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Unread marks auditing plus Design Dumps…

Every Domino Admin worth their salt will have experienced  incidents with unread marks not working correctly and will have “fixed” these in variety of ways, mainly either marking all documents as read, or exchanging unread marks between replicas

There’s another type of unread marks issue, where someone wants to audit unread marks (i.e. find out who has read a document and when).  Well IBM can provide with a free auditing tool that does just that (amongst other useful Developer type functions).

From the about page of application:

“Welcome to the Toolbox Database


The Toolbox database (toolbox.nsf) is designed to help administrators or advanced users troubleshoot issues with Unread Marks in a Lotus® Notes® database.  It can also be used for troubleshooting replication issues and design template issues.  Currently there are six major features in the Toolbox database. These are as follows:

  • Dump design documents: This feature enables users to dump information about all design documents in the database. Toolbox provides information on these attributes: NoteID, UNID, Sequence Time, Sequence, and UpdatedBy.  The output is sorted by Class Name and UNID.  This feature enable users to quickly identify who updated design documents, when they where updated, and how many times the documents were updated.
  • Dump design documents (long format) : This feature is the same as “Dump design documents” but provides more detailed information about each design document.  Additional information includes the document Title, Creation Time, and Last Modification Time.
  • Dump the NoteID and UNID :  This feature dumps the NoteID, UNID, Create time and Last Modified time for a database, database view, or single document to a log file. This log enables the user to take a quick inventory of the documents in the database or view. Then, when unread marks or replication issues are suspected, the user can dump the NoteID and UNID log again and compare the two logs to identify which document was changed.
  • Dump unread activity logs (local db only) :  This feature dumps the user’s unread activity log for a database, database view, or a single document to a log file. This feature works only on a local database that is not encrypted.  Also, the database must be enabled for unread replication.
  • Dump unread mark list : This feature dumps the unread mark list for a database, database view, or a single document into a log file. This feature works for any accessible local or remote database. This feature works only on a database that is not encrypted.  Also, the database must be enabled for unread replication.
  • Toolbox Add-in Menu : This feature adds the following Toolbox menu items to the Actions menu:  “Display info on selected Document”, “Dump design documents”, “Dump design documents (long format)”. These menus are enabled whenever the user is in a view to execute the action.”

There isn’t an Internet link per se for for the tool, but if you ask IBM Support nicely for it in a PMR they will provide it for you and it is intuitive to use.  IBM should probably have a technote on this as I think people would use it if they knew about it and it was freely downloadable (IBM take note !).

Please let us know if you end up using the application as a result of this post!

Cormac McCarthy – Domino People Ltd.


Traveler 9/Apple issue – “mails from other people appear to come from me”

An issue was reported by multiple users on a customer site recently.   Since a Traveler 9.0.1 upgrade :- mails coming into user’s inbox that are from external Internet senders are showing up in the “who” column as being from the recipient’s name rather than the sender. This is only for some mails though, not all.

The first steps taken were checking the SMTP headers to see had the message been modified by the mail gateway (McAfee).  Everything looked normal.  Checked the Domino logs, nothing unusual there.

Eventually we figured out, the common linkage was that the messages effected were last modified by the Traveler server.  The issue affected Traveler 9 users (who are all Apple iPhone/iPad users on this site) setting follow up flags from their devices.  Once a follow up flag is set on an external sender mail, then the “Who” column displays the person who received the mail rather than the sender in the Notes client (It remains fine on the iPhone/iPad however).

After opening a PMR with IBM, they  didn’t offer an immediate solution but started using the term “principal” field and have escalated to development (at the time of this writing we are still waiting to hear back) we managed to search online ourselves and find this –

I have to say the title “SET AS FOLLOW UP MAY SET PRINCIPAL TO RECIPIENT” isn’t intatuively understood, but when we read :-

“If user flags a mail for follow up on a Mobile device and the message does not have the standard Principal field, Notes Traveler will mistakenly set the user as principal instead of the sender. This problem is only seen with the 9.0.1 Gold release.”

We understood the issue was exactly the same as ours, though it wasn’t exactly easy to find.  The issue is fixed in 9.0.1 IFI 1.  We’ve installed 9.0.1 IFI2 and the issue was resolved. Implementing the fix does not change back mails that were previously “changed” by the Traveler server.

Quite a simple fix, but even IBM’s own support couldn’t tell us the documented fix!

Another example of the good practice of ensuring that your Traveler server has the latest fix packs and interim fixes applied.

Hope this helps someone else out!  Let us know if it does.

Cormac McCarthy – Domino People Ltd

Compare Domino Server/Configuration Documents

This is a really good tip for checking what changes have been made to Server and Configuration documents over the lifetime of a server and can be really useful when a  number of changes have been made in a short period of time especially when things are not working correctly!

If you open up the IBM_TECHNICAL_SUPPORT folder on the Domino server (within the data folder), look files with a DXL extension.

EVERY change made to a Server and Configuration document for that server will be stored here in a DXL file in the format:-

serverdoc_servername_date@time.dxl (server documents)

or configspecific_servername_date@time.dxl  (server specific configuration documents)

or configall_servername_date@time.dxl  (default configuration documents)

(where “servername” is the name of the server, “date” is the date a change was made, and “time” is the time the change was made at).
Now there are many sophisticated LotusScript ways to convert a DXL file into a readable format in a Notes database but there is an out of box solution that doesn’t involve any interaction with developers (and it’s free!).

You’ll need to download the Lotus Notes Diagnostic (LND) Utility (also very handy for troubleshooting crashes) .
Download and install it choosing your local Notes program folder and launch.  Accept the ECL alerts and an LND Notes database will open. To open a server or config doc DXL file click on the LND header in the database:-

LND File Open

When prompted for a file, browse to the appropriate DXL file  It will reformat into a new Server/Configuration document within the LND application. You’ll be able to compare this and every DXL file to each other or your current server/config document and find out what changes have been made. The compare process is a bit laborious but it could be a lifesaver !

Please let us know if you find this tip helpful!