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Open a notes database from Internet Explorer

Posted on 2005-03-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I have a client request to be able to open a Lotus Notes database from a link displayed within Internet Explorer.  The requirement is not to open the database within the browser itself, only to open it in the Notes client by clicking a link on a page displayed in the browser.

The functionality needs to be able to start the Notes client if it is already running or to simply open the specified database if the client is already running.

I've found articles indicating that it should be as simple as including something like the following within my HTML:

<A href="notes://<server>/<path>/<database>">DB Link</A>

for example

<A href="notes://mynotesserver/dbpath/target.nsf">Link</A>

I've also seen commentary suggesting that "?OpenDatabase" be appended after the database name.

The botom line is that neither of these approaches works consistently.  I've had varying results: sometime I get "Server Error: File does not exists" from the Notes client, sometimes it opens a different database (often the last one that I opened manually) and every once in a whhile it will actually work (especially if I close down my Notes client and open it up again).

Any suggestions on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.  Please note that I do not have the option of changing the computer on which the browser is running in any way, no registry changes, no file or program installs, etc.

Also, I am not a Notes developer, I'm a Web developer so please keep that in mind when describing a possible solution.

Thanks in advance for the help...
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Question by:llewelm
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14 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:MichaelStrong23
ID: 13499437
What version of the Notes Client are you using?
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelStrong23
ID: 13499606
The schemes for Lotus Notes client URLs is as follows:



Server Databases

Notes://Server/Database.nsf

Notes://ServerID/ReplicaID

Notes://Server/Path1/Path2/Database.nsf


Local Databases
Notes:///Database.nsf

Notes:///ReplicaID

Notes:///Path1/Path2/Database.nsf
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Author Comment

by:llewelm
ID: 13502042
MichaelStrong23: My Notes client in version 6.0.1.

Looking at your second posting, I'm not sure how the syntax that you've shown is any different that what I indicated I was using in my original posting.  I believe that my syntax matches your 3rd entry under "Server Databases".
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelStrong23
ID: 13502086
Yes that's right and it works like a charme with me try to intall the Notes 6.53 client you can download it here

https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/preLogin.do?&S_SRCID=ESD-DMNTSRVR&source=ESD-DMNTSRVR&S_PKG=C59GWNA&S_TACT=105AGX13&S_CMP=DLMAIN

create an IBM ID or login with the existing one


kind regards
Michael
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Author Comment

by:llewelm
ID: 13505351
Sorry, as I said in my original posting, I cannot change anything on the computer where the browser is running.  That means that I have to live with whatever Notes client is installed there.  It is my understanding that this should all work with 6.0.1 so I guess I'm really looking to find out why it isn't at this point.

Thanks for your continued help.
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelStrong23
ID: 13505953
OK let't talk about the inconsistencies. Is there any system in that? Does it work allways when you close the Notes Client? and then reopen it with the link?



Michael
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Expert Comment

by:sravikiran
ID: 13507008
I understand that you read a comment to use ?OpenDatabase

Have you tried

notes://servername/replicaid?opendatabase

if you have a local database use
notes:///replicaid?opendatabase

Also, there are many notes:// link issues in 5.x and in early versions of 6 - e.g., 6.01. I see a lot of them were fixed in 6.0.3 / 6.5.2. I know that you want to use 6.0.1 but if there is any possibility, try upgrading to one of these versions and check. If this issue doesn't occur in the new version, I am sure it is a bug in 6.0.1. 6.0.1 is one of the primitive R6 versions with many known issues. There are atleast 500 - 600 issues that were fixed between 6.0.1 and the latest version.


Also, when you click on this link in browser, check if it is opening the database in a new window (non-active) - check the task bar. - This is just a thought.




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Expert Comment

by:MichaelStrong23
ID: 13507903
Yes that's right, I think the only way to get rid of the problems is to update the client. I have been working with notes links for a long time on my 6.5x and I never hand any problems. Sometimes there are no workarounds for bugs.


Kind regards
Michael
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Expert Comment

by:evan_schneyer
ID: 13568024
hi,
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Expert Comment

by:evan_schneyer
ID: 13568105
(sorry about the above comment, hit the wrong button)

I too and a web developer (not a Notes developer) and I'm also having the EXACT same issue (though, sadly, I'm running Notes R5).  
I'd love to know if you've found an answer to this.

Also, in my environment, our lotus notes server names have forward slashes ( / ) in them ...e.g., "workstation/notes01/notes"
Should this make a difference in the syntax of the link?  

I've tried using the syntax you all listed above, but I get the same error -- "Server Error: File Not Found"
for example, if my server is "workstation/notes01/notes" and the path on the server is "pub/apps/notes/sample.nsf", then the following link should work, right?

notes://workstation/notes01/notes/pub/apps/notes/sample.nsf

Am I doing anything wrong, or is it just a problem with the Notes client version?
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Author Comment

by:llewelm
ID: 13573883
evan,

I managed to get this working and the answer was not what I expected and didn't involve installing a new client.

In my situation, the server name was something like "notes-server/notes/misc".  The datatbase file name was something like "apps/general/mydatabase.nsf".  Like you, I expected that I would have needed:

Notes://notes-server/notes/misc/apps/general/mydatabase.nsf

It turns out that, in my situation at least, the server name to be used in composing the URL is actually just the name of the server itself ("notes-server" in this example).  It looks like you don't need the stuff immediately after the server name.  That means that the actual URL turned out to be:

Notes://notes-server/apps/general/mydatabase.nsf

This opens the databases every time.  In your case, I would try:

Notes://workstation/pub/apps/notes/sample.nsf

See if this works for you.
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Expert Comment

by:evan_schneyer
ID: 13595043
YES!!

Worked perfectly...thanks for the tip!  

Incidentally, I also found info on how to link directly to a file, and I thought I'd share it here.  It's very simple.

In Lotus Notes, navigate to the document you want to link to, right click on it and go to Document Properties, and the second to last tab that looks like this: < + >

The "Identifier" field contains a URL to link directly to that document.  You can copy and paste it into an html link and it works perfectly!

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