Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Great NOMAD Tip

Judging from my Google hits, I seem to be the Nomad expert. Googling Lotus Notes Nomad yields my review as the #2 site after IBM. So I thought I would follow up with a way I've been using it now as a consultant.

First of all, Nomad is intended to provide USB stick access to the Notes client and it's great. However, you can also install multiple instances of Nomad on larger drives, shares, or local drives. You can check out the full installation procedure from the link to my review above, but below is a modified version that will allow you to have separate Nomad installs for multiple customers (or other needs). This keeps you from having multiple location documents and dealing with cross certificates, etc... It would require you to have about 400 MB free space for each install as well as a bare-bones installation that you would need to use later. Below is a modified installation process.

1. Insert the USB drive into the USB port on your computer and create a "NOMAD\base" folder. This can also be performed somewhere on your local disk. (i.e. C:\NOMAD\base)
2. Make note of the drive letter that is assigned to the USB drive.
3. Extract the C94QIEN.exe file. This is the filename of the self-extracting executable downloaded from IBM. This is just the Notes Client. (The C94QAEN.exe is the Full Client package with Admin and Designer - you can alternatively extract this file.)
4. In a command prompt window, navigate to the folder where you extracted the C94QIEN file (there should now be a setup.exe), and then enter this command to install Lotus Notes on the USB drive:
setup /a /v"NOMAD=1 TARGETDIR=F:\NOMAD\base\ /qb+"
Where F is the drive letter.
The parameters /qb+ allow for the display of the basic user interface and a message box at the end of the upgrade. Don't forget the last quotation mark!
5. Perform the post-install cleanup (from my original review) to free up space.
6. The \base folder now has a copy of the Nomad installation. You can run Notes from here, but I use it to keep a copy of the files.
7. Create a folder \NOMAD\CustomerX.
8. Copy and paste the entire contents of the \NOMAD\Base folder into the \NOMAD\CustomerX folder. This step can be repeated for each customer!!
9. Open the \NOMAD\CustomerX folder and edit the autorun.ini file. You will need to modify the path for the MSI_LOCATION= and MSI_COMMANDLINE= (including the DATADIR= part of this line) options. You will see that they may have F:\NOMAD\Base\... Simply modify this to be the CustomerX path. Save and close the autorun.ini file.
10. The \NOMAD\CustomerX\autorun.inf and \NOMAD\CustomerX\Program Files\Lotus\Notes\notes.ini files will also need to be modified to match the path.
11. Run the command AUTORUN.EXE from the root of any of the CustomerX folders by double-clicking on the filename or by typing the command on the command line. OR
12. Alternatively, create a shortcut to the nlnotes.exe and just run this.

This can provide a good deal of flexibility and gives you a clean Notes install for each customer!

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