Lotus Multi-User And NT Roaming Profile

This should be the easiest thing in the world….

Install the Multi-User version of the Lotus Notes ND6 client so that it puts the users personal NSF files in their Microsoft Windows NT profile. Then enable roaming NT profiles so that the user can log onto any machine in the company, have their NT profile downloaded to the machine and use Lotus Notes…

So what’s the problem….

Well, Lotus have decided that they should create the users personal notes data directory in the ‘Local Settings’ sub directory of their NT profile. By default this directory doesn’t get copied up to the users roaming NT profile so their setting won’t follow them around and when they log onto another machine they have to go through the whole Notes Client setup routine again.

So how do you fix this little problem. Well after pulling out all my hair, writing scripts to copy files back and forth between the local settings directory and their user directory on the network I discovered that there is a small Windows registry setting that allows you to set which directories in the NT profile are excluded from the copy process. By removing the Local Settings directory from the registry key the file copy to the server when you log out and copy down to the machine when you log in.

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon

“ExcludeProfileDirs” = “Local Settings;Temporary Internet Files;History;Temp”

The only thing to watch out for is that by removing this directory from the key you may increase the size of the users NT profile and thus cause logins and logouts to be a bit longer. There are also some other benefits of doing this, more of the users settings are copied to the profile and it gives the user a richer roaming experience.

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9 comments on “Lotus Multi-User And NT Roaming Profile
  1. Hey Dec, are you sure that the intended use of this new feature in ND6 is to allow full roaming as you suggest?

    As I understand it (and as we do it), in a roaming desktop and/or citrix environment you store the users files on a share (eg, the home drive). Storing the files in their profile, and copying them over the network when the user logs on is a huge hit on the network (and a huge delay) unless you’re lucky enough to be running 100Mb/s at the client and 1Gb/s on the server – even then the users Notes files are a fair swag to download each and every time you logon/logoff.

    Isn’t the intended use of Lotus’ implementation to allow a desktop that is used by one or more “local” users to be setup and seemlessly allow mulitple users in Notes? Why else use the Local Settings folder?

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  2. Richard says:

    Hey Dec,These two registry keys may be a helpful as well. Check out:HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerUser Shell FoldersAll users when first setup on a machine inherit from this location. It gives you very granular control in Windows 2000/XP. If the user already exists, then see:HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerUser Shell FoldersIt would be very simple to manipulate these through a logon script. HTH

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  3. Rock says:

    I would recommend a tool that is specifically designed to do what you want. It is called ClientSync, and is developed by Wolcott Systems Group ( http://www.WolcottGroup.com ). I know the developer personally (good friend of mine), John Wargo, and I have been using ClientSync in my own environment for my family for quite some time. We have 5 users on one machine, and each one gets their own personal Notes setup. It rocks.

    Here’s the URL for ClientSync:
    http://www.wolcottgroup.com/products/internal/clientSync.asp

    If you want to talk to John about it, I can hook you up. And no, I don’t get a kickback for the product – although I may have to ask for it, I recommend it enough I just like good code that solves a problem, and this definitely fits the bill.

    Rock

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  4. Dec, I am with Colin that the Lotus Notes Data is not meant to be roamed by Windows. This could be used INSTEAD of the roaming funtionality of ND 6.
    I just finished a rollout for 1300 users and we had no problems with that feature using XP, W2K and NT4 Workstations. Drop me a mail if you have any questions.

    Christian

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  5. Herwig W Schauer says:

    Notes Roaming is designed to sync local data to the server via Notes NRPC so there is no need to let the local data roam via Windows Roaming.
    I don’t see the need to roam using both (!) ways, Windows Roaming can be an alternative but really not a good one for Notes (consider the amount of data and the frequency of changes …)
    I’m quite sure the ways Notes Roaming is designed is the right approach.

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  6. anonymous says:

    Works great! Simple and straightforward. Setting up Notes for “true” roaming profiles requires buy-in from the corporation for funding and Notes admins for config; this method works immediately without wading through corporate politics.

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  7. Renaud says:

    Or you could just modify Lotus Notes 6’s shortcut, and tell it to use the .ini file located in the homedir of the user:”C:Program FilesLotusNotesnotes.exe” “=H:Lotusnotes.ini”In this case, all the user’s data files are located in drive H:, and some smaller generic files are put in the Local Settings.

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  8. @Renaud: be sure that drive H: is a local disk as having .nsf databases on a network drive is not a supported configuration and has shown to be a problem at serveral sites.

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  9. anonymous says:

    being about to to this would be specifically helpful in a terminal server environment. I have 6 terminal servers that a load balanced and I must copy the lotus notes data at each logon,off for each user in order for notes to be usable. In this case the ability to move/include the notes folder with the NT profile would be most helpful.

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