Head in a blender

Best practice vs Client Desires... Best Practice Wins - YAY!

Andy Pedisich  April 23 2008 07:30:00 AM
A while back I blogged about a client that wanted to use the domain address book as a secondary address book on desktops and laptops that used a local replica of the mail file.  This is a startup domain of folks migrating from Exchange and other disparate mail systems.

There were many responses to the post.  Thanks everyone!

Not one person liked their idea.  And of course, I loathed their idea, but put it out there for comment.  I wanted either the extended or condensed directory catalog, preferably the extended one.

Yesterday at a teleconference I stated again how much I was against it, and described a scenario (thanks for reminding me of this, Rob Axelrod) where a local copy of the domain address book has not replicated in several months, and has passed the purge interval.  The European based consultant was quick to point out that it wouldn't make a difference, because users did not have editor privileges to the address book.

Then I added the kicker.  Suppose a Notes administrator switched to their own ID on that user's Notes client for support purposes and inadvertently replicated the address book. "Oh my God!" said the other consultant. "I forgot all about that.  It happened to me one time and it was horrible!"  She quickly explained in the native language to the Euro team leader about the old deleted users and groups returning to the domain.

"What's the risk of this happening?:  he asked.  "It's entirely possible, difficult to prevent, and you really won't want to be at work the morning after it happens."  I heard him make a "pppbbtt" sound that echoed his frustration and say OK. He agreed to go with extended directory catalogs as their solution.

He quickly added, "If you had explained it that way before it would have been a much shorter conversation,"

It just proves that sometimes knowing something isn't a good idea isn't always enough.  You have to have the patience to assemble your logic and communicate your ideas.  And even that doesn't always work.  Some people are as thick as bricks.  

I was pretty lucky this time.
- Andy


1Nathan T. Freeman  4/23/2008 8:18:43 AM  Best practice vs Client Desires... Best Practice Wins - YAY!

I have to admit, my response to this kind of thing is usually pretty condescending. Something along the lines of "dear customer, you are paying thousands of dollars for me to give you the best advice I have after nearly two decades of working with this particular platform. If I make a recommendation for an infrastructure approach, it is not frivolous or some kind of make-work program -- it is because I have more experience with these tools than any 5 people on your team combined. Perhaps, rather than hiring a technology expert, you thought you were hiring a waiter? At any rate, if you're going to argue about what constitutes a technical best practice, may I suggest you come armed with a bazooka?"

Then again, maybe that's why they have the sense not to send me to client sites these days. :-)

2David Price  4/23/2008 9:44:42 AM  Best practice vs Client Desires... Best Practice Wins - YAY!

My approach is to point out what could happen and whether the risk/effort ratio it worth doing. I agree with the European consultant that the odds are low but also agree with you that the results would be very bad. Beside the EDC or CDC isn't difficult to implement. Using the domain directory also means you cannot use policies to push out the local addr book without extra steps. This assumes the domain directory is called names.nsf.

3Ulf  4/25/2008 4:53:41 AM  Best practice vs Client Desires... Best Practice Wins - YAY!

This is exactly why i posted this idea om IdeaJam:

{ http://www.ideajam.net/IdeaJam/P/ij.nsf/0/6C86F581D524839386257392003BE938?OpenDocument }