Thursday, August 10, 2006

DXL – What is it good for?

Back in September of 20’04, Bruce asked the question, Do you DXL?. Around that same time, Ian Sherwood and I posted DXLPeek to OpenNTF. With that Ben Poole picked up on "The DXL Buzz". It was a good sirring of the pot, but it seemed to simmer shortly after.

That was until last year, when Dick Annicchiarico, stoked the flames by taking an informal survey on asking "What XML/DXL features would you like to see post-7.0?". I thought this was great! Dick, was reaching out to the community to see how DXL is being used and what Lotus customers are looking for in Domino's XML capabilities. The call was answered by about a dozen people (including myself) in a rather long thread, asking mostly for additional URL commands.

The fact that Domino can represent and work with elements as XML amazes me. Ajax has opened the eyes of many web developers to the power of DXL through the ?ReadViewEntries URL command. However, there is more that can be done as Rocky showed off in January.

DXL has been around for a while and continues to grow. Dick and the Lotus Development team are constantly adding more elements and attributes and getting closer to having a Notes database fully represented as XML. This means that sometime in the near future developers will be able to work confidently with DXL elements both outside and within a Notes/Domino system (some are even doing it today). In a time of Open Document Formats and Service-Oriented Architectures , this says a lot about IBM Lotus and how they plan to continue to cultivate a venerable and valued product in today's market space.

Knowing this, I feel good about being a Domino-diehard. I work with software that has stood the test of time and continues to grow. However I can't rest on that foundation. The platform has to be pushed to ensure its (and my) continued success. Ideas on how to expand the abilities of the product need to be explored. Ajax and Web 2.0 ways of thinking have done this, but that cannot be it.

So in the spirit of a yearly discussion, I ask - What is DXL good for?