Viewing developerWorks Lotus in its native Notes format

Part of developerWorks Lotus is IBM Lotus Domino-based. If you connect to it using an IBM Lotus Notes client, you can use Notes features such as replication. This article provides the steps to connect to the site databases and offers troubleshooting tips for making the connection.

developerWorks Lotus (dwlotus@us.ibm.com), Web team, IBM

The developerWorks Lotus Web team works on all the content and applications for Lotus products.



05 April 2011 (First published 18 February 1998)

Also available in Russian Japanese Portuguese

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated to reflect Lotus Notes and Domino version 7 and 8.x. If you are using an earlier version of Lotus Notes, please refer to the Lotus Notes client help for information about creating Location and Connection documents. ]

Because a significant portion of developerWorks Lotus is created with 100% pure IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, you can use either a Web browser or an IBM Lotus Notes client to access the site. When you use Lotus Notes to view developerWorks Lotus, you can see the site in a whole new light. The feature-rich Notes environment allows you to:

  • Read and participate in the live discussion forums from within the Lotus Notes client.
  • Replicate site databases, such as the Notes/Domino Fix List Database, so that you can view them offline.

This article walks you through the steps involved for viewing developerWorks Lotus in its native Lotus Notes format. You first learn how to connect to developerWorks Lotus using your Lotus Notes client, including some troubleshooting tips for making the connection. Then, you find out how to register your Lotus Notes safe ID to participate in the forums with your Lotus Notes client and how to replicate the databases so you can view them offline.

System requirements

We recommend using a supported Lotus Notes client (version 6.5 or later) to view our databases. A Lotus Notes version 5 client may function, however, we are using a more recent version of IBM Lotus Domino Designer to create and maintain our applications.


Connecting to our public Lotus Domino servers

To connect to our Lotus Domino servers using your Lotus Notes client, follow the steps described in the following sections.

Verify your connection to the Internet

Before you begin to set up your connection to our servers through your Lotus Notes client, determine what kind of Internet connection you have: direct or indirect (through a firewall and/or proxy). To see if you have a direct connection to the Internet, telnet to the host name notes1.notes.net and port 1352, using the following command:

telnet notes1.notes.net 1352

If you successfully telnet to the server, move to step 2. If you cannot successfully telnet to our server, you may be behind a firewall and/or proxy server. For information on how to connect through a firewall and/or proxy, see the sidebar "Connecting through a proxy."

Create a Location document in your Contacts application or Personal Address Book

Create a Location document for developerWorks Lotus so that when you change to that location, the TCP/IP port is enabled, and any necessary proxy settings are specified.

In Lotus Notes, open your Personal Address Book (version 7.0.x) or Contacts application (version 8.x), go to the Advanced\Locations view, and click the New button. From the button menu, choose Location. Select Local Area Network as the location type, and select TCP/IP as the port to use. See figure 1. (If there is no TCP/IP port option, choose File - Preferences - User Preferences, click the Ports tab, select TCP/IP from the Communication Ports window, and then select the Port enable option to enable it.) If you need to specify settings for a proxy server, see the sidebar "Connecting through a proxy" for the appropriate steps. Click Save and Close.

Figure 1. Location document
Location document

Create Connection documents in your Contacts application or Personal Address Book

You need to create connections to our two Lotus Domino servers, Notes1/NotesWeb and Notes2/NotesWeb.

In Lotus Notes, open your Personal Address Book or Contacts application, go to the Advanced\Connections view, and click the New button. From the button menu, choose Server Connection. On the Basics tab (see figure 2), select Local Area Network as your connection type, enter Notes1/NotesWeb as the destination server name, and select TCP/IP as the LAN port to use.

On the Advanced tab (see figure 3), in the Only from Location(s) field, select the location you just created. Enter notes1.notes.net as the destination server address. (NOTE: We recommend that you use the host name because the IP address may change in the future.) Click Save and Close.

