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DECS and DCR external data access considerations

When implementing a Domino Enterprise Connection Services (DECS) or Domino Connection Resource (DCR) solution, you must consider the requirements of the Lotus Notes database administrators who control the back-end data. member Jim Mck outlines four common DBA concerns Lotus Notes developers need to be aware of.

When implementing a Domino Enterprise Connection Services (DECS) or Domino Connection Resource (DCR) solution, you must consider the requirements of the Lotus Notes database administrators who control the back-end data.

Lotus Notes developers often make the assumption that the back-end data is easily available. However, there are some common concerns held by many Notes/Domino database administrators that you should be aware of:

  1. Security
  2. Number of connections
  3. Query burden (that is, dynamic versus precompiled)
  4. Query quality


With regard to security, many Notes/Domino database administrators do not like a model in which a user ID and password are hard coded into an application. To them, that's a security risk.

If the user ID and password are embedded in the data access drivers and those drivers are on a central server, products such as DECS and DCRs can be acceptable, because even the Lotus Notes developers would not know the user ID and passwords.

However, if the data drivers don't support the entry of user IDs and passwords into the driver configuration, and they must be put into the DECS or DCR, it's less likely that database administrators will find that acceptable.

But even in a case in which the user ID and password can be placed into the drivers -- if it's a security-sensitive shop, they'll more than likely have to change the user ID and password on routine intervals. Having to track down drivers is a hassle, and for this reason alone, a few less-motivated Notes/Domino database administrators simply refuse access.

Number of connections

Another concern is the number of connections coming into a Lotus Notes database. With DECS and DCRs, we have many options with regard to permitting more than one connection. To Lotus Notes guys, there's no reason not to "crank it up."

However, due to Notes/Domino database design, licensing, and performance issues, this might not sit well with a database administrator who manages his or her Notes/Domino databases properly. You'll have to consult with him or her first.

Query burden

Another sticky issue is the burden of compiling the query. Dynamic queries are sent to the Lotus Domino server, compiled, and then executed.

Depending on what you're doing, this might not be acceptable to the Notes/Domino database administrator, because compiling your queries reduces processing power to the actual Lotus Notes database. This is where stored procedures come in handy -- but they're still not handled easily under DECS or DCRs.

Query quality

Query quality is similar to the query burden, but is more focused on runaway queries, malformed queries, and so on. Not knowing how the queries are built will be a worry for your Notes/Domino database administrator -- so understanding DECS/DCR intimately will be a huge help in getting it up and running within your organization.

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This was last published in November 2006

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