Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Workplace Development

As well as the Like for Like licensing already mentioned here today, some more clarification on Lotus Workplace development tools was provided during the Lotus Workplace Strategy Roadshow.

Domino Designer - A newer version of Domino Designer was discussed. It understood that a portlet was an execution target. Only suitable options and components would be available if a design component was targeted at delivery through a portlet (ie through Lotus Workplace).

SEOUL - We saw some screenshots of a newer version of WSAD. It incorporated JSFs (as we know) and showed hints of Domino Designer with a GUI layout area and a list of event types associated with objects. It is said to also understand the backend NSF store.

It seemed pretty clear that WSAD is the development environment of the future.

Lotus Workplace Designer
- This tool is not going to be a standalone development environment like Domino Designer or WSAD. It will be browser-based and delivered through the Lotus Workplace portal administration interface.

Templates - Once a set of portlets has been arranged and wired together (using click-to-action) they can be saved as a Template. A policy can then be applied to the Template to define such charateristics as access, communications, archiving, document management, workflow and approval cycles, discussion types, team mail, calendar and awareness.Instances of these Templates can then be created within Lotus Workplace.

Within Workplace, there will be two broad forms of templates - Centres and Applications.
A Centre is a collection of portlets that are related by context. Think of a Mail Centre, Team Centre, Document Management Centre or Learning Centre, for example.
An Application is also a set or portlets, but also containing customised processes to relate the items together (e.g HR or a specific business workflow).

Mention was also made of existing techniques that can be used to repurpose existing Notes/Domino applications to Workplace/Portal. JSP Tag Libraries, Portlet Builder or even using the raw Domino Java Objects are all viable, depending on the amount of work and functionality required.

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