Xpages Is About To Get A Lot More Powerful

IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.2 is still in
beta, All features referenced in this blog post may or may not appear in
the final version of 8.5.2.

Over on the Domino Designer Wiki a number
draft documents have been released that explain the newXpages Extensibility
API’s
that should be available in 8.5.2. As a member of the
managed beta for 8.5.2 I’ve had the chance to try out some of the concepts
presented in the documents and all I can say is that WOW, Xpages just got
a whole lot more powerful.

In my simple tests I have created a
number of new container-type controls to mimic some of the HTML5 elements
and as you can see from the screen snippit below when I add my new controls
to an XPage it adds the the namespace ( xmlns: ) and my new tags are all
prefaced with ‘h5’ as defined per the documentation.

Page Source :

A picture named M2

Rendered HTML :

A picture named M3

So why are XPage now a lot more powerful?
Well if you read the documentation you’ll see that it’s now possible for
third-party developers to create a pre-compiled library of controls that
can be deployed to a Domino Server or Notes Client. These libraries may
be simple controls that add new HTML elements like the ones above for HTML5,
allowing you to write HTML5 designed applications before IBM add HTML5
support directly to XPages or they could be more complex controls like
the ones that are available from third-parties for the ASP.NET development
environment.

Expect to see Business Partners selling
new XPages Controls libraries and for free libraries to appear on OpenNTF
once 8.5.2 is released.

The documentation for this new feature
is still missing a few parts which hopefully will be filled in by the time
8.5.2 comes out but based on what is available so far this looks like an
amazing new feature in XPages.

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5 comments on “Xpages Is About To Get A Lot More Powerful
  1. *chuckle*Oh yes sir. You have seen the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps the one that sank the Titanic.

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  2. Sean Cull says:

    This is very exciting but I have one concern.As a dev shop / ISV one of the key strengths of the nsf is its self contained nature. It really only has one dependency which is the NAB and is always present on the server. Once you are issued some NAB groups and a blank NSF on the server you need little or no IT support.One of the reasons why I have avoided some otherwise excellant 3rd party plugsins such as Midas is that there is no way I can get them deployed to a production server.I know that some of you ( Admins ) will be saying that I just need to make a better case but I disagree. In big customers the support team is spread across Europe, do not all speak to each other and are understandably protective of their huge production servers. There is no way a small project will get through this maze in terms of deploying code to the server ( as opposed to the NSF ).In small customers there is often a lack of skill or confidence to deploy the code now or to ensure that it is re-deployed at upgrades / hardware changes etc.. In addition to this I as an external supplier would be unwilling to take the risk on their production servers without testing and the testing would be disproportionately expensive for the small apps ( 0 – 50 k ) that we do.A lot of SMB Notes projects get done with the approval of the “IT” but without needing much input from them – it makes the threshold for justifying a business application much lower.Will I, as a developer, be able to deploy these controls within the application ? If not can IBM think about this as a longer term issue ?Tks, Sean

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  3. “Will I, as a developer, be able to deploy these controls within the application ?”Yes. Though if you use the controls in multiple applications on the same server, it will be more resource efficient to deploy directly to the OS level on the server. But you absolutely do not HAVE to.Certain types of extensions will require installation as a plugin to your Designer client. These can be silently installed if you have the proper infrastructure with x509 certificates and policy controls.

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  4. Sean Cull says:

    Fantasitic !

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  5. Bruce Elgort says:

    Declan,Great blog post and great to see this in 8.5.2.

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