Tuesday, 23 September 2014
9/23/2014 03:05:00 am 0

About local mail replicas in Lotus Notes:

Replication is a powerful feature of IBM Lotus Notes. It provides flexibility and freedom to the user users to work with local replicas of their Notes databases.

Local mail database replication means making a copy of the user’s mail data on his local system.  This makes the user to work with his mailbox data even if there is no connection with the server.  The changes that are done to the local copy are kept in synchronization with server database at regular intervals. Generally, this replication time interval is set to 30 minutes. The server database keeps on replicating and synchronizing the changes being done to the local replica copy while offline mode. While a user is working on his workstation, the user preferences must be set in way so that arrival of a new mail is notified on frequent basis. This mail checking interval is set to 5 minutes so that in every five minutes a user will be able to receive new mails.
There are two ways to create mail replica either the user can do it manually form his workstation or by creating Lotus Notes/Domino environment polices for the replication process. Setting up policies for the replication is a preferred way as it let configure multiple workstation at the same time. In case of manual configuration each workstation is to be visited separately.
Basic steps to create a local mail replica in Lotus Notes:
  • Make a local replica
  • Create a directory catalog for name lookup while mail addressing.
  • Configure the local replicas to be kept in synchronization with the server database.
A copy is the user mailbox data is made at user’s local system/ workstation. When a user is working locally and wants to send emails then he can look up the mail addresses/names from the directory catalog.
The Lotus Notes client settings on the user’s workstation must be done in way so that the location to work with email is set to the location of local mail replica. Also, the Notes client on user’s workstation must be configured to use the local directory catalog while addressing mail messages.

How to create a full replica in Lotus notes?

You can create the replica of a local Notes database by using ‘Overwrite Replica for Database’ dialog box. If you want to create a replica copy of a server or a different local directory database then this can be done using the ‘Create Replica for Database’ dialog box.
If you are going to create a replica on server then you must be listed as manager in the database ACL. Otherwise you will not have rights to delete the server replicas created by you or you may also face several issues while replicating a server-based database to another server. In such situation you may have to ask your administrator help to provide you proper access rights and assistance.
You may need to set certain replication preferences before the replication process. These replication preferences contain default settings for various replication parameters such as general limits on document and attachment size, full-text index creation, and encryption etc.
Follow the given steps to create a full replica in Lotus Notes:

1. Open the database whose replica is to be created.
  • Go to File - Replication > New Replica menu.
  • On the bookmark bar, drag the database bookmark to the Replicator icon
  • Right click the bookmark and select the option to Copy Bookmark
  • Now, the bookmark is copied to clipboard. Open the Replicator page by clicking the Replicator icon From the Bookmark bar. Go to Edit menu and select Paste.
2. If you want to create a replica of the database residing on server, you can make its replica by using the Create Replica for Database dialog box
  • Open the Create Replica for Database DatabaseName dialog box
  • Go to the server list and choose the server name where replica is to be created. Or may also manually enter the desired server location.
  • Click Ok
  • In the “File path" field, Modify the file name for the replica. To do so: click the folder icon and browse to your desired server directory as save location for the replica to be created.
3. If you want to create replica of a local database, it can be done using ‘Overwrite Replica for Database’ dialog box
  • Open Overwrite Replica for Database DatabaseName dialog box.
  • To create the replica on a server
    • From the Server list, select the server name where replica is to be created. Or may also manually enter the desired server location
    • Click OK.
    • Notes changes the title of the dialog box to Create Replica for Database DatabaseName.
  • To create the replica locally:
    • In the "File path" field, modify the file name for the replica. This will prevent overwriting if the original database is local
    • Click the folder icon and browse to your desired directory location where the replica is to be saved.
4. Notes provides various optional "Replica Settings" that you can configure according to your needs
Some of the Replica settings are:
  • Choose an encryption type: You can choose three types of encryption type for the replica i.e. Strong, Simple, or Medium. Simply go to Replica settings>"Encrypt the replica using" and choose the desired encryption type
  • Create full text index for searching: This let you save your hard disk space and improve full-text searching of this replica. Simply select this option to the improve full-text searching and deselect it to save your hard disk space
  • Copy Access Control List: If this option is selected, the security settings for the original database will be applied as it is to the replicated database. Deselect it if you want to apply different settings on the replicated database.
  • Create Immediately: This option let you create a new replica regardless of the replication preferences. Select this option and click OK.
Click OK once you are done with the customizations.

You can go to more settings and customize settings for the replica. You can choose to replicate to or from the server (or both), a schedule, and which documents in the database to replicate.

Most of the organizations prefer to user local mail replication for their Notes users. Timely, there have been many advances to this feature in the recent notes versions. Many changes have been made to the replication process, policies & directory catalogs and its creation process. Notes replication has been made easier in the current versions of Notes (V6.0 and later). 

In this article I have discussed basic overview of the local mail replica model. In my further articles, I will discuss the advances in the replication feature and a detailed explanation of the replica creation and configuration procedure.


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