There's a lot of buzz recently about the upcoming Eclipse based release of Lotus Notes, "Hannover”. One of the things I picked up on earlier this month is that many long time Domino Developers expect that the move to the Eclipse Rich Client Platform will mean that they should scramble to master Java to remain viable. Although I am a proponent of using Java for Domino development, I don’t think that this client release is a good reason to worry about the level of your Java skills.
The next major release of the Lotus Notes Client will run all existing and future NSFs. With that, LostusScript will still be a valuable tool in your Notes/Domino development box. This release will not provide a new NoteUiWorkspace Object class and you won't have to worry about working with Vectors to populate multi-value form fields. Domino Designer will stay as is and you can and will continue to develop in it as you do today.
Looking at the future of our beloved platform, I see two big things that will play a major role in Domino application development, Web Services and DXL. These two additions to the Domino architecture have opened up the possibilities for Domino application development. The new design element, Web Services, puts us on a new level for integration and business processing. It opens up and expands both existing applications and new ones to come. DXL gives us an open and universal way to share Domino data. Many have seen this in using ?ReadViewEntries with Ajax methods, but there is also the ability to export and import any Note (Data or Design) from a database that gives us and other system developers more options when working with an Notes Storage Facility.
XML is clearly important to the next generation of collaborative applications. As it should be, XML is being utilized to share data between systems. It is allowing them to talk openly and is expanding collaborative offerings to users. We saw at Lotusphere and have heard recently that the applications that are coming out of IBM are slated to work together. RCP apps like the Workplace Managed Client will be able host Portal Notes applications and XML will tie them together. Very cool.
It’s my feeling (and not that of my employers) that if you are eager to learn something then it should be XML. And I am not talking about its tag structure. Learn what XML is being used and the technologies that are using it. Dive into the possibilities of open communications and processing. There is a steep hill to climb here, but lucky for us, the Lotus development team has made it an easy venture. Much of the work is done for us when working with Web Service WSDLs or DXL XSDs. It’s all there, waiting.
If you are looking for a place to start have a look at the database utility widget
, that I've put together. It utilizes XSL transforms to display DXL exports to web clients, via Ajax. Rip it apart and make it yours. And if there aren’t enough buzz words in there for you, then pick some of these and own them. Next year, you’ll be happy that you did.
WSDL – DXL – XPath – XSLT – SAX – DOM – XForms – Soap – Ajax – XFDL – RPC - XHTML - RSS - Atom - Axis - XSD