Category Archives: OpenNTF

Currently recovering

Dear All,

It’s a while ago, since my last post. The best excuse is, that I really had a lot of projects to push forward and less of time to talk and blog about. But that’s only the half of the story.

Last month, on June 9. I was in Spain for a customer meeting. It was a really good meeting and it was nice to be there. But during the meeting, I was getting cold. Real cold and my first tought was: what a strong air conditioning. But in fact, my body temperature was rising and the cold was a result of the fever. We went to the airport after the meeting, and I realized that also the airport has an air conditioning. After standing a while outside in the warm spanish sun, we took our flight back home. My wife picked me up I had a night with nice fever driven dreams.

The day after, at the evening, we went to the hospital. My right leg was twice thick then my left one, but I was more caring about the high fever and the diarrhea. Fortunately the medical team and the doctors at the hospital didn’t ignore my leg and took the swollen leg at their top priority. According to some swiss hospital rules, I was moved to the isolation station.

A team of medical doctors started to figure out why my leg was so swollen and why all me blood doesn’t look really good. They started with a antibiotics therapy, which had a strong impact to the fever. Day by day the size of the leg was shrinking, but the heavily forced skin has built some bubbles, which were filled with some liquid. A part of the medial team where really excited about this fact, because the took some of the liquid from the bubble and could analyze what was happened to my leg (It was fun to see what passion these doctors had, because of this bubble and the opportunity to know more).

Flesh eating bacteria! What a radical diagnose. I heard also the “normal” and the worst case scenario of this disease. To be honest, in the worst case, I wouldn’t be able to write this blog entry. I wanna thank first god the almighty father and creator of heaven and earth, for my recovery, for his carrying, for all the moments where I could feel his presence and for pointing me to this wonderful song which gave me hope and patient ( Thanks to all friends who prayed for me. Thanks to the medical team and the doctors at KSW Winterthur, you did a great job. And thanks to my company, who is giving me the time to recover and handles all my projects. And last but not least to my family, thanks for every visit, SMS and your prayers: I love you!

My leg ist recovering. Fever is gone, but the skin of my leg has still the nice color scale from a bright orange to a dark yellow. But the skin is also recovering and I’m able to type and think. My action circle is currently my home and I will remain at home, until my leg is recovered. It’s hard to stay at home and not enjoy the swimming or other outdoor activities, but patient is the best friend currently.

I hope that I can now catchup with all the interesting projects I was involved and a lot of news around XPages, Java and some new technologies.

All the best


PS: Sorry Bruce that I missed your birthday, be blessed!


Posted by on July 6, 2015 in OpenNTF


#IBMNotes25 Party – can’t wait….


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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in OpenNTF



Maven and XPages Plugin – From Scratch / Part IV The feature

While Switzerland was covered with snow, the OpenNTF Base project has made some progress. There are two new plugins, one is org.openntf.base and the other is org.openntf.base.lib.internal.

org.openntf.base contains all the stuff to register the plugin collection as an extension library and also all “Top Level” classes. org.openntf.base is designed to have all the dependencies to the XPages engine. I try to make org.openntf.base.jaxb.dxl with less dependencies to other plugins, as possible. specially not any dependency to the XPages Engine (as I sad, I TRY). My intention is to reuse the org.openntf.base.jaxb.dxl part also for Notes Client plugins.

org.openntf.base.lib.internal contains all the JAR files which will be used in the org.openntf.base package, but not exposed to the Desinger Client. Maybe there will be a org.openntf.base.lib.external plugin, which contains jars of useful java libraries, that could also be used at the Designer Client level. GSON and GUAVA are candidates for this.

Btw. the org.openntf.base.jaxb.dxl.testsuite is also moved to org.openntf.base.testsuite and is now a fragment of org.openntf.base

Ready for the next move? ….. we need a feature to bring all the plugins under one umbrella. (Btw. the testsuite Fragment will not be part of this feature!)

It all begins with a new ………. module!


