Understanding the How to Apply setting for a policy

The policy settings documents contain a How to Apply setting that enables you to uniformly control how and when users can modify the individual field values in these documents and when the field values cannot be modified by end users. The How to Apply feature provides a central location, the policy settings document, from which you can set, and optionally, lock down policy settings. This feature is especially useful for implementing company procedures and increasing security. The How to Apply setting is available in all policy settings documents.

If the policy settings document displays a How to Apply setting that is a check box, that feature setting is exposed to anyone who can view the policy using the Notes® client. The Notes® client end user cannot specify a value for that setting. If the policy settings document displays a drop-down list box for the How to Apply setting, the setting is exposed in the Notes® client and the Notes® client end user can change the value if they are assigned the [PolicyModifier] role in the Domino® Directory.

Domino® uses dynamic configuration to deploy all policy settings except the mail policy settings. When end-users authenticate with their home servers, information stored in the policy settings documents is deployed (pushed down) to the end-users. The mail policy settings document is deployed to the user's mail file by the Administration Process, not by dynamic configuration.

If a field is set to Don't set value, those policy settings are not overwritten when changes are made due to dynamic configuration or the Administration Process. If a field is set to Set initial value, the initial policy settings are overwritten just once. If a field cannot be modified by end users, the policy is deployed using the settings designated by the administrator who set up the policy settings document.

The How to Apply setting offers the following options:

  • Don't set value -- If you select this option, no value is specified for the setting but the end-user can specify a value. When you assign this setting to a field in a policy settings document, you cannot modify the field value but the end-user can. If the end-user specifies a value for a field with this setting, that value is saved. For fields where there is a check box, if you leave this option unchecked, any value in the corresponding field is used by the policy.
  • Set initial value -- You specify a default value for the field but the end-user has the option of changing this value. The setting will be set to this value once. If the end-user then specifies a value for a field with this setting, that value is saved and not overwritten by the value in the policy.
  • Set value whenever modified -- When you choose this option for a field, all of the policy settings are set to the values that you most recently specified. Values that are specified by end-users are overwritten by values specified in the policy whenever the policy is applied. Be default the policy is applied every 12 hours. The user can change their settings, but they will always be overwritten by the settings in the policy.
  • Set value and prevent changes -- You specify the value for the field and that value is saved in the policy and cannot be modified by end-users.
    Note: Choose the Set initial value option on the desktop policy setting document for any setting that is to be applied at setup. In effect, you can then set your desktop policy settings and setup policy settings in one document -- the desktop policy settings document.

You can change the How to Apply setting that you assign to a field at any time by opening the policy settings document and choosing a different How to apply option.

If you open a policy settings document in Domino® Designer, the fields that have a How to Apply setting enabled contain the suffix $HA. The only exception is the mail policy settings document which uses the suffix $UP to indicate that a How to Apply option has been set for the field.

The existing inheritance and enforcement properties also apply to settings that have the How to Apply feature. If the field is marked Inherit, the How to Apply setting is also inherited. If the field is marked Enforce, the How to Apply setting is also enforced. If you are using dynamic policies, any precedence order that you established also applies.