Lotus Domino Overview

Collaboration & Messaging
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Lotus Domino is server software that runs on a variety of platforms, including iSeries and its predecessor, AS/400. It includes a family of integrated messaging, collaboration, and Web application software that provides a scalable and reliable infrastructure that serves as a basis for communication, decision-making, and document management.

Lotus Notes is the brand name for the Lotus client family. Originally, there was only one client alternative, and both the client and server products were called Lotus Notes. As part of Lotus Notes Release 4.5, Domino became an optional capability that allowed Notes applications to be extended to anyone with a Web browser. Shortly thereafter, the server was rebranded Lotus Domino to highlight the significant Web application server functionality and client choice. Lotus Domino became available on the iSeries platform with Domino Release 4.6.

Lotus Domino includes electronic mail, enterprise calendaring, a Web application server, a document object store, and an application development environment. It supports a wide variety of existing Internet standards, and the infrastructure is extensible to support emerging technologies such as sametime collaboration, unified messaging, pervasive computing, and knowledge management.

With Lotus Domino, you can start with messaging and a Web presence and easily add custom e-business applications. You can store, manage, and distribute information because Lotus Domino is the central access point for finding and sharing the information that you need, whether it is located in email, relational databases, host-based systems, or desktop applications--or even on the Internet. Various client options offer different levels of function and access that allow you to communicate with colleagues, collaborate in teams, and coordinate strategic business processes.

Domino and Notes--The Components

The following lists show the various components of the Lotus Domino server and Lotus Notes client family.

Lotus Domino Server Options

Lotus Domino Mail Server--Lotus Domino Mail Server combines full support for the latest Internet mail standards with Domino's messaging and calendaring capabilities. It provides an all-in-one manageable and reliable package. This server license is available for servers with four or fewer processors.

Lotus Domino Application Server--Lotus Domino Application Server includes all functions of the mail server plus support for custom intranet and Internet applications in a single Domino partition. These custom applications can be generated from standard database templates, chosen from a portfolio of thousands of ISV applications, or written using Domino Designer. The Application Server license is available for servers with four or fewer processors.

Lotus Domino Enterprise Server--Lotus Domino Enterprise Server includes all functions of the Domino Mail and Application servers, plus usage tracking/analysis and partitioning and clustering technology for the high availability and reliability required by mission-critical applications. This server license applies to servers with up to eight processors.

Lotus Domino Advanced Enterprise Server-- Lotus Domino Advanced Enterprise Server includes all the functions of the Domino Enterprise Server licensed to high-end servers with more than eight processors.

Lotus Notes Client Options

Lotus Notes for Messaging-- Lotus Notes for Messaging is a license-only Lotus Notes client option with capability limited to messaging, calendar, and discussions. Degree of function available to the user is controlled by the administrator via a parameter in the Domino Directory.

Lotus Notes for Collaboration--Lotus Notes for Collaboration is a full-function integrated client for messaging, calendar, and discussions, plus the capability to use custom Domino applications.

Lotus iNotes--Lotus iNotes extends Domino messaging and collaboration, personal information management (PIM), and offline services to current Web browsers and Microsoft Outlook clients. The iNotes licensing model also includes access to Domino mail from standards-based mail clients.

Domino Designer--Domino Designer is the interactive, graphical development environment for creation of powerful intranet and Internet applications.

Domino Administrator--Domino Administrator is the graphical interface for administration and management of the Domino environment, including registration of users and servers.

The table below indicates Domino-OS/400 release compatibility.


V4R5*
V5R1
V5R2
Domino 5.0
X
Not supported
Not supported
Domino 5.0.1
X
Not supported
Not supported
Domino 5.0.2
X
Not supported
Not supported
Domino 5.0.3
X
Not supported
Not supported
Domino 5.0.4
X
Not supported
Not supported
Domino 5.0.5
X
(5.0.5.02)
Not supported
Domino 5.0.6
X
(5.0.6a.01)
Not supported
Domino 5.0.7
X
X
Not supported
Domino 5.0.8
X
X
**
Domino 5.0.9
X
X
X
Domino 5.0.9a
X
X
X
Domino 5.0.10
X
X
X
Domino 5.0.11
X
X
X
Domino 6
Not supported
X
X
Domino 6.0.1
Not supported
X
X


* OS/400 V4R5 is no longer a supported release effective December 31, 2002.
**V5R2 supports Domino 5.0.8; however, the minimum level for the new i890 hardware is V5R2 and Domino 5.0.9.

