Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Create_R8_Databases=1: Not just a server setting!

Today I started taking my first baby-steps into the wonderful world of the R8 upgrade. One of the most popular topics of interest for the upgrade that I have seen so far is the space savings you can realize using the design element and document compression in the R8 mail template. But what to do if you don't yet have an R8 server up and running in your environment and you feel like playing with the new features? Simple. With the Standard client and the Admin client loaded on your machine, you really have all the tools you need to do some testing. Now, your mileage my vary, but I was able to shave 40MB off of my mail file by following these steps:
1. Using the Domino Administrator client, locate the mail8.ntf template on your workstation
2. Right click on the file and select Properties.
3. In the database properties window, click on the Advanced tab and check the options for compress database design and compress document data.4. Now create a copy of your mail database locally. Make sure to give it a unique name and to use the New Copy option, not New Replica. That way, no changes can replicate back up to the server. Once the copy is complete, take note of it's size. You'll want that for later comparison.
5. Add the line Create_R8_Databases=1 to your notes.ini file and restart the client. This command tells Notes that any time you create a new database, like when your doing a copy-style compact, to create it in the Notes 8 ODS of 48, which allows for the compression tools to work.
6. At a command prompt of C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Notes\ , (of whatever path you are using for the Notes client on your workstation), use the following commands
  • nconvert -u mailfilename.nsf * mail8.ntf (This will upgrade your mail file to the R8 mail template)
  • ncompact -c mailfilename.nsf (This will convert the mail file to the new ODS of 48 and also compress the design elements as well as documents inside the mail file)
Tada! Take a look at the properties of the database now and compare the size with before you completed these steps. Pretty neat, huh!
Okay, I know it's not all that spectacular, but this can at least give you a quick and easy idea of how things have changed and can be improved with the new functionality of Lotus Notes 8. It's also nice to be able to show something off to the boss too!


Mika Heinonen said...

Yup, ODS48 is pretty nice, although it's quite unclear yet to me when to use compression and when not. There's been performance improvements with and without using it, but ODS48 anyway.

When using the Create_R8_Databases=1 from your Notes Client, you should also know that you cannot create new databases anymore in Notes 8.0.1. It's a bug, which will be hopefully fixed in the 8.0.1CF1 release before 8.0.2 in September.

Chris Whisonant said...

Actually, if you enable the ini setting, you can use the ncompact locally without restarting the client. I just dropped my mail file from 407 -> 250 MB by doing this locally. Not too shabby.

@mika - I just created two new ODS48 databases locally using 8.0.1.

Mika Heinonen said...

Chris, you really managed to create a New Blank database with ODS48? I haven't been able to do that on any PC where I installed Notes, and I tried both Standard and Basic. Also other people have reported the same problem.

Now it would be interesting to find out why you can do it, but it might take quite some investigation and scanning of config files.

Andy Donaldson said...

@Chris - Ya, you don't have to restart the client. I was in one of those "testing it out modes" today, so I always overkill on the steps to make sure it works ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to get a hold of just the 8.0.2 mail template. Any idea where I can download this from?