Before any of you start complaining, I'll warn you now, there's probably going to be quite a bit of PHP talk on this site in the coming months. After all, enough of you seem interested to warrant it.

Those of you who followed my six-part series of articles, which attempted to introduce LAMP from a Domino perspective, will know it ended with a lot still to be covered. All of the things we take for granted in Domino - registering and authenticating users, ACLs, uploading files, full-text searching etc.

What I will try my hardest to do is not slate Domino while talking about PHP. Instead of pointing out how great PHP is because it can do things Domino can't I'll try and keep a level perspective. Domino does things PHP can't (most of the time a lot easier too) and LAMP can do things we only dream of as Domino developers. All I want to do is make you aware of the other world out there.

As if to prove a point, see how much basic functionality is missing from the PHP Journal template. Simple things in Domino, like the search. Things I've held back for the "Advanced" LAMP series. Let's see how long it takes us to get it to the point where it has all the features of its Domino counterpart.


    • avatar
    • mt69clp
    • Thu 26 Feb 2004 10:28

    Hi Jake,

    it does not really fit to LAMP but I just saw a really stylish Notes site. It is in german, but there is a nice navigation made with JavaScript and cool xtras on it:


  1. I have jumped on the PHP bandwagon too.

    clickInvites is a hybrid of web and Notes. Our goal is to increase HTTP performance and add functions like creating graphic image previews with FreeType/GD.

    Because we use e-mail as our main form of communication with our customers, I may keep our work flow based in Notes but I haven't decided yet.

    There seems to be a lot of PHP resources available, so when I need to tweak something, I can outsource it.

    Now having said all of this, I do enjoy the conveniences of Lotus Notes. Also, it will be a year before we implement these changes.

    • avatar
    • mt69clp
    • Thu 26 Feb 2004 11:12

    I bet you never get the PHP journal so damned slow like the journal.nsf !!!

    (excuse my negative comment but I am fighting against Lotus Workflow and its flaws the whole day, object variable not set etc. )

  2. mt69clp, no disrespect, but you call that a stylish website? I think there's loads of better stuff out there. With some minor measures, you can create any website you want, as pretty as you want, with Domino. I'm trying to prove this by building an xhtml compliant new blog template. Well, I'm not proving its pretty, but that it could be ;)

    I feel with you on Lotus Workflow, it's a complete blackbox. Knowledge is hard to find, etc. If you ever want to collaborate on it, feel free to drop me a line.


  3. Jake,

    A couple of things.

    I have just reimaged my laptop and in trying to add your RSS feed to RSSBandit, my feed reader, it is refusing to validate. I have checked it on feedvalidator and it is complaining about the ampersand in your Domino & Apache blog title.

    Also to add my two pennies worth to the PHP debate... As a Domino developer who has moved to being a rapid application developer. (Thats the fancy title our company gives to people who are jacks of lots of technologies but masters of none). I have had the opportunity to play with Java, IIS and PHP technologies in building projects. I have to say that whilst PHP is nice and easy to use. I have settled to use Java as my technology of choice.

    I initially used Struts but have moved to use WebWork, this is a framework provided by the opensymphony project. When this is coupled with an object relational bridge tool such as Hibernate. A large number of modules that make up a site can be abstracted out and used again and again.

    Having used it on quite a few projects now and having built up a portfolio of these components I find the speed of development is almost approaching what can be achieved with Domino. Plus by its nature, it is very scalable and if you don't like how a bit of the framework works you can just change it!

    Anyways, that is a bit of a rant, just thought I would share my experiences.


    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Fri 27 Feb 2004 04:43

    Thanks for the bug find Jason (I'll try and fix it now). Appreciate the rant too. If you want to rant some more, I'm sure we could do with some articles on using Struts or Java in general...

  4. I really liked the articles on PHP and I think the LAMP platform would server very well for the smaller customers.

    An article on Struts/Java would be very cool since those technologies are more likely to appear on the Domino platform.

    • avatar
    • Tony
    • Wed 17 Aug 2005 06:34

    I've read this, and the PHP for Domino Developers articles, quite late in the day. The latter was a very good introduction to PHP for those new to it. I am really digging in to PHP/MySQL a lot at the moment for personal and business reasons. We have internal and web-facing Domino servers but have become disillusioned with the capabilities, or rather limitations, of Domino. IBM's J2EE U-turn (no JSP support) with Domino 6 forced us to move our extranet from Domino 5 to WebSphere, and my Java coding changed from Domino agents to MVC using Struts/Tiles etc. on WSAS.

    The reason I came across your articles was that we are on the edge of ripping out Domino as our public web server and replacing it with Apache. I was looking to see if there was any way to _EASILY_ integrate PHP with Domino, i.e. use PHP for form building and write the data to a Notes db for secure replication back through the firewall. No joy. Therefore the only options for good solid website templating is Struts on WebSphere or PHP on Apache. (Yes, I am ignoring ASP on IIS... ;-) I know that I can use subforms etc. to, kind of, provide site templating, but it isn't good. The skills are far too esoteric. Need to hire a web developer? No problem. Need a web developer _for Domino_? That's a different story.

    I've been a Notes/Domino developer/admin for 8-9 years, so have enjoyed much of what it has had to offer. But things have moved on and I just struggle to see where Domino's place in the web world really is now. It still rules as a fat client-based groupware server - we will keep Notes - but for the Internet....? It just doesn't seem to fit any more. Is anyone else feeling this?

    So, in short, it's bye bye Domino for web development and hello PHP. As a business we need access to a deeper reservoir of skills and, frankly, Domino is just way too esoteric. If we have to write pass-through HTML to get a Domino form to behave we might as well write PHP; it's faster, more flexible and it's easier to train internal staff. And the MySQL skills overlap with Oracle and DB2.

    If you ever move more towards PHP, please create a Codestore site for PHP developers. I'll be there!


    P.S. I'm not denegrating your work on Codestore; it's a superb site and has saved me on many occaisions.

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