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Discovering Notes 8: WSDL editing

If you're running Notes 8 and starting to look into composite applications (CA) you'll need a tool to edit WSDL files unless you're the notepad-type. Even I is getting past that point and starting to resort to GUI editors so maybe you should to. Fortunately for us all there is no need to look further than your favorite IDE (which is even more true after Notes 8 has been released).

In Eclipse the WSDL editor is provided by the Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project which can easily be installed on top of the standard free Eclipse IDE. I used Eclipse 3.3 but you might as well use Eclipse 3.2 or even 3.1 I think.

Installation is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Add a remote update site to http://download.eclipse.org/webtools/updates/
  2. Once prompted for the components to install select "Web Standard Tools (WST)" feature in the "Web Tools Project (WTP)" category (see screenshot)
  3. Install and sit back and wait while the installation runs to completion

To show of the WSDL editing capabilities of the Eclipse editor I created a simple WSDL file with two math functions (add and subtract) as shown below.

Afterwards I imported the WSDL file into a Java web service in Domino Designer but it could as well have been LotusScript. Nice ha?

Discovering Notes 8: Calendar ghosting

Don't know if it is obvious but if you're running Notes 8 against a Domino 8 server, want to see calendar invitations you haven't responded to (ghosted in the calendar) and you upgraded from a previous version of Notes you must manually enable it in the calendar profile. Do this by opening the calendar profile, go to the "Calendar & To Do\Display\Views"-tab and check "Display new (unprocessed) notices".

Also it doesn't appear to work on invitations you received prior to enabling the functionality... Could be that I simply wasn't patient enough... :-)

Already...

...after about one week of it being Gold we are already having customers ask us about upgrading to Notes/Domino 8. For now it is mainly the client upgrade which is the driving force behind customers asking. This is *much* faster than with R6 and R7 which I take as good news... ;-)

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Discovering Notes 8: Enabling Java 5 source compilation

I'm playing around with Notes 8 to get my bearings on the Gold release and I'm liking it. I'm kind of a Java-nut so I wanted to see if Lotus delivered on their promises to include Java 5 in Notes 8 and they did. Unfortunately the Java API hasn't been updated for this release but hopefully this will happen in the near future. I know I will certainly stress that it will in the Domino Application Development Design Partner program where I have been fortunately enough to be included (together with Nathan and a fine line of other fine folks).

To test it out I fired up Domino Designer and created an agent to use generics and some autoboxing. Both are highly awaited in the Notes Java world - at least by me - and it will be really nice to have. The test agent code is as follows (generics and autoboxing is highlighted):

import lotus.domino.*;
import java.util.*;

public class JavaAgent extends AgentBase {

   public void NotesMain() {

      try {
         Session session = getSession();
         AgentContext agentContext = session.getAgentContext();

         int size = new Integer(10);
         List<Document> docs = new ArrayList<Document>(size);
         for (Document d : docs) {
            d.getUniversalID();
         }

      } catch(Exception e) {
         e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
}
To my surprise the above code didn't compile and gave me the below compile error message.

I tried compiling the same code in Eclipse (using Java 5 source compatibility) and importing the class file as an Imported Java agent which worked fine. Hmmm - binary support but no source support? Last resort - look for clues in the release notes and there you have it! In the section "Installation, migration, upgrade, and configuration information\Upgrade notes\Notes/Domino 8 upgrade to JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.5" it states that in order to keep backwards compatibility Java 5 source compilation in Domino Designer is disabled out of the box. To enable it add the following notes.ini variable and restart Notes:

JavaCompilerTarget=1.5

Once this line has been added I was able to compile the above code... :-)

Discovering Notes 8: @IsInCompositeApp?

I was scanning the DXL of the Notes 8 mail database template and stumbled upon an interesting sounding @formula called @IsInCompositeApp. It isn't mentioned in the Designer Help which could simply been an honest mistake. I guess this function might come in handy once the composite application development gets going.

Notes 8 to the masses...

And this just in... Notes 8 is winning market share on the personal front where my big brothers girlfriend now is running Notes 8 for her personal e-mail and actually prefers Notes 8 over Microsoft Outlook. Mostly simply due to how e-mail addressing is handled.

