Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lotus Domino 8.5.1 FP4 Preliminary Fix List

IBM has selected Notes/Domino SPR's to be fixed in the latest Fix Pack release, 8.5.1 Fix Pack 4. This notice serves as the Preliminary Fix List.

IBM Lotus reserves the right to remove any fix from this targeted release if it does not pass quality assurance tests.

The details information on SPR`s can be found here

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Domino Rooms and Resource reservation for different time zone

For those who are using Domino Rooms and Resource reservation system, if your organization is spread across different region having time zone difference, this might affect your end users.

Consider your end users using Rooms and Resource Reservation system hosted on server which is on different time zone. When user open the RnR database to check the previous booking information, guess what confusion !!!

They will start complain that they have booked the Rooms correctly and got confirmation. But now when they try to view the booking information on RnR database on server with different time zone, its showing under some different date and time, either past or future date. If they open the same document to view the details, then it will shows correct booking date and time inside the document.

We had observed similar issue in past, with Domino Server version 7.x. This issues is also reproducible for Domino 8.x and older version.

One of our user from IST time zone with Home Mail Server on EST time zone, book the meeting room for dated 21st July between 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM using her Notes Calendar.

When this user try to view the booking information on RnR database on EST time zone server, this user was confused to find that booking for 20th July.

If this document is opened to view further details, then it shows correct date.

This is due to time zone difference between the server and client. When escalated to IBM, they have identified as a bug in Domino Resource and Reservation system.

As per IBM by default Rooms and Resource Reservation database use Server time zone to display the booking information and not the client time zone. I really failed to understand this logic. Ideally it should use client time zone to display the booking information.

IBM had accepted this as a bug and tracked under SPR # SPAL7DZR2H. IBM had issues fixing this, as they had to change the view code for "By Date" view and display as Categorised view under Resource Reservation database. Finally IBM come up with solution and provided us the modify RnR database template to fix view issues.

They have created new SPR for clients and suggested client ini parameter. To view the modified "By Date" view on RnR database clients need to have  $AllowSetViewSummarized=1 on their notes.ini

So now there are two SPRs on this, one for the Client side changes (SPR # GKLA7LB2RL) , and one for Server side changes (SPR # SPAL7DZR2H). The Notes.ini setting ($AllowSetViewSummarized=1) is also required and is documented in the SPRs ..

As per IBM this seems to be fix in Domino 8.5.1FP3 and Notes 8.5.1FP3. But we when checked the issues was still reproducible using default 851 FP3 RnR template, finally we had to replace design of RnR database with one provided by IBM previously for 8.0.x version.

This is still under investigation by IBM, so if you facing similar issues contact IBM they will provide you the modified RnR database template as fix.

Securing Directory link and Directory ACL

For those who are using or planning for Directory link or Directory ACL ensure that you server has this parameter implemented Enable_ACL_Files=1.

While implementing Directory ACL, .ACL files get created on Server. ACL files are an option for protecting server directories, and contain the names of users authorized to access those directories.
"Enable_ACL_Files" specifies whether to enable ACL file checking on a server.

Similarly for .dir files which contain names of users authorized to access those directories. If "Enable_ACL_Files" is not implemented, users cannot view the Directory link. But if they manually type the database path for which they are listed in ACL of database, are able to access the database.

To implement Directory Security, add Enable_ACL_Files=1 on servers notes.ini.

Valid values are:
0: Disable ACL file checking
1: Enable ACL file checking