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Automating Lotus Notes client configuration - Part 1

As I've mentioned in other articles, I'm currently stuck at a client using Lotus Notes. I think Domino is a fine backend mail system/collaboration server but--to be frank--the client blows. I think Lotus/IBM must still be pining for the days of the 3000 line CONFIG.SYS that OS/2 had because they are still using INI files for most of the client configuration. And don't even get me started on the fact that so much data is stored in NSFs on the client instead of on the Domino server.

We did decide to go ahead and setup Notes so all of the client data is out on network file shares. This is for a few reasons:

  1. All of the users' data gets backed up.
  2. Roaming support - a user can logon to any workstation and access their mail
  3. We can setup the users without actually visiting their workstation

One of the many process improvements that we've been able to make is automating the client configuration. I wrote a vbscript that basically does the following to automate the configuration:

  • Prompts for the user to setup
  • Performs a LDAP query against a LDAP-enabled Domino server to get info about that user
  • Finds the user in Active Directory so we can figure out what their file server is
  • Creates the folder structure on the network for the user (\Lotus\Notes\Data)
  • Builds a NOTES.INI file customized for that user
  • Copies the user's ID file to their Data folder
  • Copies a client configuration file with default settings

For this article we are just going to go over the process of querying Domino via LDAP to get the user properties so we can setup all of the files that the client needs in order to set itself up without any user input. I plan to do another article that will go into more detail on how we are querying Active Directory in order to make sure we are creating the files in the right place. (We are using XML to store information that is specific to each of our locations/departments.)

Read more: Automating Lotus Notes client configuration - Part 1

Modifying Lotus Notes cache settings

Another lazy one that will mostly be from an e-mail I sent to the technical staff where I am consulting. We have the Notes client files redirected and the cache.ndk file is eating up TONS of space on the file servers..


There are two settings that control the cache for the Notes client. Like most other settings, they are both in the Notes.ini.

InitialCacheQuota is used to limit the size of the cache file.

   (i.e. "InitialCacheQuota=3072" to set a max size of 3MB)

Cache is used to redirect the location of the cache file. This is the one we wanted to move to the C: instead of M: but ran into issues with people who use Citrix for Notes because there is no C: on those Citrix servers. We don't have a good plan of attack on this right now.

   (i.e. "Cache=c:\documents and settings\mbroad\notes\cache.ndk")

If anyone is interested in the batch files that I have written that will update the Notes.inis out on your user's M: drives I can send it to you and go over how it works. It is only two lines long but there are some things you will want to understand before using it.

Batch File to modify Notes.INIs on file shares (if you redirected the Notes client files)

REM Modifies the cache location-only runs on folders that match the wildcard specified
rem for /d %%i in (\\s009-ns5\sharename\usersystem\a*) do echo cache=c:\documents and settings\%%~ni\notes\cache.ndk >> "%%i\application data\lotus\notes\data\notes.ini"

REM Modifies the cache size-only runs on folders that match the wildcard specified
rem for /d %%i in (\\s009-ns5\sharename\usersystem\a*) do echo InitialCacheQuota=3072 >> "%%i\application data\lotus\notes\data\notes.ini"