Frequently Asked Questions about the Notes Tools

Q: Can I use these tools directly on a server, as well as on a client?

A: Unless otherwise specified in the README file for the tools, yes you can, as long as it's a Windows machine.

Q: Most of the tools say that they work with Notes 4.6 or higher, but my company is still running version 4.5 for some strange reason. Do you have versions of the tools for 4.5?

A: No. This is partially because I don't have a 4.5 client loaded on any of my machines anymore, and partially because I don't feel like testing on any more clients than I already am. Some of the tools may work with 4.5, especially if you have a 4.6 or R5 client running the tools remotely against a 4.5 server -- I really don't know -- but if you're going to try them out like that please test them thoroughly first, and read my standard disclaimer before you begin.

Q: Do you have versions of the tools for other operating systems other than Windows?

A: No, the only operating systems I have to develop on are various flavors of Windows and an older version of Red Hat Linux. If you want to send me a machine with a different OS for me to develop on, I might be able to expand my offerings. Many of the tools have an optional ServerName argument, which allows you to run the tool from a Windows workstation against a database that's on a non-Windows server, so that might be an option.

Q: Do you offer the source code to your programs, so I can look at the code and compile it up myself?

A: Not right now, although I may do that for some or all of the programs in the future. I could give you a long discourse about why I'm not going open-source right now, but I really don't feel like going into it.

Q: How do I get help with using the command line tools?

A: Each of the tools comes with a README file, which has a little information about how the tool works, and some example usage. You can also display the built-in help by adding a "/?" as a command-line argument with any of the tools.

Q: I think one of your tools doesn't work right. What should I do?

A: First, finish reading this FAQ, because you might find your answer here. Second, go to the page on this site where you can download the tool, and see if you're experiencing a known problem, or if there is either a newer version of the tool that might have fixed your problem (the version number of the tool you're using is displayed when you run the program with the "/?" option). If not, please send me an e-mail with a good description of your problem and how to reproduce it.

Q: What if I think one of your tools broke my database? Can I sue you?

A: Good gosh, no! Please read my standard disclaimer and start looking for a recent backup. And please, please, please test any and all of these tools thoroughly before trying to use them in a production environment.

Q: The tool that I'm using is taking way too long. It might even be hung. How can I stop it?

A: Many (but not all) of the command-line tools have CTRL-C support, so you may be able to stop the program gracefully by pressing the Control key and the "C" key at the same time. If not, you may need to kill the program by closing the command prompt window that it's running in. Be careful if you do this, though, because if you also have the Notes client running, you might lock it up. Sometimes if you're running a tool against a large database, especially if it's on a remote server, you may have to wait quite a while for the tool to finish processing...

Q: How do I capture the output of a command line program to a text file?

A: Some of the tools have an optional argument to do just that (usually /o:FileName) -- if that's true of the one you're using, you should do that. Otherwise, you're normally safe piping the output to a text file by adding a "> FileName.txt" as the final command-line argument. ">" will create or overwrite an existing file, and ">>" will create or append to an existing file. If you're running one of the Windows NT variants (NT, 2000, XP), you can also adjust the buffer height of your cmd window (right-click the title bar and go to the Properties), which allows you to capture and view more output data.

Q: When I run one of your tools, I get the error: "A required .DLL file, NNOTES.DLL, was not found." What's that all about?

A: This will happen if you try to run the tool from a directory other than your Notes program directory, or if your Notes program directory is not on your PATH. Move the tool to the directory that your NNOTES.DLL file is in and try again.

Q: When I run one of your tools, I get the error: "The TOOL.EXE file is linked to missing export NNOTES.DLL:1234", or something like that. What should I do?

A: This normally happens when you are trying to run a tool using a version of the Notes client that is older than what the tool supports. Please check your client version, and the README that came with the tool.

Q: When I'm trying to run a tool on a remote machine using a Terminal Server client, I keep getting the message: "Error: This database is currently being used by someone else. In order to share a Notes database, all users must use a Domino Server instead of a File Server." What should I do?

A: Unfortunately, that's a Terminal Server issue. Try accessing the machine with a different remote control product, or if the remote machine is a Notes server, see if the tool you're using has an optional ServerName argument that would allow you to run it locally (you can check the argument list by typing "/?" as a command-line parameter when running the tool).

Q: The server name/database name/string that I'm passing as a parameter doesn't seem to be getting passed correctly. Why not?

A: You may need to enclose the parameter in quotation marks, especially if it has spaces. For example, if you type:

toolname My Database.nsf

then the program will interpret that as having 2 separate arguments: "My" and "Database.nsf". You should really pass the parameter as:

toolname "My Database.nsf"

If you want to include a literal quotation mark in a parameter string, you should escape the quote with a backslash, like this:

toolname "This argument has \"quotes\" in it"

Q: How do I write my own tools like these?

A: There are plenty of programming options out there. I primarily use the Notes C-API for little command line tools, although there are also toolkits for C++, COM, Java, and more. And all of the toolkits come with good help and examples. Check the Lotus Developer Domain for information and download locations.