Add auto-population options for Domino 8.5 groups

You may have read or heard about the new feature that allows for the auto-population of groups in Domino 8.5. Since I have first learned of it I got quite excited, until I got hold of the new version to discover that IBM spoilt the community with the vast amount of 2 options: None and Home Server

Auto-populate groups

Unfortunately the documentation confirmed my suspicion that this was about it: “Note For IBM Lotus Domino 8.5, Home Servers is the only auto-populate method available.”

While I see a reason for having a list of people populated by the home/mail server they are working on, there must be more to come to please today’s administrators.

Looking into the design of the group form and the field values of an existing auto-populating group it appears that there must be a way to extend the options available.

While I was expecting some kind of @Formula as source for the population for the list it turns out that IBM has decided to take a different approach. The SelectionCriteria field defines nothing else than a LDAP filter. This is rather interesting as the LDAP task itself does not need to be running on the server and the list of attributes is not restricted to the fields defined in the LDAP configuration.

Anyhow, how does this knowledge allow us to configure our own auto-population rules? There are a number of options. First and foremost you could just have a button in the toolbar that displays a pop-up that allows you to alter the value of the SelectionCriteria field. Not so nice and probably a nightmare for admins to come but definitely working.

Similar to the LDAP schema IBM made the whole feature extendable as they most certainly planned to make additional filter options available in the future. When opening the names.nsf with the Domino Designer, you will find a subform called ‘Home Server’ in the Shared Elements, Subforms section. This Subform has an alias of ‘$AutoPopulate1‘ and, hold your breath, contains nothing else then the fields used to configure the home server.

You could create a new subform named ‘Custom’, ‘Cheescake’ or ‘Banana’. The name does not actual matter as long as the alias is named $AutoPopulateX, whereas X could be any unique number. Since 1 has been taken already with the Home Server rule and we could safely assume that IBM will continue to increment these numbers as they add new features it might be save to start our numbering somewhere in the $AutoPopulate99 range. Remove the hide-when option for the SelectionCriteria field, make it editable and add a comment field if you like and you’ll end up with an interface like this:

Auto-populate groups custom

I guess that the the number of possible auto-population filters is now only restricted by your imagination.

7 thoughts on “Add auto-population options for Domino 8.5 groups

  1. Pingback: Discovery Re: Domino 8.5 Auto-populated Groups « Dom-idiot!

  2. Can I create an autopopulated group by querying a remote ldap for attributes not found in the domino directory person doc? I am trying to use a directory assistance document for the remote ldap directory…which can connect in the directory assistance doc, but doesn’t work with the autopopulate group doc. I have some other autopopulate group docs working…but they are all using attributes that are found in the person docs.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for this post. I’m trying to implement this in 8.5.3 but with no luck. Do you know of any limitations that have been added in between point releases to prevent this tweak?


  4. Trying to implement this also on 9.0.1 but no luck. Even the “Custom” doesn’ t appear on the “Auto Populate Method ” ComboBox. Could you explain why ??

    B. regards

  5. Please note that the ‘custom’ option was a customization that I have made to the design of the address book. Those customizations are done at your own risk as IBM won’t provide any support for that.
    Personally I haven’t used that feature for quite some time. So unfortunately unable to comment on version 9.0.1

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