A design elements overview
Table of contents
The Domino application design is composed of several different types of design elements, each one with a different function over an application. In this section, we discuss the design elements that are available on the Web with Domino Designer Release 8.
is an element that displays a set of frames that enables designers to improve the usage of the users' screen. A frame
is a small portion of a frameset that is used to display a design component in a specific space of the application screen. By using framesets, designers can create relationships between frames, combining navigation, linking and data display on a same screen. The frameset design element allows designers with no experience on HTML to create Web site framesets in an intuitive tool. For more information, refer to Frameset design elements
Pages are the best design available in Domino Designer to display information for the user. With pages, designers can store rich text data, including images and formatted text, and some programmatic components, including buttons and actions. In a Web environment, programmers can take advantage of the available rich text converter, which translates the Notes design entered on a body into HTML. For more information, refer to Page design elements
Just like pages, forms enable designers to display information on a page. Everything that can be done with a page can be done with a form. Between forms and pages, forms allow the collection of data of the unique information from the user. To achieve data storage, forms offers a variety of fields of different data types, each of them representing a column in the Lotus Notes database model. When working on the Web, Lotus Domino creates the proper HTML tags for fields and forms on its pages automatically, enabling programmers to code applications much faster. Using forms also enables running several event driven computations. For more information, refer to Form design elements
Views are the most used way to allow users to navigate into applications' data collected on forms. They are basically used to display a selection of documents from a Lotus Notes database. Views can be sorted, customized and searched. On the Web, views can be formatted in template forms to allow user interaction, search and navigation over the database records. For more information, refer to View design elements
Folders are containers that store documents. From the design point of view, folders are similar to views. The main difference between views and folders is that views have a selection of documents, while a folder remains empty until a set of records is moved to it. Folders can be used to display database data on the Web just like views. For more information, refer to Folder design elements
Agents are Lotus Notes programs that can run a variety of computations. They run from several application-based events, from user triggered events to scheduled tasks. Agents can do simple tasks, from moving database data, to running complex computation like running Java programs. Agents can be called on several background tasks on the Web, including on forms events and using Domino URLs with arguments. For more information, refer to Agent design elements
A Web service is a self-contained, self-describing, modular application, based on XML, that can be published to and invoked from the Web. Lotus Domino Web Services are based on the WSDL language and SOAP protocol W3C standards. By using Web Services, programmers can modularize enterprise services in a standardized programming model, reducing application maintenance effort and improving reuse.
On Lotus Domino release 8, programmers can also create Web Services consumers to use available Web Services implementations from the Lotus Domino Designer IDE. For more information, refer to Web service design elements.
Outlines are simpler to implement navigation on a Lotus Notes application. By using an outline, designers can allow user to access key functionalities from their applications on an intuitive navigation model. Outlines can have diverse entries and can be embedded in pages and forms. Outlines can be also placed in framesets, improving the usage of an application screen. On the Web, outlines help programmers promote navigation and action invoking without needing HTML experience. For more information, refer to [outlines].
You can designate many items, such as graphics, fields, subforms, and even programs, as shared resources. Shared resources allow simple access to a set of code used repeatedly over an application, enabling reuse and reducing the application maintenance effort. In the following sections, we discuss the shared resources that are available on a notes application.
Image resources are graphic files that can be used across a Lotus Domino application. The use of image resources helps application standardization and reduces the database file size by preventing the usage of repeated images files across an application. Image resources can be invoked on the Web by using embedding through Domino URLs. For more information, refer to Image resource design elements.
Shared fields have their properties defined in an unique field design, and reused across the database in any form or subform. The use of shared fields helps to reduce the effort on application maintenance. Shared fields can be used in conjunction with a variety of reserved fields on the Web to help Web-pages programming and look and feel, including
tags definition and current session information through CGI variables. For more information, refer to Shared field design elements
Non-NSF file resources
Non-NSF file resources allow programmers to host non-Notes binary files in an NSF database for any kind of usage. These resources are also available on the Web through Domino URLs, by allowing programmers to host Web components, such as animations and plug-ins on a central repository, just like a common Web server file system. For more information, refer to [Non-NSF file resources].
A subform is a collection of designs, such as fields, graphics, buttons, and actions that a designer may reuse in more than one form. They can be invoked programmatically depending on a document or environment property. Subforms can be used on the Web to hold different sections of a page, just like other server-side scripting languages like PHP or Microsoft ASP includes. For more information, refer to Subforms design elements.
Shared Java files
For big Java applets using various files, it is most efficient to store some of the related files as shared resources in the database. When setting up files as shared resources, all the applets can use a single copy of a file, instead of each applet storing its own copy. Therefore, in case of an update, only one file is updated. For more information, refer to Applet design elements.
Shared actions can be used on forms, subforms, pages, and folders of views that have common user activated tasks. On the Web, shared actions can be displayed using HTML or Java applets. For more information, refer to [shared actions].
Cascading style sheets
Cascading style sheets (CSS) can be hosted on a Domino environment for Web pages design information. For more information, refer to Styles and CSS primer.
Composite applications are aggregations of multiple components brought together for a business purpose. Composite applications can be used on a Domino Web application to bring "portalization", and enabling the use of "portlet" like components. For more information, refer to [composite application components].
Navigators are graphical components that help users navigate through specific parts of an application. Navigators are not a recommended design element for Web applications, since they were surpassed by other components that bring better and more efficient results. For more information, refer to [navigators].