 

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New battery for my Thinkpad

I received a new 9-cell battery for my Thinkpad today and I gotta say it's like getting an all-new laptop! 4,5 hours of battery life!! Nice - it's the small things in life.... ;-)

Lotusphere 2008

Things to do:

  1. Convince girlfriend that it is indeed a good idea that you attend a 5 day conference in sunny Florida while on holiday. Check!
  2. Book flight. Check! (Lufthansa from Copenhagen to Orlando via Frankfurt)
  3. Book hotel. Check! (Swan)
  4. Conference registration. Check!
  5. Eagerly await January... Pending!
Looking forward to see you all there!

P.S.: Convincing the girlfriend that attending the blogger gathering on Saturday evening is important will have to wait a little while I think... ;-)

Announcing Lotus 8 and Sametime 8!?

If you read the above title and think that there must be something wrong - there is. Please read on...

The other day I received a letter from IBM here in Denmark with an invitation to an annual event held by IBM in Copenhagen called IBM Software Day. The letter also contained the flyer shown above. Not surprisingly the topic of this year is SOA with emphasis on the recent release of Notes 8. That message did however get lost to me in my disbelief over how poorly thought through this flyer is.

Is it just me or isn't there (yet) a product called Sametime 8? Is it just me or would the IBM lawyers be unhappy if I made a publication calling Notes 8 for "Lotus 8" as the authors do on the flipside of the flyer? I think so...

I was simply disappointed by the fact that IBM Denmark could be so careless and I'm a little sad that I have to explain to customers, should anyone else notice and ask, that there isn't in fact a Sametime 8 product out and what they mean by "Lotus 8".

That is - unless there isn't a product called Sametime 8... ;-)

Download the complete IBM Lotus Notes 8 flyer as PDF (in Danish).

Property Broker Emulation tool

I can imagine that the Property Broker Emulation tool (Property Broker Emulation) described by Bob Balfe will come very much in handy once we need to start debugging composite applications.

Notes 8 installed and I'm down with it!

I installed Notes 8 this morning after installing Domino 8 on our production server and I'm liking it! I'm also running a customized version of the Notes 8 mail template (I refuse to call it "mail experience") and it's über cool! No issues with the installation or any existing applications so far. It has been smooth sailing.

I don't know what I was expecting performance wise as previous builds have been running in virtual machines but I have been very pleasantly surprised. The client is snappy and much faster than the beta builds. I'm leaning towards it actually being faster than my Notes 7.0.2 install. I installed the whole package incl. Designer, Administrator, CA editor, activities and productivity editors and all is running on my old IBM Thinkpad T41p.

Installing the client in the morning is tough as I gotta stay focused since there is also work to be dealt with. I wonder what that button does - more later... ;-)

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IdoNotes episode 37: Message Recall

Just finished listening to IdoNotes episode 37 on the message recall feature in Notes 8. Listening to the episode I found it interesting that the functionality is able to distinguish between unread and read messages as it was my understanding that this information was kept in the bookmark.nsf database. It could simply be that the router relies on the fact that unread marks may be replicated as it the case for clustered servers. In any case it means that replication of unread marks must be enabled for mail databases for this functionality to be able to work on unread messages. Just a thought...

Domino 8 installed on production server

I just finished installing Domino 8 on our main production server and it is currently restarting. As expected I had no issues at all. No reconfiguration has been done so far - for now I'm simply making sure it is up alright and working properly. I'm really forward to getting my hands on it.

Next up is installing Notes 8 on my main production laptop.

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Notes 8 forum @ developerWorks

The link to the Notes 8 forum appears to be missing at the developerWorks Notes welcome page. The link was quite easy to guess. I also made a copy-and-paste of Julians Firefox shortcut (using "ldd8") for searching with the following URL (all on one line):

javascript:url='http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd8forum.nsf/
search?SearchView&SearchOrder=1&SearchMax=0&SearchWV=TRUE&
SearchFuzzy=FALSE&Start=1&Count=100&Query=';s='%s';
terms=s.split(/\s/);location.replace(url+terms.join
('%20AND%20'));

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Give me better ways to contribute

There is a nice post over at Nathan Freemans blog on how to keep the "gurus" involved in the Notes/Domino community. I feel that the forum on developerWorks should be the place to ask questions of those willing to respond but in order for me to get back in the game the forum needs a couple of new features. Below is a couple of suggestions in order of importance (to me anyway):

  1. A RSS feed per post/thread including all comments. This will make it easier for me to keep up with replies to a post and easily let me stay involved and contributing. I already blogged about this some time back (post)
  2. Allow me to subscribe to all posts containing a given tag or the results of a search. There are a number of areas I want to contribute answers to in the forum. By letting me subscribe to a RSS feed for a search I would be more inclined to get help since I'm only notified about posts I want to answer.
  3. Allow me to tag questions and replies to ease future searching.
  4. Make the respondent rate the reply or at least indicate that the question has been answered.
  5. Allow me to ignore threads that haven't been closed/answered when searching (see #4).

