Now that we have our 8.5.3 environments ready thoughts turn to how do we use XPages to build better applications with the new tools available. I have been involved in a few situations lately where organisations are reviewing their application estate and asking how do we approach "modernising" them. The first cry from everyone is usually "XPages" but quite rightly IT departments are asking what is the best platform for THAT particular application in OUR organisation with OUR current skills. When reviewing the application estate the feedback has generally come back in the form of:-
1. Application works well - needs extending via a "web app" to browser or mobile. 2. Application needs to integrate into our Portal, Intranet, be made available on public Website etc. 3. Application functions badly due to the way it was deployed on the older Notes client
All of the above can be addressed by putting together an XPages "front end" or as in case 3 by rewriting the application to work better with XPages (dojo, jquery, modern web ui tools).
There are however a large number of applications (I am sure we have all seen them) that have underlying problems with the architecture. This usually comes down to two issues
1. Sheer numbers of documents. 2. Complex structure of relationships between data / documents.
I am thinking the huge timesheets database, enormous CRMs with huge numbers of documents and relationships with visits, callbacks etc etc.. Again we have all seen them....
This usually manifests itself in performance issues, applications that are difficult to change and maintain and even more difficult to leverage good reports from. We then see loads of views, loads of categorisation, lots of bloat / index issues, server struggling when a view is rebuilt, requests for reports where information is captured but stupid methods have to be employed to get it ...etc.. etc.
This is where the new XPages Relational Database Access tools come in. Now we can...
1. Use Domino security (readers fields, authors fields, acls) - these are easy to configure and change using the same methods that are in current support / operation with developers and the admin team. 2. Use Domino workflow eg a "main document " could have "related records" that are stored in a relational db somewhere and called for display at the appropriate point. 3. Get better reporting (always a pain as already mentioned). You can use standard reporting tools (Crystal reports etc) for building reports and even delegate more to business users. 4. Handle better volumes of "record" type data. 5. Kick off transactional processes that are in other systems (as well as your own table structure) 6. Build powerful database searches that incorporate a combination of Full Text and SQL queries.
Of course with all of that we can leverage the full benefits of a JSF based Java Web application server built around dojo UI components for cross platform mobile and web applications.
The opportunities are endless. We now have a true web application server and with XWork and further developments in the pipeline I am looking forward to LS12!
Anyone else able to share their own stories around this?
Oh yes - before I forget go to OpenNTF and download the Extension Library and install on 8.5.3. There is good visual material there to help you on your way!
Speaking at BLUG 2013
Tue, Feb 12th 2013 2:30a Chris Connor Delighted to say that I am speaking at BLUG 2013. I will be presenting on one of my favourite subjects - building hybrid NSF / SQL applications with Java, XPages and the extension Library. It follows on from my last posting. I am hoping the work I do for this presentation will act as a springboard to start to produce the series of articles that I mentioned in my last blog. Will be great to attend my first BLUG - heard so much good stuff about it. Also looking forward catching up with all the [read] Keywords: xpages applications
getCurrentElement() null issue in Java UI Classes for Eclipse
Mon, May 21st 2012 10:57a Chris Connor Seems to be this behaviour is a "feature" of the product which may be fixed over time. A similar threads on DeveloperWorks forum (or Notes.net as I still like to call it..) Kevin Duan http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd8forum.nsf/5f27803bba85d8e285256bf10054620d/e0da559819b54d0b852579a20034ce5c?OpenDocument Also being hinted at in some other places that the view behaviour is unreliable at best. At the moment (until I can come up with a better idea) I am running some code as follows fo [read] Keywords: ldd
Plugin Development with Java UI Classes
Mon, May 21st 2012 7:34a Chris Connor Been working on an eclipse plugin which extends the right click menu. The idea is that it sends (creates) a bookmark type document in a central XPages "Knowledge base" database based upon the selected document. So the user right clicks to select a document and chooses the "Bookmark" option below Which provides this dialog The bookmark document contains simply 1. A subject describing the document 2. A Tag for the document (category) 3. A "Notes URL" link to take the user [read] Keywords: notes
XPages DataModels and Exporting to Excel
Fri, May 4th 2012 1:57a Chris Connor Been doing a lot of work in XPages around Exporting - so naturally built a Java Class to run as a managed bean to do this. It extends the widely documented concept of SSJS Agents in that a button redirects to a page which renders the content as Excel or whatever. So I thought - let the Excel class have different methods to do different things such as Export a view, a document collection and even the data used in a repeat control (essentially what is on screen). Package it up as an OSGI plugin [read] Keywords: xpages java
Open Source / Free CMS and Commerce Engine
Wed, Apr 18th 2012 3:02a Chris Connor Firstly apologies for the silence - usual consultant thing of being very busy hence no time - that is no excuse though... Been doing a lot of varied work recently on top of the usual XPages stuff. WebSphere Portal, Spring / Hibernate, Spring MVC stuff. Hope to incorporate that into this blog soon. Anyway... Thought I would throw out a request to see if anyone could recommend or point towards a free open source CMS / shopping cart type application - preferably built on the Java platform [read] Keywords: xpages application