Setup Mobile email with Lotus Domino
There are a variety of ways you can give users access to email and personal information that’s hosted on Lotus Domino Server 8.0 from their mobile phone. What you’ll pick for a given customer depends on the mobile operating system and Internet browser on the specific devices they use.
If you’re happy to allow IMAP access to Domino, you can set up most mobile phones to collect mail this way, but users will have to connect manually as Domino doesn’t have push email built in and they won’t get calendar, contacts and other information. Another option for occasional access is to configure Domino Web Access (or iNotes) to provide Web-based access from a handset, smartphone or handheld computer that is already set up for Internet browsing via 3G or GPRS.
Domino Web Access (DWA) is included free with the Domino Server licence and provides Lotus Notes users with Web-based access to email and some other information from the Domino Server. For push email, they’ll need to pay extra for software like Lotus Notes Traveler, and that doesn’t yet support many mobile platforms.
DWA server configuration
The majority of the back-end configuration required to support iNotes is already included in the initial Domino Server set up, and IBM insists that any new installation is pre-configured prior to sending it out to the customer, with a Notes expert on site to help with configuration.
The options that need to be chosen during the initial Domino Server set up can be also configured on a new Domino server that you’re adding to an existing Lotus Notes domain.
To set up Domino Web Access, choose ‘Web Browsers (HTTP Web services)’ during server setup. If you want to give users the ability to work off line, also add the Domino Off-Line Services (DOLS), which can synchronise information between the server and the client device depending on the OS it is running, but is not required to run Domino Web Access.
Once the Domino Server is up and running, you can edit the Domino Web Access configuration settings. Open the Domino Administrator, click the Configuration tab and expand the Messaging section. Choose Messaging Settings > Domino Web Access > Edit Message Settings. This allows you to change various settings, like the HTTP logon URL and welcome message and various display options.
Change DWA settings from the Messaging Settings screen of Lotus Administrator 8.0.
Officially, apart from standard desktop PC operating systems, only the Safari browser on Apple’s iPhone and the Windows Mobile version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are supported by Domino Web Access. Whilst other mobile phone browsers able to display standard HTTP pages are not specifically supported by the software, they can be used to access iNotes, but may suffer from inconsistencies of display. Use IBM’s test site at http://greenhouse.lotus.com from a mobile device to see if the browser can cope with iNotes and Domino Web Access.
You can customise iNotes to display on these browsers more cleanly by rerouting them to other Web pages on logon or using one of six integrated custom layouts that provide various email and calendar view options. The default logon URL for client devices accessing Notes from a mobile browser will take the form http://servername.com/mail/username.nsf, but you can configure other views or portals which display some or part of the client to be presented, like the Inbox, Calendar, To Do List, Notebook or Contact List within the browser viewing frame. To display a portal showing just the mail inbox for example, the default URL would be http://servername.com/mail/username.nsf/inotes/mail/?OpenDocument&ui=portal.
By default, a connected mobile client will poll the server every five minutes for new mail and alarms, but this can be manually set to a longer delay to improve server performance and minimise data traffic.
While users simply need their Notes username and a specially configured Internet password to log on and use Domino Web Access, they’ll also need a Notes ID to work off line. Be sure to create a Notes ID for each user when registering new users with the Lotus Domino Web Access mail template, and make sure that each iNotes user has a copy of their Notes ID file on the device they will use for iNotes access.
There are a number of security options you can configure in Domino Web Access, though many are only supported in ‘Full Mode’ and not every mobile Web browser or operating system will be able to connect with all the security settings enabled.
Define security settings for iNotes users en masse by creating a Security Policy Settings document. From the Domino Administrator, select the People & Groups tab, and then open the Settings view. Click Add Settings then choose Security to edit settings that allow users to change their own passwords, enforce password expiry, and control password strength, for example. DWA also provides options that wipe the remote browser’s cache when the users log off, in case a device is lost. To access and edit these settings in the Domino Administrator choose Configuration >Messaging > Messaging Settings > Domino Web Access > Edit Message Settings> Browser Cache Management. Bear in mind that not all settings will be supported in Ultra Lite mode. The same screen allows you to encrypt on and offline mail.
You can also configure iNotes to include virtual private network (VPN) access to a Domino Server using SSL and TLS encryption using an add-on tool, Lotus Domino Connect, though this is a licensed product and needs to be purchased separately to Lotus Domino server. There are detailed instructions on Mobile Connect configuration at www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/notes-mobile-connect/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX13&S_CMP=EDU.
Client settings for DWA
There are actually three versions of DWA you can offer users depending on the type of client device they use. Up until the release of Domino Server 8.0.1 ‘Full Mode’ was the only option, and this is aimed largely at recreating the Notes Client experience on desktop and notebook PCs rather than at mobile phones, where bandwidth and display options are an issue. ‘Lite Mode’ provides access to only Mail and Contacts in a more streamlined interface and is bandwidth and performance-optimised for 3G and GPRS. Users can, though, switch to ‘Full Mode’ if they choose.
IBM recently added iNotes Ultralite mode support for the iPhone Safari browser, though this doesn’t allow users to sync contacts, only shows the calendar a day at a time, doesn’t allow new appointments and doesn’t give access to folders (see www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21321587
for a full list of limitations).
The Domino 8.0 Administrator guide:
http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.help.domino.admin.doc/DOC/H_DOMINO_WEB_ACCESS_ULTRALITE_MODE_STEPS.html provides detailed advice on setting up Domino Web Access, as does the Administrator guide for the Beta version of Domino 8.5 at
If you’re starting from scratch, the Domino 8 installation guide is at http://publibfp.boulder.ibm.com/epubs/pdf/i1179650.pdf
IBM offers a guide to setting of Web Acess/iNotes on older versions of Lotus Domino Server at
There’s a good walkthrough of setting up Notes Traveler at
Push email with Domino
If you want email from Domino to be pushed to mobile phones as it arrives on the server, there are two main choices. BlackBerry handsets can access any email account that’s available as Webmail and that includes iNotes, so users can set up the iNotes account as an additional email account using the BlackBerry Internet Service. Give them the iNotes account URL, including the location of the .NSF file and the transport type (https or http) – as above, this is usually http://servername.com/mail/username.nsf; they will also need their username and password. Tell them to choose ‘Lotus Notes/Domino’ as the account type, select ‘I can access my mailbox using a Web browser (iNotes)’ and to choose ‘Leave messages on mail server’. You can also point them at the walkthrough at www.blackberrycool.com/2005/05/how-to-integrate-an-inotes-account-with-your-blackberry-account/ which takes them through the simple steps.
IBM now has Lotus Notes Traveler client software for Windows Mobile 5, 6 and 6.1 which gives you remote management as well as giving users push email and synchronising calendar, contacts and notes. Installing the server software to support this can change the authentication settings for Domino, interfering with normal email delivery; set up a separate SMTP Inbound queue for mobile email to avoid the problems.
IBM has also announced future support for Lotus Notes Traveler on Nokia’s S60 mobile phone platform, to be delivered in version 8.5 of Domino Server; that’s currently in beta and scheduled to appear before the end of 2009 and will let you offer mobile email to more customers with Domino.
IBM has also announced future support for Lotus Notes Traveler on Nokia’s S60 mobile phone platform, to be delivered in version 8.5 of Domino Server; that’s currently in beta – scheduled to appear before the end of 2009 – and will let you offer mobile email to more customers with Domino.