Notes database dump to SP, BOX and Google drive

Introduction

In our Notes Domino decommissioning projects we come across a lot of Notes data that needs to be archived in a read-only format to solutions like; SharePoint Online, BOX, Google Drive, or a File Server. Our clients need this for 2 reasons:

  1. To keep Notes data for financial or legal auditing purposes
  2. To archive legacy application data so they can start with a new ‘empty’ solution on another platform

To address this need we have developed a solution to dump the Notes database views, forms, response structure and all Notes content (including attachments) commonly used platforms like SPO or BOX.

No matter how complex the Notes database design is on.

Although it is a sophisticated solution, we prefer to use the word ‘dump’ because it implies the simplicity of our approach.

The solution supports all Notes database designs and all Notes database content. Off course a Notes database may not exceed the maximum file size of 64 GB.

In this video we demonstrate how a Notes Teamroom database is archived to SharePoint Online, BOX, Google drive and to a File Server. There are slight functional differences between the platforms which we will highlight.

At the end of the video we give you some technical information on the Notes database dump software.

Let’s start with the Notes Teamroom database which we will use in this demo. The Teamroom has multiple views such as; ‘by Category’ or ‘by Author’. In the content we see Rich text, Files, Response Documents and Notes Document Links which is typical for Notes.

Dump to SharePoint

First we will demonstrate the end result in SharePoint Online.

The complete Notes database is converted to a Library in SharePoint Online.

In the Library the User will find all Notes views similar to Notes.

Let’s open the view ‘by category’. You can see it looks the same as in Notes.

SharePoint allows us to create dynamic exports. Therefore, we can expand and collapse categories. It’s not possible, however, to change the view column sorting as in Notes.

When we open an item in the view we see the whole Notes document rendered to html. The Notes response documents are on the top of the screen. On the bottom you see the files.

All Notes content, images and Notes document links are present in the html presentation. Even Notes document links will work across multiple Notes databases when dumped to SharePoint Online.

In SharePoint Online the user can search for content. When the search finds a file we provide a link to the Notes html page which holds the file. This function is only available in SharePoint.

Dump to BOX

Now let’s demonstrate the dump of the Teamroom to BOX.

The overall approach is similar to SharePoint. However, the difference is that we cannot use html files in BOX. That’s why the whole Notes database is converted to PDF files.

Since the Notes views are rendered to PDF files, a User cannot collapse or expand categories as is possible In SharePoint.

Each document in the view can be opened and the result looks the same as in SharePoint.

Notes document links are also supported in BOX similar to SharePoint.

BOX offers good search capabilities. The only difference with SharePoint Online is that we cannot show the Notes container link where the file is listed in.

Dump to Google

Google Drive is much like BOX. The Notes views are also converted to PDF files and link to the destination documents in PDF format.

Please note that the response structure is displayed at the top of the form so users can browse through all response documents.

As in BOX and SharePoint searching through data is user friendly. But, like in BOX, there are no Notes container link where the file is listed in.

Dump to Disc

Finally, the export to Disc.

This is the same approach as with BOX and Google Drive. Everything is converted to PDF files.

The folder structure can be placed in any location. A great feature is that the links between the views and folders will not break when you move the whole structure for example from your drive D to your G-Drive

In this demo we used the Notes Teamroom as an example since many Notes Users know it so well.

However, our Dump solution can handle any type of Notes database. The same approach is applicable, no matter how big or complex the forms are.

Technical Highlights

Let me now give you some technical insights on the solution.

In our conversion software we don’t have to worry about the Notes forms, fields, views and so on. This makes this dump process very easy and cost attractive.

The solution is also blistering fast without impact on your network bandwidth. Even if you have a 30 GB Notes database with 100.000 documents it will not take long to convert.

We simply configure the tool to dump the whole Notes database, in this example, to a SharePoint Online Site.

The tool will first convert the Notes database to a files and folder structure on the conversion server. Then the whole set of files is simply uploaded to SharePoint Online; completely automatic.

So once the tool is configured it’s a ‘click and go’ process allowing you to archive a large number of databases.

Non-Supported Functions

In conclusion we want to give you a short overview of what’s supported and what not so you can make a sound decision which target platform best fits your needs:

  • We support any Notes database design
  • The Notes database dump to is in read only format.
  • We archive all Notes database content. This includes files and Notes form mock-up/layout
  • We convert all Notes views to aspx for SP and PDF files for Google and box. The hidden Notes views (system views) are skipped
  • We support renaming and removing of aspx or PDF view files
  • The View aspx or PDF files are not dynamic. For instance, users can not alter column sorting or expand categories
  • We archive all attachments/files
  • We convert embedded OLE objects to attachments. However, we do not guarantee a 100% conversion rate. This is because we do not have all (old) supporting software used to create the OLE objects
  • We don’t archive embedded views on the Notes form. However, users can find the documents displayed in the view in the final archive
  • The Notes database may not exceed the maximum size of 64 GB enforced by Lotus Domino
  • We support Notes document parent child structures
  • We support Notes document links. So the link can link to Notes documents in the same Notes database. We even support Notes document linking to other Notes databases archived to BOX

We hope you enjoyed watching this video.

Please hit the contact button on our website if you think this could be the right solution for you.

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