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Domino Web User and Notes Agent Access

Posted on 2012-08-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I have a process I would like to introduce but I'm not sure if it will work. Here it goes.

Servers used in the following scenarios:

APP01 = This is the Web Log in server
APP03 = Application server with 200+ Client nsf's
APP04 = Application server with 200+ Client nsf's

APP03 and APP04 each contain unique Client nsf's.

Current Environment:

All 3 servers are accessible via the web.

User logs in via the APP01 server and are redirected to the appropriate Client nsf located on either APP03 or APP04. The redirect happens after the user successfully authenticates.

The users url will now display something like the following.

https://APP04.WEBSITE.com/CLIENT/ID.nsf/home

All this works fine. One drawback is the website design is located in all the Client nsf's on APP03 and APP04. If a change is made to the website design on our Test server, then I have to update all the nsf's on APP03 and APP04.


Proposed Environment:

APP01 is the only server that has access to the web. APP03 and APP04 have http disabled and are solely there for the purposes of housing the Client nsf's.

Users will log in to APP01 and will be directed to a website nsf (Home.nsf) that contains all website design and appropriate design elements (ie Agent, Script Libraries and etc). I would like this database to access the appropriate Client nsf located on APP03 or APP04 via agents.

The users url will now display something like the following.

https://www.WEBSITE.com/Home


Questions:

 Environments
I know I can select the "Run as Web User" within the agent security, will it attempt to access the nsf's on APP03 and APP04 as a web user or a notes user ?

Agent Run As
Is the Proposed Environment possible even with http disabled on APP03 and APP04 ?
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Question by:nbtnotes
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17 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 38303028
I don't know if it will access the other server as a web user or a Notes user. But how are you updating the code in the client nsf's? It sounds like you are doing something manually, which is not necessary. Individual design elements can inherit from any template, even a different template than the database itself. To do that, copy an element from a template, then paste it into another database or template, and select Yes to the Inherit prompt. You can use that method to push updates to thousands of client nsf's from one "web" template, yet the client nsf's will still inherit their mail functions from the mail templates.
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Accepted Solution

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Sjef Bosman earned 750 total points
ID: 38303080
My big question is: why would you want to do this? Now you have your load shared by two servers, and in the new configuration you would have all execution load on the first server (where the agents run), and the data is on the other two? With 400 sessions on the first server, it'll be hard work for that server...

Why not turn the whole caboodle into a cluster of 3 evenly loaded servers? No need for a separate login server. If you put a replica of every client database on one of the other two servers, you'd even have a fallback solution for your clients.

By the way, AFAIK a web agent isn't allowed to access data on a different server. I can be mistaken... If you use XPages you don't even have to use agents.
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Expert Comment

by:larsberntrop
ID: 38304953
Even better, use clustering to add dynamic failover capabilities. These days that is included in the Express license model, perfectly applicable given the number of users you specify. Building a nice template structure can be challenging, you can look into Temstudio Build Manager to ease that process.
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Assisted Solution

by:fgrushevsky
fgrushevsky earned 225 total points
ID: 38305558
I know it might be a bit off-topic, but why don't you use a reverse proxy server ? it would be a good fit for your scenario

this way internet user connects to reverse proxy (ibm edge, cisco asa etc). gets authenticated against domino, reverse proxy figures were to go for user mail file and provides connectivity
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Author Comment

by:nbtnotes
ID: 38325531
ThomasMcA2, We do use a template process for each Client Specific Database. I just don't like having to update all these databases.

sjef_bosman, Exactly what my co-workers said. No need to go backwards and lose our current load balancing structure. Definitely has helped with our internal and external processing.

larsberntrop, Clustering won't work with our system. We are Transactional based and have ending balances that always need to be updated. We have designed an internal manual trigger to indicate what server should be used.

fgrushevsky, We do want to use a proxy at some point in the future, but we just don't have the time to do it right now.


