How To Apply ACL Encryption in Lotus Notes and Add Users To It

Just like our lives, applications do follow a set of rules to make it work in a disciplinary manner. In IBM Lotus Notes, there is Access Control List (ACL) that specifies what actions can be performed by a group of users on a database when working with Domino Server. There are different means of acceptance or denial and we are going to discuss them all in the coming section of this segment.

The Access Levels in Notes®:

Lotus Notes gives the advantage of assigning level of access to the user. Below mentioned are the access levels that could be allotted to different users.


In the “User Type” section, there is option to define as to whom the rights should be assigned. To the Server, Person, or a group. Choose a relevant option between the available choices.


#1: Manager This will allow a user to modify the ACL permissions to the database, encrypt the DB, do changes in the replication settings, and execute all the operations that can be performed by users to lower level access. In addition to this, there is permission to delete the database. This can be generally assigned those two people who are responsible for managing the database.


#2: Designer  The user with this right can modify the design elements in the database. This permission can be assigned to the one responsible for handling the database design updates.


3: Editor  The Editor access will allows creating and editing the documents within the application. The user that has need to create or edit the documents can be permitted with this access control.

What is a Document? Individual records in Notes database is termed as documents. Access to these documents can be limited using the Access Control Levels that includes privileges for the user and roles performed by them.

Document Library: This is an organizer to documents that can be shared and viewed by a group of people. It allows adding, reviewing, and reading the documents in the library.


#4: Author The author has right to create and edit the document but he can only edit the documents that has been created by him. By default when this right is selected, the permission to create documents will not be provided. It has to be enabled manually as per requirement.


#5: Reader The reader has permission only to read the document.



6: Depositor A depositor is allowed to add document. This access control level is used generallt in applications that are designed for special purposes like voting. For example: If an employee receives a form, he fills, and submit it. In this case, he cannot read the information shared by him once submitted and shared by anyone else.

Note: A Lotus Notes application is similar to MS Access Database like we compare Lotus Notes Mail to Gmail. An application is a file with extension .nsf. The applications are stored in the data directory at a default location that can be changed as per requirement. The applications are stored on server (in most of the cases) ad hence they are called as client-server software.


#7: No Access  If a user, server, or a group have No Access, they can only read and write public documents, only when it is enabled by the manager.


The ACLs can only be applied on the server database and does not work locally. If changes are made to the local database and they are tried to be replicated to the server database, the changes will be done considering the access level that the ACL settings grant. For example: The Reader do not have permission to create a document. If a reader creates a new document locally and replicates it on server, he/she would fail to do so.

How to Add a User to Access Control List:

#1. Open Notes database. Click on the “File” menu, drop down to “Application” and choose “Access Control”.


#2. Click on “Basics” and choose “Add


#3. Define the user, server, or the group of users to whom the permission should be granted. Click OK. You can also use the user icon to choose a name from Notes address book.



#4. Now, use the drop down menu to define an access level to the user.


Access Control List (ACL) is one of the smartest way to define limits for a user to perform actions on database. Although the privileges assigned according to the level can be a great help, the managers (generally the administrator) play an important role in managing the database against unauthorized access.  More Information:


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