Distributing Lotus Notes
Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
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Posted: 2 May 2000
Version: ZENworks 2
Several readers have requested ideas for distributing Lotus Notes via ZENworks for Desktops. We posed the question to the Cool Solutions community on April 26, 2000, and were blown away by the inventive and ingenious ways you guys have approached this problem. As with everything else in this community, if you have additional ideas or comments, send them along. This just gets better and better.
For more information about Lotus Notes, check out their website.
- Wouter Verboom
- Michael Raugh
- Stan Sears
- John Sims
- Patrik Mattsson
- Vito Morolla
- Larry Lopez
- Mike Moore
- Lou Castaldo
- Jeremy Mlazovsky
- Michael Supinger
- Julian Greenwood
- Mike Galvin
- Simone Golik & James Briant
Check these out and see if you can lend a hand.
Deploying Lotus Notes Client v5.x. We use Lotus Notes Client together with ZfD 2.0. For the Desktops we have separated the Notes Program and the Notes Data directory. The Program is installed on the local PC. The Data directory is installed on a directory in the user directory x:\home\lotus\notes\data. This directory is mapped as ROOT to drive N.
For the laptops we have a environment variable set: "NotesDrive=C" .
In the loginscript I look if the variable exists. If not we make: "NotesDrive=N" .
In the Application Object I changed all the paths concerning \lotus\notes\data to %NotesDrive:\lotus\notes\data.
We still have to configure each station the first time. There is an additional product called InstallPump that is able to do the complete installation and configuration.
If you have any questions you may contact Wouter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I doubt you can fully automate Notes client deployment because much of the client's interface consists of files generated the first time the client is run and whose content is based on information in the user's Notes ID file. In my last job I did use ZEN 1.0 to deploy a base client install using snAppShot: I took a snap of a "clean" workstation, installed the client, and snapped again WITHOUT opening the client. The app object made from that snAppShot was then used to deploy the base code, but someone still had to provide the Notes ID file and finish the first-time setup on the client workstation -- not a very satisfying solution.
I had more success with upgrades. In general, the user-specific database and desktop files get upgraded automatically the first time the user runs the upgraded client code. That means you can make a snap of the code upgrade (again, take the second snap BEFORE opening Notes for the first time) and deploy that, allowing the user-specific files to be upgraded automatically on first load.
Given the increased versatility of today's ZfD it's probably possible to do all of the registry, INI and file copying operations for a full Notes install with an app object and appropriate macros, but there's still the issue of the individualized Journal, Personal Address Book, and other databases created at first run. Each file is unique for that user.
I think the ultimate answer is for the Notes user community to put pressure on Lotus/IBM to make the product more friendly to mass distribution efforts. As far as I know no automation tool can handle Notes effectively.
If you have any questions you may contact Michael at email@example.com.
We attempted to do the complete Notes install and setup using ZEN (NAL) and use a generic *.id file, then the techs would visit the users and switch the ID to that user. I should note that we elected to put the archive and log files on the server. This worked but the ID switch and archive setup was more trouble that it was worth. Back to the drawing board.
We elected to just deploy the program install, then have the techs complete the setup for each user. This actually saved us time (and headaches). Since Notes has files that, if deleted, prevent the user from getting into their mail, we use a ZEN process to create a hidden directory in the users home directory and backup these files there. It's just a simple batch file setup in the Win95/WinNt Users Packages that ZEN runs randomly everyday.
If you have any questions you may contact Stan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have just gone through the battle ourselves on how to make Lotus Notes deployable. We are using Lotus Notes 4.6. This solution did work for Lotus Notes 4.5 also. I have not tested with version 5.
We wanted a solution that would allow us to deploy Lotus Notes to a workstation without having to go through the hassle of setting up the user information every time we re-image, or upgrade a user. We also thought it would be nice to allow users to go to any workstation, login, and have their own Lotus Notes. Basically we used the script files in ZENworks to do it. We have a script that runs prior to running notes, and a script that runs after Notes has ended. Each user must be setup once, but after that is done, it never needs to happen again!
