Thursday, February 16, 2006

Notes Smart Upgrade Tracking (Show-n-Tell Thursday)

How many of you use Notes Smart Upgrade? I find some great value in this tool. It is the method we use to keep clients up to date. I would just like to "Show-n-Tell" what I've manually implemented for tracking this in the pre-6.5.3 timeframe and what Lotus provides in the post-6.5.3 Lotus Notes Clients.

Before Notes/Domino 6.5.3, there was no out of the box way to track client upgrades - much less Smart Upgrade. This method is something that I still use to get an overview of the clients we have and this can be used regardless of whether you use Smart Upgrade or another method. The first thing I did was create a view in the Domino Directory that displays some brief information on the client version:

There's not really much to this view. To make the first column display nicely, I just have the following formula: @RightBack(ClntBld;" "). The only other thing I have involved with this is an agent to change the ClntBld field of selected documents. This is very helpful to allow me to keep the numbers correct. As clients are upgraded, the old Client Builds are maintained. This is not helpful for the purpose of my tracking. So as batches of clients are upgraded I simply run the agent to make sure that the Client Build field only has one entry. This just keeps the same document from displaying in multiple categories. As another tip for this method, make sure that as you are modifying the Client Build fields that you start with the most recent versions.

With Notes/Domino 6.5.3 and later, Lotus provides a Smart Upgrade tracking database. Below you can see the options in the outline:

This is really handy because it allows you to see how the client was or wasn't upgraded and there are views for Failed, Cancelled, or Succeeded upgrades. The Notes 6.5.3 Client has the code that sends the information to the Smart Upgrade Tracking database as defined in the "Mail-in Database for Smart Upgrade Tracking reports" field on the Desktop Settings document in the Smart Upgrade tab. And, of course, the template doesn't ship with pre-6.5.3 Domino servers.

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