by Tony Harris - Jenton Software
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).
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!
If you are using the return value to compare or select from ACCESS tables - remove the NULL from the end of the string. This can be done with;
sReturn =Left$(Trim$(sReturn),Len(Trim$ (sReturn)-1))
which will firstly remove all leading and trailing spaces (not NULLs) and then nip the single NULL character (ASCII 0 and ANSI 0) off the end of the string.
This also means that if you want to use the Notes data everything must be converted to the correct type. Time and Date formats are tricky - remember to check your WINDOWS Control Panel International settings and then experiment.
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!