Monday, March 06, 2006

Controlling the size of a NotesTracker Repository database

Two recent IBM developerWorks articles are a must-read for Notes/Domino developers (and also very important for administrators):

In the second article, under the heading View Performance Testing the point is made that:

The biggest "performance killers" in terms of view indexing are categorized columns. Sort columns add a small amount of overhead as do some other features, such as the Generate unique keys option.
There are two accompanying charts that reinforce this statement. The first one displays View index size versus response times and we see that the categorized views (the two rightmost bars) having index sizes considerably larger than those of comparable non-categorized views:

View index size versus response times (click to enlarge)
Column sorting uses far less resources than view categorization, as shown by the shorter bars in the chart. (The other chart shows View size versus refresh time and demonstrate that the categorized views also have distinctly longer response times.)

In a NotesTracker Repository database -- assuming that you retain the database design as distributed -- the usage log documents are shown via a dozen or so Database Activity views. These views select all of the usage log documents in the repository, whereas the other views select subsets of usage log documents (in some cases quite small subsets) and should not have all that much impact on the repository's size.

Here's a typical view, the Database Activity by Action / User view (shown with the new navigator coming in NotesTracker Version 5.0):

NotesTracker Version 5.0 sample categorized view (click to enlarge)

One user of NotesTracker has reported that it only took around 55,000 usage log documents for their NotesTracker Repository database to reach a size of 1 GB, so you may see a need to somehow minimize the database's size.

In light of the findings about categorized views described in the articles, if you feel that you want to reduce the size of any of your NotesTracker Repositories, one good way way to do so would seem to be by deleting unwanted and/or infrequently-used categorized views from the repository's database design. (You could might gain some advantage by implementing some of the other techniques described in the two articles.)

We would be very interested in recieving your feedback if you try doing any of this.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Comprehensive Notes Mail monitoring, via NotesTracker

The IBM developerWorks article Discover the power of Calendar Delegation in Lotus Notes shows you how to how to setup and use the Calendar Delegation feature in the Lotus Notes client to grant another Notes user access to your mail file and act on your behalf.

The article starts off:

"One of the most powerful tools in the IBM Lotus Notes client is the Calendar Delegation feature. Calendar Delegation allows you to grant another Notes user access to your mail file, enabling the delegated user to view and edit your calendar data, send email messages on your behalf, and act as a manager of your mail and calendar data. This scenario is typical in the case of an executive who employs an administrative assistant to schedule his meetings and appointments and to respond to non-confidential email messages. To allow the administrative assistant to manage his Notes mail file, the executive specifies the assistant as a delegate for the mail file. In turn, the administrative assistant may be responsible for managing several users' calendars, particularly if he supports several executives."

Naturally, the presumption here is that the delegate is trustworthy and this would generally be the case.

Nevertheless there exists the possibility of privacy or data security violation if a delegate for whatever reason, malicious or otherwise, mishandles or exposes the contents of your Notes Mail database.

One North American company justified the purchase of NotesTracker to extend the design of their Notes Mail design template so that all usage of a person's Notes Mail database can be monitored in detail.

As for any database being monitored via NotesTracker, they can audit each and every database document operation -- Create, Read, Delete, and Update (including every field value change).

Authorized people can view what everybody, including yourself, did to your Notes Mail database and keep an archive going back as far in time as required.

This sort of thing is quite simple to do and just "par for the course" with NotesTracker!

So if you have a Notes Mail monitoring or compliance requirement, you should consider using NotesTracker to implement a proven solution to this important need.