There were several major issues/situations to deal with:
- The user who has been setup in Lotus Notes, whose computer was re-imaged, and needs Lotus Notes installed on their computer. (We do not have Notes on our standard image, since only about 20% of our users use Lotus Notes.)
- The user who has never been setup.
- A user's personal information must be backed up.
- Users that log into several machines want their own Lotus Notes.
The first thing we did was a standard snAppShot of Lotus Notes. Nothing major here to worry about, except you need to make sure that the desktop.dsk was set "Copy if Does Not Exist." This was big for us, since we were implementing the change at the same time we were upgrading from 4.5 to 4.6. If the setting were "Copy if Newer" we ran the risk of overwriting their deskop with a generic desktop. Some of our users take their Lotus Notes desktops very personally. We made the rest of the files "Copy if Newer".
The first major issue with running the script files was that the termination script seemed to run immediately. We found out that was happening because when you execute c:\notes\notes.exe it loads another executable. So, the termination script would run immediately. To fix it we simple execute c:\notes\nlnotes.exe. Apparently, this is the executable that is actually running when the program is executed.
Then we added a script file in the "Run before launching" area. We made sure to add it with the # statement so that it would completely finish running prior to running the executable. For example "#Z:\notest.bat". Then we added the termination script and made it look like "@z:\notes2.bat".
The only part we had to figure out was which files needed to be copied so that we would not have any problems with Notes. We have had about 150-200 users using it for the last couple months, and have not had any problems.
Here is what our startup script looks like:
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\windows\notes.ini
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\desktop.dsk
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\favorite.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\names.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\perweb.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\journal.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id del c:\notes\data\log.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id md c:\notes
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id md c:\notes\data
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id copy g:\data\notes\desktop.dsk c:\notes\data\desktop.dsk
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id copy g:\data\notes\*.id c:\notes\data\*.id
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id copy g:\data\notes\*.nsf c:\notes\data\*.nsf
if exist g:\data\notes\*.id copy g:\data\notes\notes.ini c:\windows\notes.ini
(I am not a very good script writer, and I'm sure that it can be cleaned up a lot!) As you will notice, our users' home directory is on the G: drive. The application will automatically create the directory needed if it doesn't exist. The main purpose of this script...)
The termination script looks like:
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini md g:\data\notes
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\windows\notes.ini g:\data\notes\notes.ini
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\notes\data\desktop.dsk g:\data\notes\desktop.dsk
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\notes\data\*.id g:\data\notes\*.id
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\notes\data\favorite.nsf g:\data\notes\favorite.nsf
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\notes\data\names.nsf g:\data\notes\names.nsf
if exist c:\windows\notes.ini copy c:\notes\data%5
If you have any questions, you may contact John at JJSIMS@ghnw.ghc.org
You asked if anyone used ZEN for distributing Notes. Yes, we distribute the Notes client (R5) with ZEN.
Divide the application into two objects. One for the Program part and one for the Notes Data part. It works fine with a minor changed snAppShot.
We configure our Notes clients to have the program directory on the local drive and the Data directory in the user's home directory. The notes.ini file is also stored in the Data directory.
The Data directory has to be "tightened up" because it is too large (70 Mb +). Today our Data directory is about 15 Mb per user.
The Program application object is distributing forced run when the user logs in. That means every PC gets the client.
The Data part runs when the user doubleclick the Notes shortcut on the desktop. It checks if the user's home directory contains the data files. If not, they are copied.
Then a bat-file runs. It checks the Data directory for a dummy file. If it is not present (the first time a user runs Notes) it will copy the ID-file from a network drive and place it into the data diectory.
Then the Notes client starts up. As you know, you will have to configure it via a wizard. We have done even this automatically.
When the user logs in we set two DOS variables: notesloginname and mailserver. The notesloginname is the same as %LOGIN_NAME and the mailserver depends on what user group you are a member of.
These variables are used when the client needs to be configured. We use a utility from Microsoft called ScriptIt . The ScriptIt utility answers the questions in the wizard and places their dummy file into the Data directory when done.
