Spotlight on design & usability enhancements introduced in Domino Designer 8.5.2Added by Joy Freeman | Edited by Joy Freeman on November 17, 2010 | Version 4
|This article provides highlights and screenshots of several design and usability enhancements introduced in Domino Designer 8.5.2.
This article provides highlights and screenshots of several design and usability enhancements introduced in Domino Designer 8.5.2. You can find the complete list in the What's new in Domino Designer 8.5.2
Enhancements in Domino Designer
Data type recognition
Starting with Domino Designer 8.5.2, XPage data tooling will automatically recognize the following types of fields: Rich text, Number, Date, Time, and Date/Time. For these fields the appropriate XPages controls and converters will automatically generate during a drop action from the Data Palette.
Once dropped onto an XPage, the field's type is easily distinguishable based on design-time visualization. For example, in the following picture you can easily determine that "From" is a Text field, "CreatedOn" is a Date field, and "MainID" is a number field.
Improved version awareness for design elements
Directly on main Properties panels you can view which version of Designer was used to last save any design element. Prior to 8.5.2 this information was accessible only by viewing the $DesignerVersion field.
Data Palette control re-ordering
You now have the ability to re-order controls when you drag them from the Data Palette.
New control support
Starting in 8.5.2, Domino Designer provides full design-time support for both Check Box Group and Radio Button Group controls
Drag & Drop in Source mode
The XPages editor now supports dragging and dropping items from the Controls Palette and the Data palette to the XPage editor when in Source mode:
Minimum Supported Release property
On the XPages tab of Application Properties, you can specify the minimum Notes & Domino version allowed to run your XPages. This functionality allows application designers to decide in advance which Notes & Domino versions they are willing to support.
If the application in question uses functionality not supported on a particular version, then Domino Designer will mark the XPage in question with an error noting the control or attribute that is not supported by that version.
A new dialog for opening applications is introduced in Domino Designer 8.5.2. This new dialog incorporates several updates and usability improvement, including the following:
- the ability to filter user lists of servers,
- simultaneously display both the name and title of an application, and
- add an application to a Working Set during the open application operation
Define default language for scriptable design elements
With the introduction of the Eclipse based LotusScript and Java editors in 8.5.1 users are no longer able to change the language of scriptable design elements after the design element is created. That is to say if you create an agent of type Formula it is not possible to change that agent to use LotusScript without deleting and recreating the design element. In Domino Designer 8.5.2 this behavior remains, but there is now a preference that allows users to define which scripting language they prefer to use when creating these types of design elements. This preference determines which language the new design element will default to when creating a new design element of that type.
The user can always choose to change the language before creating the design element. This preference just determines the default language.
Working set improvements
It is now possible for users to get prompted as a database is opening to determine which working set an application is being added to. The user can configure this behavior based on his/her Domino Designer preferences:
If the user chooses to be prompted, then each time an application is opened that is not already in a working set the user will be presented with the following dialog which will allow him/her to place the application into a working set if that is desirable.
It is also now possible to remove an application from a working set without removing the application entirely from the navigator. Applications can be removed from a working set via the context menu:
Pass-thru HTML editor
The Pass-Thru HTML editing experience for classic design elements has been vastly improved by the addition of a new HTML Editor dialog that provides full HTML editing support including syntax coloring, content assist and tag hierarchy outline. This editor can be accessed for any pass-thru HTML:
It is now possible to sign all of the design elements in an application via the Domino Designer Navigator's context menu or from the main File menu. It is also possible to add and remove applications to/from a working set from the context menu:
Application Icon updates
The database icon now supports gif, jpeg, png and bitmap icons as opposed to 16 color icons as were supported in the past. The database icon can now be any gif, jpeg, png or bitmap image so long as the image conforms to the size requirement laid out in the database icon editor (32 pixels x 32 pixels).
NOTE: The new image is supported only in the Notes 8.5.2 and later. In prior releases the classic 16-color icon will be used.
Data source updates
The Domino View data source properties panels have been updated to provide easy access to several existing attributes.
Filter by category name - allows the designer to filter the results returned by a Domino View data source based on the name of a category within the view.
Filter by column value - allows the Domino View data source to only return results consistent with a value in a sorted column.
Exact match - forces the data source to ensure that the results returned by the "Filter by column value" field are an exact match.
Search in view results - allows you to search the contents of the view panel control based on the value of this attribute. The attribute of course may be computed.
Sort column - allows the designer to sort the view data based on the sort order of one of the columns in the view:
On the Data Source: Domino Document dialog the "Run form validation" field allows you to specify when you would like form level validation performed on the Domino Document. Specifying this attribute calls the computeWithForm back-end function on the document object:
Enhancements in XPages, Composite Apps, & LotusScript Editor
Design-time support for additional page resources
The XPages editor now supports adding various resources at the page level for XPages.
The new supported resource types:
- Dojo Modules
- Linked Resources
- Resource Bundles
- Style Sheets
Extended Content Assist support
You now have the ability to assign a Dojo type and Dojo attribute to controls on an XPage via the Properties panel. A Properties panel is added to the list of property sheets for controls that support assignment of Dojo type and Dojo attributes.
XPages windows management in Notes
Some XPages controls have been updated to better support user expectations when running XPages in Notes. XPage navigation rules, Link controls, and View Panel controls have all been updated to provide support for opening a linked XPage in a new window or tab. You can find these settings at the following two places:
(1) via the Properties panel for a specific XPage, View Panel, or Link.
(2) via the Application Properties editor for all links and navigation rules within a particular application.
wiki article: What's new in XPages 8.5.2
wiki article: Lotus Domino Designer help updates for 8.5.2
technote: Open Mic Q&A: XPages & Domino Designer - August 18th, 2010 (#1433035)
About the author
This article was written by Dan O'Connor, a Software Engineer on the IBM Lotus Domino Designer UI team.