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What is the most important basis for Web services? One answer is network. Without network, we cannot access Web services, nor can Web browsers provide service for us. So network failure can be a disaster for Web services users.
There are two kinds of network failure. One is low network speed, causing the response from Web servers to be too slow and inefficiency. The other is a complete interruption of a network connection, whereby we cannot access the Web service at all.
But if we use Lotus Quickr, network failure will be not so terrible. The Lotus Quickr offline function is a good solution in the event of a network failure because it allows us to continue to use Lotus Quickr on our local site.
Understanding the Quickr offline function
When we cannot access the Quickr online server during network failure, we can still access the local Quickr offline server and continue our work. After network connectivity is restored, Lotus Domino database replication will synchronize the update between online server and offline server.
The following four figures illustrate the whole process of the Quickr Offline function. Figure 1 shows the Quickr online mode, in which the browser can access the Quickr online server via HTTP, and the Place’s NSF is read/write.
Figure 1. Quickr online mode
Figure 2 shows the Quickr offline function installation. By choosing “Take Places Offline” in the “Place Actions” menu, the Quickr offline server is now on our local client machine.
Figure 2. Installing Quickr offline function
Figure 3 shows the offline mode. When we cannot access the Quickr online server, we can still access our local offline server to continue our work. The offline user interface is exactly same as that of the online server.
Figure 3. Quickr offline mode
Figure 4 shows synchronization between the online server and offline server. When we are again able to access the network, the Lotus Sync Manager will do the synchronization, uploading both our local changes to the online server and downloading remote changes to the offline server.
Figure 4. Online and offline server synchronization
Configuring the Quickr offline function
This section highlights only the key points of the configuration process to help you better understand the offline function. For detailed configuration steps, refer to the Product Documentation topic, Setting up Lotus Quickr for offline use (optional): qd851
1. Turn on the Domino offline function.
The Quickr offline function is based on the Domino offline function, so first we must turn on the Domino offline function. To do this, just register the Domino server API (DSAPI) filter in the server's HTTP service:
For Microsoft® Windows®, set it as ndolextn.
For Linux® and AIX®, set it as libdolextn.
Then add CheckCacheBeforeDSAPI=1 in the Notes.ini.
2. Register the Quickr offline management extension.
This is responsible for authentication and LDAP user name translation. Table 1 lists the management extensions for various platforms.
Table 1. Register Quickr offline management extension
3. Create the Certification ID and offline security policy.
Configuration in the Notes.ini
This is for creating an offline user. Lotus Domino will automatically create a corresponding offline user for each online user. All offline operations are based on the offline user.
There are three kinds of Quickr online users: local users, Domino directory users, and LDAP users. Configure the Certification ID and offline security policy for all three three kinds of users. In figure 5, “/QP/IBM” is the offline security policy for a Quickr local user, “/IBM” is for a Domino directory user, and “/haiku” is for an LDAP user.
Figure 5. Example of offline security policy configuration
Figures 6 and 7 show detailed configuration examples for a local user.
Figure 6. Example 1 of Quickr local user’s Certification ID and offline security policy
Figure 7. Example 2 of Quickr local user’s Certification ID and offline security policy
4. Translate the LDAP user name
. If you want to apply the Quickr offline function on LDAP users, then you must configure the LDAP user name translation. Lotus Domino can recognize only user names with "CN", "OU", "O", and "C" elements.
However, LDAP user names may contain other elements, so you must add a translation rule in qpconfig.xml to convert the unknown elements for Domino recognizing. Listing 1 shows an example.
Listing 1. Example translation rule
5. Integrate the Quickr offline function with IBM Tivoli® Access Manager, Secure and Protected GSS-API Negotiation (SPENGO), and CA SiteMinder
<translate from="CN=(.+)/ou=Users/ou=Lotus/o=Software/dc=ibm" to="CN=\1/O=haiku" />
<translate from="CN=(.+)/O=haiku" to="CN=\1/ou=Users/ou=Lotus/o=Software/dc=ibm" />
. In the Notes.ini, set $DOLS_TCPIPAddress as the host name or IP address of the actual Quickr online server. This helps the client to find right Quickr online server to do synchronization.
Replication conflicts and Lotus Quickr’s solution
Synchronization with the Quickr online server and offline server is based on the Domino database replication technology. If a document is updated by both online and offline servers, the conflicts will occur during database replication. Fortunately, Lotus Quickr has a solution to resolve the conflict:
1. When a conflict occurs, Lotus Quickr will select the newer document as the master one.
2. The master document is displayed in its own directory, as shown in figure 8.
Figure 8. Master document in its own "Library" folder
3. You are only able to access the Conflict document through the index function, as shown in figure 9.
Figure 9. Visit Conflict document via Quickr index function
So, although conflicts occur, no information is lost. As shown in figure 8 and 9, "Page 1" is modified by the online and offline servers simultaneously. Lotus Quickr selects "Page 1 –Modified by Offline" as the master document and displays it in the Library directory. "Page 1 –Modified by Online (Conflict)" is marked with Conflict tag and shown in the Index directory.
In the Library directory, you can access only the master document, " Page 1 –Modified by Offline;" however, in the Index directory, you can access both the Master and Conflict docs and select either one you want, or merge and create a new document based on the two documents.
What’s new in the Quickr 8.5.1 offline function
As you know, Mozilla Firefox is a very popular browser and has been supported by the Quickr online service. As of version 8.5.1, the Quickr offline function also supports Firefox browser. Figure 10 shows how to use Firefox to visit a Quickr Place by selecting "Take Place Offline" to start the offline installation.
Figure 10. Take Place Offline option in Firefox
Figure 11 shows the resulting DominoOfflineServices plug-in install window.
Figure 11. Install Firefox offline function plug-in window
Troubleshooting and FAQs
After integrating the Quickr offline function into Tivoli Access Manager, SPENGO, and SiteMinder, you receive the error shown in figure 12 and cannot log in to the offline place with your online password.
Figure 12. DOLS DSAPI error
Resolution: After integration, the online password is not visible to the Quickr offline function, so you must set your offline password before offline service installation.
During the offline service install, you receive the error "ATTEMPT TO ACCESS SERVER by abc/ibm was denied."
Resolution: Set the Server Access configuration as shown in figure 13.
Figure 13. Server Access settings
During the offline service install, why does a window display asking for your Notes ID (see figure 14)?
A: This window should not pop up during installation. It is due to a configuration error. Double-check configuration Step 3, "Create the Certification ID and offline security policy.
Figure 14. Window prompting for your Notes ID during installation
Why does the Lotus Sync Manager report an authentication error during synchronization?
A: This is due to a configuration error. Double-check configuration Steps 2 and 4, "Register Quickr offline management extension" and "Translate the LDAP user name."
You should now have a good understanding of the Lotus Quickr for Domino offline function, including its function, configuration, and troubleshooting/FAQs. So when a network failure occurs, you can take advantage of the function to continue using Quickr services and improve your work efficiency.
Refer to the developerWorks Quickr documentation page
Refer to the IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Domino Product Documentation
on the wiki.
Refer to the developerWorks Lotus Quickr Product page.
About the author
Zhuang Yu is a Staff Software Engineer at the IBM's China Development Lab in Beijing, where he works on the Lotus Quickr for Domino product and is responsible for developing the Quickr 8.5.1 offline function. He has extensive experience with Web 2.0 applications and collaboration software. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org