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Notes database scanner and inventory tool

In every IBM Notes and Domino application migration project it is crucial to understand the scope. How many Notes databases are in use, which Notes databases can be deleted or archived. Normally Notes environments are not maintained and will contain many Notes databases that are not used. We supply our own Notes tool to scan our clients Domino servers and determine the scope of their migration project away from IBM Domino. If you want to carry out your own inventory of your Domino environment you should read on.

The main focus of this tool is to scan the Notes databases content and report when the last Notes document was modified or created, and by which user. We also scan the user activity and report this in an understandable way, but we don’t rely so much on the Notes database user activity, it cannot be trusted too much in this context. All details can be exported to Excel for further analysis. For the content scan a license must be purchased. The design and the user activity scan is free of charge.

Feature list

Import all Notes databases on the Domino server(s) and scan database properties like database size, title, template, replica ID and number of Notes documents. Free
Scan all Notes database ACL roles, report which roles the admin is missing and assign all roles to a user or group. Free
Notes database content scan, report last document created and modified dates, form and user. Forms used, Parent child structure, Notes document link details. Licensed
Notes database user activity scan, allowing to exclude certain names like Domino servers and Domino administrators. Scan allows to scan users from a certain data to determine the usage in the last year for example. Free
Notes database design element scan. Free
Export all details to Excel for detailed analysis Free

 

DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

Instruction Movie

(showing older version of the tool)

Introduction on the tool

Download the tool and place it on the Domino server to be scanned. When you have multiple Domino servers make a Notes database copy on each Domino server (do not use replicas). Sign the database on the Domino server with Admin Notees user ID and make sure the ACL is set properly.

It is advisable you run this tool with Full Access Administration enabled in the Notes admin client on the server you are going to scan, in this way you will have access to all private documents in TeamRooms and Document Libraries.

Roles in the database ACL’s

Before you start scanning we have to make sure the ID executing the scan has all roles in each Notes database ACL. No worry, this ACL role process has been automated in this tool (read on below).

First import all Notes database on the Domino server. Press the action 01. Import Database (run on server will go faster). You may run this task multiple times to find new Notes databases on the server in a later stage. This import will go fast.

When complete all Notes databases are loaded in the tool.

Run the second option 02. Get role list on all Notes databases (select them all in the view database info). This task will take a bit of your time, not much.

When completed sort on the column Missing roles and the roles you miss are reported.

Select the Notes databases you have roles missing in the ACL and press the option 03. Set manager to assign all roles to the group or user account you may define.  To verify the operation you can run the second option 02. Get role list on all Notes databases (select them all in the view database info).

User activity scan

Now all is set to scan the user activity and the Notes database content. In certain situations its handy to delete all Notes database records from this tool of which you are not interested in, like the Domino system databases, help files, restore database, mail files and so on. Its not necessary to do so, you can also choose to scan everything or scan a selection of the database and cleanup the excel export later on.

Select the Notes databases to scan and press option 04. Analyze Databases.

First we have to scan the headers and the user activity. Its important to understand we provide two ways of scanning, from the Notes client and by the server itself. Only the user activity scan must be executed by the client. The other scan options you are free to choose client or server scanning. In general the server scanning will go faster. We have encountered Notes databases where the server scan fails, so then we switch to the Notes client scan.

Next goal is to determine the users and servers to exclude from the user activity scan because we are not interested in Notes admin and Domino server activity in the Notes databases user activity analysis.

The option “and users from activity after” a certain date will allow you to determine the total unique users of the applications in for example the last year.

When the scan is completed go to the view Database Info, scroll to the right and sort the column Last read by.

You will now find all servers and Notes admin between the regular users. Copy all servers and admins you find in the text file. Do the same for the Last write column. When you think you have found all servers, admins and other system accounts select all databases again to run a second user activity scan. In the second scan option window add the servers, admins and accounts to the exclude list and run the user activity scan again (disable the header scan which has already been done in the first scan). In the second user activity scan the servers and admins you have excluded will no longer show up in the user activity. Other servers and system accounts may now show up. Add these new servers and admins to the exclude list as well when you run a third user activity scan. Repeat this process till all servers, admins and other system accounts are removed from the user activity columns.

A user activity result is displayed below.

The unique users are the users from the complete user activity over multiple years. Note: we don’t value the user activity scan very much, it can be very misleading. Never base your inventory on solely user activity details. Please read on about the Notes data content scan which is much more reliable compared with the user activity scan.

