Category Archives: Software Entwicklung

Ready for todays webinar about OpenNTF Essentials?

I hope that you have already dowloaded OpenNTF Essentials and at least installed on your development computer. If not, it’s a 5 minute job as you can see in this youtube video (starting 12:00).

In Todays webinar, Mark will cover some cool stuff about debugging and Nathan takes a deep dive into the OpenNTF Domino API. My part will be about some cool @nnotations. Imagine this:

Your are writing a call center application and you have designed the “Call” object as a java object according the java bean specification. With the ObjectData Source from the ExtLib are you know ready to edit each field of this java object, but now you have to save….. and read …. and delete ….. the object from the database.

I will show you in todays webinar how you can do this with writing only “3 or 4” lines of code 🙂

I hope you will join us, today 10:30 EST, register now!

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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Architektur, Design Pattern, Domino, Java, OpenNTF, XPT


The “ninja-style” programming model by WebGate

First I’ve to excuse that we are so selfish to call our programming model ninja-style. It was happened based on the fact, that we have programmed ninjas in internal programming course. But the term ninja-style was established and if you gave something a name, it’s very hard to change it (Maybe you have seen Monster.Inc by Pixar, then you know what I mean).

Our intention is to make programming for XPages as much fun as possible.  And fun means in the case of programming: Having success, with less of effort and stress.

But the ninja-style has also to do with leaving the comfort zone and go out from this protected workshop in which the most of the domino developers where living. XPages requires a complete new set of skills. On the front end part are you faced with: HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, DOJO (and that’s only the beginning) and of course SSJS for the binding part. On the backend is Java the most required skills, that you should have. But you have also to learn about data sources, controls, data binding and something called JSF life-cycle.

Definitely a lot of topics to cover and the most of us are not geniuses, specially universal genius. It’s a matter of fact that it is easier to split and separate the topics. Because of this we have introduced the N-Tier architecture to our programming model. We have separated the front end stuff, from the back-end stuff.

The front end covers all the presentation (Presentation Layer)

Typically our front end developers are brilliant in arranging all the controls in the XPages and they are mostly virtuous in JavaScript, CSS and Dojo. They know about the “beans” as far as they have to know how to use them as API to the model and the business logic. They don’t care, how object are loaded and stored, they don’t care about how processes and logic are executed, as long all is working correct.

The backend covers all the model and business logic (Business logic Layer)

The back-end guys do all the brilliant stuff with the model of the data and all the processes. Mostly they are Java Cracks or on the way to it. They care about good backend performance and have read the book “design pattern” by the gang of for. No interface and connection to any backend is to complex for them, but do not let them do any HTML stuff.

But where are the storage guys?

At this point, some of the core features of the XPT cames to action. The DSS of the XPT solves all the storage stuff.

But keep this: Having success with XPages has to be about simplification. Our first step was to separate front end from back-end.

To be continued >>>



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<xpt:….> – The XPages Tookit – Beta1 released

We have released an early beta of the XPages Toolkit, called beta1 on OpenNTF. A short time before I was going to the hospital for a heart revision task :). But the XPages Toolkit need some explanations about the why and what.


The XPages Toolkit (in short XPT) is a extendable Extension to the XPages Runtime and the Extension Library. The XPT contains a strong core for a programming model that we have introduced at WebGate as the ninja-style. I will blog later this week about this programming model and I will also make some snippets to this available.

But what contains the XPT:

  • The core (for the ninja-style / hope this name is not protected)
  • RSS Datasource and UIControl -> a ready to use UI-Element so display RSS Feeds
  • Read and write Access to properties files
  • Some missing OneUI Elements (like the aboutbox, the welcomebox and the tipbox)
  • And the XPages Agents with ready to use UI Elements and a replacment for the agents manager

And it is extendable. We have designed the XPT to make it easy to plugin other solutions. I will cover this topic also in a separate blog post. But in short, I think there are some many good things available under apache licence. Or think about the charting in dojox, its one of the things that I miss as a good UI Control. I know that there is a great OpenNTF project available from Julian Buss (YouAtNotes xCharting), but why not integrate the code into a plugin?

