by Tony Harris - Jenton Software
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An Exercise in Taming the Unknown Giant with a Unknown Tool...

Lotus Notes is a large powerful groupware product - undoubtedly! However, using the in-built development language, or developing routines in C, can be very time consuming for those who just want the data...

I recently had the necessity to create an application that pulled data from a LOTUS Notes database, on a large Network, in order to create some reports required by the powers that be! Enter a nifty custom DLL available on CompuServe - VB-Notes!

This shareware DLL allows a VB developer to access the data in Notes (to do with whatever they wish - probably pull it out and push it into Access or maybe create a graph).

Screen snap of VB Notes Demo Program This customised suite of routines (function CALLs really) comes with a simple set of tools to open and close the Notes Database, start and terminate a Notes session, extract and modify data in individual fields on a Note, and retrieve a unique Note or series of Notes meeting a selected criteria. (If you're really a masochist - it also comes with C source code).

There are, however, a few addendums, quid pro quos and provisos, of course. i.e. Beware the free gift - it comes at your expense!

I saved the best for last...

Having said that you're probably wondering why I continued to use it in my project? - well, once you sort out these little idiosyncrasies - it actually works extremely efficiently. It uses very little memory and unlike more "commercial" products that hog disk space and runtime, it doesn't!

Written by: Tony Harris
August 1995

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