Friday, December 1, 2006

How to retrieve POP mail from a non-Domino server


By Nancy Hand

When someone asked if the Notes 6.5.x or 7.x client could be used to retrieve POP mail from a non-Domino server, I started investigating.

The Notes Client Help files said it was possible, but the instructions left me with more questions than answers. Next I checked where I found a number of postings, but none from people who had actually succeeded. Some even declared it couldn't be done. I wasn't ready to quit just yet.

On my first attempt I created location and connection documents in the same client I use for accessing my Domino mail. "Miserable failure" is a polite description Iof the result.

On my next try I removed the Notes client and did a fresh install. During the setup dialog, I entered my user name as "DominoDiva". Then, as prompted, I entered the rest of the information for my ISP account. Another dismal failure. Nothing in the Notes.ini file provided any help. The location and connection documents didn't offer me any clues. Even editing the documents didn't convince the client to connect to my ISP.

Then I realized there was a User.ID file in the Notes&#92Data directory which hadn't been there earlier. I uninstalled the client, deleted the Lotus&#92Notes directory, and re-installed with a different user name. Now I could send but not receive mail. I wiped out Notes and started over yet again.

This time, during Setup, I said I didn't want to connect to a Domino server or a Sametime server. I entered my full email address for the user name and just the part before the @ as the account name. At the prompt for incoming mail I entered

For outgoing mail I typed in The domain was, for me, Then I enabled manual replication so I could read the failure notices as they popped up.

When client setup finished, I opened the Personal Address Book to see what the different documents said. The Location document seemed alarmingly blank. The only items on the Basics tab were my Internet address, the connection name, and connection type.

No servers were listed on the Servers tab.

The only Connection document was "home/notes/net". Accounts contained two new documents: POP, where I could specify if mail was to be removed from the POP3 server, and SMTP. The Notes.ini referenced the Internet location document and had a line for Pop3PurgeGhostsSeqNum but otherwise looked much the same as any other Notes.ini. Everything else appeared to be in the User.ID created during setup.

I selected File, Replication, Replicate and waited for the first error. Instead, the client happily connected and copied mail from my ISP to my new client. I sent myself a message and replicated again. The replication page showed one message going out and more than one coming in. My test message appeared in the Inbox with the others.

The header on new Notes memos, CN=n_hand/\\, looks odd but seems to work.

Maybe next I'll try copying the new ID file into another Notes installation to see if I can connect to both Domino and non-Domino files from the same client.