How to go over Documents in a Notes View in a random order

Today I had the need to process documents in a certain view in a random order.

I have read previously about different algorithms that would iterate a collection (or array) randomly. Luckily, in Notes this can be achieved very easily using a View.

  1. Create a new View. Let’s name it “RandomDocs”.
  2. Set the selection formula to contain your documents of interest.
  3. Set the index to get built manually and expire immediately. This will force Notes/Domino to rebuild the View’s index every time it is accessed by your script, but not in the nightly index update.
  4. Add a column, sorted ascendingly or descendingly, and use the following formula:
  5. Save and close the View.
  6. Use a script like this to iterate over the documents randomly:
Sub Initialize
    Dim s As New NotesSession
    Dim db As NotesDatabase
    Dim v As NotesView
    Dim doc As NotesDocument
    Set db = s.CurrentDatabase
    Set v = db.GetView("RandomDocs")
    v.AutoUpdate = False
    Call v.Refresh()
    Set doc = v.GetFirstDocument
    Do Until doc Is Nothing
        'We've got a random document in hand.
        Print doc.GetItemValue("Subject")(0)
        Set doc = v.GetNextDocument(doc)
End Sub

That’s it!

Remember that every time the script runs the View’s index is getting rebuilt. This is not a very friendly operation for Domino/Notes, especially when the database contains thousands of documents, even if only a few are being filtered into the view, so you might want to wisely consider when and how often this code runs.