To all you guys from a non-English speaking country...

...be sure to chime in over at Mary Beth Ravens blog and make sure that Lotus understand that they need to cater for non-English speaking countries as well. In this case we are talking automatic spell check for Notes (text) fields but it could be any other feature involving some kind of i18n.

For this specific issue my input is to make sure that the automatic spell check language doesn't necessarily follow the client and/or OS language. Many Notes applications in Denmark are in English even though the Notes client and/or OS might be in Danish. There really should be some way of indicating the spell check language for an entire application or individual form.

Another reason to chime in is to make sure simply stuff is considered as well. This could be that contacts from the personal name and address book is printable on A4 paper. As basic as this sounds it hasn't been considered up to this point. Try printing a personal contact in Notes 7 or earlier in A4 format. Not a pretty sight. I think it is kind of embarrassing.

With all the talk of persona-driven design for Notes 8 I'm utterly confused that none of the selected and described personas are non-English speaking, from a country using the metric system or using a different paper format. Why isn't Samantha from Belgium?

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Sametime 7.5.1CF1 doesn't include my long awaited fix

I was a little disappointed to see that Sametime 7.5.1CF1 doesn't fix the issue (see the fix list) where the Connect client reports the location as being the same when switching between two networks with the same IP configuration (see Location identification in Sametime 7.5 - working as designed?) as it doesn't take the MAC address of the gateway isn't considered.

What's up with the "me too" articles on developerWorks?

After reading the last installment in an article series on Notes 8 development on developerWorks I have to wonder how many articles they (developerWorks) need to publish on creating simple plug-ins, building features and publishing them using an update site. This is already extensively covered as part of the Eclipse development articles both on developerWorks and on eclipse.org/articles.

In my mind a good example of bringing something new to the table is the article on leveraging the current context in Notes 8 (Leveraging user context in the IBM Lotus Notes V8 sidebar and toolbar). That's new. That's something I wanna do. It still uses the first third configuring and setting up stuff but still it's new.

Why not try some more concrete examples that actually cover some of the things that IBM bring to the table in Notes 8 / Sametime 7.5 / Expeditor or some of the areas that is going to cause problems? Suggestions could be:

  • Using the components of Expeditor e.g. the message broker and the web services engine
  • Building Notes UI's using SWT components
  • Making your SWT components look the ones supplied by IBM
  • Communicating with the Notes application from your features/plug-ins
The above suggestions aren't great but I'm dying to read articles on Notes 8/Sametime 7.5 that doesn't spend the better half explaining the same ol' concepts as have been explained so many times before...

Zzzzzz....

Mental note to self:

Private Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)

Private Sub DoSleep(repeat As Integer, sleep_period As Long)
   Dim i As Integer 
   
   While i < repeat
      Call Sleep(sleep_period)
      i = i + 1
   Wend
   
   MsgBox "Awoke..."
End Sub

Ytria Summer Promotion

If you're developing in Notes and if you're not using the Ytria tools you're crazy! Crazy I tell you! ;-) Once I saw that Ytria was repeating their promo from last summer I had to share it.

I have been using their suite of tools since last year and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to live without actionBarEZ and signEZ. The first because I hate doing repetitive work and it lets me easily copy action bar design styles among views, forms and subforms and the latter because, as a consultant for hire, I do a lot of signing and cleaning up before shipping databases to customers. signEZ lets me do that and it is much easier than using the Domino Administrator.

This is why I don't find it hard to recommend that you stop by Ytria and take advantage of their Summer Promotion where you can get free license keys that will last you until 25 August.

Oh! And they're stand-up guys too and look so cute at Lotusphere in their orange t-shirts! :-) At Lotusphere 2007 I hung out with Andre Hausberger to talk about a new tool they where doing (agentEZ). Before long Andre had fetched the lead developer and we were taling feature requests and possible solutions... How's that for accessibility! ;-)