This Domino decoder has the familiar challenge of defending Domino to those who are too quick to blame it for unknown or idiotic end-user mistakes.
I was part of a small, Internet start-up company that was going to use Domino as a back-end database to publish security video. The dot-com founder was a network guy with lots of Windows NT and Exchange experience, but I was able to talk him into using Domino/Notes as our e-mail platform since we were using Domino for our product line.
Months went by, and everything was working just fine. Then one day, I came into the office, and the founder informed me that he could no longer receive e-mail attachments. Translation: Domino must be to blame, go and fix it.
I worked diligently testing the system for hours and discovered that some attachments were getting through while others were not. I went home perplexed: Domino appears to be working fine, but my testing was inconclusive.
The next morning I woke up with a possible reason for the problem: The founder, being a "network guy," loved to tinker with the firewall and other network components. So when he arrived in the office and asked if I have solved the problem, I asked him if he had been making any changes to the firewall lately. He told me that he had found a setting on the firewall that allowed him to stop certain files that could be viruses from coming into our domain.
Then it happened. He suddenly got that faraway look in his eyes as he realized the tweaking he had done to the firewall earlier had caused the problem. He adjusted the settings to allow all file types through ports 25 and 465 so we could get our e-mail, and everything worked fine again.
Over the past eight years I have had Domino/Notes blamed for almost every ill that befalls a network or end user's computer. The product is so unknown to most people that if something goes wrong on a network or a user's workstation, Domino/Notes is always blamed as the cause of the problem. Fortunately, I'm usually able to prove to whoever is having the problem that Domino is not to blame, and in most cases point them to where the problem is in their system. I've enjoyed my time working with Domino/Notes and educating people of the wide range of capabilities that it has to offer.
Gary Backlund is an R4 and R5 Principal CLP in Administration and Development in Lexington, Ky.
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