InsideLotus - Lotus, Portal and Social Collaborative Software
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)
This week I started an exciting new job, as a manager in the Product Design group, a.k.a. User Experience group. I'll be managing a team of extremely talented designers who are working on Notes (Hannover), Sametime, Activities, and that new social networking effort that Mr. Rhodin has referred to in the past. Some of these folks I think you might know in the blogosphere. I haven't managed people since before IBM, back in my Support days, so that will be something new, too. Being in the design group won't be foreign to me, although I am not trained in the field (I'm a musician, remember?). However, I do know Notes pretty well, I've talked to plenty of customers, and I've commented on lots of design specs over the years.
As a product manager, I have always had an affinity with product designers. My ideal product progression goes from product requirements based on customer and market needs to product design, determining what it should look like and how it should behave, and on to development for implementation. Of course, often all of that happens at the same time in real life as we all iterate over the product plans, make tradeoffs on time vs. features, and generally negotiate our way to a release date. But I digress; what I mean to say is that it's not that big a leap to go from Product Management to Product Design. Both disciplines are customer and user focused and provide a different viewpoint in the development process.
In my years as a Product Manager, I have had the privilege of working on many fine products, including:
Notes Designer 4.5 - Got thrown into the first Domino Developers Conference in Anaheim (I think), doing a talk on the new calendar view and how to use it in your own apps. (I still have that backpack. :) )
Domino Designer 4.6. We added Java and embedded views and changed the name to better reflect the tool and to carve out a separate niche for it, since it had diverged far enough away from the original built-in design tool. My first Lotusphere after a few months on the job, doing presentationsto crowds of 3000. We did a 3-peat with Jen Kidder and Gary Devendorfthat year (whatever it was - 98?). Oddly, I recently got an email from admins to confirm ownership of some demo dbs I used during Frank and my view presentation - the dbs were still hanging around some Iris server and had my name on them!
Lotus BeanMachine - This product came from a group in Raleigh. I didn't have much to do with the product definition, but it was brought to market under the Lotus brand, so I helped to do that. This product was built so that non-Java programmers could actually easily create Java applets. It had a visual layout canvas onto which you put controls and did all sorts of stuff for you. I worked with Carol Jones and Chris Paul (who just hired me into my new job!). We all won an IBM Star Award for our teamwork and got a weekend in NYC for our efforts. That was fun - saw Jekyl and Hyde on Broadway and had dinner at the Rainbow Room. IBM does that stuff right!!
Domino Designer 6 - Another leap forward for Domino Designer, including db access features, more reusable elements, type ahead support in the programmer's pane, HTML handling, and lots of other little things that make life easier. I even nagged Maureen enough to add extensibility features into the product and she admitted to me that it was fun to do - she likes a challenge.
WebSphere Portal - To make a long story short, the portal market was about to explode and IBM wanted to get into it in a big way. The best way to do that was to really put all our efforts around a single solution. So, out with K-station and in with WebSphere Portal. I was around to help make the transition and to make sure that Domino and collaboration was properly represented, including integration with Sametime and QuickPlace.
Collaboration Center - The portal work also spawned another project - Annapolis. This was another one of those dream teams (I'm lucky that way!). The idea was to take some essential collaboration tools and put them into the portal. This included the People Finder (a directory lookup feature), QuickPlace and Sametime portlets and a few other misc. things. Majie worked on that one and is now a peer of mine in the design group!
Workplace Designer - When I heard that we wanted to put some effort into a new tool to address the needs of our Domino developers, but also do something new with it, I made another leap back to tools. Yet another great team was put together and we defined, built, and delivered the product pretty darn quickly, in about a year and a half. Version 2.6 is out now, in case you're wondering. :) Now, version XX is defined (you know how they are about version numbers, etc), I am even more excited about what's coming - running on Eclipse, External Data Access and Web Services support that is dumb simple to do. Domino data access, JSF-based, etc, etc. So many new features that I know our developers will be excited about, plus some surprises I need to refrain from talking about just yet.
Phew! I didn't expect to write the short history when I started, but it was fun to reminisce.
So, that brings me to this next adventure and full circle in many ways. Back to Notes. I hope you'll enjoy the ride as much as I will.
Manager : : Product Design
As Chris blogged about a couple weeks ago, IBM announced Lotus Notes on Linux. Many questions have been posted throughout discussion databases and via emails on how this is going to supported. I hope to answer some of the questions I have seen. There is a great FAQ sheet but here is some additional information.
IBM Premium Service Manager/IT Specialist
Workplace, Portal, and Collaboration Software[Read More]
As many of you have probably heard, IBM announced Sametime 7.5 this year at Lotusphere. The features and product list for Sametime 7.5 is too long and detailed to describe in one blog. So what I plan on doing is to blog every Sunday on a new Sametime 7.5 feature.
