Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Double exclamation / bang (!!) in Lotus Notes

Double bang or double exclamation (!!) is an interesting thing in Lotus Notes. It basically is an internal network separator to Notes1 used to separate the server name and database path. No wonder in older release of Lotus Notes, launching attachments which have double exclamation marks in file name would crash Notes client. Also if you try to attach a file (either from Notes client, web or XPages) with double exclamation marks in its name, then the part preceding the double exclamation marks is removed from the attached file name. So if your name of file is file!!name.txt then after attaching, your file name would be name.txt. Even using the EmbedObject method in NotesRichTextItem class attaches the file in same way.

I used it myself when I wanted to open a specific frameset in a different database. Basically where ever you find the @ button in properties, there you can specify the server & database concatenated with double exclamation marks.

Also you use it in Show Database command at the Domino server console to display database and view information on a different server. David Leedy found out that while binding XPages to external databases you need to use double exclamation. Even in the C API function of W32_NSFDbOpen(dbpath$, hdb&) you specify the dbpath$ as <Server>!!<Database path>.

Update 8 Jan 2012: Starting with Notes and Domino 8.5.3 you can set up Domino to preload XPage applications using the notes.ini entry of XPagesPreloadDB, where you specify the server and database name concatenated with double exclamation. And yes, it is present in the final release of the 8.5.3.

1. Lotus Notes and Domino 5.0.5 Release Notes (Pg 116)

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