A couple of months ago, I wrote about several open source Domino templates that can add tremendous value to your intranet. Today I want to give you an overview as how to set up DominoWiki.
To refresh your memory, wiki.org defines a wiki as:
“… a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.”
So, how does this help your intranet from a business context? Well, a wiki can be one of the easiest ways to allow a group of your end users to edit documentation. It could be a FAQ, in-depth user manuals, or even definitions of items within your organization. The most famous example of the latter is wikipedia.org, which is a user-maintained encyclopedia.
Creating The DominoWiki Application
To install DominoWiki you’ll first need to download the latest version from OpenNTF.org. For this article we are using DominoWiki 1.0.2.
Throughout the more technical articles, I’m going to assume you are a developer or an admin who has access to add Notes and Domino databases and other content to your intranet.
If you do not, or are simply an end user who thinks this content can help you out, please have your local Notes and Domino support take a look at the article.
Also, as an admin and developer, I can’t say the above without stressing that you should really install all of this in a development and testing environment.
Always install there first, and make sure your applications work as you need them to before moving them into production. I will now step down from the soapbox.
OK, so you’ve downloaded the template, and you have the ability to add a new database to your server.Click File, Database, New to get to the following dialog.
- Choose the server you wish to put the database on
- Enter a title for the database
- Enter a filename for the database
- Check the box to Create full test index for searching. This is necessary for the search capability on the wiki to work.
- Choose the DominoWiki Template from your list of templates
- Click OK
Once the database has been created, make sure to sign it with an ID file appropriate for your environment.
Your ACL (Access Control List) Settings
When setting up DominoWiki you have some things to consider for your access control.
Normally wiki’s allow anonymous access and those users have the ability to edit any pages that haven’t been locked.
This is the easiest way to allow editing in the system. In order to facilitate this, you need the Anonymous entry in your ACL to be set up as an Author, with the Create Documents, Write Public Documents, and Replicate Public Documents attributes checked.
You also need to have the WebUser role checked as well. This is a typical setup of DominoWiki and it allows all users access to the site and allows them to edit pages as needed.
This setup still allows anonymous users to enter a name for tracking purposes. This name is saved in a cookie and allows you to see who has made updates to which area.
Keep in mind that this is not using Domino security at all; there is no authentication taking place. It’s just a simple way to let people tie their name to the edits they make within the wiki.
If you are not that trusting, and want to make your users authenticate, add a user group to the ACL with the same rights that we gave Anonymous above, and then simply change the Anonymous entry to No Access.
Once you have done this, your users will have to authenticate against Domino and all of their edits will be tied to their username in the Domino Directory.
Finally, in order to change administrative settings, set your admin user and your host server up as a manager with all the attributes and roles checked.
Once you have the ACL squared away, you’ll want to open the database in your Lotus Notes client. Once you do, you’ll see the following screen:
In the left side outline, click Wiki configuration. This will bring up a form that allows you to set up your default values for the database. Click the Edit button to place the document into edit mode.
The first thing you can do is select the Style of your wiki. The wiki itself uses CSS, so you can customize the look and feel of the database any way you wish.
- There are four default styles that come with DominoWiki:dominowiki-classic.css
You can safely ignore those files, as they are just part of the underlying framework of the wiki. Hopefully in future revisions, only the appropriate style sheets will show up to avoid confusion.
Once you’ve chosen your style sheet, then you can enter the following information:
- Full wiki URL — This is the base URL that someone has to enter into their browser to bring up the wiki.
For example, it might be something like http://wiki.myintranet.com or http://www.myintranet.com/wiki.nsf.
- Site name / feed title — This is the name of your wiki. It will show up in your browser’s title bar, and in the RSS feed.
- Blurb for feed — A short description of the wiki that will show up in the RSS feed.
- Protocol — Use http unless your site is SSL encrypted, then use https
- Domain name — for example myintranet.com
- Language code — the ISO code for your language. For example en-gb for English (Great Britain) or en-us for
- English (United States). Used in your RSS feed.
- Contact address — The email address of the wiki administrator for your RSS feed
- Copyright Message — Any copyright message you wish to place on your RSS feed
- Generator — The generator tag for your RSS feed. Used to show what program generated the feed.
Click Save, then click Close.
At this point your wiki is ready to go. Open the URL of the wiki in your favorite browser and you should see a start page that looks like the following:
That’s it. You’re now ready for users to start using the wiki.
Now that the site is up, your users can start using the wiki to edit and add content.
Everyone can edit any page unless it is locked (as indicated by text at the bottom of the page and the absence of an Edit button.) Pages can only be locked or unlocked by administrators in the database.
As you can see, DominoWiki is extremely easy to get up and running. You can have a fully functional wiki in less than five minutes start to finish.
It’s also open-source, so it won’t cost you anything but your time. Do you have five minutes to spruce up your intranet?
About This Series
This series of articles on intranet solutions with IBM Lotus Notes/Domino is intended to help readers understand the fundamental methodology and capabilities of the product and how to utilize it to deliver a feature-rich, secure, and functional corporate intranet solution.
It will include implementation strategies, case studies, industry-tested tips and tricks, and, with your input, true value to the administrator or developer who wants to utilize IBM Lotus Notes/Domino technologies to deliver winning intranet solutions.
If you have any questions on the series, Lotus Notes/Domino, or if there’s something you’d like to see addressed, visit the Intranet Journal Discussion Forum.