That's it! It works very nicely in our environment. We have today about 4,000 computers configured this way. And a couple of thousand to go.
If you have any questions you may contact Patrik at email@example.com.
We have made deploying the Lotus Notes client a two-step process. First we create a snAppShot of the initial install of the client. We then push the install out to the workstations. The initial client install is now on the workstation. Next, we go to the client and configure the client with the proper settings and user ID file.
This is still a time-consuming task, but by pushing the initial install out to the clients first the configuration process only takes a couple of minutes.
We are finishing a Lotus Notes migration from 4.6 to 5.01a. for about 700 users
We created one NAL app to move the NAMES.NSF, DESKTOP.DSK and any archive files to a safe location.
The second NAL app uninstalls 4.6 , cleans out the registry, and then installs 5.01a. By first configuring the new installation exactly as we wanted and then edited the NOTES.INI file, we were able to make a preconfigured generic installation.
The third and final NAL app renames the NAMES.NSF to OLDNAMES.NSF,, DESKTOP.DSK to DESKTOP5.DSK.
From there we use a simple Notes agent to import the person's old address book information and populate a few other key fields in the Location and Connection documents.
Manually it would take about 1 hr per workstation. With the NAL app we averaged 15 minutes per install.
We probably could have made it more elegant, but didn't have a lot of time.
If you have any questions you may contact Larry at Laurence_Lopez@ingersoll-rand.com
I have used ZENworks to deploy Lotus Notes in the past. I used a two-step approach to do this:
1: Create an application to install the Lotus Notes Client.
I performed all but the final user configuration for this step. This way anyone on our network who needs Notes gets the same basic client config. (Approved by our Notes Administator.)
2: E-mail individual config files.
We do not use Notes for mail in our environment. (I am unsure of the implications in this case.) Our Lotus Notes Administrator uses a utility to create the individual user config files. Compress these into a self-extracting .exe file and send them to the user as an e-mail attachment (GroupWise in our case); from there it is just a double-click by the user to complete the configuration.
Voila! Lotus Notes is installed.
If you have any questions you may contact Mike at MOOREM@dominos.com
The new Notes R5 is very particular about current user's settings when upgrading from a current version of Notes. So the snAppShot method is really not feasible. The full setup should be done on each user's machine. To do this we created a Winbatch EXE that executes the Notes setup program from the user's local ZEN server. Using Winbatch's WinWaitExist and SendKeyTo functions we're able to walk through all of the default screens right in front of the user's eyes without them having to press a single key except for initiating the installation from NalDesk.
Here it is. NOTESINS is a WinBatch program that will upgrade a Notes 4.x installation to a Notes 5.x installation given a path to the setup files and an INI file with several options.
One of the cool features of this program is that if you have an SMTP server, you can use it to e-mail someone you designate with some status messages. One of the messages it can send is that the user already has R5 installed and no action was taken (if the ZEN option is used as described below) or if the user does not have enough disk space available for the installation on the install drive (if the FreeMegsNeeded option is used as described later).
Another cool feature is for NT machines. If you have a locked down C: drive on your NT machines and you install Notes in C:\lotus\notes (the default installation for Notes), the C:\Lotus\Notes\Data directory needs to be opened up for write access for normal users, since the Notes.INI is also located there. This program can see that the machine is running NT and will open up the Notes DATA directory to give members of the "Users" group CHANGE permissions.
Of course in order for this to work the installation has to be done by an Admin user or in ZEN 2 by using the NALNTSERVICE capabilities. In our environment we still use ZEN 1 so what we do is place a special Admin account on all our NT machines when they go out and we run any NT installation program thru another Winbatch program that assumes the rights of the special account before executing any programs. With ZEN 2 you don't need to worry about this since it can execute any program using the SYSTEM account thru the NALNTSERVICE program.
Back to NOTESINS.EXE.
