Lotus Notes provides an e-mail archive challenge

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 12:00am

We use Lotus Notes as the e-mail program (and also as groupware) at our office. Notes seems to fall short when archiving e-mail. The views (or folders) are nicely archived but are left empty.

In other words, documents are archived without appearing under the views they were put into in the original e-mail database. I wonder whether this is a general bug in Notes, whether it is simply impossible due to logic constraints or whether the respective function to keep documents in views is just hidden somewhere in the cumbersome help system.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED I am no Notes expert, so I passed this one on to Lotus. The response was provided by Sophy Zheng, Lotus Hong Kong's marketing manager.

In Notes 4.x, the archive database is not designed to preserve folders. Documents are moved to the archive database, but they no longer display within folders (even when folders already exist in the archive database).

You can see the archived documents only in the 'All documents' view. This functionality is changed in Notes 5.0. In this version, folders (both private and shared) are preserved in the archive database. The steps for archiving can be found in the Release 5 on-line Admin Help section. To have documents in the archive database display within a folder in Notes 4.x, you must move the archived documents to the desired folder while in the archive database. (You may also need to create the folder in the Archive database.) If you want to archive the documents into the appropriate folder automatically, you need to customise by writing a script to create an item in the form to preserve the name of the folder before the archive agent sends the documents into the archive database. Then, in the archive database, there is another agent that puts the information from a field into the corresponding folder.

I saved an important report on a 1.44MB floppy disk. Shortly afterwards, while downloading a file from the Compaq Web site to update my Compaq Presario 1920 notebook to fix some bugs in its battery configuration, I tried to save some executable files on to the same floppy. To my horror, the files appear to have overwritten my report. Now I don't know how to retrieve it. I did run a ScanDisk. Is there any way I can find my report? AMIN SULEMAN, Hong Kong Not if the data was deleted from your floppy disk and overwritten with new data. Your only hope is that you might have saved a version of this report on your notebook computer's hard disk. There is a fairly good chance your computer did this for you automatically.

Look in the My Documents folder or any other folder you have set as your default location for saving documents. Search your hard disk for the name of the file, or for part of it. If you still can't find it, I think your report is gone.

Larry Campbell is publisher of SCMP.com. The opinions expressed in this column are his own. E-mail comments and questions to techtalk@scmp.com . Questions to Tech Talk will not be answered personally. Technology Post reserves the right to edit letters.