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Notes Interface

How often does the client reload data?

By default the OnTime Group Calendar Notes and Team-at-a-Glance user interfaces reload the calendar data for displayed uses every 15 minutes. It is possible to change this interval by using an application setting.

Please see the FAQ called "Application Settings for the Notes/Team-At-A-Glance clients" for more information on available application settings.

We're a large organization and opening the -Show All- group is taking a long time - why?

If you're a large organization (e.g. 10.000+ users) the list of users will be very big and thus opening the -Show All- group will take some time. In version 2.3.0 a new global option was added to the OnTime Group Calendar - Notes client to disallow the -Show All- group. Disabling the -Show All- group means that the user must select a group and hence startup performance is vastly improved.

If you're using OnTime Group Calendar in a larger organization I would suggest you enable "Enterprise Scaling" which is a Global Setting to make the client behaver better for many users. I would also suggest you make sure you use our servlet based API endpoint. Please contact OnTime Support if you have any questions.


What does it take for me to enable Sametime in the OnTime Group Calendar clients?

Most of the OnTime Group Calendar clients allows you to see the IBM Sametime awareness status of people alongside their calendar data. OnTime allows for fine grained control of the enablement of Sametime support using the settings system provided in the Configuration database. The Sametime awareness in OnTime may be enabled or disabled in the Global Settings for all users or on a per user basis. It is however important to understand the IBM license implications of enabling Sametime awareness.

Sametime awareness in the OnTime Group Calendar clients are provided using the IBM Sametime API. To use the API either directly or indirectly the user will need to have an IBM Sametime Standard license. A user who is entitled to Sametime per his or her Lotus Notes client access licence is granted an IBM Sametime Entry license and hence cannot enable Sametime awareness in OnTime without violating the IBM license terms.

We understand that this is contrary to what most users and organizations believe but it is however the sad reality.

Please note that the above doesn't apply to customer using the Sametime awareness in the classic Notes interface of the OnTime Group Calendar version 9.7 or prior.


Startup sequence and caching approach

Starting with OnTime Group Calendar – Notes and OnTime Group Calendar – Team-at-a-Glance version 3.11.0 the startup sequence has been optimized and the ability to use HTTP for API transport added. Furthermore HTTP transport may be using the agent based or servlet based API. 

The below outlines the startup sequence for the clients after the change and what pieces of information are cached by the clients. Below "token" refers to an OnTime Group Calendar Access Token.

Startup sequence:

  1. Initiallize NRPC transport (Notes session)
    1. Read data from Notes session (username, mailserver, mailfile path)
    2. Create cache qualifier - (slightly modified base64 encoding of (username + mailserver + mailfile path))
    3. Initialize cache in state location (plugin directory under <notes data>/workspace/.metadata/.plugins/<plugin id>)
  2. Attempt to read cached endpoint information from cache location (endpoint.txt)
    1. If no endpoint configuration was found go to mail database and read enddpoint information
    2. If endpoint information indicates all NRPC based transport use that and start client now
    3. If endpoint information indicates use of HTTP save the endpoint information in cache (endpoint.txt)
  3. Attempt to read cached HTTP token from cache location (token.txt)
    1. If a cached token was found set it in the HTTP transport for use (we do not yet know if valid)

Please note: In step 2 above the decision to use NRPC only could be based on notes.ini having $OnTimeGC_ServletIgnore set to 1.

Call sequence:

  1. If no HTTP transport is initialized use NRPC as previous versions
  2. See if there is a token in the HTTP transport -
    1. If yes just continue.
    2. If no use the NRPC transport to access the OnTime Group Calendar Client database to obtain a token for the current user, set it in the HTTP transport and continue. Obtaining a token over NRPC is retried twice to rule out "server not responding" due to networking just coming up.
  3. Forward call to occur over HTTP. When a response comes back from the API check if it's a success -
    1. If yes (success) save the new token and return response to caller.
    2. If no (error) check whether the error is token related and is recoverable before returning the error to the caller. If the error is token related we can recover if:
      1. It's due to a token timeout. Solution is to use NRPC to obtain a new token and retry call.
      1. It's due to a wrong token ID. The token was invalidated by the OnTime administrator on the server. Solution is to use NRPC to obtain a new token and retry call.
      2. If we are unable to decrypt token meaning that the token has been corrupted or meddeled with. Solution is to use NRPC to obtain a new token and retry call.
      3. If it's due to invalid token time type meaning that the token has been corrupted or meddled with. Solution is to use NRPC to obtain a new token and retry call.
      4. If it's because OnTime couldn't match the token to a user the user might have changed on the workstation. Solution is to use NRPC to obtain a new token and retry call.
  4. If the error not recoverable (not something of the above) terminate the transport and return error to caller.

