Archive for the ‘Lotus Notes’ Category

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The Adventures of a Notes Developer In The World Of ColdFusion I

January 28, 2009

My readers might remember that a few months back, I moved from my previous position as a Notes Developer to a different role with a different, more general name – Application Developer.

Now one of the perks of this new role, is that in fact our team develops in many different programming languages, so I get to learn new things and still have the chance to work on Lotus Notes, aka my “comfort zone”.  In the past few weeks I’ve fought my way into the lovely world of SQL and Stored Procedures (in Microsoft SQL Server, unfortunately), but this week I found this totally new cup of tea called ColdFusion.

“Isn’t ColdFusion dead?” I hear some voices asking. Yeah I probably asked the same a couple years back, and shame on me, since I hate it when I am asked “Isn’t Notes dead?”. ColdFusion is actually in the hands of the much able Adobe, so it is definitely pretty much alive and kicking.

Back to the topic at hand: even though a good programmer should be able to assimilate a different programming language with no issues, there’s clearly a period of “adaptation”, or “learning” if you so prefer, in which barriers are found every 5 minutes and solutions every other 5. And of course, is there anything that feels better, development-wise, than those “Ah so that’s how this works!” moments?

So I decided to share this journey with you (thanks for the encouragement Simon!). I don’t want to make this extremely technical or extremely detailed, as I don’t want to make it amusing for experienced ColdFusion developers, or frustrating for Notes developers who never tried ColdFusion. I want however to share the experiences/frustrations/gotchas as I go along and hope that, besides the potentially interesting reading, some other developers, Notes or not, might actually benefit from my musings if they ever find themselves in shoes similar to mine.

Now please excuse me while I go hammer the CFEclipse configuration a bit more…

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A new chapter

September 25, 2008

I thought of many different ways of writing this post but, in the end, I decided to just get to the point.

Many of you who attended ILUG 2007 and 2008 might remember seeing me with fellow co-worker Sean Donohue. Even though we both lead teams of Notes Developers for the same company, we work in different organizations. And even though we often exchanged ideas and questions, we never really worked together before.

That’s changing soon, as I have accepted a position as a Senior Application Developer on Sean’s team. I am looking forward to this for many reasons (not all of them relevant to this blog) so you may see me smiling more often now 😉

On a sidenote, this position used to belong to famous Notes Developer John Coolidge. So I’m sure the expectations are high, and I hope to live up to them!

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I’m part of the GONAD

August 3, 2008

It is with great joy and with a voice trembling of emotion, that I announce that I am now a member of the  GONAD – Geeky Order of Notes Admins and Developers:

I’m guessing I’m probably the only user registered on the Galway/Ireland/GONAD domain! 😉

Thanks Steve for this great idea and the fantastic certificate!

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ILUG 2008

June 10, 2008

Last week I was at the Irish Lotus User Group! Besides the magnificent sessions, it was great to meet some great people I already knew, and some others that I didn’t.

The organizers were, as usual, fantastic. I don’t know how they make it. Thanks folks!

I’ll also add a few notes as they spring to mind:

Ed says IBM still won’t invest on TV advertisements for Notes. Disappointing.

– Another great session by Rob, the Dojo techniques were amazing (no I didn’t drink my free beer 😉 )

– As Steve already mentioned on his blog, hats off to Ben and Mark for their great Eclipse session

– I got a LS2008 staff shirt from Mary-Beth. Thank you!

– Despite the green hair, Bill is still a fantastic speaker 😉

– Found yet another Notes and Ubuntu fan

– (… possibly more to come after I wake up properly and my memory returns!)

Cya all next year!

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Dynamically loading subforms

April 17, 2008

I’m sure many Notes developers have gone through this problem before: “I want to load a different subform after the form is loaded”. Unfortunately, Notes doesn’t let you do that, and so ways have to be found around this… layers, hide/whens, sections, programmatic tables, etc.

But let’s say you reeeeaallllyyy want to dynamically load a subform, for example, when the user selects a value from a dropdown box. Here’s a way of doing it, supposing the default subform is “sfm_Default” and the subform you want to load comes from that dropdown box.

