XPages Development Contest: A Review

This monday OpenNTF announced the winners of the „XPages Development Contest“ sponsored by We4IT. The winners are:

  1.  Ferry Kranenburg for his Multi Database Search Control
  2. Dennis Chen for his ZK Spreadsheet for XPages 
  3. Rami Muurimaki for his XPages PDF Exporter Custom Control 

Congratulations to all of you and enjoy your iPads!

I reckon the contest can be regarded as a big success. I enjoyed a nice night before the contest started on which Niklas told me about the contest and what he expected from it. He said that if 10 controls will be submitted the contest is a big success. Well let’s check the numbers: We have 54 custom controls and 10 library controls. That’s 64 controls! That is 6.5 times more than expected. I assumes that Niklas spread numbers that were agreed on in the steering committee. So to OpenNTF: Congratulations as well!

Now, let’s talk about the controls themselves. 64 controls are awesome, but what kind of controls are we talking about? There were all kinds of controls! We have very simple ones like the Daily Dilbert Control by Ulrich Krause or the Stop Watch Control by Rolf Kremer just to name two. On the other hand there are very sophisticated controls like the three winners or the Select Database Control by Lars Buntrock and the View PickList Control by Mark Hughes. There are many more so please do not blame me if you are not mentioned here.

Now that the contest is over and the winners have been named I think the goal of the contest has been too broad. The variety of the controls is so big that comparison between the controls is not possible in all cases. The next contest should have a challenge more narrow like „Provide custom controls which implement Lotus Notes functions“ or „Provide custom controls which implemet interfaces to Third Party products“. It has to be narrowed down to make it more compareable and judgeable.

Anyway, I personally expected Mark Hughes‘ View PickList Control among the last three. Why? Because it has an immediate business impact and everybody needs it. But don’t get me wrong: I do not want to kick one of the winners from the podium, the y definitely deserved to win. It’s just that if I had the chance to vote Mark would have definitely got an iPad.

So, after the contest is before the contest, isn’t it? The community is the biggest winner anyway and benefits from all those controls handed in. So please let many more contests follow.

Lotus Foundations – First steps

Installing Lotus Foundations start is quite a simple thing following this guide. You end up with a VM holding a basic Foundations installation. 

Lotus Foundations Server

Lotus Foundations Server

Webmail and calendaring (Domino Web Access) is already included and ready to use. You can choose between Full and Light version of DWA.

The web interface provides and easy way to manage and monitor your Foundations installation. There are functions to add users, to install AddOns, to configure mailing, ports and other stuff. Adding a new user automatically creates a new mailfile for this user so that she/he can immediately start over with writing mails and creating calendar entries.

There are a couple of AddOns you can install to enhance the capabilities of the server. Lotus Domino, Lotus Notes, Lotus Symphony and Engate Mail Sentinel (Anti-Spam). All AddOns will be installed to the Foundations server and managed from there. The Domino Server runs on the Foundations server. Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony however are installation packaged which can be downloaded to workstations and installed there. Both Lotes and Lotus Domino are currently version 8.0.1!

Altogether the installation and configuration of the server is very easy, AddOns install themselves with no additional settings to be made and it simply works! Now all sales people have to convince S and M customers to buy this server. I have no clue how to licence the server and the AddOns and how much a licence costs, but given the simplicity of installing and configuring the server and yet the power of tools it provides it should sell well.


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