Lotus Domino Features

The following features of the Lotus Domino product highlight its strengths.

Messaging, Mail, Calendar, and Scheduling

Messaging is the foundation for Domino's full set of integrated services and tools. Mail, calendar, and scheduling offer flexible, customizable calendaring integrated with mail in a universal inbox on all supported client platforms. It supports cross-node, real-time scheduling and also offers offline free-time search and scheduling as well as interoperability with other systems. Its functionality includes invitation management (accept, decline, delegate, reschedule), integration with contact management, support for scheduling rooms and resources, and the capability to convert memos to calendar entries or tasks.

Platform-Independence

Domino runs on a wide range of hardware and operating system platforms, both IBM and non-IBM. Domino applications are platform-independent. These applications can be accessed by Notes clients running various operating system platforms as well as Web browsers. A single programming model is used for Notes and Web applications. Application design changes are immediately available and replicate with the data to servers and clients.

Migration and Coexistence

Domino offers customer-controlled migration and coexistence of mail systems, operating environments, and infrastructure. It also supports many Internet standards and protocols, including HTTP, POP3, IMAP4, SMTP/MIME, NNTP, SSL, X.509, LDAP, CORBA, and IIOP.

Scalability

Scalability is provided by Domino's replication, directory, and security services. Replication allows multiple sites, teams, and users to quickly and easily share information. Users never need to connect to a single central server that stores the only copy of a database; instead, they can access a replica of that database on one or more local servers or on their client workstation. In addition, server-to-client replication provides disconnected support to mobile users. Lotus Domino supports selective and field-level replication to minimize network traffic and required bandwidth. Replication is synchronous and compares the contents of the database on each system within the customer's Domino/Notes security implementation.

Hierarchical Authentication

Domino scales to large organizations by ensuring uniqueness of names and enabling distributed administration. It also supports inter-enterprise authentication via cross-certification between organizations. Access control (security) extends down to the document level (even without encryption) and down to the field level, utilizing encrypted fields. Domino includes delegation support and access control based on roles as an alternative to lists of specific user or group names.

Administration

Domino administration can be performed from a connected workstation running Domino Administrator, from a browser, or from remote server console. Using these tools, an administrator can access event monitors, alarms, and statistics reports. Some administration tasks can be performed offline. Also available is an automated process to support administrative requests (such as name changes and access revocation of terminated users). This process updates access control lists, directory entries, groups, and mail and calendar free-time information.

What Are the Advantages of Having Domino on iSeries?

Domino for iSeries combines the iSeries value proposition of integration, ease of use, reliability, and scalability with a messaging and collaboration offering. Here are six advantages to having Domino on iSeries.

Reliability

Domino supports multiple directories. Lotus Domino clustering and partitioning are unique in the marketplace for scalability and availability, with capabilities that include automatic server failover, dynamic load balancing, and server partitioning.

Availability

iSeries' self-diagnostics, remote administration, and debugging capability promote maximum availability. OS/400 Integrated File System (IFS) architecture allows for centralized backup and recovery for applications and data, including Domino. With the Domino Enterprise Server, availability is further enhanced by the capability to run multiple partitioned servers on one physical system and clustering to provide server failover support and dynamic load balancing. Domino for iSeries has an automatic restart capability for any Domino partition running on the system.

Scalability

The iSeries servers allow for growth of more than 30 times for a Domino R5 mail and calendar workload with 70% CPU utilization. With one administrator and one backup to perform, administration costs are minimized as the user capacity is maximized.

