Message fidelity between Outlook and Notes

Often, companies are in a scenario where they need to concurrently support both Domino and Exchange servers (and Notes and Outlook clients).  The Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes tool that was released last December has been updated to improve the fidelity for mail routed over the connector between these two environments.  Outlook mail and iNotes (Domino Web Access) mail (now supported) both send messages in MIME format, which is fully supported.  This means that mail sent from either of these clients will look the same when viewed by Notes or Outlook recipients, including colors, fonts and tables.  Mail routing from the Outlook or iNotes clients to Lotus Notes maintains fidelity.

By default, Lotus Notes clients send mail in IBM’s proprietary CD-MIME format.  This means that some items sent by Lotus Notes clients look different when viewed by Outlook clients.  Lotus Notes clients can be configured (via a Location document) to send mail to internet recipients via MIME.  The Notes clients do not consider the Outlook clients to be internet recipients as the Exchange connector is configured as a Domino Foreign Domain.  

When messages are sent from Lotus Notes clients to Outlook clients via the Exchange Connector, text formatting is converted correctly, but some tables, such as tabbed tables are converted to standard tables.  Formatting within tables is lost.

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) allows a user to embed a file within a mail message and then click on the item to launch the associated application to modify the file.  OLE information sent from a Lotus Notes client properly routes through the Exchange Connector but Outlook 2003 disables OLE by default as a security measure; no executable files can be launched from within the mail client.

For a complete list of what does and does not translate from CD-MIME, see the Exchange Server 2003 Coexistence and Migration for Lotus Domino Mail document, which can be downloaded from the Resources for Moving to the Microsoft Collaboration Platform website.

- Amy

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I know, I know, I’m late again… But this time I have an excuse, the Easter holidays ;) 


  2. Tom Kirkby says:

    Hi Amy,

    I’ve heard reports from our field when Notes databases which send forms by mail using the connector the forms aren’t translated properly and no longer work but I haven’t found any documentation to confirm this. Have you heard of this before? Can you confirm this as a known issue? Are you aware of any other beyond what you’ve mentioned above that may break the functionality of databases that send automated mail messages? This is especially important for our clients that have a large number of mission critical Notes databases and a deadline by which they need to move to exchange.



  3. NBlogger says:

    Tom – Notes can be configured so that when a message is sent, the form itself is embedded in the message.  This allows the data to easily be read & displayed in a different database from the one in which it was created.

    The Exchange Connector currently does not support routing forms stored in the document.  We’d be interested in knowing how often you’re running into this scenario.

    Thanks for posting!


  4. Tom Kirkby says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I can check a few other clients data if needed but at a recent client where we scanned ~2000 databases (excluding replicas and system databases) we found ~150 of them used this method (it worked out to about 4% of the dbs that weren’t archive-able).

    Thanks for the confirmation. Knowing it’s a limitation allows us to deal with it appropriately. Let me know if you need more insight into customer’s usage. We’re seeing a lot of interest in this.


  5. NBlogger says:

    Not all mail enabled applications store the form in the document.  There’s a difference.  The connector can handle mail enabled applications that are routing mail to users.  The issue is whether the mail enabled application is using the store form in document option.  This is enabled in the Domino Designer in the Form Properties and is not a requirement for mail enabled applications.  

  6. Tom Kirkby says:

    Understood – you can also send mail with the form attached by using the .send command of the Document or NotesDocument class with the attachform property set to true. This is what we specifically looked for in the example I gave above. There were ~350 dbs total in that scan that used some form of mail.

    It would be great if the d_form table from the MS App Analyzer included that property so we knew which databases needed to be corrected in order to work with the Notes Connector.

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