XPages Data Source Control for Relational Databases

Just getting back to reality after what has been a great Lotusphere 2011.  I presented a 2 hour session SHOW107 on writing your own XPages Data Sources with Stephan Wissel.  Sure you can have a managed bean create the data and pass it as a value into a data aware (UIData) component, but the nice thing I like about the data source is that they are declarative, can be switched easily within your code, nicely integrate with the existing set of simple actions (eventhough they are document oriented, it is not a strech to see them as record oriendted), can trigger events which you can code in SSJS, and you get all the nice rich  property editors available from Domino Designer.

There is an XPages Data Source Community on BleedYellow and I have uploaded some of the samples where so you can get started pretty quickly.  In fact, the observant will have noticed the image (thanks Mike!) above that decorates my blog shows the example data source.  The samples that I am uploading, and that’s all there are, are little rough right now, and are purely focused on working with the XPages Framework – it’s basic CRUD and a lot of features and functionality have still to be added to make it production ready.

And, if you were at Lotusphere2011 session, ASK101: Ask The Developers, you would have heard Philippe Riand announce that I will be making the JDBC-based Relational Database XPages DataSource available on OpenNTF.org pretty soon as an open source contribution to the community.  A lot of folks seem to be looking this.  As this work is incubating, feel free to post any comments, request for features, etc., and I’ll see what I can do, time permitting – we stil have to get 8.5.3 out the door, and that’s the day job.

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First Mastering XPages Book Review Is In!

I am the contrbuting author on the most recent publication from IBM Press – Mastering XPages (I’m not on the front cover, but you can find me in the authors bio section under Contributing Author).   I wrote two chapters – Chapter 12 XPages Extensibility, and Chapter 17 Security – and came in at the end to help make the book available for Lotusphere 2011.  Judging by the record conference bookstore sales (it sold out completely!!!), the phenonomal reception and feedback by Notes/Domino developers, and the packed audience at the AD110: XPages by the Book! session (where I was a guest speaker and got to bask in the reflected glory of lead author Martin Donnelly for a few minutes :-) ) – it has been well worth the anonymonity to see the huge success and impact XPages and the book has made in the community.

So I was pretty pleased to find one of the first reviews of the Mastering XPages book by Ulrich Krause (the first being from John Mackey – one of the two Technical Reviewers for the book along with Maureen Leland, Domino Designer Architect)  included one of the two chapters I wrote.

Chapter 12 explains how to build your own user interface controls. This part of the book is not easy to understand for a non experienced developer, but if you follow the step by step instruction carefully, you will succeed.

I think that is a pretty fair and accurate assessment, Chapter 12 Extesnibility, is a very specialized chapter that covers one of the more advanced aspects of the XPages web application deveopment framework.  It goes to to great length to cover a complete end-to-end example and detail it step-by-step, with a smattering of JSF theory when required.  If you want to dig into the source code and learn how the XPages Extension Library controls are created, then this chapter is a must.

Chapter 12 is the third longest chapter, one of 3, 70+ page chapters in the book.  The entire book is 749 pages and, without the obvious bias, is a goldmine of information – even I use it as a reference for the controls and properties that are not frequently used).

I hope everyone enjoys reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing parts of the book ( especially at the end, and if you are an author, you know how good that feels!!! ;-) )

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Presenting At Lotusphere 2011

The DataSource Session: Take XPages Data Boldly Where No XPages Data Has Been Taken Before

Session Track: Show ‘n Tell
Session Id: SHOW107
Session Date: February 2nd, 2011
Session Time: 2:00pm – 3:45pm
Session Location: SW Osprey
Speakers: Jim Quill
Stephan Wissell


XPages out of the box ships with two Lotus Domino data sources. Other data could be read using Java libraries leaving them with all complexities around security, connections and state management. Using the XPages data source component model, this complexity can be reduced to simple attribute selections. This session will introduce the details of the data source component model and show how to use it to connect to RDBMS, SOAP, REST, PureXML, CouchDB, oData and others. See how leveraging the data source model enables automatic property support from Domino Designer and provides seamless integration with existing data bound XPages controls.

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