The Domino® Web server

Domino® provides an integrated Web application server that can host Web sites that both Internet and intranet clients can access, and that can serve up pages that are stored in the file system or in a Domino® database.

When a Web browser requests a page in a Domino® database, Domino® translates the document into HTML. When a Web browser requests a page in an HTML file, Domino® reads the file directly from the file system. Then the Web server uses the HTTP protocol to transfer the information to the Web browser.

Using Domino® to store Web pages as documents in a database has a major advantage over storing static HTML pages: using Domino®, any change that you make to a database is automatically reflected on the Web server.

Any Domino® application can be a Web application. Before you create a Web application, become familiar with the Domino® features that can be translated into HTML and determine whether Web browser users, Notes® clients, or both will access the application. You can use the Notes® formula language to detect which type of user is accessing the application and then, based on the user type, change the display of information in the application.

A Domino® Web site can consist of a single database or several databases that are connected by links. In addition to hosting Web sites, the Web server can run other server tasks, such as mail or directory services. Be sure to enforce security on databases if you do not want users outside your organization to access the databases on the server.

For information on designing Web applications, see HCL Domino® Designer Help.

Domino® includes these Web server features:

  • Translation of Notes® features into HTML code. For example, in HTML code, hot spot links are translated into anchor (<A>) tags.
  • Pass-through HTML. This is HTML code that you include in a form, document, or About and Using documents that Domino® does not interpret during the page translation. pass-through HTML lets you use Web-only text formatting, links, images, commands, and programs. Using pass-through HTML, you can combine Domino® features with HTML code.
  • Security for applications using standard Domino® security, such as the database ACL, and Internet security features, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and name-and-password authentication.
  • Support for Java applets that are referenced using pass-through HTML or embedded in a document.
  • Support for JavaScript that is included as pass-through HTML or embedded directly in a document.
  • Support for CGI programs that are referenced using pass-through HTML in a document. CGI supports EXE, CMD, and BAT files and scripts written in Perl, Python, and PHP.
  • Support for static HTML pages that are referenced in a directory on the server's hard drive. Static HTML pages can be referenced by pass-through HTML included in a document or can be requested directly using a URL.
  • Support for a last-modified header in Domino® URLs, which allows many Web browsers or proxy servers to cache Domino® pages.
  • Support for URL extensions that expose Domino® functionality to the Web client -- for example, opening a database or view.
  • Redirecting and remapping URLs and directories to another location.
  • Support for multiple Web sites with separate DNS names to exist on a single server machine.
  • Support for server clusters, which allow a server to fail over to an answering server if the first server is unavailable and provides load balancing to maximize response time for users.
  • Domino® Web Server Application Interface (DSAPI) supports all phases of request handling, including mapping and transforming incoming URLs, authenticating and authorizing users, processing requests, and logging.

For information on customizing the authentication of Web application users, see the DSAPI documentation in the Lotus® C API Toolkit for Domino® and Notes®.

Web logs (blogs) and RSS feeds

Web logs (blogs) and RSS feeds can be hosted on Domino® Web servers. Notes® Basic includes two application templates for creating Domino® Web logs (blogs) and syndicating content from Notes® applications by creating RSS feeds using view content.

For information about using the Domino® blog template (DOMINOBLOG.NTF), see HCL Notes® Help.

For information about using the Domino® RSS template (RSS_GENERATOR.NTF), see the documentation that is available with the template.

Domino® XML services

You enable Domino® Web XML services on the Web server so that the server can work with the Common Mail and Common Calendar portlets for HCL Digital Experience. For information about the setting up and using the Common PIM portlets with Domino®, see the current Digital Experience documentation.

Making Web site content changes

You might find it convenient to set up one Web server as a production server and another Web server as a "staging" server. Web content managers can make changes on the staging server without exposing the changes to users. After all changes to the Web site are complete, the Web content manager replicates the Web site from the staging server to the production server. In addition, using a staging server allows Web content managers to view changes through a browser before replicating.

If you use a staging server, give access only to Web content managers. Also be sure to give the Web content managers replication access on both the staging server and the production server.