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Finding out how the replication works

coronoahcoro
coronoahcoro used Ask the Experts™
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We have a legacy application that was written a few years ago. Currently we are in the middle of analyzing this application to see what we can improve. The problem that we are having is we have a web application that is a replication of this regular application. We are not sure how the replication works or what are the information are being replicated, the schedule, etc. I do see that in the web application, it has less forms and it seems that it only functions as a tool to display the information from our lotus notes database without any capability to create/edit/delete documents from the database.

At least for now, we would like to know how our application is being replicated to the web application and what information are being replicated.
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Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
1. Are you sure both databases are replicas, i.e. do they both have the same Replica ID? See the 2nd tab on the Document Properties box.
2. Did you check whether some elements aren't replicated or that there is a replication formula? See the Replication Options box, Space Savers and Advanced
3. Which server initiates the replication, and what rights do both servers have in the databases?
4. See also if Consistent ACL is selected (see the ACL).

Author

Commented:
1. Yes
2. Yes only certain forms are being replicated. Here is the formula:
SELECT @IsMember( Form ; "WORec" :"CompanyRec" : "ContactRec" : "ItemDesc" : "ItemRec" : "Inquiry" : "Code" : "DBProfile") & !@IsAvailable($Conflict)

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3. How do I find this one out? Is it the one that has the schedule?
4. Yes it is consistent

I already make a test database for the application on the main server using 'New Copy', if I want to replicate this to the new server then do I just File > Replica > New replica while the test database is highlighted?

Author

Commented:
Actually after I create a new copy of the database, I could not create a New Replica. The option is grayed out. Any idea why?
New-Replica-Gray-out.jpg

Author

Commented:
I guess I have to open the database first then I am able to use 'New Replica'
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
> 2. Yes only certain forms are being replicated.
That's not what I meant. That formula copies only certain documents, i.e. those documents that have a field Form with one of the values mentioned. But what design elements are replicated?

3. Which server: see the connection document(s), or the replication history of the database.

Author

Commented:
@sjef:
2. I believe only the forms and deletion. See screenshots below:
advancedspace savers
3. Looks like to me the main server send the documents to the web server

Author

Commented:
I am really confused now. I thought replication will work pretty similar with new copy. But when I did New Replica there is nothing in the application

Author

Commented:
Ok so what I just did is I copied over all the design elements from the production web application to the test web application. When I put in the URL in the web browser, it gives me the sign on page just like on the production web site, but I couldn't find this page on the Designer. How do i find out what design element that is being diplayed as a default? I checked on the properties, it says open a frameset but when I looked on the frameset it looks to me like the page after the users sign on  so that is not the sign on page.

Author

Commented:
the url for the login page contains: .../Main?openframeset&login

I did not find login on the Framesets in Designer.
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
You should look for the Main frameset. You're becoming a true Domino detective!

Author

Commented:
Yes I found the Main frameset but I still do not understand how this works. I never work with Notes Web Application.

So I looked at the help file, basically that URL tells the browser to open Main frameset (which I did find) but what is the '&login'? In the help file it says the ampersand is to separate arguments but then that does not tell me where to get the login page. The Main frameset contains the elements that shows up after successfully log in.
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
login is just a command, it tells the Domino server to present the login screen if yhe user is still Anonymous.

Author

Commented:
Yes, I understand but how does the login screen gets generated? The reason I asked is because the login screen contains the company logo and we would like to be able to change that. Second even though I have a test system when I click the 'Submit' button it redirects to the live system, so I would like to be able to change that.

Author

Commented:
Ok just found out that it is under Domino Web Server Configuration. More digging....

Author

Commented:
Is it possible to have 2 different mappings for 2 different databases in the same server? Based on what I see here, there has to be 2 different IP address:

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.help.domino.admin85.doc%2FH_CUSTOMIZING_THE_HTML_LOGIN_FORM.html
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
The login screen can be modified, but it's a bit clumsy: you have to modify a form in the domcfg.nsf database. Search on domcfg.nsf, you'll find a lot of info.

The different mappings seems a different question, if it's about 2 web servers hosted on 1 server. It can be done, using Internet Site documents.

Author

Commented:
Ok. I added a DNS record on my server and now I can specify different login form for the test systm. Making progress here.

Author

Commented:
In the Frameset properties, supposedly a view called "WOCOName" is being displayed but that view does not exist in the live or test system. But if I login to the test system, it displays fine but the test system says that it cannot find the design note.

I am confused how the live system still works without the view existed. Any idea?
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
> Any idea?
Nope, not without direct access to your server and site.

The view doesn't exist in the database? Often, any element can be opened independently, so you could try with a URL line hppt://domain/database.nsf/element and replace element by a view's name or alias (!).

Author

Commented:
That is what I tried. In the live system the view opens just fine but I cannot locate the view in the Designer (I tried both the name and the alias). When I tried in the test system, the web browser says that it cannot locate the design note. I just don't know how the live system can open a view that is not showing up in the Designer.
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
Well, it can't, so there has to be some logical explanation for this behaviour. My hands are tied here, and I'm blindfolded, so I can't really guess what's going on on your servers...

Can you post the exact URL (censor the sensitive parts please)? Can you see both replicas in the Designer? What about the view elements, are they in both replicas?

Author

Commented:
I just tried to open a view that I know shows up on the Designer but I still get 'Couldn't find design note' This makes me think it does not have anything to do with the view.
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
You could be refused access (in the view's security settings) or the view could have been set to not available for web use. The latter you can see in the Views overview in the Designer, if there is a check-mark under the blue Web image.

Author

Commented:
I created a test user with a manager access and DBAdmin role for the database. Still gets the error. Below is the screenshot of the check-mark ( I assume if it is checked then it means that it is available for web viewing). Also the server console error message everytime I tried to access those views from the web browser. I know for sure that WOByName view exists in the database.

view properties
server console

Author

Commented:
Some weird things:
1. I tried to open WOByNumber from the Lotus Notes client. Works ok but not from the web.
2. I created a test view with the exact selection formula that WOByNumber has, but it does not pull any 'WORec' form. Instead if I just says select @all, only "CompanyRec' and 'ItemRec' that shows up, this is while the WOByNumber displaying WORec just fine.

I am very confused now. Nothing works like I thought it would be.
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
Can you compact the database on the web server? I get the idea there are corruptions in the design of the database. Try compact first, and if that doesn't help, use fixup, and a replication afterwards (all from the Admin client). If still problems, clear out the Replication History in the database and replicate once more. A restart of the HTTP task can sometimes have beneficial effects too.

Author

Commented:
Yes I am able to compact both databases
Sjef BosmanGroupware Consultant

Commented:
That wasn't the suggestion...

Anyway, if you want the database on the webserver to be a replica of the internal one, you could maybe replace it by a new replica? Shut the web-server down (only Domino), move the replica out of the way (outside the Domino data directory), restart the Domino server, and make a new replica from the database on the internal server to the web server. Then try again.

Author

Commented:
sjef, what I want is to have a test system that imitates how the db in the production do. For the one that is sitting on the main server I have created a new copy and has been using it as a test system just fine. But it is getting complicated when I want to imitate how the production db can replicate to the web server because the web server have different design components and when I tried to do it using the test db, I got all the problems that we have discussed above.

Maybe I should ask how to do the replication the right way.
Groupware Consultant
Commented:
Apparently, someone disabled replication of the design elements (forms, agents) and removed some elements that were considered dangerous or harmful when used by web users. That I cannot tell, having no access to your environment.

All I can suggest is to use the standard replication in the test environment...