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Increase group size in lotus notes

Posted on 2001-08-13
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What we need to do is send out company communiques to the corporate retail staff located nationwide in Lotus Notes.  This involves annual correspondence to 150 ? 500 users annually.  

As you can imagine, this becomes labor intensive when the group limit is 20 users per group.  Is there a way to increase the group size or alternative suggestion?  
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Question by:Peppermint
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by:SysExpert
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Where is it written a 20 user limit per group ?

I have groups with 100's of users.
Also for more, just use nested groups !

I hope this helps !
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by:Peppermint
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CommView earned 300 total points
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As far as I know a group can have around 250 entries (names). It is a known memoryblock limitation of the field
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by:CRAK
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CommView is right: it's the amount of data in KB that restricts you!

Is is possible to nest groups?
GroupA contains GroupAsub1, GroupAsub2, GroupAsub3 etc. wher all -sub's contain users
or:
GroupA contains some users and refers to -sub1, which contains an additional set of users and refers to -sub2 etc.

The 2nd option is probably harder to maintain and performs worse. The 1st option works....

Check help for "limit"....
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by:CommView
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Crak's suggestion number 1 is the best option indeed.
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by:Peppermint
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Currently, we are using option 1, but with a limit of 20 users per group, we have soo many groups I get a headache just thinking bout it.

But let me see if I understand this correctly, is the limit restriction based on the e-mail size and not number of users.
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by:SysExpert
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Depending on how your server is set up and any changes in the mail template, it could be limited.
I'm not sure you are using the groups correctly.

As I first suggested, you should set up a Group in the address book. If necessary, this single group can contain other groups , rather than user names.
This should solve any condition, unless you have size limits on what you can send out.

I hope ths helps !
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by:CRAK
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Groups are defined in the (public) name&adress book.
Each group definition contains only a few fields: e.g. the groups name, a description, an administrator (person or group who can edit the group) and: the list of users/groups in that group. Especially that last one is know to grow very long is some situations.

It's the size of data in that field/list that may encounters notes' limitations; e-mail sizes have nothing to do with it!

A text-field (this list is a kind of text-field) can hold up to 15KB of data (I've experienced problems near 12KB in the past). Assuming that an average name is approx. 50 chars long, you should be able to store at least 250 a single in one group as CommView states.

Unless one of your applications restricts you to those 20 people/group (what a thoughtless crime!), there should be no problem at all!
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by:CommView
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Again, Crak provided you with very precise information, but I get the feeling (rereading your original question) that we do not have the entire situation clear.

Are you using a custom application (that is, not the standard Lotus Domino Personal address book of the Lotus Domino Directory database)?
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by:Peppermint
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Sorry folks, I need to clarify a few things:

1.     We are Using Lotus Notes 5.0.5
2.     Lotus Domino Administrator 5.0.5
3.     Maximum e-mail capacity is set to 25 megs
4.     Checked with our Service Provider and there is not a maximum e-mail recipient limit


I stand corrected; it appears we can only send an email message up to 100 recipients.  We have tried several approaches and get the same results each time.  Here?s what we have tried so far:

1.     Create master group, and then have sub group A with 100 recipients and sub group B with 73 recipients.  Then add the master group to the To:
2.     Add the sub group A and sub Group B to the To:
3.     Add the sub group A to To: and add the sub group B to the BBC:

Here are the results:

If we go to the Administrator and check under the Routing Mailboxes we can see that the email is still in the queue.

If you open the message in the Routing Mailboxes, the State: Pending delivery.  Also, I noticed, when you open the message, the Recipients lists shows all the email addresses.  Is that correct?  Shouldn?t it display the e-mail group instead?

Also we get the same entry in the log file no matter what method we used.  Here is a sample:  

8/15/2001 10:26:33 Router:  No messages transferred to MAILRELAY.TEST.COM
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by:CommView
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Ok, now I get the picture (I think)

The problem does not appear to be the maximum size of the group, but the maximum number of names in the SendTo field of the mail. Am I correct?

That the mail lists all recipients is Ok, for that is what you provider needs. Can it be that the e-mail message size times the number of recipients exceeds the 25 meg border?
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by:CRAK
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I see....
That doesn't really make life any easier, does it?

