Ask the Expert

Why does our LDAP account in our PAB occasionally fail?

We are a small division of a much larger company. While our division uses Lotus Notes as our messaging platform, the rest of the company uses Exchange. In order to use the Exchange address book (Active Directory) in Notes, we set up an LDAP account in the Notes client's personal address book.

While this works fairly well, there are times where this connection (account) seems to fail and the only way to fix it is to delete the account document and recreate it.

Is there something to be done to rectify this situation? Is there a better way to accomplish this without the account document?

The LDAP account document is the client-side solution to providing foreign (i.e., not Notes) lookups directly from the client.

To provide an alternative solution, you could configure Directory Assistance on the Directory server to query the LDAP directory. This would mean you would not have to visit each client workstation to create and recreate the LDAP accounts in the Local Address Book.

However, the difference between the local and server-based accounts is quite simple. Local LDAP lookups are performed like normal Notes directory lookups, name resolution, address dialog presentation, type-ahead and so on. The Directory assistance solution does not provide this same functionality, but instead performs the lookups on refresh (F9) or send.

If you are finding yourself having to recreate the account document (and I mean more than once in a blue moon), I would suggest that you write an agent that's accessed from your own welcome page (or the user's mail database), which deletes and recreates this document for you periodically. This process would, of course, obviate the need to visit the client workstations.

Alternatively, if this issue is happening to a number of users quite frequently, I would examine the interaction with the foreign LDAP server to identify any issues that may be occurring from that end. Although I would image that you don't have the ability to do that (thus your question) and the standard response from the foreign directory administrator would most likely be something like "It must be a Notes issue..."

I would suggest, though, if the connection issue is happening frequently to your clients, a server-side resolution is not necessarily going to redress it.

This is where we just smile knowingly and nod while thinking, "Yeah, there's NEVER a problem with an MS server, is there...?"

This was first published in June 2005

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