Starting from release 6, IBM provides administrators Policy and Setting functionality to change settings on user's workstations without visiting them, as well to automate some other things like archiving, user registration, and new workstation setup. Every version has improvements and new settings. You may allow users to change some settings, and you may enforce some if they are required by company policy.
There are two type of Policies:
- Organizational that works by default for all users, and
- Explicit policy that can be assigned to specific users.
Starting from Release 8.5 you may assign policies to groups. Dynamic policies can be used. When you put user in a group, he will be automatically assigned to this Dynamic policy. Dynamic policies are easier to manage, then Explicit policies assigned to every user document.
If an organization is rather big, such as several offices, in different countries, or the number of employees is high, so one organization policy will not fit all users, you may implement nested (parent,child) policies, that will have some specific settings for a local group of users, but also inherit the majority of setting from a parent policy. So you can build Parent -> Child policies.
There are following type of settings, that can be included in Policy:
- Registration - Affects registration of the users, defaults for domains, quotas, default groups to include user. This type of setting is executed only once, when user is registered.
- Setup - Settings included in this Setup settings are executed only once, when Lotus Notes workstation is installed, it is a good idea to set default settings in this type of settings
- Archiving - This type of settings will help to set defaults for mail file archiving, where to store mailfile archive, on which server, where the archiving is performed.
- Desktop - This is one of the most powerful settings, it allows you remotely control settings of Lotus Notes client, set defaults, what settings user can modify and which cannot be changed.
- Security - This type of settings controls everything that relates to Security, Password changes, Workstation ECL, Notes Shared Login, ID Vault
- Mail - helps to control Mail preferences, everything you see in Mail->Preferences, for example default free time, attention indicators, letterheads, defaults for follow-ups and other settings.
- Connections - This is new type of settings introduced in Lotus Notes 851, helps to integrate Lotus Notes with IBM Lotus Connections.
- Lotus Traveler - This type of settings help to control Lotus Traveler client settings, new type of clients introduced in Release 8, and improved in 85.
- Roaming - If you use Roaming for users to move them between workstations, this type of setting will help to define where to store roaming files, and all other aspects of roaming.
- Symphony - If your company uses free of charge IBM Lotus Symphony product, this type of settings will help you to control which type of documents you want users to open with Symphony.
Lotus Notes Policies and settings are a very powerful tool, that can make administration much easier.
Considerations for using policies
Never modify policy settings with older clients then the Domino Server and Domino Directory version. This could cause unexpected policy push to clients with unpredictable results. If you are on version 8.5 be sure all your Administrators use V8.5 clients to modify settings.
Try not to make many changes at a single time. Change, test, wait for a period of time (day-week), change, test again. If problems arise, it is easier to understand what caused the problem, when only one setting has been changed, not ten or more. It is better to use explicit policy to test some things, later if explicit is OK, implement these settings in an Organizational (Dynamic) policy.
If you upgraded from release 5, be sure you have no Setup Profiles, as they have higher priority and policies will not work, if users have Setup Profiles assigned.
Top 10 things you may do with policies
- Change and add notes.ini parameters on all workstations, as well location documents
- Add default databases to users bookmarks/workspace
- Upgrade Lotus Notes clients to new version without visiting every single workstation, even if user has limited access to operating system.(Smart Upgrade)
- Control security on all workstations (ECL, Password, synchronisation of password) – Security Settings
- Configure new workstations in a moment, with the help of Setup and Desktop settings
- Control Roaming of users how they roam, where they store roaming data
- Change mail preferences in every user mailfile (freetime, delegation options)
- Set global archiving for organization
- Set default for registration process.
- Control mobile devices
There are many internet resources on IBM web that provides detailed information about every policy type and setting. Use policies will make your environment standardized, and as a results will be easier and more efficient to manage.
Self-Training: Registration policy settings documents
Self-Training: Domino Desktop policy settings documents
Self-Training: Troubleshooting Domino policies and settings documents
Self-Training: Domino Archive policy settings documents
Self-Training: Domino Mail policy settings documents
Self-Training: Advanced settings for Domino policies
Self-Training: Domino Security policy settings documents