Server Consolidation

With Domino on the iSeries platform, you can consolidate multiple physical Domino servers into one box. The fewer the number of servers, the lower the complexity and cost of administration and management for a messaging and collaboration solution as well as the operating system and procedures that support it. Furthermore, with iSeries architecture, Domino can take advantage of all the processors in an SMP machine. Domino servers are all on the same system, so administration costs are lower.

Integration

Domino for iSeries is integrated with many built-in OS/400 services, including security, backup and recovery, directory, systems management, iSeries Navigator, Java Virtual Machine (JVM), mail server framework, and DB2 Universal Database (UDB) for iSeries. Furthermore, iSeries is the only server that allows deployment of Linux, Java, Unix, Windows 2000, and Domino-based applications on a single server. Domino for iSeries applications can take advantage of direct real-time access to the DB2 UDB for iSeries database, with or without programming. Users can imbed the results of a DB2 UDB for iSeries query into a Notes document without the need for programming.

Low Total Cost of Ownership

The primary benefits of installing Domino for iSeries include data integration and centralized management. iSeries with Domino offers customers a single hardware platform to manage both their line-of-business applications and their collaborative applications.

Domino Application Development Details

For Lotus Domino implementation work, Lotus Domino Designer is used as the development tool. Lotus Domino designer is a Lotus Notes client application used to quickly create and modify a Lotus Domino application. It provides the application building blocks for everything needed in a database, including forms, views, and agents. Forms are used to create new documents in a database and to display current documents. Views provide a flexible and intuitive way for documents to be organized. Users can easily see lists of documents, sort the lists in different ways, open documents for reading or editing, and create new documents.

Notes Database

A Notes database is a collection of documents and their forms, views, and folders, stored under one name. Notes databases can be part of a Web site or part of a Notes application.

Forms

Forms control how you edit, display, and print documents. A form can contain fields, static text, graphics, and special objects. A database can have any number of forms (templates).

Fields

Within a form, fields are named areas containing single types of information. The field's data type determines the contents, such as text, rich text (including styled text, graphics, and multimedia), numbers, or time-date.

Documents

Documents are Lotus Notes database entries that users create by using a form on the Create menu. Documents consist of fields, text, numbers, graphics, and so on. Information may be entered by a user, automatically calculated by formulas, imported from other applications, or linked to another application and dynamically updated.

Views

Views are lists of documents in a Notes database. Views can select, sort, or categorize documents. Views can also show information about the documents listed in them, such as author's name or date of creation. A view may show all documents in a database or only a selection of documents. You can split a view into three panes: the navigation pane, the view pane, and the preview pane.

A view pane contains one row for each category or single-line or multi-line document title. A view also contains one column for each type of information, such as the author's name, created date, and so on, displayed for that document.

If the view's design allows it, you can resize columns by dragging, or change the sorting in a column by clicking its title.

Agents

Domino agents are design elements added to a Lotus Domino database to automate tasks. An agent is a program that performs a series of automated tasks according to a set schedule or at the request of a user. It consists of three components: the trigger (when it acts), the search (what documents it acts on), and the action (what it does). It is also referred to as a macro. Agents are commonly used to update or create documents or to access data from the Lotus Domino database or other sources. Lotus Domino agents can be written in Java, LotusScript, or Formula Language. The creation of agents requires Lotus Domino Designer. When you create an agent, you specify when you want it to run, what language the code will be written in, and what documents it runs under. After you have written the code and compiled it, it is automatically scheduled to run at the time you previously specified. While you are writing code, you can make use of the built-in debugging capabilities of Lotus Domino Designer to help you debug your code.

Servlets

Lotus Domino provides support for servlet execution. Servlets are modules that are loaded dynamically and handle requests from a Web server. They run on the server side within the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and do not depend on browser compatibility. Servlets can access databases and perform programmatic functions. Domino servlets are Java-based programs that run under the Domino servlet manager (prior to Domino 6). These servlets are called by making requests to an HTTP server, commonly by a Web browser. The requests can also be initiated from an application. A response is typically sent back in the form of a Web page or an XML document.

e-Business Integration Using Domino

To expand Domino applications even further and to perform more B2B application work, IBM and Lotus have provided a number of enhancements to Domino and WebSphere to more tightly integrate the two products. This effort began with versions of Domino 5. With Domino 6, users are entitled to a restricted-license version of WebSphere Application Server Advanced Edition 4.0 to use with Domino 6. WebSphere is the strategic direction with regard to Domino and J2EE (JSPs, EJBs, and servlets).

