Richard Pajerski Software development and consulting

Entries tagged [technology]

Brief overview of modern (2021) server-side development landscape in Domino

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Thursday October 07, 2021 at 08:21PM in Technology

Among the technical reasons Domino has enjoyed longevity in the application server market are its stability and reliability.  But of course technology changes rapidly and being able to successfully adapt to new trends has also kept Domino relevant over the years.  Striking a balance between trendy and relevant is not always obvious but the stewards of Domino have generally taken a conservative approach to introducing and supporting new technology which continues to benefit the product in the immediate and long term.

Very briefly then, beyond the tried-and-true world of Notes client server application development, let's look at three modern technology options developers can choose from in 2021:

1.  Domino AppDev Pack (

From the site:  "The AppDev Pack primarily adds Node.js support to HCL Domino Server."

So developers already familiar with or wanting to explore the JavaScript-centric Node.js have a custom-designed set of tools for programmatically and securely accessing Domino applications and data.

2.  Domino REST API (Project Keep) (

From the site: "Domino REST API is designed to re-establish Domino as a world class, modern, standards-compliant, cloud native and enterprise-level collaboration platform. It adds contemporary REST APIs to Notes and Domino, enabling a modern programming experience with the tools of your choice."

This is still in beta but will hopefully be out in Domino 12.0.1 later this fall.  Domino has for many years had the ability to offer data via a REST API (Domino Access Services) but Keep modernizes that effort by implementing (among other things) OpenAPI and JWT Authorization.  In addition, developers will be able to introduce their own server-side modules called "verticles" as Keep runs on top of Vert.x.

3.  Tasklets with DOTS - Domino OSGi Tasklet Service (

From the documentation: "DOTS is a generic Domino add-in task that lets users create Domino server tasks by creating a tasklet container using Java OSGi plugins."

Ok, this is not exactly modern -- DOTS was an OpenNTF project that's been available since Domino 8.5.3.  Although officially dropped in the Domino 10/11 era it was recently updated and re-introduced in Domino 12.

Strictly-speaking, DOTS is the Domino server task that manages the tasklets which are Java server-side plugins.  Tasklets use a standard mechanism for starting/stopping (OSGi-defined) which makes them similar to Java agents but have the additional benefits of (a) not being tied to a specific .nsf file, (b) not requiring a full JVM reload on every execution and (c) better access to the Domino C API.

How are you developing Domino server-side code these days?

Notes client pegs one logical processor at 15%

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Friday June 18, 2021 at 03:38PM in Technology

Having recently installed a Notes/Designer/Admin 12 client on Windows 8.1 Pro on an aging Intel i7 Quad-Core (with eight logical processors), I was surprised to see that after startup, Notes was consistently grabbing one logical processor and pegging it at around 15%.  Windows Task Manager showed that nlnotes.exe was the process and it wouldn't let go of that processor until Notes was closed:

Notes, Designer and Admin clients all worked fine and interaction with local- and server-based applications was normal.  Without giving it too much thought, I tried a few things like removing cache.ndk, stopping a couple Notes-related services and making sure the preference "Enable scheduled local agents" was disabled.

But none of that worked and strangely, Disk and Network utilization were both at 0%:

The client was set up in the normal way by connecting to a Domino server with an existing mail file on the server.  However, this workstation needed to use a Location that sends and receives mail from a POP3 server instead of Domino.  For that purpose I used an existing names.nsf that already had Account and Locations documents in place.  All of that connectivity worked and the mail flowed normally.

The next step was internet search but nothing obvious jumped out and most references to similar problems ended with Notes client crashes which I was not experiencing.

The Location document for this POP3 configuration kicks off replication and runs it every 10 minutes.  I noticed that after starting the client, there was a gap of a few seconds where the nlnotes.exe process was at 0% and didn't go up to 15% until replication started (and then stayed there).  Thinking the culprit was the Replicator, I disabled replication and restarted Notes... but nlnotes.exe was back to 15%!

