Polling/Voting In Lotus Notes

I’ve been asked several times by customers, “Can I send a poll via email in Lotus Notes and have the recipients reply with their vote”. Well the answer is, not “out of the box”, but due to the flexibility and power of Notes, of course you can set this up in just a few minutes! This tip explains how to create a button in an email message which when pressed, prompts the reader to enter their vote, and automatically sends the response back to the address you define.


Sorry for the outage yesturday!

Lotus Celebrates 25 Years in Cambridge

Ego post… ­čÖé Software company celebrates 25 years I moved to Cambridge in 2001 from Toronto to work at Lotus, but the company has had roots here for 25 years.

Colour Your Text

One of the most effective ways to make text stand out is to use colours. This is easy to do using keyboard shortcuts.

Cool IBM Lotus Notes 8 Admin Features

One for the Admins… Lotus Advisor: Cool IBM Lotus Notes 8 Admin Features by Terrance A. Crow This article discusses new features for: a) locking out web users after some number of unsuccessful login attempts b) a new tool to move databases from one server to another, without having to tell users

Lotus Connections Screen Saver

Download the new Lotus Connections screen saver. Thanks Craig.

Webcast: Collaborative applications with Lotus Notes and Domino 8

For the developers…. Webcast: Collaborative applications with Lotus Notes and Domino 8 June 27, 2007 at 11:00 AM EDT The unique capabilities of Lotus Notes and Domino provide support for a variety of business solutions and new technology trends within a robust, scalable, security-rich platform.

Back In Boston

Well I made it back to Boston last night. I have to say, this might be the most exhausting work trip I have ever been on. Unfamiliar beds, time zone changes, being out of my eating and fitness routines, struggling with language issues, they all take their toll. I am not sure how Sales people do this all the time!


A lot has already been written and photographed about last week’s “independently run, Lotusphere like event” ILUG2007, but I wanted to take a moment a provide my own recap.

Even funnier than Mac vs. PC

Marvel versus DC comics parody commercials

Notes 8 Beta 3

Hi folks, sorry I’ve been so quiet with actual “tips” blogs, but I’ve been on the road with customer visits and user groups. I am currently in Dublin at the fantastic Irish Lotus User Group event. In case you missed the news on Ed’s Blog, Lotus Notes 8 Beta 3 is now available for download. You

The UrlFetcher LotusScript Library (Tuesday, May 22)

Last week we talked about getting URLs in LotusScript, and Jan-Piet Mens asked about a more cross-platform approach (actually, he also made the same request on his own blog a few months ago). So, I recycled some old code and wrote some new, and J-P helped me test and debug it. As a result, here is a database with some Java and LS2J code that allows you to easily make cross-platform GET and POST requests from Java or LotusScript:

The UrlFetcher Java library is pretty well commented, and should answer most of your questions about how everything works. The UrlFetcherLS library in LotusScript is just an LS2J wrapper around the Java stuff, and it’s not nearly as well documented, but just read the comments in the Java class and you’ll figure it out.

There are also a few sample agents that show how some of the functionality works. For example:

Option Public
Option Declare
Use "UrlFetcherLS"

Sub Initialize
	Dim fetcher As New UrlFetcher
	Print fetcher.getUrlAsString("http://www.nsftools.com")
End Sub

That’s not too bad, is it? You can also get HTTP headers, set headers, add POST parameters, make proxy settings, and a few other things. I even have an example of making an SSL/HTTPS request, but that’s Notes 7 only. Everything else should work in both Notes 6 and 7.

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Why can?t I click on that URL?

One of the things I dislike about Lotus Notes is that URLs (links to web sites) are not clickable when you are editing a document. Most of the time this is not too big of a deal, but one place it does bother me is when I open an “Appointment” entry on my calendar which contains a URL. (link to a web conference, shared document, web site, etc). The problem is that Appointments (not meetings sent my someone else) open in “edit mode”, so the links are not clickable. So a quick little tip to make those URLs clickable is to press CTRL+O which toggles the document back into “read mode”.

GMail Spellcheck (Correction: It’s Firefox) (Monday, May 21)

CORRECTION: Okay, I’m a bonehead. It’s actually Firefox 2.0 doing the spellchecking, not Gmail. I finally updated from Firefox 1.5 on the machine I usually check mail on. I thought about deleting this blog entry and pretending I never wrote it, but then I figured I’d just leave my tattered laundry out for everyone to see. What the heck.