Domino applications can share data between companies and other applications with the use of XML documents. This allows for easier B2B application information sharing. In addition, three areas of Domino and WebSphere integration are supported in Domino 6:

  • Single Signon (SSO)--With SSO, a user has to sign on only once when accessing applications that are shared between WebSphere and Domino.
  • WebSphere servlet access to Domino databases--WebSphere applications can access Domino databases using the Lotus-supplied Java classes. There are two approaches to accessing Domino objects from WebSphere: local or remote. It is recommended to use remote access since it offers simpler setup, a higher degree of portability, and more flexibility with security.
  • Domino HTTP Server to access WebSphere resources--The IBM HTTP Server (powered by Apache) is supported. The important idea is the ability to easily set up and configure one HTTP server to manage both Domino and WebSphere requests.

Lotus Extension Products (Server Software)

The following details the Lotus Domino software extension products for the server:

Lotus Enterprise Integrator (LEI)

Lotus Enterprise Integrator (formerly NotesPump) is a server-based data distribution product that enables high performance, scalable exchange of data between Lotus Domino and a large number of host and relational applications, including IBM DB2, Oracle, Sybase, OLE-DB, Text, and ODBC data sources as well as ERP applications. LEI provides direct real-time access to DB2 UDB for iSeries data from Domino applications without requiring programming. The iSeries implementation adds unique capabilities to LEI, such as mapping OS/400 access rights to Domino access rights. Lotus is currently shipping two versions of LEI 3. LEI 3.2 provides support for Windows NT and Windows 2000. LEI 3.1a provides support for AIX, Solaris, AS/400, and S/390. With Lotus Domino 6, there is also the availability of LEI 6.

Lotus Workflow

Lotus Workflow, formerly known as Domino Workflow, is a standalone application development tool that works on top of Domino to provide the ability to develop, manage, and monitor business processes and help eliminate the downfalls of paper-based work.

Workflow is an enabling technology that eases the interaction of the right people with the right information; it is primarily used in applications requiring a review and approval cycle. An intuitive visual interface lets you define approval routing rules, participants and their roles, and relevant workflow data without the need for extensive programming. With Lotus Workflow, you can standardize the routes for document approval and the names of authorized signers. You can store them separately from the content for easy reuse in new applications.

Requirements for Lotus Workflow are Domino 5.0.3 or later and OS/400 V4R5 or higher. Workflow contains no iSeries-specific code, so you do not need a special version of this product for iSeries. The same version that runs on Windows is also supported for iSeries.

Lotus Sametime

Lotus Sametime is real-time collaboration software that provides online awareness, instant messaging, application sharing, and virtual meetings. Lotus Sametime allows your employees, customers, partners, and suppliers to easily interact with one another in real-time. Sametime 3.0 is currently available.

Lotus QuickPlace

Lotus QuickPlace is the Web-based solution for creating team workspaces for collaboration. With QuickPlace, nontechnical professionals can instantly create an electronic shared workspace to support a task, project, or initiative. With browser access to an intranet or the Internet, authorized team members can access the workspace to communicate, share knowledge and ideas, maintain a project calendar, organize team information, and more.

This Web-based team application is now available for iSeries. QuickPlace 2.0.8 runs with Domino 5.0.10. QuickPlace 3.0 runs with Domino 5.0.11.

Lotus LearningSpace Forum

LearningSpace Forum 3.6 is an e-learning solution that enables you to reach your organization with timely training programs, while providing a flexible framework that can handle a variety of Web-based content. Users have the flexibility to access the tool via a Web browser or through their Notes clients. LearningSpace Forum offers self-paced and collaborative learning experiences with powerful interactive methods that enable users to learn from their colleagues and instructors. Management tools enable course instructors to assess student performance and to build their learning programs. You do not need a special version of LearningSpace Forum for iSeries. The same version that runs on Windows has also been certified for iSeries. 

