Lotus Traveler on Android – What’s good and what’s not

I dropped my BB Bold in late december and started to use a new HTC Desire HD in january. My Bold served as a mobile mail and calendar client primarily and I didn’t use it to surf the web or install apps on it. So seeing all those iPhones and Android Smartphones out there with so many more capabilities than my Bold I definitely wanted one too. I am no Apple fan and haven’t had any Apple device at all so my choice was Android. I checked the market and finally went with the Desire HD. The BB Torch was on my list for a couple of minutes but I reckon Android the better and more flexible system.

Now with this decision made and the loss of my BB Enterprise Server connection I was happy that Lotus Traveler for android had just been released. Now after 6 weeks of intensive usage I want to share my impressions. Here are the things I like and the things that could be better:

What I like

  • Writing texts on my Bold was quick and easy and when you are used to that you do not want to step back and go for the worse. So I was sceptical about the touch keyboard but I must say, it’s almost as quick and easy to write on as it was on my Bold. I know this is nothing traveler handles but to me it’s one of the most important issues when using traveler.
  • Adding recipients to mails or calendar entries is so easy. Just type names and you get a list of matches from your contacts. And here is the good news: It’s not only contacts from your LN N&A or your corporate directory, it’s also contacts from your Facebook, … accounts as long as you allow them to synchronise with your device.
  • Calendar entries can be marked private. I heard that this was impossible with prior versions of Traveler, but it works like a charm with Traveler 8.5.2. This is an important feature to me since we use our own GroupCalendar solution that grabs all appointments from my personal calendar and I want to keep my private appointments private.

What I don’t like so far

  • Calendar handling lacks some functions. Repeating meetings planned in the Notes Client cannot be edited in Traveler. I can only accept or reject invitations but I can’t add a comment. Delegation is not yet implemented, …
  • Synchronisation does not work like it should. This might be an internal problem but it is annoying whatsoever. After a couple of days of smooth synchronisation it simply stops telling me that the server does not answer. The server log says that the device’s security settings are not allowed and synchronisation is therefore prohibited. Rebooting the server solves the problem. We now decided to reboot the server once a night.
  • The signature does not allow CR/LF so you have to cope with a single lined signature. There is no way to configure a server-side signature for the devices either so this has to be improved as soon as possible.

Are you using Traveler as well? What are your impressions? What do you think has to be improved / implemented soon?

Lotus Script: Dead or Alive?

Lotusphere 2011 is over and apart from „Get Social. Do Business“ Xpages was the main topic. IBM’s strategy is mobile and web with xpages as the underlying technology as far as Lotus Domino is concerned. You have all seen the demo (Hey, what time is it again? It’s demo time!) in the OGS showing Notes Next, right? The web browser took a huge part of the whole and Ron presented xpages mobile controls on his android device. So talking web and mobile which piece of the cake will Lotus Script get?

XPages is JavaScript, Java, CSS, XML and a portion HTML. Hey, my name is Lotus Script, may I join the game? Nope, go play bingo with the old dudes.

It‘ won’t be a quick death  since there are so many excellent applications out there relying on Script, but it will die sooner or later. There will be no efforts by IBM to keep Lotus Script up to date, no new functions, no new classes. It will simply stay as is. Use it or not, but I reckon Lotus Script developers will have to get used to Java and JavaScript as soon as possible to keep their position and be able to develop state of the art applications in the next couple of years.

What do you think? Any other opinions?

Here I am!

Today my Blog got listed on PlanetLotus. I just want to say thank you Yancy!

So who am I? I am a Lotus Geek living and working in Germany. I work for an IBM Premier Business Partner called We4IT which you may or may not have heard of. We actually attended LS11 and some of you might have got in touch.

Anyway, I’ve been dedicated to the Lotus Brand for almost 15 years as a developer and consultant. You will be finding all kind of information on my blog as long as it is yellow.

Hope you’ll like my postings and stay tuned. See you around.

Get your apps ready for mobile devices with XPages

I provided a couple of links yesterday to XPages resources to get started with this excellent technology. Today I want to introduce a set of controls which allow to create mobile applications with XPages within hours (or even minutes): XPages Mobile Controls! Big thanks to OpenNTF, in this special case to Niklas Heidloff and Steve Castledine. Great work guys!

OK, what are XPages Mobile Controls. Niklas uploaded a presentation to Slideshare that shows the capabilities of these controls. Check it out first to get the idea:


You will find a couple of videos on the OpenNTF page for mobile controls. Here is one that provides a good overview of the capabilities of mobile controls.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atu7c0wApwY]

So this is an awesome add-on to XPages that every developer should be aware of. I downloaded the controls and will check them out next. You will find my first steps and the results on my blog in the next couple of days. So stay tuned!

XPages – Taking Domino development to a higher level

Lotusphere’s top topics this year are mobile, social and web browser. One keyword is being peeped and posted these days that shows which technologies Lotus provides to support the main topics: XPages!

XPages are a technology integrated in Lotus Notes/Domino since version 8.0 that leverage development and user experience to a new level. Developers are given tools and technologies to develop application for the Lotus Notes Client, the web browser and mobile devices. Other than classic Lotus Notes development XPages base on Java Server Faces (JSF), Java and JavaScript. These technologies are popular to web developers all over the world outside of Lotus Notes/Domino. Domino developers can now use these technologies to build state of the art web and mobile applications AND those applications even run in the Lotus Notes client!

Did I catch your attention? Do you want to learn more about XPages and their capabilities? Then start digging deeper. The links provided below lead to valuable sources.

Wikipedia – What the heck are XPages anyway?

XPages.info – Get started, downloads and tutorials

OpenNTF – Open Source XPages projects which can be used out of the box

XPages.tv – Source for random XPages stuff

XPages reference guide – A javascript language specifiction

XPages Blog – XPages development and more

What does google say?

That should get you going. If you are one of those old fashioned lads who needs to hold a piece of paper in his hands. Here you go. IBM Press just released a book called „Mastering XPages: A Step-by-Step Guide to XPages Application Development and the XSP Language„.