Calling all developers... Go forth and share your code!!
Some years back an internal IBM prototype development team had a scheming plan - to build an instant messaging client that was more than just a end user application, but also an extensible platform. Fast forward a few years and that internal prototype inspired the current version of Sametime. The scheme has been realized and Sametime 7.5 is now more than an application, it's also a pluggable platform. Using the Sametime SDK developers can build plug-ins that take advantage not only of the screen real estate, but also the messaging connections.
The success of the internal prototype was due in part to the community of IBM developers that dove into the code and produced useful plug-ins that they shared with users and other developers. In an effort to duplicate that success the folks from developerWorks have teamed up with the Sametime development team and the Lotus ISV Enablement team to deliver the Sametime Code Exchange. The Sametime Code Exchange is a space where developers can post plug-ins and code snippets to share with others - open to anyone with a developerWorks login.
Frank Jania, special guest blogger for InsideLotus, problem solver, social software blogger, and technical evangelist in the Lotus ISV Enablement Team.
InsideLotus - Lotus, Portal and Social Collaborative Software
Matching: eclipse X
TedStanton 0600014754 Tags:  eclipse sametime blog development designer 1 Comment 3,015 Views
The team (i.e. Maureen) has quietly been making progress on integrating Domino Designer with Eclipse. You can start to see what benefits you will get in this picture of a LotusScript library. Note the outline on the right side of the screen! This should provide some tangible results for why to bother with this work. Don't get hung up on Eclipse - if you don't care, then fine, you don't have to. If you do care, and use Eclipse for other projects, then you can have a single environment from which to work.
The usual caveats apply - no ship dates have been declared, it may never happen, or it may look different in the end.
(Maureen has another picture on her blog. I didn't know whether she was going to post something or not...)
Since I've been working on and with Component Designer for the last couple of years, I sometimes forget what we've done here. I've looked at a lot of IDE's and none of them were this "friendly" to work with, especially those in the open source or Java worlds - plus, Designer has all the power that developers expect. Now that it's built on pure Eclipse 3.2, you can work at a lower level if you want or need to do that, simply by changing perspectives in Eclipse.
Here's what it looks like now, as I was going thru the tutorial.
(Click to open a larger image in a new window.)Here are some random interesting features in this release:
o Install will lay down Eclipse 3.2 for you, or you can install it into your existing version.
o A lot of JSF based IDEs assume you really want to know about all that J2EE gorp - Designer doesn't and won't show it to you. However, you CAN have access to the page source code now, which is JSF markup, but almost like working with HTML markup. Handy for tweaking things directly in the code instead of looking thru all the property panels. You can also do things like find and replace - it's just text, after all!
o Designer has a built-in database structure that automatically gets deployed to your choice of DB when you deploy the component. The Designer datastore is a document db and handles security (to the document level), metadata, and optimizations around view queries. View Queries are cool because while it stores a document as XML, there are also tables that only deal with the view query. So, for instance, if you have a large document with many XML elements, you may only want to display 3 columns in your view. That way, Designer only needs to index and store those 3 columns for the view display. It keeps everything in synch as you add, modify, or delete documents.
o In this release, View Queries are re-usable. This keeps the size of the db to a minimum. View Queries are akin to defining the selection of documents and some calculations on the columns in that view (a column "formula").
o In addition to the built-in document database, you can access "external data", meaning existing databases, Domino, XML, and web services. I personally think the XML data source is going to be popular because you can simply point it at any XML by file or URL and then easily bind it to the form for viewing. More on data sources in a future post.
o Here's an example of how being built on Eclipse opens up some possibilities. You can right-click on a file and have access to whatever plugins are on your system. In this case, I am showing the History feature, so you can see how the file had changed over time. The source code you see their is the Designer JSF, aka XSP.
I could go on and on, but I'll save some of that for future posts, you'll have to try it yourself. The download can't be more than 400M for the whole thing.
Link to downloads
There are a series of upcoming Sametime 7.5 launch events throughout multiple countries. The kickoff event was in NY City this week where Mike Rhodin, Ken Bisconti, and other delivered a key note address that had everyone in attendance excited. The keynote is now available on webcast.
Additionally, next week, Dan Kehn, a Senior IT Specialist at IBM will be speaking about Using the Sametime Client Integration Guide for customization and plugin development. As Mike and Ken noted, Sametime 7.5 plugin development platform on eclipse allows beginner developers the tools and methods needed to create plugins for Sametime. I strongly urge you to view the Sametime 7.5 launch webcast followed by Dan's.
Great article out on developerWorks this week about using location awareness to build business and personal plugins for Sametime 7.5.
Developing a location awareness plug-in for IBM Lotus Sametime Connect V7.5
IBM Premium Service Manager/IT Specialist
Workplace, Portal, and Collaboration Software
TedStanton 0600014754 Tags:  web collaboration demo eclipse soa portal sap 1 Comment 2,913 Views
I tried to post this in a more timely manner, but had to wait until I made it home from Karlsruhe. I see that Mr. Brill already picked it up. This post will provide more info.
At DNUG on May 16, Maureen Leland stepped into her previous previous role (I think Vowe called her the "mutter of Designer") and gave a talk on Domino Designer 7. The format of the presentation was to talk about what is in release 7.0, what's coming next with Hannover, and the future vision -
First up was what is in Designer 7.0:
DB2 Query Access Views
Productivity enhancements like shared columns and design list updates
She demo'd each of these in turn.