From the above you can see that the caching of the token on the client has no effect from day to day if the token expiration time is lower than the number of hours between the user leaving the office and coming back the next day. In any case a new token will be obtained with a small performance penalty. 


How do I enable trace logging if instructed to do so by OnTime support?

The components of the OnTime Group Calendar Notes UI and the Team-At-A-Glance UI allows for trace logging to help the OnTime developers diagnose low level problems. Please do not enable this unless instructed to do so by OnTime support.

To enable trace logging follow the steps below.

  1. Close your Notes client.
  2. Locate your rcpinstall.properties file
    1. Windows: <Notes Install>\Data\workspace\.config\rcpinstall.properties
    2. Mac: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/IBM Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/.config/rcpinstall.properties
  3. Open the rcpinstall.properties file in a text editor (e.g. Notepad)
  4. Go to the bottom of the file and add the following lines:
    1. For Sametime related issues: com.ontimesuite.sametime.level=FINEST
    2. For other client related issues add the following two lines:
      1. com.ontimesuite.gc2011.level=FINEST
      2. com.ontimesuite.gc.level=FINEST
  5. Save and close the file.

To enable line numbers in the trace log follow the steps below (only required on Windows).

  1. Close your Notes client.
  2. Locate your jvm.properties file at <Notes Install>\framework\rcp\deploy\jvm.properties
  3. Open the jvm.properties file in a text editor (e.g. Notepad)
  4. Locate the “vmarg.Xnolinenumbers=-Xnolinenumbers” line and put a hash character (#) in front of the line.
  5. Save and close the file.
  6. Delete the class file cache file from normally in <Notes Install>\Data\workspace\.config\org.eclipse.osgi – it’s called something like "C240D2A32P_xpdplat_.jvm_G07".

Start your Notes client and reproduce the issue. Once the issue has been reproduced go to "Help/Support/View Trace" from the menus in Notes, press Ctrl-A to select all text and copy it to the clipboard. Send the copied text to OnTime Support.

Application Settings for the Notes/Team-at-a-Glance clients

This FAQ outlines the different application settings available to change the default behaviour of the OnTime Group Calendar Notes and Team-at-a-Glance user interfaces. Below you will find a section per setting and a description of the setting. Unless specified the setting apply both to the Notes and Team-at-a-Glance user interfaces (please note that since these are application setting you do need to set the setting for both user interfaces).


By default all users available in OnTime Group Calendar will be findable when inviting peple for a meeting (including uses the current user doesn't have access to). Setting this setting to true will changes this default behaviour so that only people the current user have "view schedule information" to will be shown. Not setting this setting or setting it to false will enable the default behaviour.

Setting this setting does not hide the input field allowing the user to invite people by email or Notes email address.

From version: 4.1.1


By default the "Open In Notes" button is shown whenever it's possible to attempt to open a given calendar entry in the Notes calendar. Since this may not always be desireable you may set this setting to true to disable the "Open in Notes" button from appearing on calendar entries from other peoples calendar. Not setting this setting or setting it to false will show the button.

From version: 4.1.0


Starting with version 4.1.0 the user interface will display the off hours or people, rooms and resources in the user interface. There is also an option to temporarily disable the display from the dropdown next to the scope selector (where you select between Day, Days, Week etc.). By setting this setting to true off hours are not displayed in the UI at all. Please note that off hours will still be honored for busy checks and when searching for available rooms and resources.

From version: 4.1.0


By default when creating a calendar entry in a users calendar the list of categories is a combination of the categories from the persons calendar and the 5 default categories from the default IBM Notes mail tempalte (Vacation, Projects, Clients, Phone Calls, Travel, Holiday). By setting this setting to true you can change this behaviour and not have the default categories added to the list.

From version: 4.0.0


Set the value to the number of minutes between automatic reload. Adding AutoUpdateDelay=30 will set the reload interval to 30 minutes. Setting the value to 0 disables the automatic reload of calendar data. The default delay is 15 minutes.

From version: 3.10.0


By default users are resolved in IBM Sametime using the email address of the user in OnTime. In some situations it may be required to use the shortname (or "uid" as it's sometimes called instead). To change the default behavior set an application setting called SametimeWatchItem="ShortName".

If the setting isn’t set or has a value other than "ShortName" the e-mail address is used.

From version: 3.10.0


The clients by default sort rooms and resources after (below) people. Some customers like to fully control the sorting which is possible by setting this setting to true.

