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Lotus Notes R8.5.1: The Sametime Business Card Feature Does *NOT* Like Return Carriages
Marc Champoux    

My Users Love the Sametime Business Card Feature …

And it works pretty well once you’ve configured it! However, when it doesn’t work it’s a bit difficult to troubleshoot.

Simply put: the difficulty of troubleshooting a problem with the Sametime Business card goes from “simple”, for example when it doesn’t work at all, to “extra complicated” when business cards aren’t working for ramdom users.

In my own personal opinion, there is no “medium” level when it comes to troubleshooting a Sametime Business Card issue.

And this blog post is about a problem that we ran into that affected several users in different departments and in different offices. We have had a PRM opened on this for about 6 months and sadly, we found the solution ourselves last Friday.

So, follow along and you’ll see what happens when someone enters a return carriage in one of the fields that are pulled by the Sametime Business Card feature, one troubleshooting trick and how to resolve it (it’s simple: remove the return carriage!).

An Example …

Let’s say for example, that you get a call from one of your employees and he complains that nobody can see his business card information when they chat with him (he has recently uploaded a nice picture of himself using the agent that I posted here and he’s trying really hard to impress a girl in the finance department).

So, you test it out and … even if you are the system admin, you also see a “blank” business card:




Why does this happen? Because there is a return carriage somewhere in the data being sent to the Sametime Business Card feature.

Here’s Troubleshooting Tip

You can figure out somewhat easily the field that contains the wrong data by accessing the servlet directly!

If you have read one of my previous blog post here in which I freaked out about discussed the UserInfoServlet, you might remember that you can “see” the data that is being pulled by the Sametime Business Card feature by accessing a URL like this one (replace the host name with your Sametime server host name and the user id with the one of your employee).


And what is the result when there is a return carriage in the data? Well, FireFox says that I’m trying to display a malformed XML document:






So, that explains why the Sametime Business Card feature fails when there is a return carriage.

And Here’s the Solution…

When it does not work for a particular user (or a particular set of users – like all the employees for a single location), open up the Domino Directory and take a look at the fields in the person document of the affected user … pay special attention for return carriages like in this example where the employee decided to enter his 2 phone numbers by separating them with a return carriage:








So, when you encounter this, simply remove the return carriage … like this for example:








And presto …





Conclusion …

In this particular case, we had been going back and forth with Lotus Support for a while … however, nobody suspected that a plain, simple, stupid return carriage would do that much damage … but it did …

I hope this helps someone … somewhere …

PS: Sorry for not blogging a lot lately … I have been caught up in non-Lotus/Domino related projects for the past 4 months. Hopefully things will calm down and I’ll be able to get back to blogging on a more regular basis.

Jan 27, 2011
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