And the packaging type of this plugin is “eclipse-feature”221

Once we have the new project, we need to files:

  • feature.xml
  • build.properties222 223

Lets open feature.xml and fill the following stuff into the editor:224

On the plugins tab, please add all the plugins you need225

And on the information tab, please fill at least the Copyright Notice. Without it, you wouldn’t belive, but the feature is not loaded in the Designer Client.226

And on the build tab, please select feature.xml227

Check if everything is fine with your run configuration “clean install”

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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Java, Maven, OpenNTF, XPages



Maven and the magic of profiles

Maven and the magic of profiles

POI4XPages has a module called poi.assembly. This module builds the final ZIP file which can be uploaded to the OpenNTF website. One step in the assembly is that the module downloads the source code direct from github. This step takes a lot of time, so each mvn clean build takes a lot of time, because the assembly line is also executed. Fortunately Maven has a concept called profiles. Maven let you define different profiles. In the POI4XPages case, I’ve built two different profiles, which contains different set of modules:

200Each profile has its own id tag. The default_no_assembly profile is activated by default. The <activation> markup let you activate also profile by defining environment variables.

I’ve now to different run configuration in my eclipse client. To run the default profile, I use the following:


But if I need the assembly profile, I use the following configuration:


Merry christmas!

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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Architektur, Java, Maven, OpenNTF, POI4XPages, XPages



Maven and XPages Plugin – From Scratch / Part II – The Plugin

The core purpose of org.openntf.base.* is to bring some core plugins to the community. This plugin could be used in conjunction with other plugins, like org.eclipse.core.runtime. The first plugin that I want to build is a JAXB representation of the domino9 dxl. This plugin should offer some basic method to convert any domino object to a java object tree based on the domino dxl definition. This could be used to explore the design of a domino database, but also to represent the content of a single rich text item.

We will focus in this part on how to build the plugin based on the parent, that we have already build in Part 1

As in Part 1, we will do the stuff again with our Eclipse Kepler IDE.

1. Build a Maven module


Go to your parent project and use “right-click” for the context menu. Browse to Maven / New Maven Module Project.


The module name should be the same as your plugin id (later).


While you fill out the dialog, it seems that the group id is necessary, but you can delete this later. Be sure that you specify as packaging type: eclipse-plugin. This has a huge impact on the build process and your new maven module will now be handled as eclipse-plugin.

Nice we have now created some folders and files, but unfortunately not the necessary files to handle this project as a plugin project.

Create some files….

That a plugin project is a plugin project, it needs to files.


With the right content -> so let’s build this files.

Create the META-INF Folder:

103Create the MANIFEST.MF File:


Let’s open the MANIFEST.MF File with the Manifest Editor

And we do this with a right-click on the project and browse to “Plugin Tools / Open manifest”


Lets fill out some base information for the plugin.

Btw. the Version should correspond to the version in the parent’s pom file, instead of SNAPSHOT use qualifier (as the plugin would expect)


Now its a good moment to update the classpath of the plugin project (do it again with a right click on the project) and the go to Plugin Tools / Update classpath


To complete the plugin configuration, we add the dependency to org.eclipse.core.runtime108

And we create the file build.properties109

We open again our MANIFEST.MF and go to the last tab called

There we complete the with the yellow marked text. (bin.includes and sources.. are needed for the whole plugin build process)

Give the Plugin an Activator

We build now the Activator class for the plugin, by building first the package and then the class.


Creating the class file112

Let’s open the MANIFEST.MF again and assign the activator class113

Build a run configuration to build the project with Maven

Now its time for the fun part. We build a run configuration, to execute the goal clean and install in the maven build cycle

  • clean will delete all genearted code
  • install will compile, test and package all code


Select “Maven Build” as category and click on the blank sheet to build a new run configuration115

Please fill out all yellow highlighted fields. Be aware of the goals field. We define with -Dnotes-platform=file:/// the external variable ${notes-platform} for our parent pom file.

Click “Run” to check if all is builded correct the output should look like this:


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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Java, Maven, OpenNTF, XPages


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Maven and XPages Plugin – From Scratch / Part I – The Parent

Is it a good Idea to start writing a blog series about Maven, XPages Plugin with the topic “The Parent” on your birthday? I don’t know but the birthday reminds me a lot about my parents. About my father and mother who gave me the base structure of my life and lot of my being. But also my heavenly father, the creator of heaven and earth. The same it is with “The parent” in a Maven based project.

But let me first explain something about Maven. Maven is an absolute brilliant idea. Maven is a bit like God. Maven is an Open Build Tool. Maven can create everything you can imagine…. or Maven ban build nothing. The architecture of Maven is plugin (not to be confused with OSGI plugin or FireFox plugins) based. This means that Maven needs a Plugin for each type of code or project Maven can build. But at this point there are no boundaries.

