There are several additional resources that can be used to help with problem resolution. They include the database Synopsis, Internet discussion forums, and Web sites. The database Synopsis, a feature of the Domino Designer client, is a powerful feature that provides summary information for the database design.
This feature is built into the Designer client and enables users to view and search design information for key text phrases, reviewing formulas or objects throughout the entire design of the database. Information can also be found on Internet discussion forums and Web sites. Using the Internet, you can search for sample code, research error messages, post questions, and discuss problem resolutions.
Using the Database Synopsis
To use the Synopsis feature, open the Designer client and select Synopsis from the Designer left-side navigation pane (see Figure 21.12). It will be the last item listed in the "Other" section.
Figure 21.12. Location of the Synopsis feature
Click on Synopsis to launch the Design Synopsis dialog window. When launched, the dialog window will display, as shown in Figure 21.13.
Figure 21.13. Select design elements to include in the Synopsis
This dialog is used to select design elements to be included in the detailed design synopsis. This is achieved by selecting a design element type (such as form, outline, or view) and clicking the Add or Add All button. The design elements are then appended to the Selected Elements field and included in the report. After design elements have been selected, click OK to generate the synopsis report. You can then scroll through the information or use the FIND menu option to search for key text strings within the synopsis report. Figure 21.14 illustrates a sample report.
Figure 21.14. Sample Synopsis report
Discussion Forums and Web Sites
One of the best sources for information is the Lotus Web site. This site includes a wealth of information pertaining to Lotus products, software maintenance patches, known problems, technical notes, white papers, and discussion forums, among others (see Figure 21.15).
Figure 21.15. DeveloperWorks Web site for Lotus products
Given the sheer volume of information available from the Web site, let's focus on a couple key aspects of particular benefit to Domino database developersforums, support, and downloads.
Forums. Lotus currently offers numerous public discussion forums. These discussion forums allow people to post questions regarding any product in the Lotus product family. Responses are posted by Lotus professionals, subject matter experts, and other members of the community. Using the discussion forum, you can search for error messages, pose a question, request assistance debugging a piece of code, and reuse solutions posted by other forum members.
At the time this publication was printed, you can navigate to the forums by selecting the Forums & community link located on the left navigation menu (see Figure 21.16). This will display all available discussion topics including the "Notes/Domino 6 & 7 Forum" and "Notes/Domino 4 & 5 Forum." These forums are specifically geared toward the Domino products, database development, and administration. Clicking on one of these links will open the discussion forum.
Figure 21.16. Lotus Notes discussion forum Web site
To search the discussion forum, specify search criteria in the Search this forum field (in the upper-right corner of the Web page). When searching for information, a good place to start is with keywords that pertain to Domino database development. Many times you can find information by searching on command, function, subroutine, or error (e.g., @Prompt or QuerySave). It's also possible to find different solutions to the same problem between the discussion forums. So be sure to search both forums when looking for answers.
To post a discussion forum topic or response, you will need to create a profile and then "sign in" to the forum using the newly created user ID and password. Registration is simple. Click on the Create new registration link and complete the registration (see Figure 21.17).
Figure 21.17. Registration form for new discussion forum users
There are several steps to the registration process. During this process, you'll need to specify your name, contact information, and email address. You're also given the opportunity to set email preferences. Additional information can also be found in the privacy statement, which is also available from the Web page. After the registration is complete and you sign in to the database, you can post new topics or responses.
Be sure to search the database for solutions before posting new discussion threads. Also be concise and to the point when posting or responding to topics. Clearly stating the problem or information request generally results in more favorable and timely responses from the forum community. If no one responds to a new topic, consider restating the request.
Support. The Lotus Web site also includes a support section, which can be accessed by clicking on the Support link. Here you can find
Downloads. Finally, the Lotus site includes a Downloads section. Here you can download free trial versions of the Domino Designer client (as well as other Lotus products), development toolkits, smart upgrade kits, fixes, and utilities.
Additional downloads can also be retrieved from the Sandbox. The Sandbox is a separate section. Here you can post and download free applications, code samples, databases, and other tools for all Lotus products. The Sandbox can be accessed by selecting the Forums & community and Sandbox navigation options or through the following link:
Here you can browse applications by application name, category, product, date, author, or audience.
An Introduction to the Lotus Domino Tool Suite
Getting Started with Designer
Navigating the Domino Designer Workspace
Domino Design Elements
An Introduction to Formula Language
An Introduction to LotusScript
Fundamentals of a Notes Application
Reference Library Applications
Design Enhancements Using LotusScript
Design Enhancements Using Formula Language
Miscellaneous Enhancements and Tips for Domino Databases
Application Deployment and Maintenance
Appendix A. Online Project Files and Sample Applications
Appendix B. IBM® Lotus® Notes® and Domino®Whats Next?