hs.Workspace – Browser based Application Management

IBM Notes Users are used to their Client with all databases neatly ordered on different workspaces. Companies that are using Client Management Software provide their user’s with the databases they need to fulfill their daily tasks. These CM Systems allow administrators to add, move or delete databases from the workspaces.

Now we all agree that the Notes Client is in the autumn years of its life. More and more companies move their applications away from the Notes Client. Many companies rely on the Domino Server as their web server and use XPages as technology to web-enable existing applications. Using the Web Browser as Client means loosing the Application Management feature previously available in the Notes Client. hs.Workspace closes this gap!

hs_Worspace_Screen Continue reading

XPages development for IBM Connections – Win $1000!

Inspired by Niklas‘ blog posts on the topic I started my fist baby steps in developing small apps for IBM Connections. Once you understand the basics it’s quite easy to do. As an xpages developer you can create apps that seamlessly integrate into connections. People do not see or feel that they are working in an external app.

You can use all Connections data in your app by utilizing the Connections REST API. The extension library provides single sign on controls so that once you are logged into Connections you are also logged into Domino. It’s all there, what’s missing are some app ideas and examples. The 4th OpenNTF development contest sponsored by IBM Business Partner hedersoft now opens a door. All of you out there interested in giving xpages in IBM Connections a try now have the chance to get a reward for your efforts.

Win $1000 for your idea! Niklas put a little video together that should help you to get going. If you don’t have an IBM Connections environment IBM jumps in. You can work on a shared image provided in the IBM Smart Cloud. It is running IBM Connections 3.0.1, Domino 8.5.3, SSO already up and running and the latest Extension Library. Just drop a note to Niklas (niklas_heidloff at de dot ibm dot com) and he will give you access to the image.

The submissions are due on December 2nd 2012. This sounds a long time but do not underestimate the time till you got everything in your bag to get you going. So send a new mail to Niklas now!

Happy coding and good luck!

Help needed: Using java sources in java agents

I am a bit in trouble here since DDE does not work as I expect it to. I hope there is somebody out there who has a solution to my problem. So here it is:

I am writing java code in my domino database using the Java Perspective. I created a source folder under WebContent\WEB-INF and added the folder to my build path. I am using the classes and methods I coded on my XPages and they work. Now I need to code a java agent that is supposed to run every night. A lot of the methods and classes I need for my agent are already in my source folder, so I want to access the code. But there seems to be no way to import the code into my agent, is there?

I can import sources from my file system or jar files. I can import java libraries. I can import resources from my file system, but I can not add my project source folder to the agent. Switching over to the Java Perspective and opening the agent opens a new project in my Package Explorer showing the agent and all its properties. I can now add my database project to my agent project and add the source folder to it. When I build the agent project everything is fine. After I close the agent the agent project is gone and with it my settings. The same errors reappear.

Is there a way to add my sources to my agent except for copying the classes an methods to a java library and use the library in my agent? I don’t want to have source code redundant. I am kind of stuck here and need a hint or at least someone telling me that there’s no way to get what I want.


Collect POP3 accounts with Domino – PO3Collect

We are currently setting up our business and use Domino as our mail server. We’re hosting our domain hedersoft.de and set up POP mailfiles there. Now since my administration skills as a developer is not that broad I thought I can tell Domino to simply pull the mails from my POP accounts and route them to the receiver’s mailfiles.

Well, Domino does not provide a feature to help me out there. I got stuck and asked Daddy Google what to do. He answered: „Try POP3Collect„!

As usual, I did what Google told me to and guess what: This tool rocks! Once the very easy setup was done and the Java Task was started POP3Collect grabbed all mails and send them via SMTP to the receivers on my Domino server. And what’s even better: This tool does not cost a dime!

Thank you Andy Brunner, thanks ABData!

XPages Application Server – awesome idea!

Ed Brill recently announced that IBM will ship an XPages Application Server in Q3/2011. He made this announcement in Bonn/Germany at the latest DNUG. It’s such a fantastic announcement and it made me think there will be a huge discussion starting soon after DNUG about what this server must contain or provide, what it shouldn’t and what the licencing model will be. To my surprise this discussion has not started yet (or I have missed it entirely). Anyway, here are my thoughts and wishes:

  • An XPages Application Server must be an offering to win new customers which do not run a Domino environment yet
  • It has to be a low price solution that can be sold as a topic to existing XPages apps
  • Server administration and maintenance should be very easy
  • Server licence should include unlimited user licence
  • No mail and calendaring capabilities but SMTP Mail Routing to send Emails to existing mail environment
  • Only web browser clients allowed (forget XPiNC!)

I am really curious what you expect from such a server. Does anyone agree or disagree with my list? Feel free to add your thoughts.

Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.2 FP2

The Lotus Notes/Domino Fixpack 2 for 8.5.2 reached Gold Status and is about to be released in the next couple of days. Among many fixes there are some new functions coming with this releases. These are:

  • SPR# VASR876SSW – Syntax validation was added to Recent Contacts. The following are considered invalid: (1) Any address ending in period, backslash, forwardslash, @, left angle bracket or single quote . (2) Any smtp address where address is surrounded by single quotes. (3) No spaces are allowed in 821 smtp address (the real address part) . (4) No sntp address can have a period after a top level ICCAN domain. Top level ICANN domains are .com, org, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net. (5) On Notes addressing, we are not allowing a period in the organizational part. ie no tom/west.ford/ibm
  • SPR# ATAI7WSABL – When a Delivery Failure report is processed, the failed address will be automatically deleted from Recent Contacts and put into Contacts Trash.
  • SPR# DCHR89GT3Q – Added a policy option to enable administrators to enable or restrict the ability for Notes client users to choose „Save as eml“ under „File..Save“ options from within an email.
  • SPR# GHAT8ATNCH – For 8.5.2 FP2, on conversion from local replica to Managed Mail Replica, we will now configure the existing entry with all default Managed Mail Replica settings (scheduled replication enabled, high priority enabled, send/receive full documents from the server). The Managed Mail Replica settings will be locked on the replication page, but will be editable in the „Replication Settings“ dialog. We will also prevent the disabling or deletion of the Managed Mail entry from the replication page.

The complete preliminary fixlist is already online. To check the release date go to Upcoming Releases.

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„.

Fatal Bug in Notes/Domino 8.x?

Since lotus notes 8.x we are facing strange behaviours when updating existing applications on customer’s servers.

  1. The application has a default view. A couple of days after the update the client answers to certain actions that the database’s default view is missing and that the action will therefore be aborted.
  2. After a server-side design update users work on a semi-updated application when using their clients to open the application 0n the server, meaning that some design changes have been applied and some haven’t. The problem can be solved by removing the database from the user’s desktop and get it back on.

We saw that bevaviour on either databases with hidden design or with open design. Has anyone of you experienced similar things and can provide a solution? Is it a known bug? Is there a recipe with steps to take during an update to avoid these problems? Might it be a client or server cache problem?

Any tips and help appreciated!