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Migrate Notes to DOCOVA Blog Series Part 9: Response Documents

Welcome to blog series part 9 of 17 on migrating Notes apps to DOCOVA..  In this entry I’m going to talk about how DOCOVA handles response or child documents.

First let me take a second to praise response documents in IBM Notes.  You know, they seem like such a simple thing but I think it’s surprising how many systems don’t include this type of construct out of the box.  With their ability to inherit field info from their parent on creation and deep hierarchical depiction in views, they were great in my opinion.  Ya, sure, there were oddities here and there in views, but overall I think they were really useful and easy to implement.

THAT SAID.  Yes, DOCOVA supports the design construct of response/child documents.  And, yes, column totals in a categorized view look correct in that the category total disappears when the category is expanded and shows up at the bottom as you’d expect.  Why they never got around to that, I’ll never know!  Also, in case you’re wondering about the obvious, yes, when creating response or child documents from a parent, you have the option to have fields automatically inherited from the parent onto the child just as Notes had done.

I’m quite happy that we have this feature in DOCOVA, it’s really useful…and built right in.

You can fast-track and get all the whitepapers on our migration methodology and everything that is being discussed in this series of posts.  Specifically, you can get the DOCOVA Notes/Domino Migration Methodology – MIGRATE whitepaper which goes over these technical aspects.

Comments below!  Ya…tell me how much you like response docs!

12 Apps in 18 Days – A Notes Migration Project

Jamesway Incubator, located in Cambridge Ontario, manufactures and sells incubators worldwide.   For years they have used IBM Notes and Domino collaboration products to automate business processes and share information with a staff located all over the world.  However, like many in the Notes and Domino community, a corporate decision was recently made to switch to Microsoft based technologies.

Replacing Notes based email is relatively easy, since the migration tools and processes are well defined.  Migrating Notes based applications is much more difficult.  Fortunately, Jamesway implemented DOCOVA as a document management system almost a decade ago to manage corporate documents, and the new version of DOCOVA (V5), has been specifically designed to migrate Notes based applications to SQL. DOCOVA V5 understands the design elements that were unique to Notes, and knows how to handle them when moving to SQL based technologies.

Jamesway contracted DLI to perform the Notes application migration.  DOCOVA App Importer did the heavy lifting by automatically migrating the application design from Lotus Domino to DOCOVA, leaving the developer free to adjust and tweak the migrated applications. Without App Importer to take care of the grunt work it would have taken 6 months instead of 3 weeks to transform these applications.

The DOCOVA migration methodology (Analyze, Plan, Migrate, Manage) has guided this project.  The initial analysis provided us with key information so that we could provide a quote for the migration and identify resource requirements. In discussions with Jamesway, the migration plan was developed, which in this case was to migrate off the Notes client first, keeping the Domino backend, then move the migrated applications and existing Document Management system to the DOCOVA SQL platform.   Since the DOCOVA UI is the same regardless of the backend platform, Jamesway could spread the migration out over time to be better able to handle the resource requirements on their end.

The applications migrated included maintenance management, requisition systems (purchase order, cheque, etc), as well as reference/document repository applications.  Utilizing App Importer, the developer doing the migration didn’t need to know what the application did or the business logic behind it, as it was all migrated intact.

All aspects of the design were migrated (Layouts, Pages, Views, Calendar Views, Forms, Subforms, Agents, Script Libraries, Images, Folders) as well as the data, including profile documents.  What about security? Yes, that was migrated too, including document level security (authors/readers/controlled access sections). As for the LotusScript, that was automatically translated to Javascript.

Being an early release of DOCOVA V5 there were hurdles to be crossed and issues to be addressed. In some cases application logic just doesn’t flow the same way in a browser as it does in a local Notes client (eg. dialogs, prompt boxes, etc), requiring some adjustments/tweaking by the developer post migration. Luckily the DOCOVA Application Analysis process flags these cases for us.  We are also constantly improving App Importer to address new scenarios, which means that if we were to repeat the project with the current version of DOCOVA V5, it could be completed in even less time.

The Jamesway project has now moved into UAT. After we showed IT management the migrated applications and they saw how the business logic and UI have been maintained, they were quite comfortable taking on the UAT step, since there is little to no training required. Users just need to be shown how to access the new platform and add their applications to the workspace.

While we still have some work to do to complete the migration to the SQL platform, we’ve been able to take what could have been a very costly re-development project and deliver results in a short period of time, at a reasonable cost.

Migrate Notes to DOCOVA Blog Series Part 8: Profile Docs

Welcome to blog series part 8 of 17 on migrating Notes apps to DOCOVA.  In this entry I’m going to go over profile documents.

In Notes apps, profile docs were convenient for, and typically used for, holding application settings type information.  The information on profile docs was easily gotten with @formula commands like @GetProfileField.

The question is: Does DOCOVA support profile documents?

Yes.  If a Notes application used profile documents then they will be supported in the migrated application in DOCOVA.  When migrating, of course the related profile document’s form will get migrated.  DOCOVA knows, based on how the form is edited, that the generated/updated document is to be treated as a profile document and saves it as such, similar to the way Domino handled profile docs.

When the data of a Notes application is migrated, DOCOVA App Importer™ knows when a document is is a profile type document and will handle the conversion on the DOCOVA side.

@Formula methods like @GetProfileField and @SetProfileField are supported in DOCOVAScript™ as $$GetProfileField and $$SetProfileField as well as $$Command([EditProfile]).

If you’ve used profile documents in any of your Notes applications, when they are migrated over to DOCOVA, you can still use them in the same fashion as you did in Notes, and use them in any newly created DOCOVA apps too.

You can fast-track and get all the whitepapers on our migration methodology and everything that is being discussed in this series of posts.  Specifically, you can get the DOCOVA Notes/Domino Migration Methodology – MIGRATE whitepaper which goes over these technical aspects.

Post comments and questions below!