Day 0, Check-in

The flight was OK, check-in without issues and registration to the conference was prompt, which scared the hell out of me. You know what they say. If everything goes right, something is bound to go terribly wrong.
Conference registration people were kind enough to give me shoulder bag with loads and loads of commercials, a ticket to Blackberry Bold draw and a conference guide, which was probably the most useful item. If you don’t count the bag that is.
Then, off to the city I was for some gift shopping.

Day 1, Nothing new to start with day

So, keynote address was predictable. IBM owns Microsoft was the golden line. Apparently Notes are mostly stalled at the same level, with organic growth to make our world better.

Next, I went to the lecture about best practices of building decent UI’s. It was the same as last year, and the year before. The only really useful stuff was listener’s input about Layer Tree, which you can use to hide each separate layer and thus ease your UI development. It is located under Design->Layer Tree.

The lecture about new enhancements in Lotus Notes 8 was a great session. It’s main focus was on new functions in @Formula, LotusScript and Java. The most interesting new functions are inter-collection operations from DocumentCollection and ViewEntryCollection classes.

Next was a session on composite applications basics. The examples were based on Lotus Notes 8 mail and contacts template, which owned. There was bunch of undocumented features that can make almost any application look like Notes Mail/Contacts, with several drawbacks. Like the one that you cannot alter design of the database after you have made it look like Mail/Contacts. Well, not without changing the design of Mail/Contacts in the process.

Last session was delivered by Chris Miller about installing Sametime 8. Loads of useful stuff which I will try to cover in my future postings. Well at least basics of it. Btw, if you have ST GW and it doesn’t work, even though you can see it connected to Yahoo and Sametime community, it can be that your port number is false. When you get approved, you need to change to 5060 port instead of 5061 which is set by default. You should get notified about this, but it really depends on who did the actual provisioning.

Day 2, Xpages And Composite applications everywhere

First session of the day was about new Domino Designer 8.5. Focus was on Xpages, which don’t work well with Javascript disabled. Other than that, Agents editor is old style. Still. Probably will be better in 8.5.1, but it is not included in beta yet, so I doubt it will see the light prior 8.5.2. The funny thing is, Script libraries use Eclipse editor and it looked awesome.

Next it was Julian Robichaux explaining how to trap errors. Most of it was focused on his open source database called OpenLog, which is quite nice centralized database for storing error reports.

The birds of a feather session about Mobilizing Lotus applications was decent. If your company is supporting Blackberry or Windows Mobile.

Session about WebServices in Domino 7 was pretty exciting. Got some excellent gotcha’s and definitely some more enthusiasm of using web services in future applications. Bill Buchan was great and really made sure that even some dull facts became interesting.

Last session was basically a beginner’s tutorial on Composite applications. Perhaps I will try to sum it up in one of my next postings, as it really opens lots of application usability options. It was an excellent session and it made me even more sure that Composite applications are a great thing in Notes 8.

Day 3, The conference concludes

First session was delivered by Bill Buchan about Advanced OO programming in LotusScript. It was a great way to renew my knowledge of OO development. There was an example of Singleton pattern, which I will do in the future in this blog as well. Also, there was a note of double dot notation which enables you to call a parent class function from overridden function in your own class.

Second session was about management of ACL. It scared me. Specially, since I can distinctly remember that at a certain bank I was auditing their ACL had several Defaults set to Manager. Well most. Rob Axelrod gave a great lecture about reducing database ACL to acceptable level for all types of databases.

Next was Lance Spellman with creating client plugins for Lotus Notes. The session was more or less just a tutorial to build a window in Lotus Notes client. If you are interested in something more, turn to books on creating Eclipse plug-ins. Anyway, it was an essential demo, that showed, how much do you have to do, to actually create a plugin for Notes. Is it useful? Probably, if you have signing certificate. Otherwise your clients will get that nice do not install plug-in warning.

Last session I skipped, even though it sounded much more interesting. However, I had an air plane to catch. So that was it for me. Goodbye Lotus Developer 2008 and Amsterdam.