Why you should develop with the same version as your users use

Got a call from a customer running Notes 7 today. He told me that they were no longer able to search using the “Fill out example form” without getting an error message (“The linked document cannot be found in the view”). After looking into the matter and looking for the obvious first (ie. no default view in the database) I looked more carefully at the Fill Out Example Form dialog and saw some interesting entries in the form dropdown as shown below.

That’s right. Our new psudo-design elements (build.properties, plugin.xml, WEB-INF/faces-config.xml, .classpath, .project) generated by DDE (Domino Designer on Eclipse) shows up as forms in the search dialog and even worse as forms you can use to search with. Now I know it’s impossible to make future-proff software but on that’s not good. Nothing Lotus can do about it though.

So what’s the morale? Well be sure you know what effects using a newer Designer client may have on your users before using it. You have been warned…

7 thoughts on “Why you should develop with the same version as your users use”

  1. Yes, indeed. There are company that do only accept databases e.g. developed by R7. They check the design element version and reject all elements edited with R8,

    Regarding those build.properties and other new elements: They can be removed from the design. We’ve got a C tool for that, but I guess it’s also possible with the NotesNoteCollection.


  2. But there is certainly something IBM can do about it.  There has always been a flag to put on a form to mark it to NOT show up among the Search forms.  That should be added to any of these non-forms forms so that previous versions don’t see them.  I’ll mention it in the Design Partner forum.


  3. Worse: in the 8.0.1 version, if the first form on that list is one of those "special objects", it crashes the Notes Client without any message or hint about what caused it.

    I’ve used the old $formulaClass trick to make a view display all forms and then an agent to loop through them and delete the offenders (the manual deletion throws a numeric error, without any other information).


  4. A little bird indicated to me that this has been identified and (is/wll be) fixed in a subsequent version (8.5.1).  In the meantime, you could write an agent that added the flag rather than simply deleting the elements, which would then allow use in the higher version as well.


  5. That would be a maintenance nightmare: to add a view and an agent to the hundreds of databases we have… It was easier to just forbid ourselves to ever open a database with the 8.5 Designer 🙂 (our user base is on 8.0.1).


  6. About a year and a half ago, I made this suggestion at IdeaJam.

    Basically the idea is that you can set a "target version" for Domino Designer (perhaps a flag on the database) that will disable all functions (classes, LS functions, design elements) who are unavailable in that previous versions.

    Would be very nice to be able to use Domino Designer 7 to develop applications for Notes 5 without having to worry about any issues. Or, more realistically 9.0 to develop for 8.5, 8.0 or even 7.x. We are still mainly on Notes 5 (with most but not all servers running Domino 7), with a slow migration to Notes 7 for the clients and Domino 8.5.1 about 4-6 months after release (after upgrading all servers to 7.0.2 first).

    I don’t hink we are the only company with a slow migration, and runing old versions. And no, currently Notes 8.x is not a near-term option, with 512 MB memory and 4-5 year old single core Pentium processors as standard. A move to Citrix is in the works, one office at a time, but the cost is substantial for licenses, etc. And it sucks to sit with Designer 5 and not have "recompile all", when I know it is in Domino Designer 7…


  7. To eliminate this error message you can add “*” mark to the beginning of form name (for example: “* My Search Form”). So it will be the first form in forms drop down list.

    Anyway user can see “.classpath” or “.project” and will get the error message if selecy it.


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