This is cool. There’s inline spellcheck in Gmail Firefox — using the familiar red dotted underline for unknown words and right-click to get suggestions:

GMail Spellcheck Screenshot

Then again, maybe it’s been there for a while (UPDATE: yes, it has…) and I’ve never noticed (UPDATE: stupid, stupid, stupid…). It works in Gmail chat too.

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Lotus and the PGA Tour

“… the PGA TOUR implemented IBM├é┬« Lotus├é┬« Sametime├é┬« software for industry-leading unified communications and collaboration, as well as custom collaborative applications built on IBM Lotus Domino├é┬« and IBM Lotus Notes├é┬« software.”

Reorder lists

If you have a list (bulleted, numbered, etc) with several entries and you want to re-arrange the values, instead of cutting and pasting them into a new order, you can move them up or down the list. You can perform a similar action with cells (or rows) in a table.

Article on Web Services in Domino 8 (Wednesday, May 16)

There’s a new Domino Web Services article on developerWorks today: Engineering WS-I compliant Web Services for IBM Lotus Domino V8.

Even if you’re not specifically interested in trying to make your Domino Web Services fully WS-I compliant, there are some great tips and gotchas in there, including:

  • Web Services created on Notes/Domino 8.0 will not work on Domino 7 (however, the D7 Web Services work just fine on D8).
  • Using arrays as method parameters in D7 only works when using the RPC/Encoded format (all formats work properly in D8). They do show a very interesting workaround using imported WSDL, though.
  • Another workaround is to use a custom class as a parameter, with an array as a public member of the custom class (see below). However, in D8 a custom class that has an array as its only member is treated as an array in the WSDL, not as a proper complex data type (there has to be at least one other public member variable).
  • Custom SOAP Fault subclasses are not returned properly in D7 (although they are in D8).
  • Remember to set the server to “Run web agents concurrently” (I always forget that this isn’t default behavior).

Regarding arrays as parameters using custom classes/complex data types, here’s how I like to set that up:

Class PhoneNumbers
    Public phoneNumberArray() As String
    Public count As Integer
End Class

Class DirectoryAssistance
    Public Function reverseLookup (nums As PhoneNumbers) As NameList
    End Function
End Class

I mention this type of setup in one of my web services articles. The nice thing about this structure is that it’s easy for the client to determine whether or not an array that is a return value is empty (count=0) or not — you can decide for yourself if you want to enforce proper “count” values on the server side when accepting the class as a parameter.

Luckily, it also seems to have the fortunate side-effect of making the arrays work properly as method parameters for WSDL formats other than RPC/Encoded. I need to do some more testing to confirm, but I don’t remember having problems before, and the new “WS-I Compliant Web Services” article seems to say that it’s true.

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Daily chuckle

Here is one from the “If you can’t laugh at yourself” category. That said, please take a look at IBM Lotus ActiveInsight, it really is a great product! Source: http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004887870516.gif

How integrated are you?

One of the main topics in the IT industry today seems to be “integration”. The idea being that access to multiple sources of information in a single location makes it easier and quicker for people to make enformed decisions, find subject matter experts, etc. Later this year, Lotus Notes 8 will make it possible for users to experience a great deal of integration, but you don’t have to wait…

Native TNEF Decoding, Java Library Crashes (Monday, May 14)

Here are two [hopefully] unrelated interesting things I saw recently on the IBM Support site.

First, SPR #SBRN5PGPCN describes a fix for TNEF extraction on Domino. The really interesting thing is that it applies to Domino 7.0.2 and 6.5.6. So maybe native TNEF extraction is in the Domino 6.5.6 server too? That would be cool. I’m not sure if I saw that anywhere before or not.

Second, Technote #1202732 describes a scenario where Java JAR files that are attached to agents or script libraries can cause Out Of Memory errors. There’s an SPR associated with it, which would seem to indicate that it’s a problem that hasn’t been fixed yet. The solution is to detach the JAR file to the local file system and access it that way (either the JavaUserClasses INI setting or just plopping it in the JRE ext directory).

The wording of the technote (at the time I’m writing this — it may change) makes it a little unclear as to whether this affects code that run on servers, or just clients. It talks about a “Domino client” (?!?), and also mentions that if you access the library using JavaUserClasses then every time the JAR file changes “you must copy it to your local server” — and, um, I don’t think that a Notes client that has a JAR file listed in JavaUserClasses would look on a Domino server for a JAR file. But hey, maybe it does, and that’s one more thing I don’t know.

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