September 2 2008

I was part of an interesting discussion with a customer last week, where essentially they needed some way to "prove" that the basic configuration of Notes 8 and the standard configuration of Notes 8 were really one and the same product.  I won't go into the details of the customer-specific situation, but it boiled down to how they approach their existing Notes applications as it relates to deployment, testing and the upgrade process.

Over the weekend, I learned of a really good way we can help the customer with the deployment aspect.  While Notes 8.0.2 shipped last week in both a basic configuration kit and a standard configuration kit, it appears we may be able to start moving away from distributing a separate basic configuration.  First, part of the reason for the basic configuration is to support lower-end hardware...and the performance/memory improvements in 8.0.2 standard configuration will help with that.  Second, though, is that we've established a simple INI parameter that allows one installation -- of the standard configuration -- to be run in either standard or basic mode.

Scott Vrusho, who manages the Notes/Domino maintenance release process, sent me over this quick write-up -- I like it:

A new feature has been added to Notes 8.0.2 that allows customers to install the 8.0.2 Notes Standard client, but launch the Basic client based on a Notes.ini parameter UseBasicNotes=1.  This notes.ini parameter will allow external programs that launch notes, such as a MailTo: URL, or launching an NSF file directly, to launch notes in Basic mode if UseBasicNotes=1 is set in the Notes.ini.  This will allow customers to rollout a single package, but define which users will launch Basic vs Standard via this notes.ini parameter.  For example, if a machine does not meet the hardware requirements of 8.0.2 Standard, but does for Basic, this will allow the client to launch in Basic mode until hardware has been upgraded,  By default, this parameter is not in the notes.ini and will launch the Standard client if it is omitted or set to 0.  Notes.ini parameters can be pushed out via administrative policy, which make it easier for customers to centrally control this feature.
Thanks, Scott, and the engineering team -- this will help further with Notes 8 deployments.

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