There’s a lot of buzz around IBM these days about Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook (DAMO) and the exciting opportunities it presents for customers who want to retain their familiar Microsoft Outlook client experience, while leveraging the many advantages of Lotus Domino. Although you may have heard a lot about DAMO, you’re probably eager for the real “scoop” from the DAMO engineering team on how the entire DAMO solution is designed and what we have planned for upcoming releases. In this article, we give you an overview of DAMO and its intended customer base, how DAMO and the Domino Migration Tool fit together to create a comprehensive solution, and instructions for getting up and running with the DAMO client.
The concept behind the DAMO solution is to offer existing Microsoft Exchange/Outlook users the ability to migrate all of their existing Exchange data to a Domino server, then to run either the Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook client (think of it as a “Virtual Outlook” client) or the Notes client over the new Domino database. Because the permanent data storage resides in an NSF file on a Domino server, DAMO allows users to switch back and forth between the two clients, sending and receiving email messages and meeting invitations from both environments, while accessing the same central mail file.
This article is intended for both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino administrators with varying levels of experience. Even those with little to no Domino administration experience can follow this article. It will guide you through the steps of Microsoft Exchange migration and installation and configuration of the DAMO client with no previous knowledge required.
The IBM software engineers working on Lotus collaborative software have devised an ingenious method for replicating data on the fly back and forth between a Domino database and an Outlook PST file. This means that every time you create a new meeting in the Outlook calendar, you can view the same meeting almost instantaneously in the Notes Calendar view because the entry in the Outlook PST file is replicated almost immediately to the Domino mail database.
This replication is accomplished by mining the data store of the original mail or calendar entry – either in Lotus Domino or Microsoft Outlook – and translating those data fields to their corresponding data fields in the target data store. For example, if you create a meeting entry in the DAMO client, a message is composed containing an Outlook data store. When this meeting replicates to the Notes client, the Outlook data store is used to create all the corresponding fields in Lotus Domino that are required for a Notes meeting entry. Likewise, if you make changes to that meeting in the Notes client, the fields containing those changes in Lotus Domino are mined to replicate the meeting changes to the Exchange data store. Think of this process as data equivalency: The permanent data storage resides on the Domino server, and an equivalent image is created in the Outlook PST data store for representation in the DAMO client.
Although the process of replicating data between the Domino mail file and Outlook PST file sounds complex, it happens quickly, so you never sees a drop in performance. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make this magic happen, but it's virtually invisible to the user.
From the mail client perspective, the user experience of Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook is virtually identical to that of Microsoft Outlook. Essentially, the client is the same; it's just the supporting data storage that differs. In addition, Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook lets users run the Outlook or Notes client over the same data. This means you can switch between either client, sending and receiving messages and creating calendar entries while viewing the same data in a different perspective. This offers a solution for users who may have Microsoft Outlook on their computers at work and Lotus Notes on their laptops, but need to work with the same data.
The ability to run either DAMO or Lotus Notes over the same Domino mail file also offers a solution for mixed-client environments in which some users in an organization run Lotus Notes, while others run Microsoft Outlook. This may be the case when companies merge, for example, and combine their information services groups. From a management and IT perspective, it's preferable to use the Domino server throughout the organization, but users often prefer to continue running the same client they're accustomed to using, regardless of the back-end data storage. The DAMO client lets Outlook users in the organization continue using their client of choice, while Notes users can continue to use the same client. The Domino data storage is invisible to both groups of users.
It’s a given that customers who are moving from the Exchange to Domino server need to preserve their historic data for use in the DAMO client. Ideally, you should see no appreciable difference in your client experience, so it’s essential that the data that you worked with in the Outlook client function as you would expect in the DAMO client. To that end, the Domino Migration Tool is a key component of the DAMO solution. The Domino Migration Tool allows the Domino administrator to migrate Exchange users and their associated mail data to the Domino server, enabling DAMO users to work with their mail, calendar, and task entries just as they would in Microsoft Outlook. Additionally, the Domino Migration Tool simplifies the configuration of new DAMO users on the Domino server, which will be illustrated in the setup instructions.
For more information about the Domino Migration Tools, see the Domino Administrator help.
