Now that the XPages version is done, before moving on, I wanted to put my overall thoughts down. So even though it took almost 2 weeks to write up all the posts, the actual app didn’t take more than a few afternoons of work to put together. My mission here was to simply extend our existing Notes CRM application and not transform it. There was no need to bring a decade of Notes crufty-ness to the web with XPages - that would have been a monster project and by the time it was done no one would have cared. Instead the goal was to get access to the few pieces of information already stored in the app when employees are on the road and don’t want to fire up laptops and Notes clients.
I was actually quite happy with how easy it was to get all the pages themselves in place and with just a few XP tags I got a page that looked pretty much exactly how I wanted it to. I really like the fact that the design of the COG app is in a completely different database form the original CRM app and the License app. It makes it really easy to extend existing apps without getting in other peoples way.
I just don’t like Domino Designer. I use Eclipse on a regular basis and DDE is just really flakey. It’s slow and buggy and the focus seems to jump around like crazy and I end up clicking where I don’t want to. I also don’t like how it takes way too many clicks, on targets that are way too small to get to a code window. Seriously could IBM have made that little blue diamond and smaller or harder to find?!?! So as a result of this, I generally spend all my time in the source tab of the XPages editor being driven crazy by the formatting.
The other bad thing about working with XPages is that they are just not well documented, or the doc that does exist is simply too hard to find. Maybe it’s me, but I can never seem to easily find how to accomplish a simple task. Compare that to the wealth of info on JSP, JavaScipt or PHP, and I don’t know why I would ever want to spend all my time in XPages.
So all that being said, using XPages to take an old crusty Notes client app to the mobile web was actually pretty easy and worked out well in this example. Of course, this app was a bit simplistic in it’s goals, but I don’t think a mobile app needs to be complicated to be useful.
To see all the posts related to this version of the app you can click on the ‘Customers on the GO!’ link in the right hand side bar, or follow this link. Thanks for reading so far, and stay tuned because there is much more coming!