Lotusphere 2007: Composite applications – I’m psyched!!


What’s that sound? Wait – it’s the pieces falling into place for the Notes 8 client and the Lotus strategy! After going to JMP401 yesterday (Introduction to Composite Applications for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino and IBM Websphere Portal) I’m psyched! The presenters showed us how to build composite applications in Notes 8, Portal and Expeditor and I must admit that – hands down – I’m impressed. Very impressed!

I don’t want to come of sounding too much as a fan-boy but I was very impressed by what I saw. It is as though all the technologies that have been introduced over the last few years (e.g. portlets, DXL, plug-ins for Eclipse) all fit into the greater scheme of things. I found myself numerous times simply smiling and thinking to myself that this is what we, as Notes developers, have been wanting to do for so long. Imagine a composite application in Notes 8, which btw is mostly done using drag’n’drop, that leverage existing Notes databases (or NSF-components as we are to call them), JSR-168 portlets and custom Eclipse ViewParts for those things that need that extra level of presentational control or which simply doesn’t lend itself to be realized using NSF of other types of components.

As a Notes developer you might ask why all this portlet/JSR-168 technology is interesting. I too used to be a sceptic but I’m turning on a plate. A JSR-168 portlet will be *the* way to directly leverage your existing investments in EJB or other J2EE technology. Due to the builders that IBM provides in Portal Factory you can now natively link CRM data to Notes data. No more nightly moving data around. All this from the RCP application of choice – Notes 8!

As for the session… After some general introduction the presenters dived into the good stuff and in turn showed how to create composite applications in Notes 8, Portal and Expeditor. Although we have to get used to a couple of new words there’s so much exiting stuff there that I can’t wait to get my hands on the Notes 8 client. It actually seems like all our prayers will be answered and that Notes 8 will become the client of choice for the rich client experience.

During the session I wrote over 4 pages of notes so I have to gather my thoughts a little before I write too much more about the session but expect a write-up of the key points.

Oh – JMP401 was my second session on Sunday! Can’t wait to hear what IBM’s going to announce in the upcoming General Opening Session. Rumours talk of exiting new stuff…

Can it get much better than this?