Friday, June 24, 2005

Notes Error - Cannot locate field

I've just launched into another enjoyable spate of Lotus Notes design and development work, for a new customer, and my enthusiasm for Notes is on the boil again!

It has reinforced to me the enormously valuable functionality and flexibility of the basic Lotus Notes platform. Many of the features that having been available since Notes Release 3 or earlier make it ever so easy to develop really powerful workflow and collaboration applications in a flash (compared with most other application development products). It must never be forgotten that the "vintage" capabilities of Notes are still world-beating, while having been augmented by all of the other major features added over recent years.

As with other development environments that haves been around for a while -- and Notes' 15 years is quite ancient compared with some other products -- there are parts of the Notes product that still need some cobwebs cleaned away.

I'm using Domino Designer 6.5.4, and was surprised to see another stupid error message pop up: "Notes Error - Cannot locate field" when I went to open a document. What an inane error message. (You'll find a similar comment in my earlier post: "Note Item not found".) Where were the Lotus quality controllers when this little beast escaped?

If Notes was looking [by name] for a the presence of particular field but couldn't find it, why on earth doesn't the error message clearly state the name of this field thus helping the developer to more quckly locate fix the problem in the code?

As it stands, with the message in its present form you have to either guess which was the offending field or systematically search for it out of the tens or maybe hundereds of fields in the form (and perhaps any subforms that are embedded in it).

What will IBM do about this? Well, I see that they're at last firmly reassuring everybody that the "old" Lotus Notes capabilities will last into the foreseeable future.) See "Hannover": The next release of IBM Lotus for the IBM announcement.) If there's still lots of life in Notes, then surely it's very worthwhile for IBM Lotus Software to go about ridding Notes of little "'nasties" like this one and not just focus on adding more goodies.


  1. well, if this error does pop up, what is the solution

  2. if this error pop ups, what is the solution

  3. Unfortunately, when this sort of error message appears the only thing you can do is report the exact circumstances of the message to IBM and/or the specific Notes application's developer.

    My point was that such an error message is quite meaningless in itself, only one step better than a Notes crash I would say.

    Unfortunately, meaningless error messages are generated by all software: operating systems, database management systems, utilities, vendor-supplied and in-house applications, you name it!

    I reckon that Notes is a little bit worse than most in terms of such inanity. Otherwise, why would there be the need for such a site ad Jake Howlett's handy listing of Notes/Domino error messages over at

    So, what exactly were you doing at the time you got this message? Which database application, which version of Notes, which operating system version, etc? Was it an IBM application (iNotes, Notes Mail, etc), a third-party application, or an in-house application? You would have to report the exact circumstances to the relevant software developer, and I can only offer you my best wishes in this difficult quest.