Another book for the shelves. Another solution for a reader. I thought this one was interesting enough to make it worth passing on. So, here goes.
Kathy was having trouble with the Excel export that's demonstrated here and discussed here and here. Basically it's a form that contains a URL of a view. When the form is opened it launches Excel, which then loads the data from the view, via the URL.
The problem was that Kathy's database doesn't allow Anonymous access. This is a problem for Excel as it's not authenticated with Domino, whereas the browser which launched it usually is. When Excel tries to retrieve the data it does so as user Anonymous, who has no access. Symptoms then include a login prompt in Excel or simply the "No documents found" message (if there is some public access permission given).
The solution I came up with might be a little controversial to some and not one I'd normally condone, but I think it works perfectly well for this situation. To give Excel access to the view I added the username and password of a special user to the URL. Excel now opens the following URL once launched:
A special user called Excel Reader/Company needs adding to the Domino Directory with a short/user name of excelreader and an internet password of "pass123". Their sole purpose is to provide Excel access to the view. All you need to do is add this user to the database's ACL as a basic Reader.
What are the security risks for this? None really. There's obviously the risk of users seeing this URL, although this is unlikely as it will never store in the browser's history, as it's Excel that actually opens it. Even if they did see these credentials, they presumably have greater access than this user to start with. There's also the risk of third parties snooping the password from the URL. Maybe. But they can also sniff the password of actual users, which, although not a part of any URL, are still sent as plain text through the ether.
This was half of the solution I provided. The other half was an interesting one (honest) and I'll share it on Monday. Have nice weekends.