Repeat this step using Notes2/NotesWeb as the destination server and notes2.notes.net as the destination server address.

Figure 2. Server Connection Basics tab
Server Connection Basics tab
Figure 3. Server Connection Advanced tab
Server Connection Advanced tab

Establish the connection to the Internet outside of Lotus Notes

Before you can open databases on a server over the Internet, you need to establish your Internet connection. If you are using a dial-up connection, dial the number of your ISP using your favorite connection software. (The type of connection software you use varies according to the operating system you are using. Contact your ISP if you need connection software.) If you have a direct connection (as most companies do), your Internet connection should already be established.

Connect to Notes1/NotesWeb

Change to the Location document that you just created (where your Connection document is valid and the TCP/IP port is enabled). Choose File - Open - Lotus Notes Application (or File - Database - Open in earlier versions of Lotus Notes). Enter Notes1/NotesWeb as the server and click open to view the databases on the server.


Registering your safe ID

Please note that you must use our Notes Access Registration (regnotes.nsf) database to register your safe ID to participate (that is, to add new topics or responses) in any of the active discussion forums.

To create a safe ID:

  1. In your Lotus Notes client, choose File - Security - User Security and enter your password.
  2. Click Your Identity - Your Certificates.
  3. Click Other Actions - Export Notes ID (Safe Copy).
  4. Save the safe.id file to a location where you can find it again. You will need it in the next section to register your safe ID.

To register your safe ID:

  1. From the Notes1/NotesWeb server, open the Notes Access Registration database (regnotes.nsf). Complete the required name and address fields, verify your hierarchical name, and attach a copy of your safe ID. Then click the Submit Registration button.
  2. After a short time (5 to 30 minutes), try one of the activities (listed above) that require a safe ID. If you get an error that you are not authorized for the operation, we recommend waiting one hour longer and trying again. If you still experience problems, email your feedback to the developerWorks Lotus team at dwlotus@us.ibm.com.

Replicating the developerWorks Lotus databases

To view the our databases offline, you can replicate them to your local machine. Please note that we only allow client replication. We do not allow for server-to-server replication because of security and administrative reasons.

To replicate:

  1. Open the database you want and choose File - Replication - New Replica.
  2. Make sure that the "Copy Access Control List" option is selected because we have enabled the "Enforce a consistent ACL across all replicas of this database" feature on some of our databases. If you modify the ACL on your local replica, you will be unable to replicate back to Notes1/NotesWeb or Notes2/NotesWeb. For more information on this feature, read the Enforcing a consistent ACL across replicas section of the developerWorks Lotus article The ABC's of using the ACL.
  3. Now, the next time you connect to our Lotus Domino servers, you can replicate your database with the one on Notes1/NotesWeb. You receive any new or updated documents, and you can send any documents you've created locally.

Troubleshooting tips

If you experience problems connecting to our Lotus Domino servers via Lotus Notes, check the following areas:

  • To test the connection from within Lotus Notes 7.0.x, choose File - Preferences - User Preferences. Click the Ports tab, and then click the Trace button. Select the destination server (Notes1/NotesWeb), and click Trace. The Trace Connections dialog box shows the steps Lotus Notes takes to make the server connection, including any proxy access details, and full trace information is recorded in the log file. Your network administrator can use this trace information to help you debug your connection problems.

    For Lotus Notes 8 users, choose File - Preferences. Navigate to Notes Ports. Click the Trace button. Select the destination server (Notes1/NotesWeb), select Full trace information from the Trace options menu, and click Trace.

  • Modify your Connection documents for Notes1/NotesWeb and Notes2/NotesWeb, and use the server's IP addresses as the destination server address. The IP address for Notes1/NotesWeb is 192.147.106.15, and the address for Notes2/NotesWeb is 192.147.106.21. (NOTE: We prefer that you use the host names of notes1.notes.net and notes2.notes.net because the IP address may change in the future.) Then try making the connection again.

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