The primary objective of this release was deployment blocking problems and getting the web delivery container (Notes, HOD, Symphony containers) support into the product. We focused of ease of use, tooling and performance. We also focused on education material through the new wiki. Check the end of this posting for all of the relevant articles for this release.
Lastly, the new containers are not a new technology but more of a feature that allows for rapid assembly of existing applications. The new tooling allows for assembly of Notes components without using Designer or WSDL - meaning you can do all of your work right within the Composite Applications Editor.
Notes View/PIM containers
Configurable Lotus Notes parts that can be assembled and extended from within the Composite Application editor. No programming, no WSDL, point and click. Supports built in actions (Total, Min, Max, Count, and Formula). These new components allow you to easily extract information from Notes and PIM views using the CAE. There are six built in actions supported (Min, Max, Total, Formula, Average, and Count) with the views. You can also add your own actions in Java, read the new Custom Actions section.
You can access the new component from the composite application editor (CAE) palette:
Notes Document Container
The newly added Notes Document Containers allow for forms/documents to become first class citizens in the composite application space. Not only can you define properties for fields you can also control how the document interacts with the end user. In the advanced properties you can now select the close behavior you want for the document when it is saved, closed, or sent.
The document container also allows you to define your properties for the component using point and click. Here is the document containers toolbar in the Composite Application Editor for the point and click configuration:
The quick configuration tool allows the user to populate the standard events with publish and/or receive actions. It displays a selectable list of fields available in the current document, A property is automatically generated when a field is selected. The user can edit the generated property name or select one from the list of available properties. Using this tool will wipe out the existing configuration for the current landmark.
Lotus Symphony Spreadsheet Container
The new spreadsheet container allows for seamless integration of Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets into your applications. You can publish and receive individual cells or a range of cells. Since the container is based on the core container framework, all of the value and line separators are compatible out of the box. You can for instance, receive multiple selections from a Lotus Notes view container and have the values published across a range of cells (both vertically or horizontally). The base use case is to publish this data to a block of cells that are then linked to a chart or graph - giving you instance graph and chart support in your applications. The new tooling in the Composite Application Editor (CAE) allows you to define your component using the tooling.
Browser container tooling (point and click)
The new tooling for the Web Browser Application container allows for the assembler to fully configure a browser component right from the main UI in the Composite Application Editor.
Extended side shelf integration - controlling visibility, wiring, Left and Right
Composite application side shelf integration has been expanded in this release. Enhanced wiring, control over the visibility of the side shelf components and the ability to contribute to the left or right side shelf have been added.
In the below screen shot you can see the Display Settings tab that you can view from CAE by right clicking on a component you added to the side shelf. Here you can define when this particular component is visible. The region of the shelf it should be located in and the state of the component when the page is active. This gives the assembler much great control over all aspects of components added to the side shelf.
Below you can see the Composite application editor and how the 'Sidebars' area looks in the new release. There is a Right Sidebar and a left Sidebar area.
This is the wiring tab in the Composite application editor. The 'Include Application Sidebar Components' has been selected and the main will show a Sidebars area that you can wire to and from
Tear-off APIs - for personalization
The Tear Off API allows for creating a new composite application from an existing application. The term "tear off" refers to taking the whole application and duplicating it as its own or taking a subset of the application and creating a new application from there. The new Topology serialization API allows for local composite applications to also be modified and saved back to disk at runtime.
Here is an application shown in the TopologyPeek tool which has 2 child pages. By using the Tear Off API I can now create an application from the root level of this application and call it ApplicationChild1. I can then create a second application from the second child page and call it ApplicationChild2.
Tear off the two applications through a custom menu item that invokes the APIs.
Here is the new application, which is a clone of the original:
Now we show the second application, which was a subset of the original:
In the TopologyPeek tool we can see our newly created applications via tear off along with our original. Notice ApplicationChild2 was created from the page "child2" in our original application.
Search and Replace
You can now search and replace all of the different page, component, and application properties globally with the new property editor. You can access the function in the CAE under Edit | Property Value Editor.
You then can use the dialog and wild-cards to filter what preferences will be changed.
Custom actions allow you to extend an existing container with Java code. These actions can then be called during landmark events when properties are wired to or from a container.
The following articles are relevant to this release. We have produced these tutorials and articles to help educate the community about the features in Notes 8.5.1.
Adding Custom Component Edit Tabs to your component
Creating a Composite Application Container
Creating a component that doesn't use WSDL
Configuring Multiple Instances of Containers Through Namespaces
Using Dynamic Variable Substitution in Composite Applications
Introduction to custom actions
Creating custom actions in java
Extending the Notes View Container with a "Run Agent" custom action
Extending the Notes View container with a custom action
Notes View and Document container:
Introduction to the Notes Document Container
Using the Notes PIM and Notes View containers in composite applications - using Total, Count, Average, Min, Max
Using the Notes Document Container - Side by Side Editing use case
Side Shelf tutorial
Components and Containers
Updating and Deploying a Composite Application
Web or Web plus Notes containers:
Social Dashboard Tutorial
Creating a basic web component