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Notes/Domino Best Practices: Calendaring & Scheduling

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Abstract

Lotus Notes® Calendaring and Scheduling as a powerful and highly customizable system. Because there are many options for using the calendar, some confusion can arise over what are the "best" ways to use the calendar. This document attempts to answer some of those questions and contains links to other resources.

Content

Intended Audience
This checklist is designed for administrators, application designers and IT managers with intermediate to advanced Domino® experience who wish to better leverage Domino Best Practices within their environment. It is not possible to provide an all encompassing list of best practices that focuses on the nuances of every environment.

This is a living document and will continue to evolve over time.



Best practices for administrators
Some best practices for Domino server administrators

Keep software upgraded
IBM Lotus Notes® and Domino calendaring and scheduling (C&S) code exists in several places. The mail template has script libraries that support C&S processing. The server contains code and server tasks such as Sched, CalConn, RnRMgr and Router, all of which have a role in processing calendars. In addition, the Notes client is involved in processing calendars.

It is a best practice to match the server, template and client code versions. Lotus Notes provides compatibility across versions, but the full function of many new features requires upgrades to all components. It is not uncommon for administrators to upgrade servers, but not upgrade clients or templates. Expected functionality may not be present in such cases, and problems that were fixed in newer releases of software may still be present in older versions. Unsupported versions of the Notes client, including all versions of Notes 4, 5, and 6x can result in user frustration, since many of the features that are expected in current calendaring systems are not present in those versions.

In order to provide the most robust calendaring systems to your users, all templates and clients should be upgraded to match the server version. If standard templates are not used, extensive testing of customization is recommended.



Use policies or recommend settings for users
Settings in Notes exist that will allow users to more effectively manage their calendars. Some preferences and recommended settings are shown below. These settings have been found to help users manage calendars without making mistakes that can interrupt workflow. Mail Policy settings in Lotus Notes can be used to set these options for users. Consult the Administration Help system for details concerning Mail Policy implementation.

Calendar preferences
Preferences can also be set manually by anyone. Preferences for the calendar can be accessed from the mail file. Use the action “Tools” from Inbox, then select “Preferences…”. In the Notes Standard client, Preferences are accessible from the Menu bar by selecting File - Preferences. These settings are based on Lotus Notes 8.5.3.

Go to the Calendar & To Do tab, then select the Display tab.

Under the heading: “Calendar Notices in Mail Views” there are several options which can help users manage calendar data in their mailfile. Here is an overview of what each option is and why it is a good idea to set all of them.



This option will put any C&S document that is delivered to the user’s mailfile into the MiniView that the user can see from the Calendar. This is normally used in tandem with the option “Types of Meeting notices to be shown in your inbox” set to “All except responses”. With this option set, meeting notices (like reschedules and updated information notices) will still appear in the Inbox, but responses from invitees without comments will not. They will only display in the MiniView. The user can still see each person’s response to the meeting as it comes in, but from the MiniView in the Calendar, instead of cluttering up the Inbox.



This is useful for users who are trying to keep their mailfile under a Quota and frequently use the All Documents view to find old data that can be deleted. By simply not having C&S entries display here, the user is less likely to accidentally delete something that should be kept. This should be set ON.




Similar to the All Documents option, this is useful for users who are trying to keep their mailfile under a Quota and frequently clean out their Sent view. By simply not having C&S entries display here, the user is less likely to accidentally delete something that should be kept. This is set ON by default and should be left on.




This option should be turned on for all users. Meeting invitations are still delivered to the Inbox, but after processing (accepting, declining, counter, etc.) the processed document is simply removed from the Inbox. This is helpful to the savvy user who usually removes them anyway to clear out clutter from the Inbox, and is especially helpful to the user who might delete the C&S document from their Inbox thinking it has already been processed. Since this same document is also the document on the calendar, deleting it here will delete it off the calendar and from the mail file completely.




With this option set, meeting notices (like reschedules and updated information notices) will still appear in the Inbox, but responses from invitees without comments will not.

Note: Turning on the preferences to not display C&S entries in the All Documents and Sent views only applies to entries created/processed after the setting has been enabled. All calendar entries that are already in the All Documents and Sent view from before the setting was enabled will not be affected. These entries are not updated to be removed from the Mail views. Therefore, users must be careful when cleaning out the All Documents and Sent views making certain to remove (and not delete) C&S entries that display in these views.




On the Mail Basics Tab of preferences, the section called View and Folder Management contains a very important setting for Calendars. This setting "When I delete a calendar document from any Mail view or folder:" is designed to stop accidental deletions of calendar entries from non-calendar areas of the mail file. This should be set to "Remove without asking" for most users.




Calendar cleanup or archiving
Calendar cleanup or archiving is a good way to manage older entries in calendars. These methods avoid breaking the workflow of repeating meetings that may still be occurring.



Calendar entries are not soft deletions
It is important to note that soft deletions do not work for Calendar entries, whether they are in the Inbox or a Calendar view. Deleted calendar entries do not go into the Trash, but are deleted completely. Users should receive training to inform them of this functionality.



Best practices for users
The Lotus Notes User Help has detailed instructions for users to learn how to use their Calendar. The Chapter titled Calendar And ToDo List is recommended reading for users (and Administrators). The more users understand their calendar, the more efficient they can be in their work.




Additional resources
Domino C&S Resources
Discover the power of Calendar Delegation in Lotus Notes
Learn how to setup and use the Calendar Delegation feature in the Lotus Notes client to grant another Notes user access to your mail file and act on your behalf.
What is and how to set up resource scheduling for Notes/Domino 6.x or 7.x Calendaring & Scheduling
The Domino 6 and 7 Resource Reservations databases allow users to schedule and manage meeting resources. Resources refer to any object or place that can be booked as part of a group meeting. Examples of resources are meeting rooms, projection equipment, ...
Rooms and Resources design in Lotus Notes/Domino 7
Lotus Domino 4.5 saw the introduction of Rooms and Resources (R&R) functionality, along with Calendaring and Scheduling (C&S). The R&R system is intended to be an integrated way for users to reserve rooms or resources for meetings, events, or any sort of ...
New Rooms and Resources features in Lotus Notes/Domino 7
In a previous developerWorks Lotus article, we briefly reviewed the Rooms and Resources (R&R) design pre-Domino 7. We then proceeded to a technical discussion of the new R&R system's architecture for Domino 7.
Lotus Notes Calendar and Scheduling explained!
Calendar and Scheduling (C&S) is one of the most popular and widely used features in Lotus Notes. This two-part article series takes a close look at C&S and how its major components work together.
Building Lotus Notes/Domino calendar applications
Many people use the Lotus Notes calendar "right out of the box." But did you know you can also incorporate calendar features into your own custom-built applications? This article explains how.


Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Messaging Applications IBM Notes Windows 9.0, 8.5

Document information

More support for: IBM Domino

Software version: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0

Operating system(s): AIX, IBM i, Solaris, Windows, z/OS

Reference #: 7009325

Modified date: 18 April 2007