This following contains information about the future direction of IBM products, but it not a commitment that IBM will deliver specific features or capabilities, or that IBM will deliver any product releases at all. Future product direction, dates, features or capabilities can change at any time without notice.
Chat History - Finally I am able to automatically same all my chats in Sametime 7.5. This is controlled via the Sametime preferences dialog box. It allows me to chose the location that I want all my chats to be saved in.
The cool part about chat history is that it also keeps the the new Sametime formatting and it is not just a text file. In Sametime 7.5, a chat history box is actually launched where it lists all chats in the direcotry. I can then search be person and it will display the date and time the chat started.
[Updated on 3/31 to put the screenshot into a separate link.]
Link to chat history pic.
More to come next week.
IBM Premium Service Manager/IT Specialist
Workplace, Portal, and Collaboration Software
Here's a question for you: If you have someone new to Domino development, is there enough content either in the Help or online to get them started? Should we add to our developerWorks content? What topics are most important for someone just getting started? Where do you send people for this info?
thanks (remember, anonymous comments are allowed...no hassle)
IBM Workplace App Dev Product Manager
Part of what I do is manage the Sametime design team and we're busily thinking about future versions (and getting ready for Lotusphere). One of my team members has an internal blog and she posted this query recently. I thought it would be good to generate some discussion "on the outside" too.
Think back to a meeting you attended that you felt was really successful; what made it so? Some possibilities:
In addition to what made it work well, I'd be curious to know how many people were there.
Were these in person meetings, online meetings, both?Chris Reckling
Manager, Product Design
The following contains information about the future direction of IBM products, but it not a commitment that IBM will deliver specific features or capabilities, or that IBM will deliver any product releases at all. Future product direction, dates, features or capabilities can change at any time without notice. The screen shots in the blog represent non-production build and the UI is subject to change.
This week’s Sametime Sunday will show an example of a Sametime 7.5 plugin that utilizes location awareness. Per my previous blog, Sametime 7.5 client now has the option to use location awareness. The obvious out of the box benefit is for other IM users to get additional information from your Sametime business card which also displays your status.
Now that my Sametime client can broadcast my location status, I can take advantage of that information and build plugins. One IBM developer created a plugin that could take my location information and search for IBM printers in my office building. Once I selected a printer it would even install the appropriate driver so I can start printing ASAP. This allows me to go into any IBM facility, connect or not connect to Sametime, and find the closest printer and start printing. The toughest challenge I had now was to find the physical printer.
Additionally, the plugin could search for local restaurants using Google Maps restaurant search. I find this feature very useful when traveling to a new customer or IBM location and looking for meal.
The real added value to Sametime plugins is the idea of mashups. A mashup is based on applications that exchanged content from more than one sources to delivery a new service to the user. Rod Smith, IBM's vice president of emerging Internet technologies, believes mashups are next big technology to come into market. Along with Web 2.0 and AJAX, I also believes that mashups will bring another layer of collaboration and communication to the end user.
It comes as no big surprise for me to see IBM the clear leader in Gartner's 2006 Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portal Products. If WebSphere Portal was allowed to make an acceptance speech, I think it would go something like this.
Thank you. [pause] The last year has been tremendous for me with the release of WebSphere Portal 5.1. I have had great support from my immediate family whom have helped me develop as the clear leader for both vision and ability to execute. My close family of Web Content Management, Express, Solution Catalog, Everyplace [pause] and so many more have made my vision of Portal come true. [applause]
I would also like to welcome and thank some new editions to my family. Portlet Factory has helped me increase composite application development to allow me to reach out to all of you at a faster rate then any of my competitors. Additionally, Workplace Dashboards allows you a Portal dashboard to monitor metrics and real-time analysis. [applause]
My extended family has also been helpful throughout the years. I have an extremely close relationship with Lotus, Workplace, Tivoli, Rational, and DB2. When I get together with my extended family, we provide you, the supporters of WebSphere Portal, a virtual unstoppable solution that no other vendor can compete with. [applause]
If you were excited about WebSphere Portal over the last year, the next 12 months is going to be even more exciting with my release of Portal 6. This is going to be my best release to date and you are going to be excited to see all the new product features and increased supportability across multiple platforms. [applause] [applause]
In closing, I would like to thank my entire family and of course you - my supporters. Without you ... I would not have this opportunity. See you next year World! [applause]
IBM Premium Service Manager/IT Specialist
Workplace, Portal, and Collaboration Software [Read More]
TedStanton 0600014754 Tags:  conference collaboration ibm web2.0 lotusphere2007 5 Comments 6,800 Views
Thanks to all who voted my BoF session at Lotusphere next quarter. I'm excited to discuss and get feedback on how users feel about social bookmarking. I've been working with social bookmarking at IBM for quite some time and believe there is real value in sharing bookmarks. More to come.
BOF108 Web 2.0 and Social Bookmarking
Session Date: 01/25/2007
Session Time: 7:00am - 8:00am