A few Years of XPage Developement – Part 1


A few weeks ago, I was given the task of writing a blog entry for holistic thinking about my/our XPages experiences over the past few years.  It was thought that this entry would be, perhaps, a page or two in word and that would be it.  Boy was I wrong.  It just so happens that there is just a ton of stuff to write, a lot of ideas to get across, and, for that reason, I am separating this into a few different entries.  In this series we are going to be discussing how my XPage experiences have changed over the course of the past four years and how I expect them to continue to change.  We will be discussing two major customer projects (no worries, it is all anonymized), the XPage learning curve, and the major tiers of XPage developers.  We will look into the problems that we came across, my reactions to them, and how they were solved, or not.

The early years

I had my first taste of XPages in 2011 working as an apprentice at holistic-net.  Enthusiastically, I built my very first web application which was designed to maintain my daily records for the IHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer).  I had already built numerous Classic Notes applications by that point including a Lotus Notes Client version of that same application.  I was pretty satisfied with how quickly I could pick up Lotusscript, the design patterns, and all of the other stuff one needs to be successful with Lotus.  As one old commercial stated, if you can work with spreadsheets, you can build a Lotus Notes application.   This started to be the case with XPages as well.  After all, putting some controls on a page and binding them to a background document or view is not that hard, right?  RIGHT!  Well, almost. Let’s break down XPage development into five different tiers, expanding on a blog entry done by Niklas Heidloff where he described 3 classifications of XPage developers.  A tier 1 developer, affectionately referred to as the “Padawan”, will take a few controls and throw them onto the XPage and call it a day.  My Records Application was little more than this.  It had simple data bindings and was not much work.  It was simply reusing existing controls in their most basic form.  Nothing from it could be reused in other XPages, almost no JavaScript was used if any at al, and absolutely no Java was written either.  The only good thing about this project was that I was able to get accustomed to the standard IBM controls.  I guess every developer is going to have to have such a project where they just get used to standard controls and try to do something with them.  This particular application was used for a grand total of 2 weeks before going back to classic notes and was an absolute failure.  It did however form the foundation for Customer Project 1.

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About reederProgramming

I already have an about me page, so I will just put a quick bit of info here. I am a Notes/Domino developer at holistic-net GmbH located in Hannover, Germany. I use Java primarily at home and as often as I can at work. I have dabbled in C# and a few other languages and platforms. This website started out as a place for me to quickly store and access some of my most important how-tos and has started to become a place where I can really help others too!

One Response to A few Years of XPage Developement – Part 1

  1. Pingback: XPage Experiences | holistic thinking

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