The DAMO client configuration involves two phases: first, migrating the soon-to-be DAMO users and their associated mail data from the Exchange to Domino server, and second, configuring and installing the DAMO client on the users' machines. For the purposes of illustration, we assume that you have Administrator access to the Domino server and will also be setting up a DAMO client.
First, start the Domino Administrator client, then follow these steps to migrate users and their associated mail stores from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Domino.
- Select the People and Groups tab, then select People from the right-side menu, and choose Register - Migrate People.
- When the Migrate People dialog box opens, select Microsoft Exchange Users from the Foreign Directory Source. When prompted, enter the profile of the administrator for the Exchange server from which you are migrating, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Choosing the administrator profile
- From the drop-down list of Exchange users, select all users to migrate and add to the People and Groups to Migrate list, then click the Migrate button.
NOTE: You can modify the migration options (for example, elect not to have a password created and so on) or simply use the default settings. Select the Done button and the entire list will be added to the registration queue in the Register Person dialog box. Figure 2 shows the People and Groups Migration dialog box from which you migrate users.
Figure 2. People and Groups Migration
- In the Register Person dialog box, click the Register All button, and all users will be added to the Domino Directory and their mail files migrated. Figure 3 demonstrates how your Register Person dialog box should look.
Figure 3. Register Person dialog box
After migrating all users, ensure that all addresses are converted from Exchange to Notes canonical format, using the Mail Convert tool.
NOTE: This tool only converts the addresses of Microsoft Exchange users who exist in the Domino Directory, so all migrated users must have an entry in the directory on that server. If migration is carried out for smaller groups, the tool should continue to be run each time a group is migrated. Complete the following steps to convert Microsoft Exchange addresses to valid Domino addresses:
- For the address conversion process to work correctly, the cache for Domino Directory entries on the Domino server which is used for Exchange Mail to Domino migration must be current. Perform the following task on the Domino server console to make sure the cache is updated and current:
'tell router q'
'load updall <Domino Address Book>' (for example, 'load updall names.nsf')
- To perform the address conversion on all migrated mail files on the Domino server (in the mail subdirectory), enter the following on the Domino server console:
load convert -w mail\*.nsf [-w specifies conversion of Exchange addresses only]
Other available commands include:
load convert -w <specific mail file path>
Runs the Address Fix on a specified migrated mail file for instance,
load convert -w mail\chair.nsf
load convert -w -l <text list file path>
Generates a text list file with all migrated primary mail file paths on the server, excluding any replica mail databases.
You can then run the Address Fix by using the second command below with that text file:
load convert -w -l c:\tmp\mailfilelist.txt
load convert -w -f <text list file path>
Runs the Address Fix on all migrated mail files listed in the specified text file for example,
load convert -w -f c:\tmp\maildlist.txt
After the Exchange users and their mail data have been migrated to the Domino server, they’re ready to configure and install the DAMO client.
NOTE: The following prerequisites must be met on each DAMO user’s machine before installing the DAMO client:
- The computer must be running the Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system.
- One of the following releases of Microsoft Outlook must be installed on the system before installing Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook: Microsoft Outlook 2000 with SP2, Microsoft Outlook XP with SP2, or Microsoft Outlook 2003.
- Microsoft Outlook must be set as the default email client. To verify, open the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) browser and select Tools - Internet Options - Programs.
- Microsoft Outlook must be installed in Corporate or Workgroup mode as opposed to Personal mode or No Email mode. To verify the release and mode of Microsoft Outlook, select Help - About Microsoft Outlook from its menu. A dialog box appears and displays the Outlook release and mode at the top (Figure 4).
Figure 4. About Microsoft Outlook
After you migrate the new DAMO users from Exchange to the Domino server, they’re ready to configure the DAMO client on their respective machines. The Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook Setup program is designed to be installed on a user's system and can be made available on the network. If the user hasn't been migrated from an Exchange server to the Domino server, create the user on the Domino server and make sure the option “Create a Notes ID for this person” is selected during registration.
During DAMO installation, users will need to know the following, all of which you, the Domino administrator, should supply them:
- Name of their mail server
- Notes user name and password
- Information regarding their Internet certificate
- Location of the DAMO setup file
Distribute the following instructions to users so that they can configure Microsoft Outlook to connect to the Domino server and can install Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook.
