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The following information describes how to deploy and update composite applications with Lotus Notes/Domino. Since with composite applications you need to deploy both the composite application definitions (CA.XML) and the components, some new deployment features have been introduced in Lotus Notes/Domino 8x. This information concentrates on a deployment scenario that 'moves' a composite application from a development environment (local only or test Domino server) to a production environment .
For a technical and architectural overview of the usage of composite application in Notes refer to the "Composite Applications in Notes - Benefits and Technical Overview" article at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/compappwiki.nsf/dx/composite-applications-in-notes-benefits-and-technical-overview
The information that follows explains how you can refer or link to Eclipse and NSF components in composite applications via "dynamic" links so that the composite application definitions do not have to be modified as part of the deployment. It also describes how composite applications and components can be deployed initially and then later updated.
A word about dependencies and access rights
Links to components are resolved when you open a composite application (see the next section for complete details on resolving links). At that point, the client "pulls" or downloads the necessary Eclipse component binaries and installs them on the client. This process is know as "provisioning." This occurs when the correct versions of Eclipse components do not already exist on the client. Alternatively, Eclipse component binaries can be "pushed" down to the clients via the Widget catalog. Application dependencies and access rights can have a significant impact on provisioning, however. The following infomation is provided so that you can understand this impact before the additional information on resolving links is provided.
Provisioning affects composite applications that have dependencies on features and plugins - particularly features or plugins that are not currently installed or enabled. The original version of the composite application with the original features/plugins will run when opening the application. The updated version will be available only
after you restart the composite application. A provisioning user interface is provided to alert you to the availability of the updated version.
If some of the NSF components are not shown correctly when you open a composite application, "rectangles" of the components provide information on what is wrong (for example, not having access rights). For Eclipse components, problems most commonly occur when an Eclipse view part is not available. See the "Troubleshooting example" section of the "Troubleshooting" portion of this article for an example of the process used to solve deployment and update problems.
You can set access rights on NSF-based composite applications as you do with any other NSF via the application Access Control List (ACL). The ACL of the NSF with the CA.XML lets an administrator restrict access to the composite application. You need at least Reader access to open the composite application and Designer access if you want to make changes. The ACLs on the NSF with the CA.XML apply only to the composite applications - not to the components making up the composite application. Access rights to the NSF components are managed in the ACLs of the NSFs of the components.
For Eclipse binaries you can define ACLs on the NSF-based update site on a global level. As there is nothing like "true" access control for Eclipse components, it must be handled via the ACLs to the update site with the binaries of the component. You can also restrict which pages in a composite application are visible to which users. In summary there are several different types of access rights:
1. ACL of the composite application (the ACL of the NSF that contains CA.XML). This defines whether you or not you can open the composite application
2. Page level "access" defined in the Composite Application Editor. This is not a security feature. You can define what pages a user sees but nothing is truly protected.
3. ACL of NSF components set as you currently have it
4. ACL of an Eclipse update site to protect globally whether a user can access Eclipse binaries. This is NOT an ACL for Eclipse components.
For more information on this subject refer to the Composite Application Editor online help and to the "Composite Applications in Notes" article on the Composite Application wiki (http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/compappwiki.nsf/dx/composite-applications-in-notes-benefits-and-technical-overview
For composite applications, logging features are available to help in determining application problems. For more information on troubleshooting and logging, refer to this article in the IBM Composite Applications wiki: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/compappwiki.nsf/dx/general-hints-and-tools-for-debugging-composite-applications
The IBM Support Assistant (see http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=475&context=SSKTWP&context=SSKTMJ&context=SSRNU3&context=SSRNUY&q1=%22support+assistant%22&uid=swg21273533&loc=en_US&cs=utf-8&lang=en
) is also a useful tool for troubleshooting.
Finding out more
This article also provides references to additional composite application deployment-related topics and as a result does not include detailed documentation on all of the topics covered in this article. For example, separate documentation explains how the Widget catalog can be used to manage and deploy client widgets including Eclipse components. For this information, refer to the "Deploying client plug-ins with widgets and the Widget Catalog" section of the Domino Administrator help (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/topic/com.ibm.help.domino.admin.doc/DOC/H_CLIENT_MGMNT_OVER.html
) and the "How to use a Notes widget to deploy a new plug-in to an existing Notes installation" Tech Note article (http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=899&uid=swg21305829
There is also separate documentation on how you can install custom components as part of the Notes installer. Detailed information on this subjects can be found in the "Installing a new feature using the Notes install kit" topic and the "Customizing the Notes install kit to add or remove Eclipse features" section of the Domino Administrator help.
Separate documentation is available on using NSF based update sites to store Eclipse components in NSFs. Refer to the "Creating and using an NSF-based update site" topic of the "Managing client plug-in deployment" section of the Domino Administrator help (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/topic/com.ibm.help.domino.admin.doc/DOC/H_USING_AN_NSF_BASED_UPDATE_SITE_OVER.html
). Refer also to "Configuring component update for composite applications" (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/domhelp/v8r0/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.help.domino.admin.doc/DOC/H_ENABLING_COMPONENT_PROVISIONING_USING_HTTP_OR_NRPC_1324_OVER.html
Finally, the end of this article provides an "Additional information" section to help you find out even more on new concepts that you may not be familiar with when working with composite applications.
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