The program takes two parameters as in:
%TARGET_PATH%\notesins.exe "%SETUP_PATH%" ZEN
The first parameter tells the program the path to the SETUP.EXE program for Notes in UNC format (do NOT specify the setup.exe file itself). The second parameter is something we needed here internally but you might find it useful as well. This parameter takes one of two values. If "ZEN" is used here, it tells the program that the install is being run through ZEN so it should check to see if Notes 5 has already been installed. If it has been installed already by one of our HelpDesk people, we don't want the user to have to go through the setup again, so the program just exits with no messages to the user. But if you have the "MailActive" flag set to one in the notesins.ini file, it will send a message to the "Recipient" defined in that same ini file. If no previous version is found, this will give the user a message saying that they cannot upgrade to Notes 5 because they never had a Notes 4.x to begin with (this will also happen if no second parameter is used).
If the second parameter is "CD" then it tells the program that the install is coming from a technician using a CD so it probably needs a full install with all the default Notes options. So the program does not check for a previous version but just goes through a new installation using all the Notes default selections.
The NotesIns.INI file gives a few more options to use with the program. A sample INI file is included in the ZIP file. Below are the options that can be used.
In the [Options] section you can specify a minumum amount of space needed for the installation. We have found that for a full install the user usually needs around 80 megs. You can maybe experiment with the number to possibly bring it down a bit. If the "FreeMegsNeeded" option is set to 0, the program will not check for any disk space and just do the install. If there is a number, the program will look for that amount free on the installation drive before starting the installation. If the e-mail option is activated then the recipient will get a message saying that the user does not have enough space.
The "ShortCutOnDeskTop" tells the program to place a shortcut on the user's desktop for Lotus Notes. If 0, then no shortcut is created on the desktop.
The "MailActive" flag tells the program that there is a "[Mail]" section and that e-mail should be used for the "Low Disk Space" message and for the "Notes already Installed" message. We've also implemented a way to send e-mail whenever a ZEN app is installed but that's another story.
The "[Mail]" section gives all the information necessary for the Mail feature to its thing. The "SMTPServer" is a DNS name for your SMTP server. The "Sender" is the person (or APP) that is sending the message. In Notes this can be anything it does not have to even exist in any NAB. The "Recipient" of course is where you want to send the message. We send all our messages to a ZEN Mail-In database in Notes and from there we have an agent that forwards selective messages to the people responsible for the application.
Also included in the ZIP file is the AXT file needed to create the application object in NDS. Just make sure you modify the Macros for the SOURCE_PATH and SETUP_PATH to point to your server and directory locations.
The program itself is a bit large (over 1 mb) for a WinBatch utility, but that's because of the NT security capabilities and the e-mail features. Without those features the file would probably be half the size. So for dial-up users this would not be feasible. What we do is place all the Notes install files on CD together with a slightly different version of this program (to allow for disconnected users and more messages) and create an autorun inf file that launches the program (as if ZEN was running it) from the CD upon insertion into the drive. We then send out the CD to all users that we know have slow dial-up connections only.
So there it is. Notes 5.x upgrade capability through ZEN. No user intervention, complete with e-mail notification. I hope this helps some of the ZEN people out there. I've gotten so much out of the Cool Solutions site that I thought it was time to give something back. We've implemented this without any problems so far on several dozen machines (NT and Win9x), but I've had to modify it a bit to make it more general for public use so if you have any problems with it please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Download Lou's files.
I noticed a lot of people complaining that the Notes installs can only be automated to a certain point. It can be made a lot easier than some may think. You can make a ZEN app of the first phase of the client install.
The second phase is where you run the client for the first time and enter the username, etc.
There is a wonderful freeware utility called AutoIt that sends your predefined keystrokes to the GUI, so you can automate installs.
I wrote a simple script file that asks for the user's name, password, and server and then it did the rest on its own.
AutoIt can be found at http://www.hiddensoft.com/AutoIt/
I am including the script. The AutoIt tool can also make an .exe of the script. I am including both. Download the zip file.
If you have any questions you may contact Jeremy at email@example.com
Our problem deploying Lotus Notes involves a number of unique installation scenarios:
- SOHO Internet users,
- Corporate LAN/WAN users where a NetWare server resides,
- Corporate LAN/WAN users where a NetWare server does NOT reside.
