Administering IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 serversfor beginners
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19-02-2011, 10:57 AM

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Administering IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 serversfor beginners
This white paper provides a comprehensive overview of how to administerIBM® Lotus® Domino®, explaining the fundamental components and terminology sothat new administrators can feel familiar with the product. Specifically, we explain keyfeatures and functionalities such as the Notes.ini file, the Data Directory, IDs, servercommands and documents, and server activities. Also included are discussions of servermaintenance and NSDs.
1 Introduction
The intent of this document is to help the beginner Domino administrator get started bypresenting a general illustrated overview of basic Notes and Domino functionalities.Sometimes new administrators don’t have the necessary references or documentation onhow to get started. So our purpose here is to present, as simply as possible, how toperform the basic duties of a Domino server administrator.
1.2 Products overview
IBM Lotus Domino is a server product that provides enterprise-grade email,collaboration capabilities, and custom application platform. Lotus Domino began life asLotus Notes Server, the server component of Lotus Development Corporation's client--server messaging technology.
It can be used as an application server for Lotus Notes applications and/or as a Webserver. It also has a built-in database system in the .nsf format. (Beginning in release 7,the Domino server can use the IBM DB2® system as its backend database.)
IBM Lotus Notes is a client--server, collaborative application developed and sold by IBMSoftware Group. IBM describes the software as an "integrated desktop client option foraccessing business e-mail, calendars and applications on an IBM Lotus Domino server.
IBM Lotus iNotes™ offers a fully featured Web-based version of the Lotus Notes client.It provides an interactive interface that duplicates the functionality of Lotus Notes withina Web browser (
IBM Lotus Domino Administrator is a client--server application providing a graphicinterface whose main purpose is to administer and manage the server, access the server’sconsole, and perform basic tasks such as renaming a user (see figure 2). All this can bedone remotely the same way a Lotus Notes user would access the server to check his/heremail account.
Lotus Domino Designer is an application development software that allows developersto rapidly build and deploy security-rich, multi-platform collaborative or workflow-drivenbusiness applications, allowing the integration of assets from across IT systems andproviding application access through many different types of clients and devices
2 Commonly used Notes and Domino files
Below we briefly describe the key Notes and Domino files, file extensions, and folders:
Names.nsf. Also called the Domino Directory, which some previous releases referred toas the Public Address Book or Name and Address Book, this database is automaticallycreated by Lotus Domino on every server.
The Domino Directory is a directory of information about users, servers, and groups, aswell as custom entries that you may add. It contains Server documents, ConfigurationSettings, Person documents, and Domain, Connection, and Internet Site documents. TheDomino Directory is also a tool that administrators use to manage the Domino system.
Log.nsf. Every Domino server has a log file (LOG.NSF) that reports all server activity andprovides detailed information about databases and users on the server. The log file iscreated automatically when you start a server for the first time.
Admin4.nsf. The Administration Requests database (ADMIN4.NSF) is created when theserver starts for the first time. Requests for work to be done by the AdministrationProcess (AdminP) are stored in the Administration Requests database.
The status of work done by AdminP is also stored in the database as response Logdocuments to the requests. To complete tasks, AdminP posts and responds to requests in the Administration Requests database. Domino servers use replicas of this database todistribute requests made on one server to other servers in the domain. Some requestsare only performed by the Administration Server of the Domino Directory.
Notes.ini. The NOTES.INI file is a text file that contains many settings on which bothLotus Notes and Domino rely to work properly. An accidental or incorrect change maycause Lotus Domino or Lotus Notes to run unpredictably. Therefore, you should edit theNOTES.INI file only if special circumstances occur or if Lotus Support Servicesrecommends that you do so. This is a special database on the server, created automatically at startup, thatacts as a temporary repository for all messages in transit to and from mail clients,applications, and other servers. The server creates the number of MAIL.BOX databasesspecified on the Configuration Settings document. The Notes ID is one of the security features of Notes and is a unique file thatidentifies a Notes user. The user ID is created when a Domino Administrator registers auser and contains, among other things, the following: name of the user, certificate from aCertifier ID, public key, private key, password, and encryption keys.
The .NSF extension stands for Notes Storage Format (.nsf), which is a database format,also called application, commonly used by Lotus Notes clients and Domino servers.
Some examples of these databases are the Names.nsf, Admin4.nsf, Log.nsf, and usermail files.
The .NTF extension stands for Notes Template File (.ntf), which is the extension for aNotes template file. A template contains the structure elements (views, forms, folders,etc.) used on the creation of system and application databases, but it does not containany documents. For example, the database Names.nsf on the server is created from thePubnames.ntf template.
Program folder. This is the directory in which the Domino server or Lotus Notes client isinstalled, and in general this is where the Notes/Domino executable files are locatedalong with the Notes.ini. This folder is specified by the user during the installationprocess.
Data folder. This is where the data directory for the Domino server or Notes client isinstalled, and in general this is the folder where the Notes/Domino applications andtemplates are located. This folder is specified by the user during the installation process.
3 Domino Directory (Names.nsf)
The Domino Directory is considered the core of the server. This is where you find theregistered users, the other servers in the same domain, security settings, mail settings,policy settings, etc. It's important to understand the architecture of the Domino Directoryby becoming familiar with the documents that form it, and also explore the availablesettings and options.
We cover the basic components that comprise the Domino Directory without going intomuch detail because the idea is to give a beginner administrator the basic knowledge withwhich to learn the product. For more information about any specific topic, refer to theproduct Help.
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23-02-2011, 02:29 PM

This white paper provides a comprehensive overview of how to administer IBM Lotus® Domino®, explaining the fundamental components and terminology so that new administrators can feel familiar with the product. Specifically, we explain key features and functionalities such as the Notes.ini file, the Data Directory, IDs, server commands and documents, and server activities. Also included are discussions of server maintenance and NSDs.

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