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How to use Lotus Notes email for data transfers

Many systems can generate e-mail but lack the capability for other types of data transfer. You can use the system's e-mail capability for data transfer.

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Many systems can generate e-mail but lack the capability, or require additional work, for other types of data transfer. There is a way though to use your Notes system's e-mail capability for additional types of data transfer. Here's how:

  1. Create a Notes Mail-in database.

  2. Create a form in the database called "Memo."

  3. Create the basic e-mail fields, (Body, From, etc.) that are found in the Lotus e-mail memo.

  4. Create additional e-mail fields that represent your data elements. For this example, let's suppose that two data elements called Delinquency Amount and Borrower are created.

  5. Write a LotusScript agent that runs hourly (or however often you determine). The agent reads the text in the Body field from e-mails received in the database and parses it. That is, it extracts the Delinquency Amount and Borrower Name from the text. For this to work, the sending system needs to always send the text exactly the same way. Perhaps the Delinquency Amount is always preceded by the word DELAMT:. This makes parsing easier. The parsed information is placed in the extra memo fields created above. Once placed in these fields, the documents can be grouped, sorted, etc.

  6. To be efficient, the agent should read a view of only those memos not parsed.


  1. For this to be a useful idea that can be implemented quickly, the tip should include sample 'parsing' code. It's a given that you can do these kinds of things in Domino, but writing good code is not easy -- especially if you're working with rich text. Plus, a developer may not need to parse this particular kind of information, but they might be looking for a better way to parse logs or other Notes documents.

  2. The term 'data transfers' is slightly misleading, since it's referring to textual information (something we're always dealing with in Domino) instead of transferring files, etc.

—Stan E.

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