Lotus Notes 8.5.2 -> FP1 released and ready for download


I have been a bit preoccupied with a troublesome BES installation for the last week and have not been looking much at the web and blogs – but today it looks like FP1 for Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is out and available. I am already downloading it and will apply it to all my many clients today.

Can’t wait until the FP1 for the server is out.

Blackberry Express for Domino – Finally here


I am not the first one to find this, I actually only noticed after going through my feeds and stumbling on it in Volker Weber’s blog . IT IS FINALLY HERE! We are now officially no longer the unwanted, redheaded stepchildren of RIM – we have our own BES Express server! Go here …

 

PS: with all this early stuff that VOWE knows, does he ever really work? The eternal questions never stop …. it’s all envy anyway! 🙂

Domino 8.5.1 Technote – Fixup can crash your server


I came across this technote yesterday and investigated it right away …

– well, I’ll admit it – I asked somebody else in IBM to clarify some items for me and am now plagiarizing that good deed on my blog – THANKS CAROL!!

First of all – this only applies to Domino 8.5.1 on Windows, and it makes no difference which FP you are running since it was not fixed in FP4 nor will a fix be included in FP5 either, it is fixed in 8.5.2 though – you guys are safe.

 

The Issue Explained:

The issue CAN be cause by running FIXUP with a combination of either [fixup -F -J] or [fixup -F -J -O]. It will not automatically happen, it has to run into a document in a dB that has ‘invalid items” .. what exactly constitues such “invalid items” is not 100% clear but I am treating it like a 50-50 chance for failure until I have more evidence/experience or a better explanation of what exactly is meant with “invalid items”.

Exception:

Since the explanation implies that the behavior only happens if you also include the [-J] switch, servers that are not not transaction logged will not be affected, even if they are on Windows. Also, if you are running Domino on any other platform this will not affect you – so my dear Linux buddies are all safe, as are you AIX, iSeries and mainframers as well.

 

What does this mean in terms of daily admin work?

Well, the [-J] is needed anytime you want to run fixup against transaction-logged databases and [-F] is a very commonly used switch as  well. [-O] basically tells fixup to also run against open databases and is the default bahavior if you specify a database name with the fixup command.So the command [load fixup mail/xxx.nsf -J -F] implicitly includes the [-O] switch behavior whether you add it to the command or not.

That leaves you with the option to run Fixup without the [-F] switch to avoid a  *possible* kiss of death.

 

Advice:

if you are running the fixup command as part of some regular, automated script (I usually advise against it) you need to review the commands to make sure yo do not inadvertently crash your server (possibly, it is not a guaranteed outcome).

Also, when running Fixup against databases during the day to fix database corruption of any kind, I would run it without the [-F] switch during the day and see if your problem is fixed. If that does not fix your database problem, you can either roll the dice or wait until after hours – which is what I will do until I have tried it out a few times and have a better feel whether this actually ever materializes or not.

Domino Crashes – capture data for later support calls and how to treat the notes.ini nice


I came across a technote (1447228 ) that was just updated – I actually have it in my personal knowledge dB where I keep allot of technotes that might be pertinent to the project I am working on at that time. The technote shows how to turn on debugging and the console log so that IBM support has some data to work with if you are dealing with a series of crashes.

I will not rehash the whole content of the technote but I want to point out one important topic: you do not have to restart the server for these settings to take effect – you can set them via the console.

Rule #1: never edit the notes.ini while the server is running.

I know it is technically possible (and easy to do) to use a text editing program to edit the notes.ini and more often than not it is not going to create trouble – however the Domino server relies heavily on this file and editing it without using the correct interface (= the server console) can cause the file to corrupt.

To us the notes.ini looks like a simple text file, for the Domino server it is a binary file that is expected to behave in a certain way. If the Domino server does not like the way the notes.ini just become corrupted then a whole lot of bodyly waste will hit the proverbial rotating blade and land on your lap.

The correct way to make ANY changes to the notes.ini WHILE THE DOMINO SERVER IS RUNNING is to use the [set config] command via the console. This rule is valid for all versions and OS releases of Domino. If the server is not running, you can use any text editor and make as many changes as you like, just keep the last line in the file an empty carriage return (= hit the enter key one) that is required.

Console Log and debugging information:

As the technote tells you, you need to turn the server console log on and enable debugging – AND you need to have NSD enabled via the server document.

If you are already dealing with outages, don’t bring the serve down once more – enable the settings via the server console:

start console log
set config DEBUG_THREADID=1

Incidentally, if you have an idea which part of the server is failing you can set additional debugging parameters for Domino via the server console as well.

Linux – Lotus and fine Wine


Wine 1.3.4 adds ARM architecture support – The H Open Source: News and Features.

some of you might have read my post regarding how to get the Lotus Notes Admin and Developer client to run “natively” in Linux: what means without having to run a virtual Windows cleint. I use WINE for that purpose and it looks like the guys from Wine finally tool the version 1.3.4 out of the BETA stage and into production . . .

Guess what I am updating on my machine tonight??

PS: next to running my admin and developer client I hope the new 1.3.4 will make Civilization V run better on my machine … I have an empire to build after all!

Hidden Gems in Domino 8.5.2: Overview of Improvements in DAOS Catalog


Another great find (this tech note just came out today) of some improvements that have found their way into DAOS in 8.5.2.

I am really liking DAOS now (I always have, it’s more an increase of  like-iness) . It is so much easier to sell a client on DAOS now as the feature has been around for a while and you can show and document the evolution of issues, their resolution and the current state of the product. Along with the DAOS estimator that kind of documentation is a powerful tool that can be used to overcome allot of rather irrational fears.

IBM – Overview of 8.5.2 Improvements in DAOS Catalog.

Many clients are – understandable – hesitant to do anything with attachments … it gets them all nervous. Once you can show them the advantages though it becomes easier – especially if you start talking of performance increases on the server and that even if they get nervous – DAOS is bound to each server individually and that makes them feel safer if some other server has the “full” (a misnomer, but effective) replica.

I like to introduce it on to servers that are used for archiving, back-up and redundancy. Back-up times are quicker, tapes are fewer, AV scans are MUCH quicker and the server (usually not the fasted one in the crowd) performs better. A great way to get a client comfortable and then have them implement it system wide.