Working with agents

You can program IBM® Notes® to perform tasks automatically using agents (also known as macros). Agents can help you perform repetitive tasks, such as managing documents and sending memos.

The out-of-office mail feature is an example of an agent, one that comes ready to use in Notes. See Setting up out-of-office notifications for more details on the out-of-office agent.

This Help system covers the creation of simple agents. See IBM Domino® Designer 8 Help for information on creating more complex agents using Notes formulas, LotusScript®, or Java™.

What agents can do

Agents can complete almost any action you can do manually in your applications. Use simple agents to automatically complete tasks such as:

  • Replying to mail
  • Forwarding mail
  • Sending documents
  • Copying documents from one application or folder to another
  • Deleting documents
  • Changing read status

By using search options, you can also set up simple agents to work with selected documents in your applications.

How agents work

Agents are stored in applications. When you create an agent that only you can run, it's called a private agent; when you create an agent that you and other users can run, it is called a shared agent.

When you create an agent, you can set options to specify:

  • When the agent should run. You can run the agent manually, automatically based on a schedule, or automatically based on an event such as when you receive new mail or when a document has been changed.
  • Which documents in the application the agent should run on. You can target all or any subset of documents in the application for the agent to run on.
  • What actions the agent should complete. You can choose actions from a list or use Notes formulas or programming scripts and languages to create actions.

The Access Control List and agents

You can create and run an agent in any application stored locally, but before you can create agents to run on an application located on an IBM Domino server, you must have sufficient access privileges. The Access Control List (ACL) of an application determines not only whether or not you can create an agent in the application, but what the agent can do, and how the agent interacts with other agents.