Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Does Notes/FX work properly with Lotus Notes 8.5? … Help badly needed.

A new client has asked me to help redesign and modernize their key revenue-generating Lotus Notes application. They want to add new function and utilize all the latest Notes/Domino 8.5 capabilities to implement up-to-date look and feel

Generating all sorts of official letters and forms is a crucial part of their operations. In the current application, Lotus Notes/FX is used to automate the transfer data fields between the Notes database and all sorts of Lotus WordPro documents. We’re aiming to replace WordPro with Lotus Symphony and use LotusScript (or whatever) to perform the field updates.

In one of their two offices, yesterday they upgraded Notes/Domino from Release 6.0 to Release 8.5 – and immediately ran into a problem. Notes/FX is not working properly in the Notes 8.5 Client, creating what appears to be a WordPro document with blank fields.

(However, when the WordPro docs are opened later they DO have the expected data in the various fields. It’s just that is is extremely off-putting, to say the least, for the fields not to be visible at the time of generation.)

Is this one of the known UI bugs under Notes 8.5, with Notes/FX and/or OLE and/or WordPro 9.8? I conducted a number of searches, but didn’t come up with any problem reports about it. (Indeed, there are surprisingly few mentions of Notes/FX in general.)

The redesign (to use Symphony, etc) is only in its formative stages, so we’re urgently looking for a fix or workaround that will enable the fields generated by Notes/FX to be visible [as they were under Notes 6.0, which fortunately is still installed in their other office].

Every day counts. Any rapid feedback/assistance from knowledgeable IBMers and the Notes community will be greatly appreciated.


  1. Is it related to this:



  2. Notes F/X hasn't been supported for a while I thought. And FYI - the Symphony LS support you want isnt there until 851.

    Use COM to automate Word Pro - both directions

  3. We had same problem in earlier version, where IBM, after considerable time I might add, found the workaround
    Open registry
    /defini %1 change to -defini%1
    I'm not sure whether this will work in this version

  4. That's a new slant on things, ole, thanks for supplying this new info! I'll talk with my client about it next week, and see if it makes any difference.

    I took a look at my Windows 7 RTM (64-bit) system and that line shows up as:
    "C:\Notes851beta\notes.exe" -defini "%1"

    Then I started the new Windows XP Mode (which as you may know is Microsoft's IMHO fairly reasonable attempt to soften the blow of migrating to Windows 7, enabling old apps that suffer compatibility problems to keep running). This is Windows XP with Service Pack 3, and interestingly the same registry line is a little different:
    C:\Program Files\lotus\notes\notes.exe -defini %1

    Since there's no forward slash in either of these two Windows versions, I'm not sure if your solution will work, but it's certainly worth a look. Cheers, Tony.

  5. Did you solve the problem with the registry setting ??

  6. No, we didn't. .. I wished at that time, early August, that somebody at IBM (who knows the way that Notes registry entries are constructed) would have shed some light on the problem.

    In the end, my client and I decided that it would be best for them to go back to Notes 6.5 for a while and keep using the old Notes/FX method, and we are going to "do it properly" by completely restructuring the application using some of the goodies that are available in Notes 8.5.1 such as the Lotus Symphony LotusScript API.