Name Field Maintenance Part I (Administration)

Names can (and will) alter. There are marriages, divorces, organisational changed or changes in the hierarchy of an user name. Each change requires individual action to maintain these names for each individual document, each database on all possible server. Sounds like a tedious task?

This article describes some of the settings to be considered from the Administration (Part I) as well as best practices from the Development (Part II) perspective when working with name fields in Lotus Notes/Lotus Domino applications.

A Lotus documents can have three different kinds of name fields. These are Readers, Author and Name fields whereas a Readers and an Author field are kind of an extension of a Name field with some more specific characteristics that had partially been discussed earlier.

As the description suggests, Name fields are used to store names in Lotus documents. Names can be of any kind; users, servers, groups, … and are mainly used to define the access to individual documents.

The renaming process of an entity should solely be initiated using the Domino Administrator Client. This ensures that the request to rename an entity is submitted to the Administration Request database (admin4.nsf) and subsequently processed by the AdminP task on the server(s).

The AdminP process ensures, that all possible references to the name in question are maintained at all places like the Domino Directory, the Access Control Lists (ACL) or the documents within databases. The configuration of the Administration Server in the Advanced ACL settings of a Database defines if Names are going to be maintained in this database and what server of the Domino Domain is responsible to do these updates.

Administration Server

If the Administration server were set to None, not even the ACL of the database would be touched. Care should be taken by configuring the Administration server. A replica of the database must exist on the server defined as the Administration server. If Name fields have to be maintained as well a full replica of the database must exist on the server defined, since documents that are not available in the database cannot be maintained. If a database is moving from server A to server B the Administration server setting has to be altered to reflect the new server name.

The two other options beneath ‘Do not modify Name fields’ for the Administration server actions are ‘Modify all Readers and Author fields’ and ‘Modify all Name fields’. As explained above, configuring an Administration server for a database but leaving the Action set to ‘Do not modify Name fields’ ensures that all entities within the ACL of the database are maintained but no documents will be touched at all.

Choosing the option ‘Modify all Readers and Author fields’ ensures that all Readers and Author fields in all documents of this database are maintained whereas the ‘Modify all Name fields’ guarantees that all Name fields will be maintained which includes Readers and Author fields.

Some patience should be exercised with the name change process itself since it consists of various subsequent tasks the AdminP process has to undertake. After submitting a request to change the name of a person the user has to connect to the server at least once. Depending on the ID security settings that can be found under File -> Security -> User Security, Your Identity -> Your Names -> Name Changes (see below) the user will or will not be asked for approval before the change of the name continues.

Accept Name Changes

Considering that the user has accepted the change request the name stored in the user’s ID file will be altered and a request to change the name in the Domino Directory will be submitted to the Administration Requests database. This request will be actioned by the Administration process within one hour. Following this a number of subsequent tasks are added to the Administration Requests:

  • The request to maintain the name in all ACL, to be completed within one hour.
  • The request to rename the person in the Free Time Database, in Calendar entries and the mail file process, to be completed immediately as well as the renaming in unread lists.
  • The rename of the person in person documents, to be completed within one day and the request to rename the person in Reader/Author fields to be completed within one week.

The time frames given can be considered as a deadline for the Administration Process. Server with fewer loads will be able to process the requests more frequently.

Administration Requests Name Change

It is important to keep in Mind that the centre part of the whole renaming process is the Administration Request database (admin4.nsf), which must reside and replicate to any server in the domain. The database maintains all information in regards to the name change and discloses the current status as shown in the example request beneath.

3 thoughts on “Name Field Maintenance Part I (Administration)

  1. Pingback: Christian Petters

  2. Hi, recently i am doing some research on administration process. I got 1 enquiry, in the event that i select modify all names field and this will help if the organisation is being reorganise, and employees names field will be update accordingly, but i got one concern here is that what if the user is being removed from domino directory, he/she existing document where his names suppose to be display will be removed accordingly, How can we prevent this ?? Thanks !

  3. Hi Corine, you may want to follow up with part II of the Name Field Maintenance series.

    The answer to this question is heavily dependant on the design of the database.

    In general ‘Maintaining name fields’ implies that all changes to a name are going to be maintained for all name fields in the database once enabled. This includes changes in the name, the hierarchy as well the case where the name is removed from the domino directory. Therefore I suggested in part II to have an additional text field in the design of the document that ensures that the legal name of the author will never change no matter what happens.

    Feel free to drop me a line in case you need further assistance.

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