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IBM Research - Almaden

Past Project

Lotus Notes has been enhanced for increased reliability and scalability in its latest release. The Dominotes project consists of a joint team of developers and researchers from IBM Almaden Computer Science and Iris Associates. They have added transactional logging and recovery to the R5 Notes engine. These additions make Lotus Notes the first enterprise-ready semi-structured data store with logging.

The system uses a modified ARIES (Algorithm for Recovery and Isolation Exploiting Semantics) technique for transaction logging and recovery, originally invented at Almaden. Whenever changes are made to a Notes database, the changes are first written to a log, as well as the prior information. If this update should fail for some reason (application failure, server failure, power failure, etc.), Notes is then able to undo this transaction and restore the database to its consistent state just before this operation was started. The result is a database with high reliability and scalability In addition, these changes have improved Notes performance and allowed creation of an online backup and recovery facility.

The R5 code was initially released in March 1999. The transactional enhancements are being accepted with open arms by many major customers. The major benefit of running Transactional Logging is the ability to use Archive Logging, which greatly reduces the amount of storage needed for backups. This benefit is not realized until the customer's backup vendor supports R5 with Transactional Logging. As of March 2000, only Tivoli Data Protect supports this feature.
Now with R5 out the door, the Dominotes team is considering new features for future releases of Domino:
  • Exposed Transaction API (BeginTransaction, CommitTransaction, AbortTransaction) with transactions associated with multiple Notes databases on a single server
  • Logging of Domino views, so that view rebuilds will be a thing of the past
  • Logger enhancements to exploit larger disks
  • Two Phase Commit (allow transactions to include multiple Domino Servers and other DMBSs)
  • And many others... Related Links: Tivoli Data Protection for Lotus® Domino

Related Links:
link to content ARIES - Algorithm for Recovery and Isolation Exploiting Semantics
link to content Interview with Russ Holden: Domino R5 Database Improvements
link to content Lotus Delivers Release 5 of Notes, Domino and Domino Designer
link to content Lotus Domino/Notes: First Semi-Structured DBMS of the World
Link to content List of Almaden Projects
Domino R5

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