Sunday, September 1, 2002

Make your Notes Mail mobile


By Steve Niles

In DominoPower Magazine, Senior Technical Editor Dan Velasco has written a number of articles recently on solutions for making Notes mobile. His articles include, "Wireless alternatives for taking Notes on-the-go" at, "More wireless alternatives for taking Notes on-the-go" at, and "Synchronize your handheld with Lotus Notes" at

I recently learned of yet another solution called mail-e-on-air from SolutionPlanet. I haven't used it myself, but since it's brand new to the market, I thought I'd bring it to your attention by spotlighting it as our PalmPower Magazine Enterprise Edition Product of the Month.

SolutionPlanet's CEO Mats Ingelborn purchased a new Handspring Treo. Naturally, he tried to browse his Notes email using Handspring's supplied Blazer browser. He met with little success, however, as Domino mail generates frames, which sent too much information to the browser. Thus, the inspiration was born to create a lightweight and fast solution for accessing Notes and Domino wirelessly.

The result was the recently released (and somewhat awkwardly named) mail-e-on-air at The product is designed to give you wireless access to your Lotus Notes Mail from an Internet connected Palm OS PDA with a micro browser, or any WAP (Wireless Access Protocol)device such as a mobile phone, as shown in Figure A.


Use your phone to check your Notes mail. (click for larger image)

From mail-e-on-air you should be able to read, delete, move, send, and reply to email messages, and the user experience is designed to meet the requirements of a small mobile device with a relatively slow Internet connection.

The architecture of mail-e-on-air is illustrated in Figure B.


The architecture of mail-e-on-air is straightforward. (click for larger image)

Your wireless device is connected to the Internet using a wireless ISP (Internet Service Provider) for access. The access to the WAP gateway is authenticated and provided by your service provider. Advanced users can set-up their own WAP-gateway.

The WAP gateway redirects the traffic to your Domino HTTP server. You'll have to authenticate using your login name and HTTP password, but once mail-e-on-air recognizes you, it'll grab and translate the contents of your mail file to WML (Wireless Markup Language).

Take note, there's no need to install anything on your actual mobile device. Rather, you install one single NSF-file to the directory where the users' mail-files are on the mail-server. Then, mail-e-on-air uses the Domino Directory on the server to find your mail file. Even if there are multiple users using different types of mobile devices in your company, you only need one installation and set-up of mail-e-on-air.