My original goal was to have 1 server that was used for all Client interactions. At our peak time we have around 160 to 200 users authenticated. This one server would be use logins and interaction with data. After the comments I received here and discussion with my co-workers, we are going at this in a different way.

New Plan

Keep APP03 and APP04, however create the centralized Website Database on each server. Client will be routed to the appropriate server depending on where their Client Specific Database is located. This allows me to accomplish a few goals.

1. Centralize the Website Design for faster problem resolution and maintaining all Global Functionality within one database.

2. Maintain the load balancing we have today. This has worked great and allowed our servers to be more efficient.

3. Perfectly set up for our next design which we definitely one the design in one database.
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Expert Comment

by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 38325668
> Clustering won't work with our system. We are Transactional based
> and have ending balances that always need to be updated. We have
> designed an internal manual trigger to indicate what server should be used.

Clustering will work, that is what it is designed for. If you choose not to use it, that is your choice, but that is not a deficiency of Domino.

The main technical issue with clustering is running scheduled agents. In order to run an agent on one server when another server is down/offline, they need to be configured to run on every server. Unfortunately, that means they run on every server even when all servers are up, duplicating effort and/or data, and creating replication/save conflicts. Newer versions of Domino may have fixed that problem, but in older versions you had to code a process that checked which server had permission to run scheduled agents, and abort if the current server did not have that permission.
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Author Comment

by:nbtnotes
ID: 38325737
Didn't say it was a "deficiency" just not going to work for us. I can't run into a situation where multiple users are on different servers. This has a small chance of happening, but it is still a chance.
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Expert Comment

by:larsberntrop
ID: 38326972
Updating the databases can be done quite quickly using the Design task:

load design -d <directory name>

i've done that to 1200 databases, takes 20 minutes. The big advantage is that to the Design task, all templates and databases are local. No network traffic necessary.

Another posibility is to use XPages to code an app which runs on the Login server but displays data of the different APP servers as appropiate.
For a mindblowing view on XPages: look here
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Author Comment

by:nbtnotes
ID: 38327027
I do Load Design all the time. I just don't want the design in 400+ databases anymore.
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Expert Comment

by:ThomasMcA2
ID: 38327052
Why not? That's what it's designed to do. You make your code changes in one central template, and Domino pushes out  those changes to every database that uses that template.
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Expert Comment

by:larsberntrop
ID: 38327219
if you are concerned about storage, consider using the Single Copy Template feature.
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Author Comment

by:nbtnotes
ID: 38383011
I thought I explained my response above: "ThomasMcA2, We do use a template process for each Client Specific Database. I just don't like having to update all these databases."

It is a personal thing not updating hundreds of databases in case of an emergency. I use Load Design all the time and yes it works. This aspect of my request is a personal thing not a functionality deficiency.

Cluster won't work for us and Cluster Gurus at Lotusphere backed me up on that. I can't have a Notes Client user on one server and a web user on another. Balances will get out of wack and cause problems.
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Assisted Solution

by:larsberntrop
larsberntrop earned 225 total points
ID: 38384860
Yes the proposed setup is quite feasable. Build it using XPages.
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Expert Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 38384913
I don't quite agree. Apparently, a Domino server can handle 300-500 sessions, and then it runs out of memory so sessions will be swapped out to allow new sessions. This slows down a server considerably. Some testing may be needed to find out if this is indeed a limitation.
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Expert Comment

by:larsberntrop
ID: 38385826
Sjef, that's CONCURRENT sessions. I think that with the specified setup, 200+ plus 200+ client dbs, 1 Domino server will handle the load comfortably.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Sjef Bosman
ID: 38386383
Let's wait for the pudding ;-)
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Author Comment

by:nbtnotes
ID: 38386756
I'm keeping the multi server concept and won't be doing clustering. Clustering won't work. I'm debating whether or not I want to create a single interface or keep the multi database concept.

Thank you for all your input and help with making this decision.
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