Accessing documents in a Lotus Notes database

Notes/Domino development expert Andre Guirard offers a new Notes/Domino developer and DBA some advice on accessing documents in a Lotus Notes database.

I am brand new to Lotus Notes and Domino. I am having trouble understanding how to access documents in a Lotus Notes database. I am coming from IBM DB2 and RPG. How do I find one document and display it in a form? How do I get data from one database and combine it with another? I am happy to read any good books or online references; I just don't know where to start. Thanks.
The Redbook Domino Designer 6 A Developer's Handbook is a good place to start. Notes/Domino is very unlike the relational database you're used to. There are no joins. You can design forms that use key data in the current document to look up data from views in the same or other databases, and display those values on the form without storing them there. But you can't do that in a view.

Starting with Notes/Domino Version 7, you can do a join. You can back-end the Lotus Notes database with DB2, and use DB2 Access Views and Query Views to publish selected Lotus Notes fields in relational tables. You can then build a Query View that displays data from those tables. The Select statement is written in SQL, so your DB2 knowledge will come in handy.

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

Related information from SearchDomino.com:

  • Learning Guide: DB2
  • Tip: DECS and DCR external data access considerations
  • Tip: Changing a Lotus Notes database mail file from 'archive' to 'mail'
  • Reference Center: Lotus Notes/Domino database resources and tips
  • Dig Deeper on Lotus Notes Domino Coding and Development



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