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Tools for Notes 4

Posted on 2001-06-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
Hi guys.

I'm relatively new to Notes, and occasionally it takes me a while to find out how Notes does things.  I wonder whether there are equivalent tools to do things that I'm used to having in other programming environments.

Now I *know* Notes data isn't relational, and that each form in a database just gives you access to different sets of fields for one big flat document structure, but there *are* field links between different forms in one database.  I've inherited quite a few databases, and of course, there's no developer's documentation, so what I'd really like is some sort of report which will tell me:

1) What fields are used on each form, including shared fields and subforms.  Then I can see the links between forms.  For example, Access gives you a Tools menu option called Relationships, which shows this in a graphical format.  I doubt I'll find anything like that for Notes, but a text report listing field names under form or sub-form headings would be fine.

2)  What subforms are used in each form.  Like 1) above, a text listing showing subforms under form headings is what I had in mind.

3) A list of documents within a database that have "missing link" fields.  Kind of hard to describe this one - I'm looking for "lost" documents, say response documents who have lost their parents.  This one is not so important as Nos. 1 & 2 above.


200 points each to experts that can give me links to the tools themselves which can achieve this - I'm afraid that I haven't time to trawl through the many Notes sites searching for them myself.  Alternatively, has anyone written scripts that will produce these type of results from within each database?

I don't mind looking silly if these things are available from within the Notes desktop environment itself!
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Question by:jaynee
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24 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:esquitx
ID: 6158999
For the 1 & 2 the only way, apart from going through all of them, is to create the synopsis.
Some time ago, I used the Team Studio to achieve things like that...
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:sloeber
ID: 6159018
Notes has a report tool include in every database.
Just go to your database, choose file in the menu
and then Database and then Synopsis.
Here you can find all the data that you want.
But no grapihics.
You als don't find missing links.
If you've response documents and you want to know if the parent doc exist, just run an easi lotusscript.

Greets,
Sloeber
0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6159131
LOL Whaddya know - I *do* look silly!

Thanks, sloeber, the points for this Q will be yours.  esquitx, I'm awarding to sloeber, 'cos s/he told me where to find the synopsis, which certainly takes care of point 1).  However, it doesn't seem to list what subforms are used on each form.

I'll leave this Q open for a bit in case anyone else has any suggestions for further points.  What is Team Studio, esquitx?

I know about running lotusscripts from events within a database - can I write a standalone script not attached to any specific database, and then run it against any database I like (selecting database from within script)?  ie can I have a script program on my Notes desktop that's not part of a database icon?

Thanks
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:tgebruik
ID: 6159165
I want to have some point also... :-))

The best tool for the job =

http://www.teamstudio.com/ivesv2/tsv2.nsf/0/A5877062DDBC24FB8525689A006DC4C1

I use it all the time!!!!!
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:sloeber
ID: 6159212
This is a nice tool, but it isn't free.
And I know that it isn't always so easy to buy new software in a company.

It doesn't matter from where you run an agent.
You can alway connect to other databases.
You can make a list with all the databases you've, so that the user can select the db, where the agent must run.
You can also use the catalog db to retrieve this information.

PS : The design synopsis is much more complete in R5.


Greets,
Sloeber
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:sloeber
ID: 6159273
Hey jaynee,

Here's a tool like TeamStudio, but it's FREE.
And yes, I submit, TeamStudio is better, but it isn't free.
This is the link to the R4 release
http://www.notes.net/sandbox.nsf/ecc552f1ab6e46e4852568a90055c4cd/7eaa558e01e4fcbe8525688d0053c978?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,notespeek

For the other who're may be interested in the R5 version go to
http://www.notes.net/notespeek

It's also a VERY good tool.