But this time I could clearly see that process spiked when "Notes configuration settings have been refreshed" scrolled across the Status bar:

Based on that message and the fact that a POP3 configuration like this is not commonly used, I kept pursuing the Location document as the source of the problem.  And the problem was indeed there.

When you configure the Notes client for POP3 mail retrieval, only the "Mail" tab of the Location document needs to be filled out:

The "Servers" tab can remain empty -- and that was the problem!  At a minimum, the "Home/mail server" field MUST have some value in it to calm down the processor:

It doesn't matter if the server is down or the value entered isn't even a Domino server -- nlnotes.exe will report that the server is not responding but it leaves the processor alone after that:

Ok, problem solved, back to work.  :-)

Congratulations Ray Ozzie - 2021 Computer History Museum Fellow Award

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Saturday March 20, 2021 at 11:16PM in Technology

Ray Ozzie is among the 2021 Computer History Awards honorees recognized "For a lifetime of work in collaborative software and software entrepreneurship".

A virtual event took place to honor Ray on March 18, 2021 and will be generally available in the coming days.  Thank you, Mr. Ozzie for your contribution to computer history!

Important webinar for Domino 11 ...

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Friday August 02, 2019 at 01:59PM in Technology

is right around the corner (August 7, 2019):

Looking forward to hearing about the roadmap and how to sign up for the beta.

HCL Forecast: Mostly cloudy (not surprisingly)

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Thursday July 18, 2019 at 03:27PM in Technology

Be they public, private or the newly-minted "Partner-led" clouds, one message HCL is making clear is that the future for the newly-acquired IBM collaboration product portfolio will be all about the cloud.  Richard Jefts (General Manager, HCL Digital Solutions) has just published here on the new approach: Update on HCL Acquisition of IBM Collaboration Portfolio (Edit March 2021: Update on HCL Acquisition of IBM Collaboration Portfolio).

It appears that the biggest impact will be on current SmartCloud Notes users who will now need to transition away from that offering to one of the new HCL cloud models.  In practice, that will probably entail some form of migration back to a traditional, on-premises Domino/Portal solution (or Domino/Portal-hosted partner solution).  Those who currently run on-premises applications and solutions, including Verse, will (likely) not be immediately affected.

It's good to hear mail will continue to be a core area for Domino; however, the "for the foreseeable future" is an interesting qualification that suggests it may not be for long.  The tight integration of email within collaborative Notes/Domino applications won't go away but will loosen up as different messaging providers take over the role of Notes mail clients.  HCL's announcement here is not surprising (or at least not shocking) and I think it strikes the right balance between managing what works well today on-premises and where much new development will be going forward: cloud.

LEND 2.0 is now out and includes domain wildcard support

by Richard Pajerski

Posted on Friday December 28, 2018 at 07:29PM in Technology

[Edit February 2020: the LEND product has been renamed to CertMatica]

Version 2.0 of LEND is now available and comes with domain wildcard certificate support via DNS challenge.

Wildcard certificates are convenient particularly in situations where a single Domino server hosts multiple virtual sites, each of which needs SSL/TLS protection. Managing separate certificates for each Domino SSL site in this situation is feasible but not very practical since each one requires its own IP address.  A wildcard certificate takes care of that issue and fortunately, Let's Encrypt began offering wildcard certificates earlier this year.  However, as of this blog posting, they're only supported with the DNS-01 challenge type.

The DNS challenge feature was interesting to implement because Let's Encrypt DNS challenges do not offer the same level of automation as HTTP challenges.  With the DNS challenge, Let's Encrypt servers will query your hosting provider during the challenge/response phase instead of your HTTP server (which is queried when using the HTTP challenge).  Since there's no industry-standard way to modify DNS records, the challenge must be entered manually at renewal time, typically using your hosting provider's custom web interface. Fortunately, LEND now has built-in workflow to remind administrators when to do so at renewal time!

Take LEND for a test ride and let me know what you think.