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The best method to access live, backend data from Notes/Domino

I'm struggling with which is the best method to use when accessing live, backend data from Notes/Domino. We currently have apps that use lsxodbc but were told during Andre Guirard's webcast on Enterprise Integration that this method would no longer be supported and that the LC LSX method is faster and uses less overhead. However, when I tried to put together a test using *lsxlc from a Notes client, I received the error, "DB2CLI.DLL not found in path..." After researching this DLL, I was told that this is only available through installing the DB/2 Connect PE software (which is about $100 per client).

Is this true, or am I way off track? In general, I'm looking to put together an app that would prompt for one or more key values, look up those values in a DB2 table on the AS/400 and return specified fields to the user. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
First of all, ODBC is not the best method to connect to DB2, as it is somewhat slower to pull data than with a native connector. It is also true that when accessing DB2 from LotusScript, you will indeed need the appropriate DLLs supplied by the client software that connects to DB2. As we are speaking here about a real-time action, this implies that every client performing the real-time action will need those DLLs to be present on their machine, as LotusScript is executed on their machine. Indeed expensive. You could search the Internet for any free client software that uses the same DLLs, but that still means it has to be installed on every machine, which does not make your application very portable.

It could be a good solution to use DECS or LEI. Both products are data integrators providing real-time solutions to look up data in backend sources. See also Lotus' Enterprise Integration site.

DECS ships free with every Domino server, while LEI is an additional product to be purchased. Besides real-time, LEI also provides scheduled replication, direct-transfer and polling methods to collect data from nearly any source.

With DECS or LEI you can create a real-time activity, stating that whenever a certain form is opened, data needs to be looked up in a backend source based on a provided key. The main advantage is that the action is performed by the server. With the new options available in LEI for R6, you can even create so-called virtual forms with even more options. These options do not set requirements on the client side and, even better, they also work from a browser interface, which does not necessarily apply to all LotusScript solutions.

It would take to much space to explain it all in this answer, so to find out detailed information about the possibilities proceed to Lotus' Enterprise Integration site or consult the DECS documentation in the help directory of your Domino server.

Dig Deeper on Domino Resources - Part 5

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