Ask the Expert

Give external users access to workflow-based Notes Domino applications

We are evaluating Notes Domino to see if we should use it for a workflow-based application. The application should be accessible to both external partners over the Web, who would be part of the workflow, and intranet users. How can this be achieved? What are some possible deployment scenarios that don't use a VPN/extranet solution?
There are many configurations available that would give external users access to an intranet-based application. Here are a few options:
  • Have one Lotus Domino server outside your firewall and let your customers and employees access the application on that server from either a Lotus Notes client or Web browser. For security purposes, set the Domino server to insist that all NNTP communications are encrypted. When providing a Web-based interface, use SSL.

    If you prefer that the customer server and the internal server be different, I suggest that you have the two Domino servers replicate through the firewall.

  • If your customers already have Lotus Domino servers, you could replicate the application to them using reader fields and/or selective replication. This restricts customers from seeing information that isn't relevant to them. Cross-certify customers' Domino servers with yours and let them replicate over the Internet using NNTP on whichever port their policies and yours allow. Again, you would instruct the Domino servers to encrypt these replications.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchDomino.com:

  • Tip: Securely connect Lotus Domino servers on different domains
  • Tutorial: Top 10 issues when developing Lotus Notes Domino Internet applications
  • This was first published in October 2008

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