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How does the ideal Notes/Domino 8.5 upgrade looks like

Lotus Notes and Domino upgrades are comparable easy. The only challenge: poorly implemented Domino server will stay poorly implemented even after an upgrade. Unless of course you fix things. Once you know what you want to achieve there are many ways to get there. You simply could use smart upgrade to push out the clients and just install the new server software. What you end up with is your "old" Notes/Domino installation running with new code. That doesn't really cut it. It is like upgrading your trusted old Volkswagen two seater to a Mercedes S class (5 seater) but refuse to take more than one passenger, since that was your limit so far (or for that sake: drive faster than 150 km/h since that was the max the VW did). So how can you identify the ideal upgrade? Some of the following stuff should already run in your Domain, so it wouldn't require any effort other than a nod, but there are Domino installations that run despite their poor configuration (Domino is very forgiving):
Update: I have color coded items a well managed R6/7 Domain would have already before your upgrade.
  1. The Domino Server
    • You have defragmented your storage. You can use OS tools, an OpenNTF project or a commercially supported tool. Do that before and after the installation. You could consider different file systems used by other more stable operating systems.
    • You designed a high performance Domino server
    • You have implemented Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) to run your server in "auto-pilot" (Don't forget the activity trends)
    • The Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT) has given you a clean bill of health
    • You have implemented the Certificate Authority. You use OU to divide your user base (typically by functions/departments/locations)
    • You have implemented the ID-Vault
    • You have cleaned your group structure to be machine verifiable and allows for next level automation
    • Users can create their own databases based on approved templates
    • All notes.ini variables you changed are in the server configuration document
    • Your SMTP routing is fully configured for Spam defense
    • The Domino server is clustered for high availability
    • Your network ports have encryption and compression enabled
    • DAOS is up and running (make sure you get your backups right)
    • Out-Of-Office is handled by the service, not the agents
    • The room and resources database is deployed
    • All servers in the same Notes Named Network can see each other on the network and each NIC interface on the server has its own NNN
    • Adminp runs flawlessly ( make sure your system databases replicate properly)
    • Traveler is up and running (buy yourself an iPhone as excuse)
    • All databases on your server have both the latest design and the latest ODS (currently ODS51)
    • You have designed and implemented Domino policies for all aspects of Notes/Domino usage (that might very well a project in its own right)
    • On your Domino server you have space for all user profiles since you have implemented roaming user profiles
    • You have installed and configured your Sametime chat entitlement
    • You have installed and configured your Quickr entry entitlement
    • There is a widget catalog with useful widgets for your organization
    • Smart Upgrade is configured
    • Your routing and replication structure is Spoke-Hub, not Hub-Spoke (that's a topic for another post)
  2. The Notes Client
    • You have defragmented your PC's harddisk. Do that before and after the installation. You could consider different file systems used by other more cherished operating systems.
    • Your machines have current drivers (Video is important) and patch levels
    • The Notes client installation has been moved to the Program Files for the application and the User Files for the user's data files (in Notes lingo we call that shared user install), so users logging into a workstation get their Notes install and not another.
    • You have implemented roaming users (one way or the other)
    • Policies configure and (if your users want to be dumb carefree) lock down your Notes clients
    • Shared login is implemented
    • The only version deployed is the full client, not the basic one. For weaker machines you use the notes.ini setting (deployed by a policy) to start the "classic" client
    • User know what the Notebook (formerly Journal) is for and use it
    • You deployed (optional) the MyAttachment tool
    • You have useful widgets configured
    • Firefox is your default browser
    • You have Windows, Linux and Mac clients
    • Smart Upgrade is configured
    • Users actually got upgrade training. (consider this)
  3. Your applications
    • You have identified performance gaps (e.g. too many lookups) and a plan to address them
    • The application's views are facelifted using the Java views
    • Your applications start making use of composite applications
    • There is a plan in place to recast your applications using XPages
    • You implement useful helpers in the sidebar
    • My personal favorite: You use eProductivity
    1. Important: The list above isn't the steps you need to do, but the results you should strive for. And remember: A lot of these should be in place already. If they are not, now is the time to clean-up. Don't settle for less. As usual: YMMV. Please comment what to add on.

Posted by on 16 June 2009 | Comments (7) | categories: Show-N-Tell Thursday


  1. posted by Glen Urban on Wednesday 17 June 2009 AD:
    You may experience problems if you implement both the ID Vault and the CA Process. See the following technote "ID Vault upload during registration fails when using Certificate Authority" from IBM:

    { Link }
  2. posted by Eric Mack on Wednesday 17 June 2009 AD:
    This is outstanding, but...

    Aren't you supposed to be on vacation?

    Great post.
  3. posted by Glen Urban on Wednesday 17 June 2009 AD:
    Also beware of implementing Desktop Policies in a mixed client environment: { Link }

    I don't believe this problem is fixed yet.

  4. posted by Vlaad on Wednesday 17 June 2009 AD:
    Great post.
    desktop policy can be unexpectedly pushed also on 8.5 servers, SPR is in progress. so reSaving desktop policies in mixed environment should be additionaly tested.

    thanks for good post once again.
  5. posted by Keith Brooks on Thursday 30 July 2009 AD:
    You neglected to make sure the Admin sets up Webadmin for themsleves.Still not always done, probably because they didn't know it exists.

    Excellent post by the way!
  6. posted by Bali villas on Wednesday 16 June 2010 AD:
    nice post..happy vacation Emoticon cheesy.gif
  7. posted by albia on Saturday 11 December 2010 AD:
    <a href="{ Link } in Bali</a>
    Emoticon kiss.gif