LearningSpace Forum requires Domino 5.0.8 or later and OS/400 V4R5 or higher.

Lotus Domino.Doc

Lotus Domino.Doc is an enterprisewide document management and knowledge management solution. Domino.Doc 3.1 adds enhancements to the Windows Explorer and Desktop Enabler clients, document-level security, and UTF-8 support for users based in different locales who need to work with documents in their native language. A new Web user interface allows users to easily browse through document hierarchies, jump to favorite documents or binders, view recently used items, and find where documents are in the review-and-approval life cycle. Windows Explorer integration lets users discover information and content across the network. Users can access, share, and manage items on their hard drive, on a shared network drive, or in Domino.Doc.

Domino.Doc requires Domino 5.0.5 or later and OS/400 V4R5 or higher.

IBM Integrated Domino Fax for iSeries

IBM Integrated Domino Fax for iSeries enables Lotus Notes users to send and receive faxes directly from their Notes client. Users simply use their current telephone system and Domino infrastructure, specifying the intended recipient in the "Fax To" field. Inbound faxes arrive in the recipient's inbox promptly and privately.

Domino Fax for iSeries supports more than just simple text. Users can fax Notes memos containing rich text and graphics. Users can also format and fax files attached to a Notes memo. With the Print-to-Fax driver (available for download at no charge), Notes users can send faxes directly from within a Microsoft Windows application, such as word processing or spreadsheet software.

With Domino Fax, the fax server can run on the same iSeries server that handles mail. Administrators have the option to use a standalone workstation to perform format conversions or choose a single-box solution by utilizing the iSeries Integrated xSeries Server (IXS). The Domino Fax solution for the iSeries uniquely offers native integration with the iSeries fax hardware and with Domino.

Domino Fax requires Domino 5.0.5.02 or later and OS/400 V4R5 or higher.

Lotus Extension Products (Client Software)

The following details the Lotus Domino software extension products for the PC client:

DB2 for AS/400 Notes Import Program

DB2 for AS/400 Notes Import Program is an add-in to the Lotus Notes client (known as Client Import Library) that allows you to run an SQL query and automatically import the results into a Notes rich-text field.

A PC file with extension QRY contains the query, which is made up of essentially three lines: two that define the connection to the iSeries, and one that is the query statement itself. The query statement can be as simple as SELECT * FROM libraryname.filename to select all fields (columns) and all records (rows) in this particular DB2/400 file (table), or it can include selection criteria. Once the QRY file has been created, the user simply places the cursor in a rich-text field, clicks on File-Import from the Notes client, chooses DB2 Query, and selects the desired QRY file for automatic invocation and import.

The database file to import can be virtually any iSeries physical file. Thus, it can be line-of-business application data, a physical file created by running a Query/400 query with the appropriate output option, or even the contents of a spool file copied to a database file using the Copy Spool File (CPYSPLF) command. It is important to note that use of the Client Import Library requires an ODBC connection from the client to the iSeries (such as the ODBC driver that ships with iSeries Access). Also, if the physical file was created with no data description specifications (as would probably be true in the case of a file to receive a spool file copy), it is important to set the "translate id" parameter of the ODBC driver setup to the value 65535.

Authors' Note: This article includes excerpts from various IBM Web sites. The authors of this article collected the information from these Web sites and organized it in an easy-to-follow format. For more details on Lotus Domino, refer to www.ibm.com.

Marilyn Dukart is an Advisory Software Engineer on the Business Solution Test team located at the Rochester, Minnesota, laboratory. She has over 15 years of experience in the software testing field. Her areas of expertise include Lotus Domino and WebSphere. Marilyn can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dan Boyum is a Software Engineer on the Business Solution Test team located at the Rochester, Minnesota, laboratory. He has 2.5 years of experience in the software testing field. His areas of expertise include Lotus Domino and Windows servers on iSeries. Dan can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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