All the best

PS: Heart revision task was successfully completed and I have a good recovery time.

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Architektur, OpenNTF, XPages, XPT


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POI 4 XPages Version 1.1.0 released!

Hi All

Only a few hours and I will travel with Roman, Peter and Andre to the IBMConnect2013. The last years “LotusSphere 2012” (the old name of the IBMConnect) was a game changer in my life. I meet great people like Niklas Heidloff, Philippe Riand, Martin Donnelly, Dan O’Conner and many more.

But these guys have inspired me to build myWebGate and POI 4 XPages.

We have greate news about both projects, but this post ist about POI 4 XPages. We have made some progresses on the project that we would like to share in the version 1.1.0:

  1. The POI 4 XPages supports now the version 3.9 of the brilliant Apache POI Project, which is the newest release
  2. We fixed some typos and a bug in the creation of Workbooks. If you try to export data to a sheet wich doesn’t exist on the exceltemplate and you choose “create” = “false”, the export fails. This was not the idea behind the “create”=”false” option. Now the export definition with this settings will be ignored, if the sheet doesn’t exist. (Marco Baumann has reported this issue at the
  3. We implemented the POI  – ListObjectDataSource which is designed to export the java.util.List<?> object in version 1.0.1 but we did make a mistake in the value definition. This values have to be assigned with a SSJS function, but our binding was against a value property. We fixed this with a new “MethodBinding” assignment (like the createObject function from the ObjectDataSource in the ExtLib) called “buildValues”. This means that “values” is deprecated and only for backwards compatibilty available
  4. With version 1.1.0 we introduce a brand new feature in the workbook and document controll. A binding which we called postGenerationProcess. This feature is really powerful, let me explain why.

postGenerationProcess – all power of apache poi in your hand:

POI 4 XPages build your Workbook or Document with the “generate….” function. But when the action is started, you don’t have access to the Workbook or Document object. “postGenerationProcess” change this. In the postGenerationProcess your SSJS / Java Code will be executed, right before the Workbook or Document is transmitted from the server to the client.

The follwowing code in the postGenerationProcess prints the name of the first sheet on a workbook to the server console:

print( workbook.getSheetAt(0).getSheetName() );

While we are calling the postGenerationProcess, the POI 4 XPages Code assign the current workbook to the variable workbook, or the current document to the variable xwpfdocument. This variable are representation of the the following apache poi classes:

workbook: -> javadoc

xwpfdocument: org.apache.poi.xwpf.usermodell.XWPFDocument -> javadoc

Imagine what you can do now, afert a document or a workbook is created!

Have Fun

Download POI4XPages here


How open source protects your work – a short story.

Hello my readers

during the next days I’m preparing the 8th edition of Kids and Teeniedays in Effretikon. So many of my blogs will cover my social engagement. But this one is related to two different stories in my it-life, that now merges.

The first story began in the 90s. My former employer gave me the chance to learn all things about lotus notes and domino. During our work, we decided to change our development model to object orientated lotus script. One of my first work was a “FormBase” class. This class could handle a simple validation. based on empty fields. After a while, this class was a part of every application in this company. External consultants joined the company, and after a while I found this class in commercial products, in other companies.

As you could imagine, I was disappointed and a bit angry for several reasons. First, I missed my name on the source code. Later I was afraid, if anyone could know that this code was one of my first object orientated work in lotus script. Because it was not so brilliant. After reading design pattern, a great book, i was shocked, which fundamental mistake I did make. But this is another story. But how to handle, that your brilliant work is not copied? And is reinventing the wheel also coping?

There are other typical problems that you are facing, by preventing your code. But there is a very interesting other way to protect your work. Make it openSource. Put it under a openSource license, like Apache or GPL, and go to public. So anybody can see your work and give the credits to your work. An example?

