Approaches to Extract Attachments from Lotus notes Database

extract attachment from lotus notes

Lotus Notes (earlier known as IBM Notes) is a desktop-based email application used for exchanging information in an easy way. The application provides business collaboration functions and hence, widely used in social business field. It has a storage file named as Notes Storage File(popularly known as NSF), which stores the entire data of IBM Notes on local machine. Since Notes is an email application therefore, it means that it also comprises of emails that have attachment within them. Hence, there is a need to extract attachments from Lotus notes database for user’s convenience.

In this content, we are going to discuss about need for extracting attachments from Lotus notes database and measures to do the same.

Need for Extraction

There are several reasons to extract attachments from Lotus notes database and few of them are mentioned below:

1) When user wants to archive all their attachments of Lotus Notes database in some storage device (at one place).

2) When user wants to migrate their data from Lotus notes to any other email application.

Proposed solution – Measures to Perform Extraction

To extract Attachments from Lotus notes Database, we have two workarounds to do the same and they are described below (in detail):

Solution 1: Manual Extraction Procedure

The manual procedure to extract attachments from Lotus Notes database is by using python module, which will format the database and tackle the extraction procedure. Go through the following steps and extract attachments from database:

  1. Using following code, first extract data from Domino server to RTF
  2. extract attachment from NSF

  3. Now define the session and connect with database on Domino by typing following code:
  4. Built a view and observe the first document in that view
  5. Now create a rich text format using python module
  6. Archive the document and then build it
  7. Now search for any attachment (if any), which will be listed in RTF after executing the following code:
  8. Execute the main code, which will determine the values from Lotus Notes and pass it to pyRTF for generation
  9. To extract attachments within same folder from Lotus Notes Database, type and execute the following commands:
  10. At the end, type the following program code to collect the attachment data:

Limitations of Manual Procedure

  • Lengthy Procedure: The manual approach is too lengthy. The program code is so much long that it will consume a lot of time in extracting attachments. However, such code creates a big confusion while execution.
  • Non-Understandable Code: Majority of end-users does not understand the program code and hence, for them it is a useless procedure.
  • Tedious Measures: Typing a long code and executing them is quite boring procedure for Lotus Notes users.

Solution 2: Alternative Extraction Procedure

The alternative extraction procedure involves the usage of a third party software, which are being initiated to extract attachments from Lotus Notes database flawlessly. One such solution is by using Export Notes tool for exporting Lotus notes database to Outlook PST and Outlook Attachment Extractor software to extract entire attachments from exported PST files.

Working with Export Notes

First user will have to use Export Notes software, which will migrate the Lotus Notes database into Outlook PST files. The working of the software is described below:

  • Launch the Export Notes application on your machine.
  • To select the NSF file (from which you want extract the attachment), click on Browse button and select that file.
  • Click on Next >> Export
  • At the end, a progress report will appear in front of you and the file is migrated into Outlook PST file
  • Progress report

Working With Outlook Attachment Extractor

  • Launch the Outlook Attachment Extractor software
  • outlook attachment extraction

  • Select Add Folder or Add File (s) option for importing all PST files from the folder or for browsing a single PST file, respectively. Moreover, you can use Remove and Remove All option for deleting the wrongly imported PST files.
  • Amongst the given three Attachment Hierarchy Filtering options, select any of them to proceed further
    • Folder Hierarchy: For extracting Outlook attachments, which will maintain folder structure of Outlook PST file.
    • Folder Hierarchy (Subject Wise): It will maintain a separate folder & each of attachment folder will have predefined naming convention.
    • No Folder Hierarchy: All the attachments are archived collectively in a folder at the defined destination path.
  • Browse the PST files, from which attachment is to be extracted
  • After browsing the file, click on Extract button
  • Now a live progress report will appear in front of you. Moreover, after the completion of extraction procedure, a dialog box will appear in front of you. In this dialog box, click on OK button to proceed further.
  • The tool generates a CSV file for entire source PST file that comprises of several parameter, which are related to extraction procedure.

Observational Verdict

After going through above described information, one can wind up with the fact that instead of going for the manual procedure, it is better to go for alternative approach. The alternative approach is easily accessible by end-user, does not require any knowledge about program code, about any language, etc. Therefore, the best way is to make use of Export Notes and Outlook Attachment Extractor, which will flawlessly extract attachments from Lotus Notes database.