Then she moved into a discussion of some new things coming in with the Notes client "Hannover" release, primarily around supporting composite applications. For instance, with composite apps, we'll need a way for the Domino app to produce and consume component properties, so we'll include new design elements for that. What this means is that a you can pass data from one Notes component to another, even if they don't know about each other beforehand. That's because the architecture allows for late-binding of these connections. (In addition, you can pass info to/from Notes and any other application component written to this model.)
Maureen then said, "What if we could provide:
A better source code editing experience;
like a class browser for your code;
or, to make it easier to develop for a client platform that blends Eclipse and Notes?" Such a tease! I don't think anyone in the audience knew what was coming next: a prototype of Domino Designer running on the Eclipse platform!
We'll already have Workplace Designer, Forms Designer, Portlet Factory, and Rational App Developer in Eclipse...so, the obvious thing to do would be to also evolve Domino Designer into the Eclipse platform. This means that the current Domino Designer design element "editors" (Form, View, Agent, etc) can be rendered inside of an Eclipse perspective. In fact, she started with the same plugin that the Notes client uses to re-parent inside of the Workplace Managed Client today. We have been discussing this for a few months and support within Lotus is there to do it - plus, Maureen has a good idea of HOW to do it, which always helps. (Executives Kevin Cavanaugh and Jim Russell were on hand at the DNUG session to gauge reaction - I'd say it was very exciting, even applause.)
So, what we will have is the power of Eclipse as a development platform applied to advancing the Domino Designer development environment. You can imagine using the Eclipse script editors (such as the one in Workplace Designer) for coding up agents or any other place a script exists - and using that handy code outline view - a.k.a a class browser. Or, using the same Web Services consumer code as WP Designer; or, the same Navigator, to replace the Dom. Designer bookmarks; or, putting the infobox properties into a properties panel... I'm pretty certain that what will remain the same are the primary editors for the Form and View and probably other areas that are very specific to Domino development - in other words, we are not re-writing Domino Designer in Java. Repeat after me - "Lotus is not re-writing Domino Designer in Java". What we are doing is smartly adding features to our product set as we go forward in time, as we always have. (Who really cares what language the formula engine was re-written in, as long as you got new features, right?)
The demo that Maureen showed was in the Workplace Designer Eclipse perspective, mainly because that's the other project we both work on. It included opening a db by right-clicking in the WP Designer Navigator and choosing "New Domino DB" or "Open Domino DB", thus popping up those native dialog boxes; then, opening a form for editing. When I saw the demo last week, it was really hard to tell that what you were using was the same Domino Designer form editor - I had to ask, "wait, is that the Domino form or the WP Designer form??" But there's the infobox (aka properties box), there's the formula pane, the menus, and all the other great aspects of Domino Designer you know and love.
Here's what it looked like:
Productization will happen in stages and at the moment there is no official commitment to timeframe or features, Some things will have to be discussed later, but you could expect to see this in a product AFTER Hannover is released. I know that some people have already jumped to the conclusion that now we'll have a Linux and Mac Designer auto-magically - folks, there's real work needed to do that, since Designer has been Windows-only since R6.
Let me take care of a few other FAQs, while I'm at it:
Q. When will next release of Domino Designer (using Eclipse) be available?
A. There will be an update to Domino Designer, as there always has been, to coincide with the updates to Notes and Domino in the "Hannover" timeframe. After that, normal updates and feature releases will be planned and announced at the appropriate time.
Q. Do I need to have Workplace Designer in order to use Domino Designer with Eclipse?
A. No. However, developers who use both tools together, may do so, as they build and roll out composite applications, which may include NSF based apps, web apps, SWT apps, etc.
Q. Will I have to learn Java to use Domino Designer now?
A. No. As has been proven before with Workplace Designer, you do not have to know Java, just because Eclipse is being used.
Q. Is Domino Designer being re-written in Java?
A. No - see above. This proposal means Notes/Domino application developers will have improved tool(s) to create and modify applications for Notes and Domino.
Q. Will I be able to open my existing Lotus Notes/Domino applications?
A. Yes. Backwards compatibility is a hallmark of Notes/Domino and will continue to be, in the future. IBM Lotus Software remains committed to lowering the TCO of Notes/Domino and this includes preserving customer's current investments in Notes and Domino applications. Applications that run today in Notes/Domino will run in future versions of Notes/Domino and be accessible through the tools IBM/Lotus provides for Notes/Domino application developers.
Q. Does this proposal mean that Domino Designer will also be ported to Linux and Macintosh platforms?
A. It does not necessarily follow that Domino Designer will be on a platform other than Windows, at least for the first release. The request is duly noted.
Q. What specific features will be added to Domino Designer?
A. As many of you know, at this early stage of the product release cycle, IBM Lotus cannot commit to any particular features being in the release. Some ideas that have been proposed are in the text above, but they do not represent a commitment to provide them.
I'm sure you will have other questions. Please post them here or in the partner forum. The most important thing to understand that Lotus is continuing to enhance Domino Designer, which demonstrates a commitment to Domino as an application platform.
Product Manager, Workplace Designer (and other app dev stuff for Lotus Software)