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IBM Lotus Domino: Classic Web Application Development Techniques [Paperback]

Richard G. Ellis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2011

A step-by-step guide for web application development and quick tips to enhance applications using Lotus Domino

  • Classic techniques used for Web-enabling traditional Domino applications
  • Demonstrates how to incorporate HTML, CSS and JavaScript into designs
  • Offers tips and suggestions for testing, debugging, and troubleshooting
  • Organized, easy to read, and well-illustrated, with numerous code examples
  • Instructions valid for Domino versions 6, 7, and 8

In Detail

Domino is an application server that can be used as a standalone web server. As part of the Domino suite, it provides a powerful collaborative platform for the development of customized business applications. It provides enterprise-grade e-mail, messaging, and scheduling capabilities.

There are many novice and moderately experienced developers who would like to enhance a Web-enabled Domino application, but to do so they need to learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and also how to use those technologies in the context of a Domino application. Information about how to do this is available on the Web, but the sheer volume of that information makes it very difficult for the newbie to get started.

Topics and techniques presented in this book provide a comprehensive overview of all major design strategies used to Web-enable traditional Domino applications. Illustrations provide clear working examples of how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can be incorporated into existing applications to improve both look and performance.

Early chapters provide suggestions for working with users and for managing your development time and effort. Later chapters focus in detail on forms and pages, views, navigation, agents, security, performance, and troubleshooting. Examples demonstrate clearly how to incorporate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into Domino designs. By the end of this book you will have learned what you need to know to quickly and competently tackle web application enhancement tasks.

Beyond providing a good understanding, this book will continue to serve as a valuable source of ideas and techniques. This book brings together essential classic strategies and techniques used to deploy Domino applications to the Web. Chapters cover all major design elements, with a special emphasis on how to craft these elements to work well with web browsers. Many topics include alternative techniques for solving particular problems. Illustrations and examples can be used where appropriate, or they can serve as jumping off points for your own solutions.

Classic and timeless tips and techniques for Web-enabling traditional Lotus Domino applications

What you will learn from this book

  • Incorporate dynamic debugging, which can be turned on after an application is in production
  • Learn to style design elements with CSS rules
  • Learn how to use the various application launching options
  • Create and customize views for the Web
  • Work with hidden fields and CGI variables
  • Validate fields with JavaScript
  • Include a date picker on a web form
  • Learn to incorporate AJAX into an application
  • Include diagnostic features to help you understand an existing application
  • Understand how LotusScript agents work with web pages
  • Learn to troubleshoot web applications
  • Review ways to improve application performance


Chapters present principles and techniques in an order that roughly mirrors the application development process itself, from gathering requirements through final testing. The focus is on understanding and enhancing applications using classic techniques, in circumstances where it is impractical to rewrite applications using XPages. Each chapter focuses upon a particular aspect of Domino Web applications and provides guidance, recommendations, illustrations, and sample code.

Who this book is written for

This book is for novice to moderately experienced Domino developers who are new to the task of Web-enabling traditional Domino applications. Readers should be familiar with using Domino Designer to develop applications for the Lotus Notes client. It is also assumed that readers have, or can acquire, at least rudimentary knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Product Details

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
First of all I can say it is well thought out and organized. The author leads you from the basics all the way through testing and debugging in a very clear manner. If you have never used Domino before this is a good book to pick up and use as a starting point. If you are an experienced Domino developer, this book will remind you of those things you have forgotten or haven't tried before.

Starting off with reminding you to plan your work and document your applications the author gets right into Design and Development Strategies (using consistent naming conventions, thinking about the human factor and sticking to HTML standards) in Chapter 2. I know everyone says they have their own standards, but it was a nice way to remind you to think about and review them again.

It was interesting reading through the book and seeing all the things we used to have to do manually that are now almost an afterthought in XPages but as a Domino developer we still have to consider. First, last, next, previous buttons in views have to be coded and this book tells you exactly how to do that. It also walks through all the steps to create line counters and expand and collapse buttons. Styling views, adding JavaScript and adding scrollbars are just some of the topics covered in the chapter on Views.

There is a chapter that deals with Agents, all sorts of agents. From setting who can run an agent to working with documents to preventing a document from being opened, anyone starting out with Domino will quickly understand the process and be developing web applications in no time.

There is a full chapter on Security and Performance, Author and Reader fields and how to use them on the web.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More a "best practices" guide June 22 2011
By K. Yee
The short summary is that this is a book that gives you guidelines for developing Domino web applications the non-XPages way (introducted in Domino 8.5), and gives you pointers to where you can look for more information, but isn't a "cookbook" kind of book with a lot of samples. It's targeted at Domino developers who are new to web development on Domino, but are decent at HTML/CSS, and Javascript.

This book covers techniques used in Domino 6.5 and up, but unfortunately doesn't point out which versions specific features were added; this would help if you're maintaining older versions of Domino, but doesn't matter if you're running the latest version of Domino because it has always been good about backwards compatibility.

Good best practices are recommended for things like using div tags to replace framesets and aligned fields, how to organize css/styling. There's good overage of making the ugly default Domino web views prettier using CSS and Javascript. Domino techniques for security (hidden fields, controlled access sections, and read/author fileds) are covered well. There's also good coverage of things that can slow down the server so you can avoid them. And there's a good guide to testing/debugging.

There are also some oddities like recommending that you avoid coding java applets, but it's ok to use built-in Domino applets like the action bar. An example of using Ajax calls to call an agent is used but there's no mention of using jQuery or Dojo to make it easier. There's good coverage of Lotuscript agents, but no coverage of Java agents.

Overall, it's a good "best practices" guide, with a lot of mentions of design elements mentioned that you can look up fairly easily, but be prepared to dig at other resources to get the most out of this book. Packt Publishing has PDF/ePub e-book versions of this book if you'd prefer an electronic version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Domino web development sans XPages May 11 2011
The folks at Packt Publishing are continuing to expand their shelf of IBM Lotus books. Their latest addition ' Classic Web Application Development Techniques by Richard G. Ellis.

Before I tell you how absolutely awesome this book is, I have to get something off my chest. The word 'Classic' in the title is the absolute key word here. Mr. Ellis starts off the book by saying that everything here was written for and tested with Domino Designer 8.0. Upon reading that sentence I just had to go back to the very first page to check the publication date: someone is playing a trick on me. Alas, no tricks. The book was indeed published in March of 2011.

The book also stays away, far away, from anything related to XPages and says so right off bat. But it is about classic development after all.

Once you get over those two facts, the book is actually very good.

I was afraid that it would stick to the trivial topics of web enabling Domino applications and using framesets and tables to layout an application. Of course, you can't talk about web development without explaining the basics of including HTML in a Notes form. And the book certainly does mention framesets and tables. However, it quickly moves to more advanced techniques of using DIV tags and CSS to effectively build a modern-looking web application. And for Notes developers who are not faint of heart, there are even sections devoted to advanced JavaScript and AJAX calls to boost performance.

If you are an advanced Domino developer building web applications every day, this book may not be for you. But if you are a Notes developer who is making a transition to the web and want to know how to web enable your awesome Notes apps without looking like they were built by 5th-grader in 1999, get a copy of the book. You'll be hard pressed to find a better single source collection of Domino web development tricks.
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