1. Make your computed subform take the value of whatever’s on a computed field (called for example fld_WhichSubform)

2. Put the following code on a button that should be called (via JS for example) when the dropdown box (called for example fld_DropDown) value changes:

@SetProfileField( “fm_FakeProfile”; “fld_PSubForm”; fld_DropDown; @UserName );
@Command( [ViewSwitchForm] ; Form )

(Any unique key that will correctly identify the document will do for the @SetProfileField. @Username is but a suggestion, @text( @DocumentUniqueID ) could be used as well)

3. Give the following formula to your fld_WhichSubform computed field:

x := @GetProfileField( “fm_FakeProfile” ; “fld_PSubform”; @text( @DocumentUniqueID ) );
@If( @IsError( x ) | x = “” ; “sfm_Default”; x )

This is but a simple example, and more interesting/complex things can be done with it.

Note: for this method to work, the document has to be saved. A @Command( [FileSave] ) before the ViewSwitchForm might be necessary in some circumstances.

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My story with Lotus Notes

April 8, 2008

Some of you might wonder why I mentioned “Collaboration” on the “About” page of this blog.

A huge percentage of my worklife has been dedicated to a collaboration platform called Lotus Notes. How did that happen? Well recently there has been a meme/trend going

around in the Lotus Notes community with many bloggers mentioning how they got into this same bandwagon, so I guess it’s my turn

Flashback to my homecountry, Portugal, in 2000 or so, I was in college studying Computer Science, and we had a “course” on the 4th year which involved doing a project for a

company. Of all the companies we could choose, I picked one called Salvador Caetano IMVT (one of the biggest portuguese privately held companies) that was really close to my

wife’s work and acceptably close from home.

So Salvador Caetano at the time had two available projects, one for SAP and another for Lotus Notes. Someone from the inside advised me that the Lotus Notes project was more

interesting so I took it on. Now as you all know, “Lotus Notes” is not something you hear about in college, so I bought a book about it and started to read.

So I started in December 2000 getting some training in Lotus Notes 5 (although the company was finishing it’s upgrade from, iirc, 4.6.1) and started the project soon after, the

design of a workflow application for computer hardware purchasing based on application requirements. Besides working on this project, and since the existing Notes team in the

company was composed of one person only, I soon started to assist him in Notes Administration issues as well.

The project ended in mid-2001 and the company liked my work, so they hired me for a 3 year contract as a Notes Developer and Admin.

After those 3 years, I moved to a consulting company called Artsecrets TI, a small software house that sold both IBM and Microsoft products. Despite the constant running around, I found the work as a consultant very rewarding, as I got exposed to different systems and solutions every day from different customers, so although most of my work at Artsecrets was done as a Notes Developer (mostly R5, but some ND6 as well), I had the chance to use other tools and application platforms as well.

After some time I decided to seek Fame, Fortune and Glory (OK, not really, just some better quality of life) outside of Portugal so I ended up accepting a position of a Lotus Notes Programmer Analyst at APC (now Schneider Electric). Things have been working well for me here and after less than two years I’ve gotten a promotion to Team Leader – which means I don’t have as much time as I’d like to look into the technical side of Notes since I have to look at metrics and task assigments and…  but ah well, I can’t complain. 🙂

So for those that didn’t know me, here’s my story with Collaboration and Lotus Notes.  I still look at Notes as a kick-ass appdev platform, so hopefully I’ll be able to in the future use this blog to occasionally participate on Show and Tell Thursdays (SnTT’s) with some nifty Notes Dev tips

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Welcome to my Playroom!

February 18, 2008

Welcome to the first post on Playroom 3!

So what’s this blog about? When I started dabbling in the mystical arts of HTML back in 1994, I created the Playroom, which was a really rudimentary/noobish web page.

A few years after, the Playroom 2 came to life. My University page, which covered mostly my hobbies at the time.

Fast forward into the Web 2.0 era, and a blog seems to be the best way to recreate the Playroom. So the Playroom 3 will cover both technologies (Gadgets, IT, software development, Collaboration…) and hobbies (Boardgames, Reading, collecting…).

So, “welcome to my parlour…” 🙂