on the client and on the web.

Looking at Sharepoint - let's XPage it !!! - again, PSC can help you. We have developed an interface that looks just like Sharepoint. If you are considering to migrate your Notes Apps to Sharepoint just because Sharepoint's interface is nice, let us XPage your Notes Applications and make it look like Sharepoint - your users won't know what's behind and they will amazed of how cool it is. Best of all - you won't have to spend hundreds of thousands in migrating everything - or trying to recreate the Notes Application model in Sharepoint. Remember Notes and Domino has features that cannot be reproduced by any of the products out there (Replication, Offline Web access, Security, Encryption, ACL, Messaging Integration, LDAP, etc ) all in one!

Project Vulcan will rock the world - Project Vulcan will be the next collaboration platform to be released by IBM in the next months or next year, it will use the Lotus Notes Client or a Web Browser (based on your preferences) I am not going to describe what it is all about but I am going to ask you to check the following link - it is a demo of what's coming:


Remember, if you are looking at Web Enabling your old Notes Apps, having Architecture/Administration/Performance issues just let us know. You can contact me at lguirigay at psclistens dot com

Follow me on Twitter @lguiriga