The execution control list

You use an execution control list (ECL) to configure workstation data security. An ECL protects user workstations against active content from unknown or suspect sources, and can be configured to limit the action of any active content that does run on workstations.

About this task

The ECL determines whether the signer of the code is allowed to run the code on a given workstation, and defines the access that the code has to various workstation functions. For example, an ECL can prevent another person's code from running on a computer and damaging or erasing data.

"Active content" includes anything that can be run on a user workstation, including formulas; scripts; agents; design elements in databases and templates; documents with stored forms, actions, buttons, hot spots; as well as malicious code (such as viruses and so-called "Trojan horses").

There are two kinds of ECLs: the Administration ECL, which resides in the Domino® Directory (NAMES.NSF), and the workstation ECL, which is stored in the user's Contacts (NAMES.NSF). The Administration ECL is the template for all workstation ECLs. The workstation ECL is created when the Notes® client is first installed. The Setup program copies the administration ECL from the Domino Directory to the Notes client to create the workstation ECL.

The workstation ECL

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A workstation ECL lists the signatures of trusted authors of active content. "Trust" implies that the signature comes from a known and safe source. For example, every system and application template shipped with Domino or Notes contains the signature Notes Template Development. Likewise, every template and database that your organization designs should contain the signature of either the application developer or the administrator.

For each signature, the ECL contains settings that control the actions that active content signed with that signature can perform and the workstation system resources it can access.


1. Choose File -> Security -> User Security.Macintosh OS X users: Notes -> Security -> User Security.

2. Click What Others Do, and select either Using Workstation, Using Applets, or Using JavaScript.

3. Click the Effective Session ECL button. How the workstation ECL works

About this task

When active content runs on a user workstation and attempts a potentially harmful action -- for example, programmatically sending mail -- the following occurs:


1. Notes verifies that the active content is signed and looks up the signer of the code in the workstation ECL.

2. Notes checks the signer's ECL settings to determine whether the action is allowed.

3. One of the following occurs:

Determining effective access

About this task

Users can also determine the "effective access" that a person or a group has to the workstation ECL by clicking the Effective Access button on an ECL. Effective access is not always apparent, especially if users enable ECL access for a Notes session. For example, a user may grant temporary access to a group that designed a database application in which the user is working. This access is valid for the duration of a session, but a session might last all day.

Note: If you restrict users' abilities to change their ECL, the Effective Session ECL button will be grayed out.

Related concepts
Administration ECLs

Related tasks
Defining default settings for Notes user registration
Customizing user registration

Related reference
ECL security access options
Default ECL settings