In our day to day work with IBM Notes, we use the type-ahead list and search directory. When we start typing a name in a New Mail/Reply/Forward, we get a type-ahead list suggesting matching contacts from My Contacts, Recent Contacts or Local Groups. When we do not get the person in the list, we click on “Search Directory for...”. This action connects to the server and the search tries to match the name among the different directories configured in the Domino. These directories can be condensed directories, extended directories, LDAP, etc.
Till Notes 9.0 and before, the list which we used to get after hitting the 'Search Directory for...' was not sorted alphabetically. So, it was very difficult to find the name from the results as user needed to scroll up and down. This used to become even more difficult for the common names, located in same domains or different. See example Fig.1.
Fig1. Search Directory For... list till IBM Notes9.0 and before
To solve this problem, from IBM Notes 9.0.1, when we hit 'Search Directory for...' we get the alphabetically sorted list. See Fig.2.
Fig.2 Search Directory for... from IBM Notes 9.0.1
The 'Search Directory For' functionality:
The directory search in IBM Notes depends on how the location document is configured. There would be different search results based on Recipient Name Lookup options (Mail tab) in the Location. However, the search is irrespective of the mailfile location (local/server). Following options show the same when you type a name and hit on Search Directory for -
• Recipient Name Lookup – Stop after first match
→ The search of a particular name here is stopped when it finds a first match. Hence it is called 'Stop After First Match'. The matching name might come from Local contacts/groups/recent contacts. If it still does not find the matching name, search goes to the primary domino directory and tries to find the name from the mail domain mentioned in the current location document. This list also draws names from the server/public groups for that domain. If there are multiple names matching the search, it gives us a list, sorted alphabetically. See example in Fig.3 below. However, if the name is still not found in the primary domino directory, the search extends itself to the secondary directories such as extended directory catalogs, public distribution lists, condensed directory catalogs, LDAP, etc. configured with the primary Domino directory. The search then returns a first matching name it finds. Again, if there is any ambiguity in the names, the search shows us a list, which is sorted alphabetically.
Fig.3 Search Directory for... with Stop After First Match
• Recipient Name Lookup – Exhaustively Check all address books
→ The search of a particular name, in this case, does not stop on the first matching name. It searches all the directories starting from the local contacts/groups/recent contacts, the primary domino directory, the extended directory catalogs, public distribution lists, condensed directory catalogs, LDAP, etc. configured with the primary domino directory. This list draws names from the server/public groups as well. See Fig.4 below. The search gives us a list of matching names which is sorted alphabetically.
Fig.4 Search Directory For... with Exhaustively Check all Address Books
Search Directory with Notes basic client:
There is no change in the basic client behavior as the IBM Notes basic client does not support the typeahead feature. Hence, when a user types a name in the To field and hits either F9 or Enter or Comma, then depending on the name ambiguity, an Ambiguous dialog or a No Match dialog opens. Here in the dialog, the names are sorted alphabetically. See example Fig.5
Fig.5 Ambiguous Name dialog
Search Directory and upgrade scenario:
In a scenario where user upgrades the Notes Client from an older version (eg: 8.x or 8.5.x) to IBM Notes 9.0.1, user can directly see the functionality working. It does not need any additional setting or preference to be set to see the directory contacts in the typeahead list alphabetical.
Author – Amita V Padegaonkar