The challenge in all cases was to deploy the Notes R5 Client in an unattended fashion. Since the Notes Client does not support an unattended installation, a third-party solution is needed along with some other tricks.
- Unattended Notes Client Install,
- No user setup screens,
- Roaming Notes ID file(NetWare Server environments),
- Secured access to central storage of ID files,
- Installation for SOHO users,
- Usable with any LAN/WAN/ISP connection,
- Installable under Win9x, WinNT, Win2000.
For the SOHO users, we not only had to install Notes, but we also had to install a 3270 Host On Demand capability using the users' default browser. It also had to be installable under all versions of Windows 95, 98, NT 4, and 2000 using a common installation for any Java browser. The final solution uses a custom made CD, NetWare 5.1, BorderManager 3.5 VPN Services, ZENworks 2.0 Starter Pack(1.1 minimum), and a Notes Pass-Thru server.
For Lotus Notes, a CD was built containing the following:
- A downsized version of the NetWare 5.1 sys:public directory containing only ZENworks Launcher files
- A directory containing a snAppShot of a Lotus Notes R5 Installation + default Notes .INI files, Novell Client 3.2x for Win9x, Novell Client 4.7x for WinNT/2000, Latest VPN Client.
There are several key things that must be done in order to automate Notes.
- First is pre-populating the NAMES.NSF file for Notes that contains the users, locations, and connection documents that Notes requires to establish a connection.
- Next is to "trick" the Notes Client into thinking it has been run before so the user does not need to enter data. This is where the magic of ZENworks plays. INI files from a running Notes installation are copied to the Notes snAppShot directory. Here the NOTES.INI file is modified to remove user specific information which is copied into the users' Notes Data directory.
NetWare Server Environment
For users in a NetWare server environment, the H: drive defines their home directory. We store three files for Notes for each user in H:\NOTES\DATA:
- <User>.id, where <user> is the login name of the user in RACF form.
Our currently installed ZENworks 1.1a Starter Pack handles the distribution as follows from a modified snAppShot of the 5.02c Client:
- Application files are copied into c:\lotus\notes.
- INI files are copied to c:\lotus\notes\data (except NOTES.INI which is copied to h:\notes\data).
- The pre-populated NAMES.NSF file is copied to h:\notes\data.
- The user ID file is copied from a central directory v:\notesr5\id to h:\notes\data\<user>.id.
- The ZEN launcher then modifies the NOTES.INI with the following:
Directory = %TARGET_PATH%\data
KitType = 1
InstallType = 6
Ports = TCPIPB DisabledPorts = VINES,COM3,COM4,COM5,SPX,LAN0,COM1,COM2
WinNTIconPath = %TARGET_PATH%\Data\W32B KeyFilename = H:\Notes\Data\%CN%.id
NAMES = H:\NOTES\DATA\NAMES.NSF
Location = %CN%,
- The Notes and Notes Minder shortcuts are modified to have a startup path in h:\notes\data.
- The user ID files are created by the Lotus Admin group and stored in v:\notesr5\id. They are copied by the Launcher based on their login name.
- A special pre-launch script is run that provides access to v:\notesr5\id so the file can be copied.
- Another post-launch script removes access.
The v: drive is accessible by all users and the directory resides on a single server located in each branch location, including our home office. Since we cannot run IPX on our WAN segments due to other critical traffic, most WAN locations have their own NetWare server with the same H: and V: drive arrangements to keep consistency.
When users start Notes for the first time, the other Notes files, such as DESKTOP5.DSK, are created automatically without user intervention. Users in each location can roam.
The snAppShot of the Notes Client was taken from a base NT workstation. When properly cleaned up, it will launch to any Win9x or Win2000 PC without alteration. The only glitch is that the Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel may not work on Win9x machines.
WAN locations without NetWare Servers.
Since we are still a NetWare 4.11/4.2 shop, we run IPX. Since we are not allowed to run IPX on WAN segments, a WAN connected branch becomes a problem. Fortunately, we are a Novell MLA customer and thus we have NetWare 5.1.