Greets,
Sloeber
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 6159280
You can develop your own design view which will list the items that you are looking for. This is an idea extended from this article: http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue199908/design001.html

Create a view called DESIGNVIEW, and firs column with formula $Title, Second column with $Subforms, third column with $Fields and multivalue seperator as New Line.
&
With View Property as Show Lines per row set to 9


You are all set to go with this agent (Say DesignRevealAg )

Sub Initialize
'--This agent changes the $FormulaClass field of a view to "4" to show Forms and Subforms
     Dim session As New NotesSession
     Dim db As NotesDatabase
     Dim view As NotesView
     Dim doc As NotesDocument
     
     Set db = session.CurrentDatabase
'--CUSTOMIZE:Change the name of the view below to customize
     Set view= db.GetView("DesignView")
'--You now have a handle on the design element of the view.
     
     Set doc = db.GetDocumentByUNID(view.UniversalID)
'--CUSTOMIZE: The code on the line below changes the $FormulaClass field.
'--See chart above for other values.
     Call doc.ReplaceItemValue("$FormulaClass", "4")
     doc.Save True, True
End Sub

This agent should be run once and goto the view just designed and hit Shift+F9 to rebuild the index.

The view will show the form name with subforms and fields in it

~Hemanth
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Expert Comment

by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 6159299
0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6159317
Great - thanks for contributions so far.  I've downloaded NotesPeek (the freebie) and will try it out this afternoon.

Points will be posted by Friday, if that's OK.

Other sorts of tools that people consider favourites will also be considered - you don't have to stick to my list of 3 above.  Just make sure its for Notes 4, and let me know why you've found it useful.  Oh - and sloeber is right - free is best.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
ID: 6162557
Sounds to me like Hemanth's solution is very nice and displays all you are looking for, however one downside : You have to include this view in every database.
0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6163771
I don't mind including Hemanth's view in every database, but I'm wondering if there is a way to programatically change the views "Show Lines" property to the max no. of fields for each form...

NotesPeek is a real help - its let me see just how much garbage there is in some of these databases.  Wonder how much fun you could have with a NotesPoke version : )

Another thought (more points on offer) - one of the databases I'm currently trying to clean up has loads of fields called "untitled", "untitled1" etc <grrrr - jaynee grinds her teeth>, and I suspect that quite a few field names have changed since data was first fed in.  

Is it possible for a Notes database to have documents that have values for fields that no longer exist on current forms, either because they've been renamed or the forms that originally used those fields have been deleted?  In other words, is it possible to write an agent script that trawls through all documents looking at field names, checking that a form exists with that field name, and reporting on any field names that don't exist on current forms?

Meanwhile, rather than make you wait, please check points for:

sloeber
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qManageQuestion.jsp?ta=lotusnotes&qid=20131317

Hemanth
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qManageQuestion.jsp?ta=lotusnotes&qid=20131321

tgebruik
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qManageQuestion.jsp?ta=lotusnotes&qid=20131322

NOTE TO THE EE LOTUSNOTES MODERATOR:
Please don't reduce these points assignments for being excessive - I really needed this stuff very quickly, and my time is worth at least this much : )
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
sloeber earned 66 total points
ID: 6163892
Jaynee,

Did you try to compact your database on the server ???
If you go to your server, and then to your database, and you compact it, he will delete all the unnecessary fields.
You can do it also from your workspace, but I think that the best way to do it, is from the server because he has always the most right.

There's also a mtehod in lotus script to remove items from a form.
The remove method from the notesclass.
This script removes the Useless item from a document.
Dim doc As NotesDocument
Dim item As NotesItem
'...set value of doc...
Set item = doc.GetFirstItem( "Useless" )
Call item.Remove
Call doc.Save( False, True )

Greets,
Sloeber
0
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 6163929
OK jaynee,

You can show 9 lines in a row at a time, check the view property "Lines per row" in Style tab.

Check this little utility to display UNK table
http://support.lotus.com/sims2/sims_or2.nsf/6068fc2ac33ba084852563d400542029/2dcfbd133d796452852564a60071231e?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=1.2,1.1#_Section1.2


Follow the method described in this link to delete any unused fields
http://support.lotus.com/sims2.nsf/eb5fbc0ab175cf0885256560005206cf/cb600511bc6cf5ae852561cc00727ce7?OpenDocument

Also, if you have the old fields still refering in the documents, you can delete them with help of an agent run on selected documents with formula as

FIELD UnusedFieldName := @DeleteField;
""

This answers your questions.