Once this application setting is set alternate sorting is also honored for all calendars incl. rooms and resources. The actual formula for the alternate sorting is specified in the "Alt. Sort Order" field on the Global Settings in the OnTime Group Calendar Configuration database. Please note that this formula is evaluated against the person document in the Domino Directory.

From version: 3.10.0


By default the default choice when searching for people, rooms and resources is to search by "Name". This setting overrides this behaviour and by setting it to true the default selected item in the search by dropdown list is "All". Without the setting or with the setting set to false the search defaults to "Name".

From version: 3.9.0

DisablePrint (only for OnTime Group Calendar - Notes)

To hide the "Print" buttons from the user interface and hence disable printing you may set this setting to true. Without the setting or with the setting set to false the print functionality is enabled.

From version: 3.8.5


In version 4.4.0 the clients will open the groups panel to the Public groups instead of Favorite groups. After introducing partial loading of groups this has no performance impact on startup. To keep the behaviour of starting to the Favorite groups set this application setting to true. Starting with version 4.5 the client will remember the last selection of the user and start to either Public or "My Groups" based on where the user was when closing the client.

Only for version: 4.4.0


Please note: As of version 4.4.x these settings are no longer supported as Custom Field visibility can now be controlled directly from the OnTime Group Calendar Config database.

From version 4.1.0 of OnTime Group Calendar - Notes interface we introduced the option of adding custom fields to the user interface. By default the custom fields are enabled for all calendar entry types (appointment, meeting, allday appointment, multi appointment, room only reservation, resource only reservation). Some customers may however like to disable custom fields on certain calendar entry types. To facilitate this the following application settings are available:


Setting any of these application settings to true will disable custom fields on that particular calendar entry type. 

Starting with v. 4.1.2 (to and including version 4.3.x) you can also set a application settings as follows to control whether custom field contents should be displayed for private calendar entries:


The setting should be set to true to not show contents.

From version: 4.1.0
To version: 4.3.x


As of version 4.5 the clients have a timer to dismiss the hover dialog after a set duration. By default this duration is 7,5 seconds but may be overridden using an application setting. Set the setting to the time in milliseconds to display the hover. If the application setting is not set, set to 0 or a negative number the default duration is used.

From version: 4.5.0


Changes the number of days into the future the clients will perform a freetime search. The default value is 93 days (3 months). Use this setting to override the value. If <= 0 we use the default value. This setting only applied to the Notes client.

From version: 5.0.2

Global Settings for the Notes/Team-at-a-Glance clients

This FAQ outlines the different global settings available to change the default behaviour of the OnTime Group Calendar Notes and Team-at-a-Glance user interfaces. Below you will find a section per setting and a description of the setting - where available it's also listed when the setting was added.


This is available as a global setting but we recommend you use the application setting of the same name to control this behaviour. Please see the FAQ called "Application Settings for the Notes/Team-at-a-Glance clients" for more information.

From version: 3.7.0


To disable the hover set this setting to true for the affected users. 

From version: 3.1.3


What exactly is the OnTime Group Calendar Notes client?

We often get the question "what exactly is the OnTime Group Calendar Notes client?" so this is an attempt to aswer that.

The IBM Notes Standard client is a Java application based upon the Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org) rich client application framework. The OnTime Group Calendar Notes user interface (UI) is therefore written 100% in Java using some of the user interface constructs from the Eclipse world. The OnTime Group Calendar Notes UI is a so-called Eclipse perspective which in IBM Notes shows up as a new tab. It is therefore not a database or any traditional Notes design element but a way of extending the Notes client using a full screen Java application. 

Since the OnTime Group Calendar Notes UI is not a database there are no views (in the traditional Notes sense) that can be embedded into traditional Notes applications and there are no Notes-URLs (notes://) that can be used to access data within the application.

The reason the OnTime Group Calendar Notes UI shows up in the Open-list in IBM Notes (and the new shortcut-bar in IBM Notes 9) is because we're using the extensibility of the IBM Notes client to provide easy access to the user interface.


I get an error message in Notes when I need to test an upgrade

When you try and upgrade the widget in your Notes client because you need to test an upgrade from version X to version Y you get an error dialog in the Notes client and the widget isn't updated. The most likely cause is that you installed version X in your Notes client using a Domino desktop policy and you're trying to install version Y using drag'n'drop of version Y of the widget to your MyWidgets sidebar. This doesn't not work as it is disallowed by the Notes client to prevent users from changing widgets they get from widget catalog using policies.

To work around this you need to make sure that version X is not applied to you using policies (e.g. remove the policy from yourself) so it's removed from your Notes client. Once that has been done you can drag'n'drop the widget for version Y to your MyWidgets sidebar panel to test it. 

To replace version X with version Y for all users simply replace the widget in the widget catalog with version Y.