Recently I’ve answered two queries from different sources, both of which manifested themselves with mail functionality not working as expected. In both cases, Notes Clients had been newly installed. In both, the cause was the same.

The first was with an application that was throwing an error when LotusScript was calling NotesDocument.send() to send an email.

The second was an impassioned plea from the one and only Joyce Davis. Calendar alarms were not popping up in her newly-installed Notes Client, even though the calendar preferences were set up correctly.

The key bit of information is: how does Notes know you’re you? Yes, it needs your ID and that gives you access to databases, including your mail database (if you’re using Notes mail). But how does it know what your mail database is? More importantly, how does it know where your mail database is?

The answer is down in the bottom right of the Notes client: your location. Installing the Notes Client and putting the right ID on the PC is only half the job. If the location(s) are not set up correctly, you can have all sorts of mail-related problems.



The Mail tab determines where the current mail database is located. This is not the mail database for the current logged on user. It is the mail database for this location, regardless of the user ID currently in use. If it’s on server, it will be looking to the server defined on the Servers tab. And the Basics tab holds the relevant internet address.

If you have a PC shared by two people who job-share, for example, if you don’t use a multi-user install, and if you have Notes mail or applications that send email, it’s very important that the two people use separate locations rather than just switching IDs. Otherwise they will get errors. Create separate locations for each person and have them just switch location. On the Advanced tab you can point the locations to the relevant ID, so they don’t have to worry about switching ID at all.

When installing a new Notes Client, if you copy across the local names.nsf (the Personal Address Book), this is what holds the location documents, so you won’t have the problem. But if you don’t copy across the names.nsf, you’ll need to set up locations.

And as a bonus, here’s a simple way to test whether locations are set up correctly, without needing to check preferences or the names.nsf. There is a shortcut URL to open the mail database as defined in the current location document: notes:///0000000000000E00. If that link doesn’t open the mail database you usually use, it’s worth updating your location document.

1 thought on “Location, Location, Location”

  1. Great reminder, Paul – thanks. Did not know about that shortcut URL – nifty.

    Locations are really useful if you take the time to set them up – great for testing personas (makes it easy if you don’t have different VM’s to switch IDs/servers/etc) and network/server setup for when you’re moving between physical sites.

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