~Hemanth

0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6164211
sloeber & Hermanther -
Its a big messy database - I don't know whether there *are* any unused fields, so I don't know what the field names are.  That's what I wanted to find out.  Because its so messy, I suspect that there is valid data in unused fields that should be copied into fields that *are* being used on forms before I go ahead and delete them by  compacting the database. Never mind - I'll go ahead and compact anyway.

Hermantha - the DESIGNVIEW view works fine with 9 lines, I wanted to know if I could change the no. of lines displayed from 9 to how ever many fields there are on each form being displayed, 'cos I can only see the first 9 fields.  If 9 is the maximum no. of lines you can display in a view row, then I'll concatenate the field names together instead.  Ta.
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Assisted Solution

by:HemanthaKumar
HemanthaKumar earned 67 total points
ID: 6164421
9 lines is a limitation imposed by notes.

Instead try this ,

delete the subform column and change the fields column formula to this
("SubForm--> " + $SubForms) : ("Field --> " + $Fields)

And Change the column property to show multiple values as seperate entries and sort ascending.

This will show all the entries in single line as seperate docs and shows all the information.

PS: For easy viewing categorize the form (Title) name column

The view would look like this

> Form Name 1
    FIELD --> Field 1
    FIELD --> Field 2
    FIELD --> Field 3
    FIELD --> Field 4
    Subform --> Subform 1
    Subform --> Subform 2
> Form Name 2
    FIELD --> Field 1
    FIELD --> Field 2
    FIELD --> Field 3
    FIELD --> Field 4
    Subform --> Subform 1
    Subform --> Subform 2
> Form Name 3
    FIELD --> Field 1
    FIELD --> Field 2
    FIELD --> Field 3
    FIELD --> Field 4
    Subform --> Subform 1
    Subform --> Subform 2

0
 
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Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6164463
Thanks Hermanth, I'll try it tomorrow - off home now.
0
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
Jean Marie Geeraerts earned 67 total points
ID: 6166537
I'm afraid that if you're not sure which fields are still valid and which aren't it's going to be difficult to clean up your current database.
What I suggest is the following :
1. create a new copy of your current database, but copy only the design elements. This way you won't copy any documents and so you won't inherit any old fields still existing in old documents.
2. Create an agent to copy data from your original database to your new database. Use a form by form approach, so you know which fields to expect. (You might want to use an all documents view in the original database with only two columns: first : field-value Form, sorted and categorized and the second formula @text(@DocumentUniqueID) to display the documents replica ID)
In this agent check what fields are available on the form and display an exception in a log database for fields in the document that are no longer on the form. This should give you a database containing all exceptions which you can then evaluate.

It's quite a bit of work to write this agent, but the end result will be a clean database containing all relevant data.

Regards,
JM
0
 
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Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 6167004
Good idea, jerrith... I just might give that a go.
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 10412249
jaynee,
No comment has been added lately (987 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: Award points to jerrith http:#6166537

Please leave any comments here within next four days.

-- Please DO NOT accept this comment as an answer ! --

Thanks,

Zvonko
EE Cleanup Volunteer
0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 10430089
My apologies, everyone.  I'd forgotten I'dleft this open.
I'm going to split points to those who posted useful stuff even after I'd posted seperate Q's with points for rewards so far...
0
 
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 10430116
That's fine.
Here the description how to split points:
http:help.jsp#hi19
0
 
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 10430122
Uhps, you did it already.
Thank you.
0
 
LVL 7

Author Comment

by:jaynee
ID: 10438770
LOL - no probs, and thanks for the reminder, zvonko
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
ID: 10440192
Thanks for the appreciation. Glad to have been of help :-)
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