Agents are stand-alone programs that perform a specific task in one or more databases. Agents are the most flexible type of automation because they:

  • Can be run by users in the foreground or run automatically in the background as scheduled agents.
  • Are not associated with a specific design element.
  • Can be run on a specific server, on several servers, on workstations, or the Web.
  • Can call other agents.
  • Can consist of simple actions, formulas, LotusScript®, or Java programs.
  • Can be distributed easily because they can be replicated.
  • Can be shared or private.
    • A shared agent is created by one user and can be run by other users.
    • A private agent (sometimes called a personal agent) is usually created and run by the same user. In Notes®, the private agent is not available on the Actions menu. In Domino® Designer, anyone with Designer level access or higher can see and run a private agent.

Because agents are so flexible and powerful, you might consider their characteristics first to decide the type of agent you want to build, and then build it.

The Agent Manager supports all aspects of running and troubleshooting agents. The Agent Manager checks security, manages agent scheduling, monitors events and starts the appropriate agents when their associated events occur, records information in a log (the Agent Log), and performs database operations to run the automated tasks associated with the agent. Although you don't work directly with the Agent Manager, you use its components for troubleshooting an agent.

When to use agents

Use agents for database-wide and domain-wide automated tasks and for complicated automated tasks. You can use them to easily access, process, and manage data on other servers or in other databases.

See "Agents to run before Web users open or save documents" for an example.

Notes® on agents

Some databases and templates have built-in agents. For example, the mail template has several built-in agents that let users manage their messages and customize their mail databases.

To see the agents in a database, open Code in the Applications Navigator and double-click Agents.