For serverless branches, a special NetWare 5.1 server was created. Notes launches the same way a NetWare server branch would except the NetWare 5.1 server resides in our Corporate office. A special unattended Novell Client installation pre-populates the Service Location with the IP address of the NetWare 5 DA. This server and its NDS is configured to be merged into our main NDS tree when we install NetWare 5 on our main systems.
Unusual and unique describe this solution. Our SOHO users have either a company PC/laptop or their own installed with any flavor of Win9x, WinNT, Win2k. Therefore our solution had to work on any of these with as little user input as possible and it had to work with any ISP connection the user might have. The other interesting twist is the use of the ZENworks 2 Launcher across the Internet on an ISP connection.
Again, NetWare 5.1 provides a solution along with Border Manager VPN services 3.5. This server resides on the Internet and provides the VPN services needed to allow SOHO users to get Notes and Host On Demand capabilities. The server runs on a stout Compaq NL530 to support the as many as 2000 field users.
The users are sent a special CD that contains unattended installs of the VPN client, Novell Clients, the snAppShot directory of the Notes install, and a minimum sized copy of the SYS:PUBLIC directory. This directory contains all NA*, NW*, and Z* files. This allows the ZEN launcher to run.
Once the installation of the Novell components are complete, the user gets an Internet session started and performs a NetWare Login using the VPN client. Once that is complete, they execute the Launcher from their locally installed copy of the PUBLIC directory and install the Notes Client from their CDROM. Several ZEN Launcher Notes Applications are available to cover CDROM's that have drive letters from D: through I:. A diskette is also provided that has a copy of the NAMES.NSF and the users' ID file. The launcher copies all of these files locally from CD and diskette. Installation takes about 35 minutes with a 33.6 ISP modem connection. The Launcher provides control over how the Notes Client is installed.
If you have any questions you may contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have just gone through the battle ourselves on how to make Lotus Notes deployable. We are using Lotus Notes 4.55. This solution did work for Lotus Notes 4.5 also. I have not tested with version 5.
We needed a solution that would allow us to deploy Lotus Notes to a workstation without having to go through the hassle of setting up the user information every time we re-image, or upgrade a user. We also needed to allow users to go to any workstation, login, and have their own Lotus Notes. Basically we used the script files in ZENworks to do most of the work and used a few enviromental variables that we pull directly from NDS and used the ScriptIt utility for the user setup.
We have a script that runs prior to running Notes, and a script that runs after Notes has ended. Each user must be setup once, but we have also automated this as well and after that is done, it never needs to happen again!
There were several major issues/situations to deal with:
- The user who has been setup in Lotus Notes, whose computer was re-imaged, and needs Lotus Notes installed on their computer. (We do not have Notes on our standard image.)
- The user who has never been setup.
- Users who already have Notes.
- Users that log into several machines and always want their own Lotus Notes.
- The first thing we did was a standard snAppShot of Lotus Notes Install. Nothing major here to worry about. Just stop the snAppShot short of entering any user-specific data, and split the data directory away from the local machine and put it into the home directory of the users (this is the part that makes roaming possible).
Also set to copy only if does not exist for the user-specific files like names.nsf,desktop.nsf. The notes.ini has some entries that need to be copy always (please look in the Lotus Notes 455.axt.)
- Then we added a script file in the "Run before launching" area. We made sure to add it with the # statement so that it would completely finish running prior to running the
executable. For example "#Z:\tows.bat". Then we added the termination script and made it look like "@z:\tonw.bat".
This takes care of doing the generic install.
- At this point the administrator will need to put the notes.id file for the user into the home directory of the user and add two variables to the user in NDS:
- The notes id
- The notes server
These can be put in any field that you have available. We chose two postal address fields, street and state.
- This done, the second AO, which is the user-specific one, can be run and will automatically populate the fields and setup the user. Once completed, this AO disappears and the user is left with one AO for Notes that will follow them around from machine to machine and is able to be verified as well.
