Haus Weilgut has implemented their mindplan product as component for a composite application in Lotus Notes 8. The component is a Swing component with static properties, output properties and actions documented here. With these properties you can now interact with other components, e.g. when you select a node a sametime buddy list component can display the associated people and allow you to chat with them.
Karsten Lehmann describes below more details.
MindPlan (->http://www.mindplan.com) combines mindmapping, project planning and Lotus Notes in one application. Each node you see in the MindPlan tree is stored as a Lotus Notes document.
The MindPlan application is implemented in Java using Swing to draw the mindmap and gantt chart. We integrated the former standalone java application as an Expeditor plugin (using the SWT-AWT-bridge) and replaced the standard menu bar and toolbars with those of the Expeditor/R8 client.
The MindPlan component exposes several Composite Application properties and actions, that are documented in the MindPlan blog at http://blog.mindplan.biz, for example you can track the selection and modification of nodes. The application provides actions to open/close a MindPlan and refresh part of the node tree. We're also planning to support CA component properties to define your own menu commands. When the command is invoked, we then publish the command id and the Notes URLs of the current selection via the Property Broker.
At the moment there are two example use cases. The first one combines the MindPlan CA with the DocumentViewer component of the Component Library at http://www.openntf.org: You select a MindPlan node and see the node's document (e.g. to edit the richtext) in the lower part of the screen.
In the second use case, we wire the resource names of selected nodes (like tasks and milestones) to a Sametime buddy list. Just select a few nodes and you can start a group chat with one click.
Bring information and collaboration into the context of your daily business processes using composite applications
From archive: March 2008 X
Nathan Freeman from Lotus911 has implemented a very nice carousel component for composite applications in Lotus Notes 8x. It is basically a graphical navigator that can be used in many different scenarios. The following screenshot shows a Notes database with contacts. When you select another view entry the carousel brings the appropriate person in focus and when you select an entry in the carousel the Notes view selection changes to that entry.
Here is a bigger version of that screenshot: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/resources/CompApps/c1.jpg
In order to use it for your own Notes database you only need to add a few lines of code, primarily in the postopen view event and in the onselect view event. Both events use a script library that Lotus911 provides with classes like CarouselConnection and CarouselUIView.
Nathan has started a blog about this component: http://www.bleedyellow.com/blogs/carousel/
He uses JSON to put multiple values like the Notes URL and the display name in one property that is then published to the carousel component. Another thing that you don't see in the screenshot but that I really like is the packaging. The whole application is in one Notes database. He used (parts of) the updatesite.ntf to store the Eclipse code in the database together with the comp app definition and the contacts design notes and data.
The Groupware Competence Center in Paderborn/Germany has implemented a nice tool to manage composite applications:
I like especially the feature to figure out very easily which components are used by which/how many applications. I think that this functionality could be used well by administrators to get a better overview of the system.
There are also other features that help especially the component users/application assemblers. The components and their properties and actions are read and displayed in a nice UI via a Notes database. There is also a way to share common datatypes within a departement or enterprise to avoid an explosion of custom incompatible datatypes.
The management application might even be extended in the future to change certain aspects of the application design directly from here.
Please let us know how important this type of managebility capabilities are to help us figure out whether we need to provide some of these functions as part of the product.
The IBM design partner SIT has implemented a nice composite application showing how to integrate a third party VoIP solution in Lotus Notes. The solution shows how to use the sidebar component to launch different comp apps based on the current selection by passing the sidebar context to the comp apps. The text below is from Heiko Voigt.
For the currently running CeBIT Tradeshow in Hannover Germany (the largest IT Fair worldwide) the IBM Lotus Design Partner SIT GmbH (www.sit.de) is showing a new Integration of CTI-Functions into IBM Lotus Notes 8.01. SIT integrates the VoIP-Telephony Software STARFACE 3.0 from their partner vertico Software GmbH (www.starface.de) into IBM Lotus Notes 8.01 applications using the composite application framework. The STARFACE Connector sideshelf application acts as a single gateway for all telephony interfering to and from Lotus Notes applications. Using the composite application framework, telephony functions like call recognition and click-to-dial are also available for Eclipse Components, Web-Sites and Portlets. The integration into the sideshelf is done using a proxy eclipse component that interacts directly with the Expeditor platform beneath the Lotus Notes Layer to automate the wiring of data flow between components in a omposite application and the STARFACE Connector Component.
As a first customer solution, SIT integrated a customers existing CRM application (KUMATronik DocHouse BRM) with STARAFCAE 3.0. Several dashboards for Helpdesk and Sales were built using call recognition and click-to-dial functionality from STARFACE. The STARFACE Connector allows customizations like which application should be launched, if a call comes in for the particular user. The screenshot below shows the STARFACE Connector sideshelf plugin as well as a personalized Dashboard for a sales agent. The dashboard shows the caller information, documents, opportunities and projects that are currently under way. A personalized phone note is also opened, so the call can easily be documented and stored in the customers context.
Using the composite application framework, the possibilities for integration of telephony functions into the Lotus Notes 8.x platform are now almost unlimited. SIT GmbH and vertico Software GmbH are showing this integration on CeBIT, Hall 13, Stand B40.