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Use the Tools

I have to remind myself to use tools now and again. Frequently in Domino development, I will slog through and do things the way I know how to do them, whether or not it is the best or most efficient way, simply because it is the comfortable way.

That’s just plain dumb. I admit it.

I maintain an application, like many others it has documents and responses to those documents. Occasionally users need to “re-assign” the responses to a different parent document (and of course, it needs to be done ASAP!). Fine, there is a mechanism within the application to do so. However, life being the way it is, sometimes for reasons too lengthy and boring to get into in this post, the documents needing to be re-assigned don’t get re-assigned.

So, what to do? I could write some code that gets the UNID of the correct parent and replaces the value in the $REF field in the response documents, but I don’t want to do that. And better still, I don’t NEED to do that. There is a TOOL that already does that for me.

Enter Noteman. I received a copy of this to review sometime ago and honestly just didn’t get around to playing with it. The icon is a little Swiss Army Knife looking thing, and I think that is completely appropriate, as it is one of those tools that does a million things. I am lazy and never fully explore it, so am not even aware of all the possibilities. Heck I don’t even know what half of those things are for. BUT, if you take the time and figure out what is there, it can save you a ton of time. Just think how long it would take you to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew…

Anyway, back to Noteman, which has an “Editor” tool. Right there in the Editor screen is the button “Make Response…”, which does EXACTLY what I needed the other day. I didn’t have to code anything, test it, fix it, re-test it and then update the documents. I opened the parent document in Noteman, SELECTED and COPIED the UNID (can you hear me weeping tears of joy?), then opened the response docs, hit “Make Response…”, put in the new UNID, saved and closed. There is a Multi-Editor tool as well for changing a bunch of docs at once.

It is a cliche, but don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the tools available to you. Save yourself the time and effort that could be spent writing better code!

  • http://www.bleedyellow.com/blogs/texasswede Karl-Henry Martinsson

    I have been using Noteman for probably 3 or 4 years now. I just (finally) switched to version 2.0 (for Notes 6.x and higher, I had to stay on version 1.x as long as I was stuck on Notes R5).

    It is a very powerful tool, I use it pretty much every day. MartinScott usually give away free copies of the Editor tool at Lotusphere, but the whole suite is just $500 or even less (not sure what the current price is).

  • http://www.jamiemagee.com Jamie

    Thanks for posting your experience with NoteMan!

    Karl – Thx for using NoteMan for so long! Just to clarify we don’t give away the full Editor per se, but rather a freeware mode that includes all the read-only features, such as see all Readers/Authors, find a doc by ID, show all profile docs, etc. There’s a free eval of the full Editor which includes the ‘write’ features, too, such as change any value on any doc(s) from the Toolbar in 5 clicks and no code/agents.

    At our Lotusphere booth #327, we are giving away licenses for NoteMan.DocDelta, the tool that shows field-level differences between any two documents anywere in Notes, and find and merge conflicts.

  • http://www.lotusrockstar.com Rob Novak

    Six years plus with Noteman, and we at SNAPPS Just. Love. It. And Jamie’s been gracious enough to add special features when we’ve needed them. I recommend it to all my clients.