Notes database content scan

Now its time to scan the Notes database data documents (for this a license is needed). Please contact sales@lialis.com to purchase this license. Enter the license under the option License. When licensed the scan of data documents and document links is enabled.

The Notes data content scan is crucial to determine the Notes database activity. It has more value compared with the Notes database user activity scan which cannot be trusted so much is our experience. An example of the content scan is illustrated below.

The most valuable piece of information is the Last doc created and Last doc modified when determining weather or not a Notes database is in use. This analysis is explained later on in this guide. Also the number of documents per form is displayed and details on parent child response structure and document encryption is displayed. Document encryption and response usage will give you problems during the migration project, so its nice to know these details in the beginning.

The Data document content scan may take a long time, in some cases weeks, when there are many large Notes databases on the server.

You have the option to run the scan on the server or on the Notes client. When the Domino server executes the scan it will go faster, though there is no feedback to the Notes client what the scan is doing compared with the option Run agent on client. We always advise a dedicated computer for this scanning.

When the scan stops you can quickly sort the column Forms used to see which databases where not scanned because the forms used value is empty. Select the Notes database with no value in forms used and start the scan again.

The design scan gives a summary on the design elements present in the Notes database. We only use this in the excel export to combine Notes databases with a similar design. This analysis is explained later on in this guide.

The Deep Scan Doclinks will report where the Notes document links are linking to, for example:

Export to Excel for further analysis

When the whole scan is ready it is time to export all details to using the view action Excel for detailed analysis. Select all documents in the Notes database and press the button Export for Detailed Analysis.

This will export all details stored in this Notes database to Excel (more is exported to excel compared what is displayed in the view).

Now the fun starts which is to determine which Notes databases are in use, can be archived or can be deleted. Add a new column to the Excel file named target so you can set your analysis target. Read on below to get an impression on how we perform the analysis. Below instructions are an example and might differ with your specific situation since each Domino environment is different. But we expect with below guide you will be able to do a good analysis of your environment. Feel free to email your xls file to sales@lialis.com for review (only if you have purchased the content scan license).

  1. Set all databases with number of documents 0 to 10 to delete because it holds almost no content (so sort this column).
  2. Sort on the column Last Doc Modified. This column will always show year, month, day in this order so sorting on this column will sort the dates in a chronicle time order. All databases where the last doc modified is older than 6 months you can set the database for archival or deletion when the date is very old (many years). You may want to use another time period like a year depending on your company policies. Secondly use the column Last Doc Created By and perform the same sorting. You will see sometimes a big difference between Last Doc Created By and Last Doc Modified. You will have to investigate why. Use Last Doc Created By as well to determine if a Notes database can be archived or is in use. Please also double check the user activity details for these databases to see if they match up with the document creation and modification dates.
  3. For all databases in active use (Last Doc Created By and Modified by are recent) do a double check with the user activity. You should see that user activity matches up with the document creation and modification. As mentioned above only use the user activity details to do a second validation. However, don’t rely on the user activity too much because this might be misleading is our experience. When a database has been modified a lot recently and there is no or old user activity, this might be caused by an agent making content all the time. In this case the applicable database can be archived or deleted. I hope you get the idea now how to work with the excel file.
  4. Notes databases where the Notes content has not been modified recently can be archived or deleted. For Notes databases with user activity archiving might be the best option. In case you are interested in archiving Notes databases to SharePoint, we offer a user friendly and efficient solution to do that. When there is no user activity it might be safe to delete the Notes database.
  5. We offer a tool that automatically closes the Notes database ACL. This is very useful in Notes decommissioning projects when you suspect that a Notes database is no longer being used and could be deleted. Use this tool to close the ACL and when there are no complains from within the organization you can assume that nobody is still using it.

Conclusion

In IBM Notes and Domino decommission projects its crucial to get a good understanding of the scope of your project before you start to worry about how to execute this project. With this tool its not very hard to get this understanding.

When this analysis is done properly you will get very useful information on the number of Notes databases that are actively used and need a new working solution on another platform (e.g. SharePoint), which databases can be archived to SharePoint or which ones can be simply deleted.

Once you have this information in place you need to contact the database owners and check your analysis. We have done tens of analyses using our tool and methodology. We are never far off from reality. Some slight differences (shifts) might occur in target but these are mostly minor. It will save you a lot of effort, money and frustration.

Pricing

Please contact us if you want to know more about the licensing of this tool.