The notesUI of myWebGate

The notesUI of myWebGate

Im really proud of the NotesUI of myWebGate. Even if nobody sees this. Richie Schmid did a brilliant user interface which is in many of our applications and loved by our customers. . Richie has made it several years before we even think about setting this under the terms of the Apache V2 license.

But I think this nice UI has the power to be a quasi standard like the oneUI of IBM. And I was a little bit surprised how fast we see the first adaption. Take a look at this link

So how to implement our UI in your application? Its very simple. You have to give credits to the myWebGate project, as we did with the silk icons we used (and several other brilliant open source work).

Go ahead, make brilliant software, use our UI, but give honor to the right people.

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Design Pattern, myWebGate


myWebGate – Social Software Development Process – Lessons learned.

During the lotussphere 2012 I was inspired to build our myWebGate Framework totaly new from scratch. The powere and the energy of the ibm developers and system architects has forced me to rethink my mindset about the whole XPages technologie. But rewriting a one year old framwork, with over a hunder days of manpower investigated, to have the same new made?

A crule idea but our executive board gave us the order to do this, under the focus of training, learning and transforming our development approach. It was a great time.

Yesterday we released the version 1.1 of myWebGate. This version completes some open user stories (see the release notes here) and it also completes a very new way of working together.

Our whole myWebGate development team was at the project start something we called consulting ninijas. High skilled and very talented in any aspect of development and administration of lotus notes domino. At the project start my co-pilot Peter Luder and I decide to change the model. Not a typical vertical approach: We transformed the team to a horizontal development approach. Richard became the role of our UI Guru, Peter does the project controlling and my job was the architecture. Barbara, Arthur and Marco are focused on serveral businessprocesses in the myWebGate Framwork.

This leads us to a better teamplay. Interaction was mandatory and every piece of code we build must fit. This pressure and this model of work, has effected any discussion. Normally you would expect more inefficiency, but it was vice versa. Focussing of the core competence and the delivering of brilliant work, leads to an unexpected effort and more features in the initial release as planned. And also a lot more in release 1.1.

Learn more about myWebGate -> Read This (german) and the documentation (english).

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Building Process, myWebGate, SCRUM, XPages


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Accessing Beans from Java Code in XPages (learned by Reading the SourceCode of the ExtensionLibrary)

Hello Java and XPages Fans

During our work for the myWebGate 2.0 OpenNTF Edition i was faced with a very simple Problem. I had to access a public method in one of our managed beans. This managed beans are designed to act as session facade. So the bean name is directory bean and the scope is session. The ClassName is based on our internal guidlines DirectorySessionFasade.

In this class, is a method called getMySelf() witch gives me some information about my current user in context of the myWebGate Framework. The powerfull thing about managed beans is, that the object exists only one time baed on the scope, in this case one time each session.

For our activtystream implementation I have to acces this getMySelf() methode, because all my relations are stored in the returning object. A short google search doesnt help, but I rember that I’ve ready a pattern in the ExtensionLibrary, that maby can help. An voilaz there it was, written by Phillip Riand, I found some thing that I changed to this for my situation:

public static final String BEAN_NAME = “directoryBean”; //$NON-NLS-1$
public static DirectorySessionFacade get(FacesContext context) {
        DirectorySessionFacade bean = (DirectorySessionFacade)context.getApplication().getVariableResolver().resolveVariable(context, BEAN_NAME);
        return bean;
    public static DirectorySessionFacade get() {
        return get(FacesContext.getCurrentInstance());

This simple codesnipped gives you the capability to execute DirectorySessionFacade.get().getMySelf(). The DirectorySessionFacade.get() Code calls the get( FacesContext context() and there the inmemory Variable directoryBean can be accessed.

What a simple construct to access the same instance in java as in the SSJS and XPAGES. Thanks to IBM for sharing the ExtensionLibrary as OpenSource.