Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Recent Contacts in Lotus Notes 8.5.x

Your composing an email to someone outside your organization you rarely deal with but for some reason today, you need to send an urgent  email to this individual. This person is not in your Local Address book and you’re not sure if you kept any emails from them to get their email address. How nice would it be to be able to type in this person’s name you need to send an email to and have their name pre-populate for you automatically without having this person in your address book.
Well you can with Recent Contacts. Recent Contacts is a new feature introduced in Lotus Notes 8.x  where Lotus Notes determines this by keeping track of the number of times you send and receive mail from each person. After you send an email or close an email after reading it, Lotus Notes will store that contact in a different view in your local address book called called “Recent Contacts”.
As a Lotus Notes end user this feature is great. As a Domino Administrator supporting this new feature, sometimes can be a headache. The Recent Contacts and the Type-Ahead List feature is amazing to have because now you can start typing in someone’s name in the TO: field and now it will start populating, based on the people with whom you most often interact with. So if you deal with a John Smith/NewYork on a regular basis vs a John Smith/California whom you never emailed before. When you type in John Smith’s name it will pre-populate with John Smith/New York.
However for a Domino Administrator, this feature can also cause more problems for end users. What happens when a user is no longer with the organization but is in your Recent Contacts, it will still try to deliver the message and you will get Mail Router – Delivery Failure. Another issue I encountered was when we had to setup mail forwarding in a users Person Doc in the NAB (Names and Address Book). After removing the entry for the mail forwarding, anyone who sent emails to that user during this time period the forwarding was turned on, it will cache that forwarding address in the users Recent Contacts. Example: You setup mail forwarding on John Smith person doc to forward emails to Jane Doe because John is out of the office for several months. I send emails to John Smith which automatically forwards to Jane Smith. John Smith returns back to work and we remove the mail forwarding from John Smith’s Person Doc. I send an email to John Smith and John says he doesn’t receive any of my emails as well as other trying to send to him. Why is it doing this? Because its still forwarding to Jane Doe because in my Recent Contacts John Smith’s email address shows forwarding to Jane Doe.
Overall, Recent Contacts is a great idea and will make life easier for everyone. However from a Domino Administration point of view, Mail Forwarding, Local Mail Groups, Repeating Calendar Entries where a Recent Contact is pointing to the wrong person can make life a nightmare.
If you you want to disable this feature do the following:

  1. Delete all the contents in your Recent Contacts 
  2. Go to: File – Preferences – Contacts – Select the Check Box  “Do Not Automatically Add Names to the Recent Contact View”
  3. Also on Notes Preferences>Basic Notes Client Configuration>Check box the Disable Type-Ahead
  4. If you would like to disable this for all users. Use the Notes.ini parameter in Desktop settings Policy DisableDPABProcessing=1 .

    1 comment:

    Cluby1 said...

    Does anyone know how many times you have to send someone an email to qualify them as a "Recent Contact" - once, twice, 10 times? I've sent someone a couple of emails but they are not showing up as a recent contact. As far as I can tell, my settings are correct. I can't find anywhere if there is a magical number of times you have to send someone an email to make them become a 'recent contact'. Very frustrating.