Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SnTT - Client configuration or Seeing the forest through the trees

Like any other Domino Administrator out there, I'm sure that you very much enjoy having a nuke dropped on your desk by management while your in the middle of another project. I know I sure do...not.
This week I was tasked with the assignment to come up with a way to deploy about 20 Notes clients to people at various locations of our latest acquisition. Spread across the county and with support people that don't understand Lotus Notes, I of course started to try and come up with some elaborate plans. My first thought was of course to use the Basic client and create a silent install using InstallShield Tuner. But then came the issue of having to walk their support folks through adding Location and Connection documents for each of those user and that's when I got that pain in the gut knowing that it would be a bugger of a task. So I started looking at 3rd party apps to see if I could package the install and config. While that should work great on a widespread rollout, I needed something quick, easy and maybe a little dirty.
After searching around and for a possible solution, I still couldn't come up with something quick. After spending several minutes staring at my personal address book it hit me. The idea was to take the pernames.ntf template locally in my client and add in the location and connection document information for our environment that they needed to connect. I left out the internet address, mail file name and server location information, but put in everything else. Then I took the edited copy of my pernames.ntf and overwrote the one in data directory of a freshly installed-never been launched or configured client. The thought is that since the personal address book hadn't been created yet since the client hadn't launched, it should pick up those settings when it generates the new names.nsf. And it did! It even added the mail server information and internet mail address for the user ID I told it to use. Pretty slick! So now I will be able to send them the silent install with instructions to do the install, copy and overwrite the pernames.ntf with the supplied one from yours truly, copy in the id for the new person, launch the client and do the last couple of steps. Quick, easy and maybe not so dirty after all. And, I didn't have to buy a thing. Sometimes it's to easy to get so caught up and bogged down in finding the solution, you don't realize that you already have one right in front of you.
I love it when a plan comes together.


Jim Casale said...


You can make a custom ntf/nsf file a part of the install using the Tuner utility but it is not as easy or quick as your solution :-)

Dave Folsom said...

You can also use a post open event in the mail database. However, if this is needed for the initial install, it won't help. I'll glad send you the code I use. d dot folsom at neu dot edu.