Introduction

The Lotus Notes email client provides native export facilities only for a limited number of document formats (text, CSV or Lotus 1-2-3).  None are email formats and all lose elements of the message metadata during the export.  This effectively locks you into the Lotus Notes client unless you purchase third party software to export your email for you, or forward individual emails to another email account.  Neither option is desirable as the former will cost you at least $50 USD, and the latter will also lose metadata attached to the email.

If you have Outlook installed you might be able to try the Outlook 2003/2002 Add-in: Notes Connector from Microsoft.  This allows you to use Outlook as your Lotus Notes client and copy emails to another PST that way.  Administrators sometimes block the connector from accessing servers because of performance or email policy concerns.

Some time ago an article was published including code to export Lotus Notes email as .eml messages (registration required).  This free way to export email should address all of these issues, but unfortunately it:

  • Requires code fixes before it will function
  • Requires Designer to allow creation of a form in your Lotus Notes database
  • Occasionally produces blank emails, emails with sections missing, or emails that were gibberish
  • Occasionally stops during the export process without identifying the problem message or exact error encountered

The code and instructions provided on page address all of these issues, making it possible for Lotus Notes 6.x end users to reliably export emails without purchasing software.



Installation

To use the Email Export agent you must execute the following steps.  This will install the two agents and custom form required to facilitate the exporting of email. 

Note: If you are working in a database replica, you may need to navigate to your primary database before performing these steps. 

Import DXL


  1. Open Lotus Notes and select the View\Agents menu option
  2. Select the "New Agent" button export-lotus-notes-email-01
  3. Ensure the Agents Properties dialog box is open, and set values to:
    Name Archive\(Custom) Import DXL
    Runtime Action menu selection
    Target None

    Note: the "Archive" component in the name groups the agent in the Archive sub-menu in the Actions menu.

  4. In the main panel change the Agent type from "Simple action(s)" to "LotusScript"
  5. Select the contents of the main panel (e.g. "Option Public") and replace it with the contents of the ImportDXL.txt file
  6. Copy "MimeConvert.xml" to a permanent location on your HDD
  7. Save and close the Agent.

Export Agent


  1. Select the "New Agent" button
  2. Ensure the Agents Properties dialog box is open, and set values to:
    Name Archive\(Custom) Email Export
    Runtime Action menu selection
    Target All selected documents
  3. In the main panel change the Agent type from "Simple action(s)" to "LotusScript" 
  4. Select the contents of the main panel (e.g. "Option Public") and replace it with the contents of the EmailExport.txt file
  5. Save and close the Agent

Configure Lotus Notes


  1. Navigate back to your Inbox.
  2. Select menu option Actions\Archive\(Custom) Import DXL.
  3. When prompted, select the MimeConvert.xml file you copied to your HDD earlier then press OK. This will import the MimeConvert form required by the Export Agent.
    Note: If this step is successful you will see a new MimeConvert entry in your database’s Create menu.
  4. If working with a replica you should replicate now.  If the MimeConvert form does not appear in your replica in a timely fashion you may need to close and reopen your current inbox, or if that fails perform the previous step again in your replica to speed up the process. 
    Note: It is possible the MimeConvert form will occasionally disappear from your database when your company refreshes your database design.  It is advisable to keep the "Import DXL" agent and "MimeConvert.xml" file installed to rectify this issue when it occurs.
  5. Open the File\Preferences\User Preferences menu option and navigate to the Mail\Internet section of the dialog.  Set the "Multilingual Internet Mail" field to your preferred character set for receiving email (either UTF-8 or "use Best Match"), but ensure you do not select the "and prompt" setting.  This will stop repeated requests to confirm character sets during the export process.export-lotus-notes-email-05

Usage

Disclaimer: No warranty is provided.  Use at your own risk. 

To use the Export Email Agent:

  1. Open your Lotus Notes email client
  2. Navigate to an email folder within the database where the Export Email Agent was installed
  3. Select the documents you wish to export
  4. Select the menu option Actions\Archive\(Custom) Export Email.
  5. When prompted, select the HDD folder where you want the emails to be exported to.
  6. When the export has been complete, press the OK button after noting the number of emails exported.
  7. If any errors where encountered a second dialog box will be displayed showing the error count and the location of the error log.  If this is displayed you should open the error.log file to review which emails could not be exported (and why).

After the Export Email agent has run, the directory you specified should now contain a single .eml file for each email your selected to be exporting.  If you have Outlook Express installed, or another email client with .eml support, you should be able to double click on the files and visually confirm the email has exported correctly.

This process has been successfully used on a handful of PCs within a single organisation.  Different organisations and client versions might encounter issues not evident in our test environment.  When using this process for the first time, you should visually inspect all exported messages to ensure they have exported correctly.  Do not delete your exported Lotus Notes emails until you are comfortable the process has been successful.  If you encounter any issues please report them here and we will try to help.

Troubleshooting

If you see the following dialog box during the export process:

export-lotus-notes-email-04

you did not successfully implement the last step of the installation process.  Select your preferred email character set, and check the "Don’t show the message again" option to perform the equivalent of that last installation step while the export is still running.

Download

You can download code for the agents and form below. 

Export Agent Code Download Latest Version
Import DXL Agent Code Download Latest Version
MimeConvert Form DXL Download Latest Version

 








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Export Agent Version Release Description
1.0 10/02/2008 Initial release

 

Import DXL Version Release Description
1.5 11/02/2008 Importer flexibility and error reporting improved. DXL to import no longer hard coded. Renamed
1.0 10/02/2008 Initial release

 

MimeConvert.xml Version Release Description
1.1 11/02/2008 Renamed file extension. Removed DTD reference
1.0 10/02/2008 Initial release


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