In the ZIP file below are the Admin notes and the two AO's *.aot *.axt batch files and scriptit file. I would like to thank everyone who put their ideas up onto the Cool solutions site as these ideas made this one possible GO NOVELL GO. ZEEEENNNNNNN (ZOOM)
If you have any questions you may contact Julian at email@example.com
Lotus Notes Deployment R5.3: the Notes web site documents deployment in files ag50vol1.pdf and ag50vol2.pdf.
The documentation describes response files for keeping the installation prompts from being presented.
Because of the significance of the ini file, it should be in the network home directory. The data dir should be also, as this relieves users from being restricted to one station.
The user.id files can be distributed during installation via a !Copy command in the install config file.
All the user.id files can be registered via a text file. These id files need to be delete inhibit, read only, and not shareable. Turn local replication off, until needed.
If the program dir is also networked, the station gets a shortcut to launch Notes with the data dir environment variable set to %HOMEDIRECTORY%\notes from the login script. Novell 4.10, 4.11. Sorry, no ZEN.
To distribute Lotus Notes 4.x client, what we have done is taken a snAppShot of the installation, cleaned it up and then added the following pieces.
On the Notes Server a script database was created that builds the users names.nsf and desktop.dsk to standards. This script database is a startup database which is the only database in the initial desktop.dsk which is delivered during the NAL installation. The Notes.Ini file which is downloaded only contains the StartupDB = "DB Relica No.", where the DB Replica No. is the Database that contains the startup script.
The rest of the Notes.INI is built through the INI settings, substituting variables for identifying the user and the location of the personal directory. Each of the INI settings, as well as personal data files, are marked as Track Distribution Per User.
You can use the user's profile as the personal directory so that you can get a truly roaming Notes. Unfortunately you have to hardcode the path to form the Short Data Path required as the parameter to run the notes.ini from that location. eg Notes.exe = %DATAPATH_SHORT%\notes.ini. This can be a problem if the profile gets corrupted and is renamed to the profile.concurrent number profile.
We have to ensure that the Notes databases required for the workspace are distributed to each of the Notes servers throughout the world and that the Desktop.Dsk in the source file refers to the nearest local Notes Server, otherwise your workspace would have databases referencing back to foreign locations which would be a bit harsh on the WAN links.
The Notes ID file is delivered from the User's home directory. The user is notified of the password at time of allocation of the application.
If you work with your Notes Administration team it is likely that together you should be able to come up with a solution which is automated and solid.
With the above methodology, installing Notes in any part of the world is a case of copying the Notes ID to the users home path and associating the user with the appropriate application group.
If you have any ideas for these, don't be shy.
Q: Jonas B. wrote: I wonder if there are any good suggestions out there to distribute Lotes Notes. I know there are, but I would like to distribute a package that should install over the old version if there are any, so in simple words: I want to know the location of the old installed Notes installation (c:\Program Files or C:\Program or something else). Is there a variable that you can use for this?
A: Mark Yount The new question for "Distributing Lotus Notes" asking how to reinstall Notes to the same directory it is currently installed in raises a requirement that would be useful in many cases...the ability to set a macro value from an entry in either the registry or an INI file.
I know how to assign a macro value from an environment variable, so one solution would be, using the registry, to use REGREAD in a pre-distribution script to set the registry value to an environment variable and use that environment variable as the value assigned to a macro.
To do the same thing for an INI file value will require running an external program (I use small 4NT batch files) to read the INI file. My favorite solution on how to get this value into the registry is for the program to write a 1-line file to the TEMP directory formatted as a login script SET command, and then have the pre-distribution script include this mini script.
I know this seems kludgy, but until there is an INIREAD login script command, it works. Of course, even better would be to allow the direct assignment of registry and INI values to application macros.
Note of caution when using environment variables: The documentation states that "The value of the variable must not exceed the length of the Application object name; otherwise, the variable fails". I don't know what the reason for this limitation is, but trying to make your application object names long enough can be very challenging!!!
If you have any questions you may contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
One possible answer to Jonas B.'s question: I think there's no environment-variable to read this information from. But it's much more secure to read this from the registry. The information is in HKLM/Software/Lotus/Notes. There are two keys (path and datapath) with the information needed. Hope this helps and sorry for my bad English.
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