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Daniel Nashed


Replication Issue with Default Replication Settings

Daniel Nashed  13 October 2009 14:08:36

We ran into this issue a very long time ago when I was an administrator for ifm electronic. We had a support case open but nobody was able to figure out what was going wrong. Since then my database catalog reads the replication settings and has a view to show potential issues.

Last week another business partner ran into the same issue and I found the same pattern of wrong default settings for replication in the mail-databases.
In most cases those wrong replication settings are in mail-files which are around for a long time. In most cases those settings have been set by a developer and have not been removed when shipped.
The current mail-template does not come with default replication settings enabled. So it should not occur with new mailfiles.

Here is in detail what happens:

A Notes database can have replication settings for different users if the database is local or for multiple servers when the database is located on a server.
For each of the servers or users a design element containing the replication settings is created.
If no setting is specified for an user or server the default setting document applies. If not settings are present by default everything is replicated.

So if you do not plan to have any change in what should replicate (design elements, agents, ACL, ...) you usually do not touch the replication settings dialog.
This means your database has not settings for your user/server and therefore the default settings in the database apply.

You can see the default settings (if present) selecting When Computer "-Any Server-" in most cases you would see the entry that is already in the database.
If you want to make sure you get the already stored entry you have to use Notes Peek or any other low-level tool instead.

Because what happens is that the dialog shows not only what is present in the replication settings but also what would be present when you press OK.
Normally if the settings for your current user are not present the dialog shows the default settings that would apply for a new entry -- which would be OK in most cases.

But if your default replication settings in the database (-Any Server- / you can see it in NotesPeek in the "-" entry shown below ) have different settings your replication settings dialog shows different settings than the settings which are effective for your user/server. This is because the settings might not be stored in the database yet (you have to change something -- like removing the replication history -- or press OK).

That's the pitfall when looking into this dialog. In most cases you do not care about the default settings because they should be correct or not present for most databases.

But in some very old mail-templates those settings documents had no Note Classes selected (No documents, No design).
The NotesPeek screen-print shows if just documents are selected (Notes Class 1 = Documents).
You cannot set it to 0 using the dialog (blue rectangle in the first screen print). But if you inherited a $ReplClassMasks value of 0 you will not see it in the replication dialog until you go to the "-Any Server-" entry.

In really rare cases you can still run into this issue and specially when you have users working with Notes for a long time.
We are not sure in our new case how this happened but it could be for example if you have renamed users who lost their own replication settings and the default settings are wrong.

Note: The dialog will also store the settings for the current user/server when you delete the cutoff date. So it looks like clearing the replication history solved the issue. But in many cases this is just a side-effect.

I hope this sheds some light into this odd issue which has been around for a long time.

-- Daniel

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