The POM.xml contains the magic….. or it’s simply the build plan

Like with Lego, it is good to have a build plan. Software is become so complex that it needs build instructions. The main File for this build instructions is the pom.xm. One of the strength of Maven is, that it can build different modules in the right order and combine it to a ship able package. Because of that, there is a Parent file needed. This parent file is normally in the root folder of the Maven project structure. To illustrate this process, I’ve built a folder called D:\EGit\org.openntf.base. I’ve also setup Eclipse Kepler, which contains the m2eclipse Plugin (the Maven integration 4 Eclipse). Unlike to other tutorial, I try to explain all steps directly from Eclipse, without any command line magic 😉

1. Create a new Maven Project

Create Maven Project

Select “Create a simple project” and select the project location002

Give a group ID like you know it from the OSGI Plugin development and also an artifact ID (The artifact ID will be the project name)

Please select “POM” as Packaging Type. This type is used for parent POM files or for pom files that contains instructions for a group of other modules


2. Setup the POM.xml File for our modules

Please open the pom.xml file and add some properties:

For all text sample that you now use, please refer to this file -> and copy / paste the fragments.

The properties contain values, which are used in this pom or the child poms.

  • tycho-version is the version of the Tycho Framework
  • compiler is the version of the java compiler
  • and project.reporting.outputEncoding controls the charset of the build / reporting process

004The repositories

Maven is an Open Build platform and we are using the Tycho Framework to build the Eclipse Plugins and Features. For this reason it is important to have a repository defined, where all the plugins for the compilation and test cycle are. We define 2 repository. The first repository called “notes” points to the local location of the IBM Domino UpdateSite for BuildManagement. This local location can be different on each developer machine. For this reason I use a ${notes-platform} variable, which can be defined outside. I will show later, how I do this. It is definitely needed to do so, if your plugin should be build via Jenkins or Bamboo.


The build section

As you have already recognized, the pom.xml has several section, which represents parts of the build/life-cycle. We start now to pre fill the build section. The first plugin, is the java compiler. As you see in the definition, the section starts with …. each plugin has its own section. The compiler has also ${compiler} variables, which points back to the properties. This means that all compilations based on the version 1.6 and we can at one point change this to a more accurate Java version, as soon, as Domino supports JDK 1.7 or 1.8

006The Tycho Plugins!

The next plugins, that we add are the Tycho plugins. This plugins, developed by SAP helps us to build eclipse-plugins, eclipse-features and eclipse-updatesites.


One of the important parts of the Tycho plugins is the target-plattform-configuration. I wanna point specially to the extra-requirements because this section contains the magic to include the notes.jar! It points back to a part of the notes repository.008And last, but not least some stuff to complete the build configuration


All done for the <plugins> section….

… BUT we are working with eclipse

And I hope that I’ve understood this part right, but Eclipse needs some instructions how to manage all the plugins, for this we have the following definition, which gives clear instructions to org.eclipse.m2e how to handle maven and some build jobs.


Yes and now we are ready to build our first plugin in this project…..


Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Java, Maven, OpenNTF, XPages


Reading and writing Resource Bundles – an alternative approach

Dan Soares explains at NotesIn9 a nice way to read and write resource bundles. It’s a good read so enjoy his work. I was also faced with the problem of reading and a specially writing properties files, because Switzerland is multilingual and my idea was to give the power of translation to the hands of the business project leaders. But how to write properties files, and how to do it in am more productive way? I did go the same way as Dan, I did also find some sample from Sven Hasselbach, but the I asked my self, how can I provide this in an easy to consume way to my developers and to the community. This was the birth of a new part in the XPages Toolkit.

Btw. we started with the development of the XPages Tookit one year before we mad it public available on OpenNTF. And we want to be shure that we provide something useful and approved by our own developer team.

The result is a very easy to use API (requirement: Install the XPages Toolkit):

to get the properties as java.util.Properties object:
var properties = xptPropertiesBean.getProperties( databaseFilePath,
                               fileNameOfyourProperties );
to save the properties:
var success = xptPropertiesBean.saveProperties( databaseFilePath, 
                               fileNameOfYourProperties, properties);
Or to use in Java:
XPTPropertiesBean bean =;
Properties props = bean.getProperties( databaseFilePath, 
                                fileNameOfyourProperties ); 
int success = bean.saveProperties( databaseFilePath, 
                                fileNameOfYourProperties, properties);

But be aware of the following. Each change to properties seems to reload your application on the server.


To stay informed about the recent development on the XPages Toolkit, please register here and discuss ideas and give feedback.

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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Domino, Java, OpenNTF, XPages