How to identify unused Domino databases ?

Posted on 2007-03-22
Last Modified: 2013-12-18
Hi - I am trying to find an easy way to scan the databases on my Notes server (mail databases and applications). Some of them will have lapsed into disuse and I'm trying to identify these. I have seen a template on the Lotus site but it has a number of serious limitations in that it relies on all databases having the 'record transactions' flag turned on or it red screens.

Does anyone have a method / database / agent to enable this ??

Thanks - Andy
Question by:andyhines
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 18770806
check catalog.nsf on the server. If it is not existing, create from catalogue template.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 18770822
also check these links:
Content of the above link: Thanks to Qwaletee:
Some things to watch out for as you do this analysis:

1) And old last modified does not mean a dead database.  Some databases are essentially reference material, and will change rarely or never

2) Some databases are seasonal, and during the "off season" would not get used at all

3) Sometimes a database is used only at one location, but not in others, but may need to replicate through another server for distributon

4) Similar to seasonal databases, some may be present for certain specialized situations (e.g., a fire drill database or a product release database), and if that situation has not occured recently, the database may be "hibernating" but not dead

For these and other reasons, you probably don't want to use metadata anlysis to DELETE the databases, but rather to find CANDIDATES for deletion.  the next tsep would be to analyze the candidates for any obvious reason to take them off the list (e.g., if you yourself are familiar with it, and know it is still necessary).  The step after that would be to identify the "owner," inform him/her of the prposed deletion, and ask for confirmation of authority and a decision, or at least a pointer toward a true decision maker.

You will probably want a database to track all of this, as well.

From Sjef:
If you have a Catalog database, every record contains a Database last modified date field (DbModifiedDate). If you create a full-text index on the database, you can search for documents (databases) from which the DbModifiedDate is less than 3 months ago.

If you don't have that database, the set up the Catalog service.

Author Comment

ID: 18771488
Thanks madheeswar, I think I understand. You're saying that the Catalog.nsf can show this information if I write a suitable view - is that correct ?
Let me have a stab at this and I'll let you know.
I take the points about it not being 100% accurate for various reasons. I understand that.
Thanks - Andy
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 18774131
The best way is to turn on licensing database.

See License Tracking in the Notes Admin Help.
It explains how to turn it on.

It tracks any user who logs into Notes, and within a short time you will see a list of all active users.

You need it on all of your servers.

Other options are to check when the last person sent an email.

There are some good admin tools to also compare the Address book with the Mail Db's on a server in the Sandbox at

Look for admin and user tools.

I hope this helps !
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 18777245
I generally open log.nsf on the server to the Usage by Database, or Usage by Size folder.  There it lists all database usage by database name, or Database Title.  There you can open and see the full usage for week, month, year, and if need be, grab the title or filename and open it to see what it is.

You can create your own private view, or copy those documents into a separate local database for further actions.
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 300 total points
ID: 18779731
Also see the usage Report at

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Expert Comment

ID: 18779854
Umm, marilyn, if you are able to see usage for the month and year in log.nsf, then I guess you either have more processing power and disk space than you nee dplus really fast disks ... or, your server is suffering horribly.  log.nsf by default only keeps a few days of data, and I only bump it up if we''re having an intermittent failure that's being difficult about finding and diagnosing.

The catalog.nsf data is gathered from the database activity log, which you say is turned off in some cases, so it won't help there either. There is a notes.ini option to have statlog turn the activity log on for all databases, which would solve that prolem, but that would solve the RBOD probalem with the sandbox agent anyway.

If you take it from catalog.nsf, you have one other problem.  It only tells you activity summaries for the last day, week, month, and earlier. But activity for the week includes usage for the day, so you have to subtract to get the usage for the first six days of the last week, similar for month and for all time.  But if there's no activity in the last month, how do you tell whether the previous activity was one month ago, 6 months ago, or five years gao?  You can't from the catalog.nsf data.

Another smaller problem with the activity log is that it is fixed at, I think, 64k of data, so older uses fall off. Probably not a problem, unless you find that there are databases where an automatic agent is doing frequent updates, but there is no real use of the database.  The log will probably have kicked out the last true end-user activity in the database, so even the sandbox utility won't do you much good there.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18781970
Somewhat Correct, qwaltetee - my log is configured to keep 15 days, but here is report similar to that you see in catalog:  It appears that the document is keyed to the pathname?  (could be wrong)

Usage for last 24 hours:
Database uses:      2
Documents read:      3
Documents written:      1

Usage for last week:
Database uses:      15
Documents read:      24
Documents written:      7

Usage for last month:
Database uses:      65
Documents read:      79
Documents written:      38

Usage for entire period:(143 Day(s))
Database uses:      314
Documents read:      346
Documents written:      365

LVL 31

Assisted Solution

qwaletee earned 200 total points
ID: 18782842
OK, here's a report from the department of redundancy department...

As discussed above, databases can keep an user activity log internal to the database, up to 64k of data, each entry containing a user name, #reads, #writes. Every time a user connects to a database, the Notes database cache keeps track of all the user's iopen databases and the RW stats.  When a user's session disconnects, that information is written to the database's internal activity log if that log is enabled.

Nightly, two processes run on most Domino servers: CATALOG and STATLOG.  Each of those processes opens every database, and gathers information about the database, icnluding the ACL, this user activity log, and other stuff.  For the user activity log, each of them scans from the top (most recent entry) to the bottom (least recent entry).  Every RW value is added to one or more of four sets of counters -- day, week, month, and "everythikng." The nnumber of days between the top and bottom entries is also calculated.  This data is written -- by statlog to the Database Sizes documents in log.nsf, or by catalog to the database information doucments.  So the source of the data Marilyn gives above and for t eh similar infomration in catalog.nsf is the same: both come from mthe database user activity log.

Log.nsf also has another mechanism, where as each user session terminates, the number of reads and writes for each open database is written to log.nsf as a session activity entry for the user.  These appear in the Usage by user and Database usage views in the log.  But, whereas the database user activity log is limited by SIZE, log.nsf is limited by TIME.  Log.nsf can keep an unlimited amount of session history, but that h istory disappears, in Marilyn's case, every two weeks.  The db user activity can have entries going back to 1989 or so, if there hasn't been much activity since then. But if there is a lot of activity in one day, you may see only activity for the past day (or less), even though there appears to be information calculated for the week and the month.

So, what does this mean?  Well, for checking if a database is active, you can take a quick cut and check if there is use in teh past day and if not in the past week and if not in the past month.  You can grab that from statlog or from catalog.  Personaly, I prefer to use catalog, and work it across the multiple replicas. That will leave you with a list of candidates to review manually.

But, that doesn't work very well if you have a lot of databases with system-generated activity (will be false negative for lack of use), or databases that get used about once a month (or less).  So I prefer to use the API to grab the history, parse it, and eliminate system activity (usually shows a server name).  From what remains, I can check for activity in the last <choose-your-period>.  Form what remains, I check patterns -- if the last activity was 9 months ago, is there a pattern showing activity every nine months? At least at this point, I have eliminated false negatives, and have some picture of who might be updating the database (if I ahve no other source of owner info)
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 18783871
I am not disagreeing with you.. :)    

Author Comment

ID: 18832634
Thank you to all who answered. I split the points between SysExpert who gave me the location of the views I actually pasted into my Catalog file and Qwalatee for his most thorough explanation :) Hope thats OK with everyone. Andy

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