When does the error you describe occur - when you attempt to select the Notes database to monitor? If so, make sure the Notes user id you are using has proper access to the server. There are no special features to DECS-enable a database in R5.x (some cool new features in D6 to look for), but you should check to ensure that the DECS server task is configured and running properly. Within the Domino server's Notes.INI file you need to have the following parameter: EXTRMGR_ADDINS=decsext. You can determine if the DECS server task is running by performing a "show tasks" from the server console.
Dig Deeper on Domino Resources - Part 6
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