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Best Practice Makes Perfect

A collaboration with Domino developers about how to do it and how to get it right in Domino

Today I have a question from a partner which I'll paraphrase below. I thought my answer might be of general utility, so I'm posting it here.


Our Notes documents include embedded images in rich text. It takes about two seconds to open a document on the LAN, but when accessed over our WAN the time increases to around 90 seconds. How can we make it faster? Can we use a relational database?

The first thing to make sure of, is that you're creating the photos by importing JPEGs, not by pasting images or by importing BMPs. JPEG formats are considerably more compact than Notes pasted bitmaps or BMP files.

Set the INI variable OptimizeImagePasteSize=1 on all users' workstations to make sure that any graphics they do paste, are of a reasonable size. This will affect the color rendering (change to 256-color), so photos will not look the same, but they can bypass this by importing rather than pasting, so it just enforces good habits.

If you're already doing these things, and it's not helping enough: unless this is a professional photography application, you should be able to reduce the image size by using higher JPEG compression, without loss of quality that the users will notice.  The easy way to do this is to just tell the users to limit the file size that they import. You could use DXL to confirm the size limits are met as part of the pre-save validation. A more complicated way would use some software (I'm sure you could get it free) to manipulate a file the user selects and automatically make it fit the file size guidelines, then import it.

If you're storing the images efficiently in Notes, nothing you do with relational databases or file servers or so forth will make a significant difference as long as the same images are being accessed over the same WAN.

So your choices are:

  • reduce the size of the data.
  • make the data available on the LAN or locally (e.g. by creating more replicas of the application).
  • reduce the number of occasions on which the images are retrieved. For instance, make them attachments instead of embedded images, so that they don't affect open time but are only transmitted when a user specifically asks to view them.
BTW If you can get some software to create thumbnails, I have a way to create a file attachment with the thumbnail as the file attachment icon, using LotusScript.

Andre Guirard | 7 August 2009 10:34:23 AM ET | Home, Plymouth, MN, USA | Comments (13)

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