Mat Newman February 9 2010 12:29:06An interesting new concept has been posted by Mary Beth over on the NotesDesignBlog: Need your opinion on some new policy settings for Mail and a new "cache mode" approach .
My immediate thought when reading this was how much the M$ guys were going to spin this: "Notes to finally introduce an Outlook Cache mode equivalent in Notes v*", read "Notes playing catch-up again...".
Mary Beth's questions read:
1. Is the term "cache mode" acceptable and if not, what would you suggest?
2. Are the policy choices for replica vs cache mode appropriate and if not what would you suggest?
3. Are the UI changes to the mail policy tab acceptable
4. A THOUGHT for the future: We might want to cache things beyond mail files-- thus, I would expect that the Cache Settings that we have right now only applies to the mail file, but could apply to additional mail files or Dbs in the future (And might impact where in the policy we would want to place the information) - Is creating caches for other Dbs of interest to you and should we be proactive and NOT put these settings in mail policy at all, rather extract them out at a higher level to begin with?
I wrote a response on the design blog, but here are my thoughts on the new "Cache Mode" feature:
I agree with @8, 10, 12 & 13 - you can just see the M$ marketing juggernaut spinning this as "Notes is playing catch-up..." when everyone with even a basic knowledge of Notes knows this isn't true.
1. Dump "Cache Mode", my immediate thought was Outlook has had this for years: how about "Managed Replica's". The next heading is then "Managed Replica Settings", and can then be extended to other applications easily.
2. As long as there was an "Unlimited" value - meaning a "Managed Replica" could contain a complete local replica of a database, the other choices are fine.
3. As long as the term "cache" is removed...
4. At present if the options are applicable to Mail only, they are fine on the "Mail" tab, however - if you extend this feature to other applications in future, then it becomes more obvious why we have the "Replication" tab to control enabling local replication and global replica settings, while the "Managed Replica's" tab then controls the options you have mentioned for Mail, and then is extensible to other applications.
I thought about this for a couple of days before replying, and agonised over what I would call the "Cache" if I had another suggestion.
Suggesting "Managed Replica" had two main points behind it:
A. It pre-empts any potential M$ hype about Lotus copying Redmonds features, and doesn't give the spin doctors a chance to write something else into their Bu11Sh1t kit for sales people, and
B. It allows Admins to EXTEND their concept of working with Local Replica's and enables us to more closely align the two concepts. Rather than introducing a NEW Notes Concept of "Cache", you simply refine it by applying existing concepts of Replication, and extending it slightly to identify that a "Managed Replica" is controlled by Admins, not users.
That is: a user is able to create and control a "Local Replica", while and Admin creates and controls a "Managed Replica".
As an educator, I don't have to explain the difference during an Admin class - Student question: "What is a local cache?", Mat Reply: "A cache is just a local replica that you control via policy"
I can even see the new option on the "Replication Settings" tab of the Local Database, "This is a Managed Replica, your Administrator has set replication preferences using a policy."
I included the above screen-shot since I couldn't do it in my response on the NotesDesignBlog web-site.
Here's hoping my points on "Managed Replica" vs "Cache" make it into the thoughts of the design team.