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Docs disappearing from views

We have developed a reasonably complex application that manages customer orders and product configuration details. We are running it on Windows 2000 and Domino 5.0.11. We use both Notes clients (5.0.11) and browsers (IE) to access the database from a mix of Win98 and Windows 2000 computers.

Documents frequently disappear from views (or never show up when created). The select statement is SELECT Form = "order." Entries also disappear from an embedded outline used to navigate within the app.

We suspected that our problems could be related to different ODS versions between the template and the database. We recreated the template by copying the design elements into a new blank database. We killed the existing database and created a new one based on the latest template. The newly created database exhibits the same problems.

We've tested the app on different levels of Notes/Domino ranging from 5.0.5 to 5.0.12 and the problem is consistent.

We can confirm that each of the documents in question is intact in the database. They just don't show up as expected. We've inspected the Form field on each of the missing documents and it is correctly populated with the form name. We are not storing the form with the document.

We have the same problem with another, much less complex, Notes app. Same exact symptoms, same behaviors.

We've trolled through the various Notes/Domino forums have not found a reference that is similar to our problem. We've also checked the IBM support Web site.

I would appreciate whatever guidance you can provide.
Here are the factors I know of that might prevent documents from appearing in the views whose selection formulas they match:

  1. The document contains a Readers field and the user doesn't have access to the document.

     

  2. The document is of a Response or Response-to-response type (it has a $REF field), the view properties have the "Display responses in a hierarchy" option set and the response's parent document does not also appear in the view.

     

  3. Column formulas must not use the @Return function, or the document will not appear in the view.

     

  4. The document is, in fact, in the view, but the view sorting is such that it's not appearing where you expected to find it. This point might seem too obvious to mention, but it happens surprisingly often because sorting problems can be subtle. For instance, suppose the view is sorted by a date field named DueDate, and for some reason, because of the design of the application, some documents are getting saved with a text value in the DueDate field while others have a date/time value. Notes view sorting will place all the text values first, sorted alphabetically, and then all the date/time values, sorted by date (or vice versa, depending whether the view is sorted ascending or descending). So you can page down the view and find the two dates that your document is supposed to appear between, and it's not there, but it does appear further down.

Even if all the values are the same type, sorting can work unexpectedly. For example, if all the supposed date values are really text, they may look like dates but will still sort alphabetically, so that "01/20/2002" will appear between "01/19/2003" and "01/21/2003".

Use the document properties dialog to make sure the sorting field values are all of the same type and that it is the type you expect.

Multivalue fields can also sort in ways you might not expect -- if the column is not categorized and is not set to sort multiple values on separate rows, the document will be sorted only according to the first value in the field.

If you suspect the document may be in the view at an unexpected location, use a full-text search to locate it.

Dig Deeper on Domino Resources - Part 3

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