The Devil is in the Details – Migrating Notes Rich Text

Migration projects in general are challenging, regardless of the technologies involved. Notes app migration projects are especially tough to deliver, which is why many customers have migrated their Notes based email systems but still have the Domino platform running to support their Notes business applications.

When planning a Notes application migration project, a topic that always comes up is rich text.  Many Notes applications use rich text fields to capture rich content like images, doclinks, and formatted text with attributes like font size, color, bold and italics. Moving that text to an application running on a different platform can be a challenge. Maintaining the data fidelity during migration is paramount.

DOCOVA was originally released as a Domino application and was ported to SQL soon after due to market conditions. Since we understood the nuances of rich text in Notes applications, we were able to build a migrator that moves the data and design from Domino to SQL.  Our migrator is extremely robust and knows how to handle Notes rich text fields.

If your goal is to eliminate the Notes client and browser enable your Notes apps, then you can continue to run DOCOVA on Domino.  In this case the rich text is taken care of by the Domino server for viewing via a browser client.   Here is a clip (3 min 58 sec) that describes the process.

[youtube id=”rSSJt-DTNiI?rel=0″ width=”800″ height=”450″]

If you are running DOCOVA on SQL the rich text conversion is taken care of by the DOCOVA SE Migrator. The fidelity is very good,  and for organizations moving off of the Notes/Domino platform it is a huge time saver.

Below is a video clip (2 min 36 sec) showing the process of migrating rich text to DOCOVA on Microsoft SQL Server.  The process to migrate the design of the application is the same, but the migration of the data and the conversion of rich text is different.

[youtube id=”-uLNsNNGoRA?rel=0″ width=”800″ height=”450″]

Doclinks in rich text fields can be particularly challenging.

Obviously when you migrate from Notes and Domino to SQL the address for any doclinks need to be updated.  Notes had database links, document links, view links and even links within an document.  Stay tuned for the next installment of the “Devil is in the Details” where we talk about how DOCOVA migrates rich text content with doclinks.




  1. Jon pyke February 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Rich text is tricky but your application seems to still require domino – in the Cimtrek solution we move everything to sharepoint or a J2EE platform dispensing with notes and domino completely

    • Gary Walsh February 7, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks for posting the comment Jon, but I think you missed the point. DOCOVA will work with both Domino and several varieties of SQL. Microsoft SQL Server, Postgresql and MySQL for example. We showed both options on this page, as some customers are fine with keeping the Domino server. In that case rich text conversion for the browser is taken care of by the Domino server. If you chose to go to SQL, and eliminate the Domino server, then our migrator takes care of the conversion of the rich text. No problem with you plugging your product, but perhaps you can comment on how you can migrate things like embedded views, response documents, private on first use folders, computed for display fields and many of the other things that were unique to Notes when the target is SharePoint. How do you migrate Domino’s security model of read, and author fields, groups and roles?

  2. Jon Pyke February 8, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I think the major difference in approach is that you, from what I see in the video, “migrate” to a proprietary platform – we migrate to open source web servers such as Tomcat for example using SQL Server as the data store, which the rebuilt app uses – but we also migrate to .NET, SharePoint (on and off premise) and leave nothing behind once we are done. Clearly there is always remedial work to be done around security but we have tools to help with that.

    • Gary Walsh February 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Actually no, we migrate to completely open solutions. The migrated apps can run on open operating systems (Linux – Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat etc), open web server platforms (Apache), open database engines (MySQL, postgreSQL, MariaDB), open directories(LDAP) and open programming languages (javascript, PHP). However, like you, we also run on and integrate with proprietary solutions, especially the Microsoft stack: Windows, Windows Server, IIS, Microsoft SQLServer, O365, Sharepoint, Active Directory, Azure Active Directory and so on.

      We provide DOCOVA on Domino as an option, not as a requirement. That being said, certainly most of our customers choose the DOCOVA SQL Edition in order to get off Notes and Domino completely.

      We also migrate Notes apps to the cloud or on premises depending on the customer’s requirements.

      With our solution, there is no remedial work to be done around the migration of security. We migrate the application control, document security, reader/author/editor access, hide/whens, roles, group access, user profiles all the while allowing integration to both open directories and proprietary directories like Active Directory or Azure Active Directory.

      We are certainly the most comprehensive migration solution when it comes to moving off Notes and Domino as we migrate the user interface(design), business logic(code), workflow, security, data and database schema. Plus we provide an environment for Users to manage their applications once they are migrated. Additionally, we provide the development interface to modify the migrated applications, not to mention the ability to rapidly create and deploy new modern business applications.

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