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Domino Document Deletion Logging: How to Solve for Missing Documents

19. August 2020 Posted by Jessie Jeffrey Matias

As a Domino Administrator you might have been asked by your users, “Where is this specific email!?” It has been a long-standing issue with older versions of Domino when an important document goes missing in an application used by multiple users, with no way to identify who/what/when/how a certain document was deletedFear no moreDomino document deletion logging is now a feature that was made available starting from Domino v10. You now have the ability to explain what might happen to the document they are looking for. 

So, how can you implement it? It’s as simple as running compact task on a database, literally! A new compact task option is available to enable logging of data about deleted documents in databases that you specify. Here are the key requirements for such feature. 

  1. Use Domino v10 and above.
  2. Have transaction logging enabled.
  3. Run compact task against the database that you want to monitor 

load compact <database path> -dl on “<comma separated list of items>” 

where <database path> is a specific database or a directory of databases, relative to the data directory, for example, mail or discussion.nsf. 

 <comma separated list of items> is a list of fields to show in the logs to help you identify deleted documents. The fields must be one of these types: Text, Text_List, RFC822_Text, or Time. Suggested fields for mail documents are SubjectSendToFrom, and DeliveredDate. If you have custom fields on a document, you can use them as well. 

The data is logged to a deletion log file called delete.logwhich is located under the server Data directory, IBM_TECHNICAL_SUPPORT folder. When documents are deleted from a database, entries are added to that file. 

When the server is restarted, a new deletion log file is created. Old deletion log files are renamed to delete_<servername>_yyyy_mm_dd@hh_mm_ss.log; for example: delete_Server1\Renovations_2020_01_10@06_28_45.log 

Deleting a document from a database adds an entry to the current deletion log file with the following data. This data is provided in a CSV-compatible format. 

Data in deletion log entry 

More information 

Date and time of the document deletion   
Database from which the document was deleted.  Relative to the data directory 
Replica ID of the database  Helps you find multiple replicas of a database in the log if the database name is not the same on all servers. 
Process that did the deletion  For example: 

  • server 
  • dbmt 
  • replica 
Name of the server or person who deleted the document   
Type of document deletion  Can be: 

  • SOFT — document is in the trash 
  • HARD — Stub delete (for example when the document is deleted from the trash) 
  • RESTORE (document restored after a SOFT delete) 
Class of document deleted  Specified as one of the following hex values: 

  • 0001 (Document – NOTE_CLASS_DATA) 
  • 0002 (About Database Document – NOTE_CLASS_INFO) 
  • 0004 (Form – NOTE_CLASS_FORM) 
UNID  Unique document identifier across replicas 
Items  Up to four field values in a deleted document to help you identify it. Specified when you enable deletion logging. Although you can specify more than four field values, only the first four that are found are shown in the log entry. Each item has three parts: the item name, the length of the item value, and the first 400 characters of the item value. 

 Then if you no longer need to monitor the document deletion on the database, run the following command: load compact <database path> -dl off 

Here’s some things to keep in mind when using this feature. 

  • When entering the compact command, no spaces inside the comma separated list of items.  

load compact mail/admin.nsf -dl on “SendTo,From,DeliveredDate” — Correct 

load compact mail/admin.nsf -dl on “SendTo, From, DeliveredDate”— Incorrect 

  • More than 4 comma separated items can be put in when entering the command. However, only 4 comma separated list of items will be logged in the deletion log file. 

Learn more about Domino Document Deletion Logging here.  

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