Newuser question about notes concepts

Posted on 2000-02-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-18

I'm a experienced VB/SQL-Server developer who tries to get the "full-picture" about how notes is should be used. (And Lotus' website isn't really helpful here)

What I found out in my first hours with notes (my notes-book comes in 5 days ;)) is that there are two products in a Notes-Setup: Notes Client (NC) and a Domino Server (DS).

Is the relation between NC vs. DS like the one between Outlook vs. Exchange-Server or more like (Outlook + Exchange) vs InternetInformationServer.

ie. is the DS the server notes clients connect to or is it JUST a web-server?

if it is the server notes clients connect to, what do you have to take care of when moving a local <database>.nsf to a Server. (i assume notes/domino does not just use file-sharing ... am i right?)

You could help me as well with understanding the different kinds of Domino-Servers when explaning the software needed for accomplishing the following example-task.

I want to connect a workgroup to several databases (say there are about 10 users). What software do I need when I don't want DS to be the Mail-Server or Web-Server.

I know quite a bit about relational database -- it seems that I have to forget anything here ... ;)

Is it correct that a notes-database could be compared to a single table (more or less) in a relational database system.

(FE.) say I want a form to be filled out with billable hours. I want the user to select a "client" from a dropdown-box and to enter hours. In relational system I'd have two tables "Clients" and "Hours" which would match on a foreign key.

How can I do things like this in notes? Does it take me two databases (one for clients, one for hours) or is it possible to have to tables of completely different types in one database.

Or do you enter all the information in one database and do the display via two different Notes-Views?

(btw. my notes-book will really be there in some days, then I'll stop asking those "silly" questions ;)

Question by:rammeri
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Author Comment

ID: 2518219
Adjusted points to 200

Accepted Solution

ghassan99 earned 200 total points
ID: 2518267
Domino Server, is actually many things, like LDAP server, HTTP server, Mail server.  It combines IIS + Exchange + other stuff that MS products has nothing equal, as the Workflow engine and its groupware functionality.
The Notes Client is used to connect to to the Domino Server to be able to use the applications that are built on the Domino platform, and to be able to use the mail services, calendaring and scheduling.  Although you can use outlook client to connect to the DS, you will be deprived of using the Notes App, but u can do so via a browser, which is recently introduced by Lotus, through a new type of client access, called iNotes(Internet Notes).  The DS can server HTTP request through its HTTP engine, transforming any DB to HTML + Javascript (if necessary).  
The mail files, or the nsf files are usually created and stored on the server, via replication (or copying if u dont want updates to the DB) u can keep a copy of it on your workstation.
DS comes in 3 flavors, mail server, app server, and enterprise server.  For average users, App server is good.  You can use that to connect say the 10 users to the Notes App (which might be a discussion db, or a workflow app, etc) it need not be the mail server or the web server.  Although u would need the router task running for workflow and form routing.
Notes uses non relational concepts, its just a big list of all the fields in the nsf file.  And as u said u use customizable view to represent your data.  You just create the form with 2 fields,  'Clients' & 'Hours'.


Author Comment

ID: 2518380
Thanks again,

Could you please answer a (hopefully) last question.

I tried to implement the example above (Clients, Hours)

I created two Forms Clients/Hours and corresponding views.

I can already add Clients to my database and see them in the view.

In the "Hours"-form I want to be able to select a client (Form-used=client, field to select="Name") in a combobox or listbox.

I can't find out (from the online-help) how to do this. When selection a "Names" type it allows me to select a view/column-nr from which to select the value. The problem is, that I don't want users' names here, but clients' names.

It seems to me that I should be able to create a formula that selects just the names of the clients and put that into listviews "values-formula".

In SQL this would be a simple "select name from datatable where formused='client'" ... how do I write this in notes formula-syntax?

Thx very much,
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Author Comment

ID: 2518386
btw. I'm just thinking about how I'd feel when someone would ask me questions like this about VB ;)


Author Comment

ID: 2518512
As i couldn't wait for's book to arrive I just went to our local bookstore and got myself a copy of "Lotus Notes and Domino R5 development unleashed" .... This book answered my questions ;)

Thanks anyway

Expert Comment

ID: 2518903
u can accomplish this using a formula called '@dblookup' or '@dbcolumn'.  They are the most effective for such type of things, check in the help for the syntax.  u basically add this function in a keyword field like a combo box.  Or you can just use the field property to show the whole Clients view.  There are many resources for free books.  The redbooks are a very good free resource, I dont recall the web site, just go to and make a search on redbooks.


Author Comment

ID: 2518910

Author Comment

ID: 2518922
The tip with the redbooks was great!

the url is

Thanks again!

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