Tuesday, 28 May 2013
5/28/2013 04:22:00 am 0

How to deal with Replication or save conflicts in Lotus Notes?

In Lotus database, the same document in one copy of a database or in different replicas between replication sessions, can be edited by multiple users simultaneously.

Notes store the result of one editing session in a main document and the results of additional editing sessions as response documents with a title "Replication or Save Conflict."
The Lotus Notes Domino uses $Revisions field to distinguish between main and response documents. This field tracks the date and time of each document editing session.

Replication conflicts
Whenever, a single document is edited by multiple users at the same time and the changes are saved in different replicas (copies) of the document then a replication conflict occurs. Now, the problem arises that which copy of document should be considered as the main document. Domino uses several rules in such a situation, which help to decide the main document in document editing sessions.

The following rules are used by Notes to handle replication conflicts:
  1. After two or more users edit and save the same document at the next replication, the document that is edited and saved the most number of times is designated as the main document and the other documents become Replication or Save Conflict documents.
  2. If all of the documents are edited and saved same number of times, the document saved most recently is designated as main document by Notes. Other documents are saved with a diamond symbol in the left margin and are designated as responses to the main document
  3. In case of document deletion:
  • If a document is edited and saved as a replica by one user and then another user deletes it,  in such a case the deletion takes precedence over edited document.
  • The edited document takes precedence if document is edited and saved more than once.
  • If the document is edited and saved after the deletion, in that case also Notes gives precedence to the edited document.
Save conflicts
A save conflict occurs when two or more than two users edit the same document in an application on a server at the same time. When more than one user edits the same document simultaneously then the document that has been saved first is designated as the main document by Notes. When another user tries to save the same document, then it is saved as a response to the main document.  A response document is being indicated with a diamond symbol in the left margin.

How to consolidate replication or save conflicts?
It is best if you consolidate a conflict immediately and regularly, as they occur. A quick conflict consolidation is required in order to access correct information by the users.  Conflicts are easiest to consolidate immediately after they occur, because the conflict document is still closely synchronized with the main document.

If you want to consolidate a conflict document, firstly merge information into one document and then remove the other document.

Follow the given steps to locate replication or save conflicts:
  • Create a view that shows only conflict documents.
  • Then, select the Replication or Save Conflict document for the view, here you would be able to see  a conflict document in context with its main document
  • You can view the main document by holding down the CTRL key to switch to the view displaying the main document.
Follow the given steps to consolidate replication or save conflicts:
You have got two choices to consolidate replication or save conflicts:
  • Either save the main document and delete the response
  • or save the Replication or Save Conflict document and delete the main document
To save information from a response to the main document and to delete the response:
1. Copy any information you want to save from the Replication or Save Conflict document into the main document.

2. Delete the conflict document.
1. Open the response document (that is containing the information to be saved).
2. Now, Select and copy the information by clicking Edit > Copy. 
3. Now, to paste the copied info into the Open the main document, open it in Edit mode.
4. Then, click Edit > Paste to paste the copied information in main document.
5. Now, save the main document by clicking File > Save.
6. Now, Select and delete the response document by clicking  Edit > Delete
7. Click View > Refresh to delete the response document in a non-mail application.

To delete the main document and make a response as the main document:
1. First you need to make the response as the main document.
There can be two cases i.e. either there is only one response document or more then one response documents.

Step 1: If there is only one response then , Edit the response document and then save it by Clicking File > Save
Now, it becomes a main document.

Step 2: If there are other response documents, then:
  • Select the other response documents and click Edit > Cut.
  • Select the document you saved in step 1.
  • Click Edit > Paste. The documents now become responses to the document you're keeping.
2. If you don’t want to keep any document then, select and delete the document by simply clicking Edit > Delete.
3. Click View > Refresh to delete the main document in a non-mail application.

Given below are some techniques that can be used to reduce or eliminate the replication or save documents conflicts.
  • For replication conflicts, you can  automatically merge conflicts into one document if no fields conflict by using "Merge replication conflicts" Form property to automatically merge conflicts into one document if no fields conflict. 
  • To automatically transform the edited documents as new documents, you can specify a Form property for versioning.
  • You can write a custom conflict handler by using Lotus Script.
  • Document locking can be used to allow users to lock documents.
  • Access rights can be set for users to forbid them from editing other users' documents.
  • You can set the database property "Limit entries in $Revisions fields” value to a value more than the exiting values (the existing value is greater then zero) or if you want to remove the limit you can set it to -1.
  • Server administrator can too keep track to maintain the number of document replicas to a minimum count.
You can easily resolve the replication or save document conflict issue by using the methods described in this article. However, sometimes it may be troublesome and time consuming to perform these steps. So, it’s better if you could prevent the replication or save conflicts before actually occurring. The best way to avoid replication conflicts is: “locking the documents” that you edit in a replica.


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