- Set Microsoft Outlook as the default mail program. Open the Control Panel and double-click the Internet Options icon. Select the Programs Tab, and in the E-mail field, select Microsoft Outlook. (These steps may vary slightly depending on which Windows operating system you are using and how you have your system set up.)
- If this is a new installation of Microsoft Outlook, launch the client once to complete the installation process of Microsoft Outlook.
- While Microsoft Outlook is open, select Tools - Options - Mail Services and select the option "Prompt for a profile to be used."
- Execute the Setup Program. Let users know where to locate the setup file: in the Domino server's data directory, on the network, or in a local directory. If you installed an earlier version of this product, you must uninstall it before installing this new version. You will be prompted for your Notes user name and the name of your mail server and domain. You will also be asked to supply your user ID (for example, testuser.id).
Figure 5. DAMO Setup
- After the installation process is complete, launch the Outlook client and select the profile that refers to the user name just configured during setup. The DAMO client will open and data will begin replicating from the Domino server mail file to the DAMO client. If the mail file contains significant amounts of data, it may take a while to make this data available within Microsoft Outlook.
After your mail data has replicated to the DAMO client, you can work with it just as you would in Microsoft Outlook. And if you want to use your Domino mail file with the Notes client, you can do that too because all the changes you make to your mail data in the DAMO client (and vice versa) is replicated to the Notes client.
Because IBM values customer feedback, the DAMO development engineers have implemented feature enhancements in the DAMO client, and in the Domino Migration Tool, to meet your requests. In the 6.5.3 and 6.5.4 releases, we’ve implemented two key features in the DAMO solution.
One of the more popular Outlook features is the calendar delegation capability. This is a calendar option that lets you grant other users access to your mail file and lets these delegated users view and edit your calendar data, send email messages on your behalf, and act as managers of your data. This scenario is typical in the case of an executive who employs an administrative assistant to schedule meetings and appointments and to respond to non-confidential email messages. To let the administrative assistant manage the mail file data, the executive specifies the assistant as a delegate for the mail file.
In the DAMO 6.5.3 client, IBM implemented calendar delegation functionality to let you delegate control of your mail file to one or more other users. In addition, DAMO users can take advantage of Domino's more robust calendar delegation features, such as the ability to specify whether another user can send mail or create documents on their behalf. In Microsoft Outlook, if you want to grant another user access to your mail file but not let the delegate create documents on your behalf, you have to set permissions individually on each folder in your mail file. The DAMO client offers users a more robust implementation of the Outlook calendar delegation feature.
The 6.5.4 release promises enhanced integration between the Domino Migration Tool and the DAMO client, and a key component of that integration is improved contacts migration. Prior to release 6.5.4, contacts were migrated from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Domino as a separate NSF file, requiring users to subsequently move their contacts into a personal address book in the Notes client. This obviously didn’t work well when trying to use those contacts in the DAMO client, so in the 6.5.4 release, contacts are migrated from Microsoft Exchange as part of the user’s mail file. This means that when replicating the Domino mail file to the DAMO client, the user’s contacts are immediately viewable, and usable, in the DAMO client.
The DAMO client and the Domino Migration Tool offer a win-win solution for managers or IT administrators who want to leverage the power of the DAMO client solution, while preserving their users’ existing Exchange data. This creative and innovative approach to messaging benefits everyone in an organization from IT administrators to end-users and provides exciting opportunities for customers to take advantage of the robustness and reliability of the Domino server. Now you know why DAMO is creating such a buzz!
- The IBM Redbook,
Migrating from Microsoft Exchange 5.5 to Lotus Notes and Domino 6
, describes how to migrate from Microsoft Exchange 5.5 to Lotus Domino 6.
- To learn more about migration to Lotus products, visit the Migration Station.
- Learn about the Domino Migration Tools from the Domino Administration Help.
- Get involved in the developerWorks community by participating in developerWorks blogs.
Lisa Chase is an engineer in the Lotus Software division of the IBM Software Group. She has been part of the IBM Messaging and Collaborative Software group for the past four years, has been a member of the Lotus Notes Client team, and is currently part of the team engineering the Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook client. Drawing on her knowledge of the Notes Client Calendar and Scheduling functionality and of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, she is responsible for the current incarnation of the Domino Migration Tool.