Just thinking aloud... (that worked before when I was on a project together with CommView!):

Mail.Box is in fact just another database, like an NSF.
Could it's design be changed to intercept incoming mail and split it in several messages with only a few recipients, just before the groups are actually translated to individual users?
Is there a suitable event available?

An alternative would be validation of the mail on the user's client: recursively check groups in groups in groups and -when only users remain- either split the message or return some kind of a validation error....

So far I have luckily been able to avoid building that....
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by:edSmelt
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Is it truly necessary to post the message to all users at once or could you set up a messaging script which picks up all selected recipients (if necessary in the different groups) and iterates through them sending each the same message? (Check whether recipient is a group, if it is get group, iterate through members, checking whether member is a group, etc.)

If it is necessary to keep all recipients up to date as to who received the message, you might want to keep a link to the list(s) of recipients and append a comment referring recipients to the full list of recipients. (The list(s) are already available in the PNAB.) However, this only works if all recipients use Lotus Notes and have access to the PNAB.

Of course the amount of data traffic will increase doing this, but as it is annual correspondence, this should not pose too much of a problem.
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by:CommView
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Oops, reread your original message not entirely correct.
I assumed you used some internet provider to send the messages. But this doesn't change much.

May I suggest, you set up a database in which you post your reports/communiques, replicate that database throughout your company/country. Then you will be able to send doclinks to your staff (maybe a NewsLetter agent suffice). Either way it saves you an enormous lot of network traffic not to mention diskspace, for the message is stored only once per server instead of hundreds of times in personal mailfiles.
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by:SysExpert
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From what I can see, Notes 5 clients are not supposed to expand group names !!

Are you using older clients ?

I hope this helps!
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by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
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I think the problem might be in your mail routing and has noting to do with the size of your mail or the number of recipients.
Check the settings for mail routing in the connection document to your mail server. It could be that it isn't sending the mail because of limitations set here.

For more info about possible restrictions that have been set lookup the document "Configuring message delivery options" in the Administration help. Here you will find links to useful related documents.

FYI: the maximum size of a group is 15K
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by:Peppermint
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the input.  I am looking into all the suggestions.  Jerrith, can you tell me more about the mail settings routing.
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by:Peppermint
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the input.  I am looking into all the suggestions.  Jerrith, can you tell me more about the mail settings routing.
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by:Peppermint
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Hi Jerrith, could you tell me where I find the connection document and what settings should I look for?

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by:Peppermint
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are you referring to the lotus.ini file?
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by:SysExpert
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The connection documents are located in the Public address book, in the servers folder.
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by:marilyng
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Just a quick comment.. if you're sending the bulk emails with the group name in the "TO" field, then you will reach not only the limitation of the field, but increase the size of the email substantially, because the entire list will appear in the header.  

The best way is to use the group name in the BCC field. (you might want to include a message explaining "BCC" mail to your users -- because they tend to think they  got the  email by mistake)

Setting up a bulk mailing list that is easy to maintain usually requires a separate database apart from the Name and Address book that sits on the server.  What we have done in past is create a separate address book with the essential fields that you need -- which can be collected from your NAB, entered manually, or collected from your legacy system via agents.

Another agent collects these names and updates the groups in the NAB on a regular schedule, which usually has one master account, and any number of smaller nested groups -- so:

Master Mail group contains:
   subgroup001
   subgroup002
   subgroup003
and so on as suggested above.

Each subgroup contains a maximum of 250 names,(I believe the limit on the groups is 15K) and the agent has sufficient permissions to create or remove subgroups groups as needed -- but since the bulk of the processing is done on the separate database before it's pushed to the NAB, there is less of a chance of replication conflicts happening between replications of the Server address books on more than one server. So, you do need to coordinate the agent with your admins along with the broadcast times to make sure the server can handle the outgoing mail.

The nice thing about the separate database to maintain the mailing list is that it can be configured to create the mailings and generate separate emails with a variety of logical addressing (i.e. individual emails to executives, etc.) The ones I built served 5000 + users.

