XPages Tip: How to apply different styles for mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, …)

I got stuck yesterday when I tried to shape my application to look different on different mobile devices. I wanted to have an iPhone look when the app gets opened with an iPhone and an Android look when it gets accessed with an Android phone. I knew that there were capabilities to achieve this but I could not find these. Now, as usual, the trick is easy.

There are properties that can be set in the xsp.properies file. First of all you have to find and access the file. Well, those of you out there working with XPages every day, proceed to the next paragraph. All others: Open the database in Domino Designer. Switch to the Java Perspective via the menu „Window\Open Perspective\Java“ and in the outline move to the „WebContent\WEB-INF“ folder.

Open the „xsp.properties“ file by double-clicking on it. Move to the „Source“ Tab. Use the following snippet to define your styles (Click on the image to get to the snippet):

XPages Tip: Work with multi value fields

In classic notes dev you can make a variety of fields multi value fields and define how values are to be separated. Imagine you have such a notes form and want to put an xpages frontend on top of it. How do you separate multi values?

Ok, it’s easy, isn’t it. Just use a Multiline Editbox control, bind that to your multi value field on the form and put a new value in every line of the box, right? This only works halfway since the contents of the field are being saved as a text string with hidden chars to get the line breaks. To separate the values you have to tell the Multivalue Editbox how to do it. Open the „All Properties“ Tab of the control and in the basic section navigate to the „multipleSeparator“ property as shown in the screenshot below. Compute a javascript value using the little blue diamond end enter „\n“ (with quotation marks). Save the XPages. Now your values get saved as multiple values.

XPages Twitter Controls on OpenNTF – Let the contest begin

I’ve been busy recently founding my own company hedersoft. There was no time left to blog or tweet a lot since administrative tasks ate it all up. Now things are getting back to normal and I’ll do my best to save some time to share my thoughts.

Anyway, hedersoft as an IBM Business Partner focusses on XPages. We will make basic applications and modules available as OpenSource and publish them on OpenNTF. Lars Buntrock started with his „Database Open Dialog“ and I uploaded „hedersoft tweet“ just yesterday. This application consists of 5 custom controls, each of which can be used seperately or together as a basic twitter application. These controls are:

  • OAuth authentication control
  • „All Friends“ stream
  • „Mentions“ stream (@Replies)
  • „Direct Messages“ stream
  • Status Update control

Wired together it looks like this:

We nominated the twitter controls for the 2. XPages Development Contest. Feel free to download the controls and play around. They are OpenSource released under Apache Licence v2.0. If you have any feature requests or defect reports then please post them on the project page on OpenNTF.

A new star is born – hedersoft is now online!

I am so proud to announce that hedersoft lauched their homepage today!

Who is hedersoft?

hedersoft is a new company located in Salzkotten, Germany which provides services and sells products based on Lotus Notes / Domino. The company was founded in August 2011 by Lars Buntrock an myself (Henning Schmidt) and focusses on XPages. That is products based on XPages as well as services based on this exciting technology.

Both Lars and I worked for We4IT (sponsor of the XPages Dev Contest) until we resigned in August. We felt it was about time to stand on our own feet and hence decided to found our own business. We are very dedicated to the OpenSource community and will upload lots of stuff to OpenNTF. Lars already did so by handing in his Database Open Dialog to the XPages Dev Contest in August.

So, there is lots to expext in the upcoming months. We have just started and have so many ideas that are only waiting to get processed. One of thoses is getting our homepage translated which definitely couldn’t be done in the last couple of days. So stay tuned and stop by every now and then to see how the business evolves.

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.

Notes 8.5.3 reached code freeze

We are all waiting for Lotus Notes 8.5.3 since there is so much to come. It is supposed to be shipped in September 2011, which means that we could have it within the next 2 weeks. Regarding that there are still 3 phases to run through before web posting it might rather be the second half of September before lines are open for download.

Anyway, there are actually 887 fixes (as of today) in 8.5.3. But not all fixes are fixes. There are a lot of new features as well. Here are a few links to check what’s coming:

So, count the days!

Lotus Notes Client – R.I.P.

There is currently a big discussion in the community about the future name of Lotus Notes. Will it keep its name or do we end up with something like IBM Notes? Nobody knows yet, even IBM don’t es Ed Brill states in his recent blog post. You can find my opinion in Eds comments (No. 40).

Anyway, despite of the name of the product were is Lotus Notes heading? Look at the new features that have made their way into the client. Those are at a high percentage level XPages features. Now, XPages don’t necessary need the client, do they? There is something like XPiNC that allow XPages applications to run in the Notes Client. I personally do not see the advantage to let XPages apps run in the Notes Client instead of a web browser.

The XPages train has just left the station and started to roll. Business Partners and the Lotus Community start to develop new applications on xpages. GBS is convinced that there is a huge market for their transformer application which „transforms“ standard Lotus Notes applications to XPages apps. Big customers (at least in Germany) have opened up projects to get their Lotus Notes applications moved to XPages. Business Partners will get their apps redesigned as well to not fall behind. People are beginning to use the cloud. This train can not be stopped anymore.

This leads to the question: What’s with the Lotus Notes Client? Do we still need it?

Yes we do, at least for a few more years to come. It’ll take some time to get all applications XPages- or web-enabled. We are not talking months, we are talking years. But to me it is quite clear that the Client will reach it’s end soon.

Rest in peace TBD  Notes!

June was „Learn XPages“ month!

How quick can a month end? I remember seeing a tweet saying „June is Learn XPages month so let’s go“ on June 1st. Now that the month is over it’s time for a resumee.

I am a person who likes books to learn stuff. So I got myself a copy of „Mastering XPages“. Since XPages are not yet a main part of my workday I did most of the reading in the evenings and over the weekends. So I got as far as Chapter 11 – Advanced Scripting (Page 391).

The other thing I did was following the XPages Dev Contest and try out some XPages sources from OpenNTF. I am quite happy with what I have done so far. I am no expert yet, but I reckon I am on a good way to become one. 😉

What have you done?

XPages Dev Contest – a big success so far!


Everybody already heard about the Xpages development contest on openNTF.org, right? Now here is a little summary of the weeks behind and a look forward to what can still be expected.

I am not quite sure what the hosts of the contest expected when they first announced the contest, but I guess the number of controls handed in so far already exceeds their expectations. OK, the number of participants compared to the number of controls is rather low, but we are only half way through the contest and the status quo should encourage more developers to participate. Here are some numbers:

No. of controls handed in so far: 18 (It’s 25 already, see Niklas‘ comment)
No. of developers: 8

See the full list of controls on xpages.info. So this is to all developers out there: The chance to win one of three iPads has never been higher! Sit back, generate some ideas and start coding custom controls. You don’t know how yet? There are a lot of sources on the web about xpages and custom controls. There’s also the brilliant „Mastering XPages“ book.

My prediction is that the contest will end with more than 40 controls submitted and about 20 contributors. Three iPads between 20 people. Wait a minute, I have to sit back for a moment. Ideas, ideas, …

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.