Adding a new column to an Excel XML data table

We use XML feeds from our Domino applications to pull data into Excel. Users can right click on the data tables and they get updated from Domino.

The functionality generally works well but if you need to add a new “column” to your XML feed there is no way in Excel to pull this into the data table. You can either start again and pull in a new table or edit the XML files that make up the Excel file. If you already have lots of charts set up then starting again is not an option.

I needed to add a new column today so I thought that I would document what I had to do.

1) save the xlsm file as *.xlsm
2) change the file name to *.zip
3) unzip the contents
4) edit the file “.\xl\xmlMaps.xml” as shown below
5) rezip the file
6) change the file type back to *.xlsm
7) open the spreadhseet
8) use the developer ribbon bar to open the XML source panel
9) drag the new column onto the worksheet





Source Control Disables Some Scheduled Agents in IBM Notes

Just a quick heads up about something that is known about but still catches me out from time to time. It may even be fixed in the latest versions but I can’t find any IBM tech notes on it.

If you have a scheduled agent that is set to run “More than once a day” and “All Day” then when you rebuild it from Source Control the “All Day” property has changed to between 00:00 and 00:00 – which effectively means never.

The solution is to set the “All Day” agents to 00:01 – 23:59 and source control will preserve these values.

Amazon Workplaces – great for temporary machines

Juts a quick post to mention Amazon workspaces.

We have been migrating 20 years of Notes data to a new XPages application and needed to PDF over 200k documents in the process. To do this we needed to run several Notes clients continuously for several weeks to create the PDFs.

We started by using Azure VMs and Windows Server 2008 images but these were expensive and seemed to lack grunt. We then started to use Amazon Workspaces and these were more affordable and seemed to run better. We are using the Performance bundles @USD60 per month all in.  Just be careful though as the same bundle billed by the hour is over $400USD per month.

Amazon Workplace is also based on Server 2008 R2 but Notes will run happily on this.

After we installed all that we needed we created a bespoke image and then a bespoke bundle which allowed further new workspaces to be deployed in about 5 minutes.

You connect to the workspace with a dedicated remote client but it is more responsive that the Microsoft Remote Desktop and works very well.

We had previously used Azure to host pre-configured Emergency Desktops as a contingency for broken or stolen laptops for remote workers but we will be using the Amazon Workspaces instead from now on.

A simple example from today of how IBM needs to do better

We moved an application from an 853 server to a 9.01 server and users reported that multiple attachments were being uploaded into the XPages attachment control.

It seems to be related to this bug in 9.01


Which has been closed with no resolution to be fixed in a future release.

So I have had to

  1. Open a ticket here
  2. Identify the issue
  3. Remove partial refreshes which has a negative impact on uasability
  4. Test the “fix”
  5. Submit the change to source control
  6. Deploy the fix to the server
  7. Inform the users that a workaround has been put in place while IBM fix the bug
  8. Then in the future reverse steps 3,4,5,6,7

This is not a sustainable way to work.