It can also be configured to  track sent messages and internet addressing.  

Let me know if you require additional assistance,

Marilyn



   
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by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
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Sorry for not commenting earlier to your question, but I had allready left for the weekend (time difference I guess).
Anyway, SysExpert allready pointed out where you can locate the connection document(s) that you need to check.
You use a connection document to tell how and when to route mail. It's important that you enable the mail routing task. If your users are spread over multiple servers, you need to have a connection document for all servers involved. I suggest you lookup the documentation about mail routing in the help of the administration client. I've found this documentation to be very clear and complete.
If you need any specific additional info, let me know and I will try to explain.
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by:Peppermint
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Thank you everyone again, I'll look into the connections document and research the mail routing in help.
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by:Peppermint
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Still haven't found it.  I must be overlooking something, so here's some information that may be helpful.

Currently, we only have one mail connections doc and below are the Routing settings in the Replication/Routing section:

Routing Tasks:  Mail Routing
Route at once if:  1 message pending
Routing cost: 1
Router Type:  Push only

Can you have mail connection documents for servers other than lotus notes servers?  My understanding is that we can only have it for lotus notes servers.  Is that correct?  Please note that we are sending e-mail messages to external recipients from an external server.  

Below are the settings under Router/SMTP Basics:

Number of Mailboxes: 2
SMTP used when sending msg outside of local internet domain:  Enabled
SMTP allowed within the local internet domain:  Disabled
Servers w/in the local Noets domain are reachable via SMTP over TCP\IP: Always
Address lookup:  Fullname then Local Part
Exhaustive lookup:  Disabled
Relay host for messages leaving the local internet domain: MAILRELAY.TEST.COM
Local Internet domain smart hosts:
Smart host is used for all local internet domain recipients:  Disabled
Host name lookup:  Dynamic then local


Should Exhaustive lookup is be enabled?

I noticed that I missed part of the message in the log file so I thought it might be helpful to post it again.

8/15/2001 10:26:33 Router:  No messages transferred to MAILRELAY.TEST.COM (host bus-relay.tes.ar.net) via SMTP


Also, the group size is 7,000 k so we should be well within the size limit.
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by:Peppermint
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Assuming that we could use the existing connections document, should the Router type be Push Wait-- where the source server must wait for a signal from the destination server before pushing the mail to the destination server.
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by:Jean Marie Geeraerts
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I think your server can't find MAILRELAY.TEST.COM
Is this name resolved through DNS on your intranet ?
If not, try replacing the name by its IP-address in "Relay host for messages leaving the local internet domain:"
You can test if the name can be resolved by typing ping MAILRELAY.TEXT.COM at a DOS-prompt.
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by:SysExpert
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OK, One more question.

How big is the message you are trying to send ?

You said the maximum message size is 25 MB. The question is whether this is per message ( as it should be ), or a total for all messages sent to a list of people, as in your case. ( this can be put in the mail template as a way to prevent mass mailings !! ).

I hope this helps !
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by:Peppermint
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I'll certainly try pinging.  I believe that has been done and we have gotten a response.

The test message is just three words so it is very small, well below the 25 mb max.
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by:Peppermint
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Could ping the server and the msg size is pretty small.  
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by:Peppermint
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The problem has been resolved.  It was a setting the pipeline setting that was the culprit.  Under Outbound SMTP commands we changed the Pipelining extension and that solved the problem.  

The issue is documented in www.support.lotus.com article 179979.

Problem:

You can successfully send messages to a small group of Internet recipients with outbound PIPELINING enabled in your Domino 5.x Configuration document (in the Router/SMTP, Advanced, and Commands and Extensions tabs, Outbound SMTP Commands and Extensions section, and Pipelining extension field). Message transport fails, however, when you attempt to send messages to a large group of recipients, such as several dozen. SMTP debugging reveals that the ROUTER task cycles repeatedly through a portion of the recipient addresses and does not actually send the messages. At the end of each cycle, the following statement is displayed in LOG.NSF:


"End of pipelined commands"

Solution:

This issue has been reported to Lotus Quality Engineering, and a fix is being researched.

To work around the issue, disable outbound PIPELINING.
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