Domino in a Nutshell

Yesterday's discussion got me thinking even more about what a non-Domino web developer needs to know about Domino before designing for it.

What I think I might do if I get the chance is sit with the clearleft guys and give them a quick ten minute introduction to Domino Designer. In this time I should be able to:

  1. Create a blank database
  2. Add a new form with some fields of varying types and a Submit button
  3. Preview this form in the browser (and maybe the Notes client?)
  4. Submit the document.
  5. Create a basic view to show the documents.
  6. Preview the view in the browser.
  7. Open the document we just created, edit it and submit the changes.
  8. Discuss the HTML produced and show how to override it with PassThru.

I don't doubt they will be initially impressed by how quickly I created a working interactive website. Even more so if I show them things like the ACL and Full Text searching. My aim is not to impress them though. I merely want them to know what they need to know.

To that end I have started work on a CodeStore Wiki page called Domino in a Nutshell. In it I hope we will be able to provide a concise introduction to Domino for other web developers. Hopefully it will make a good reference for others in the future.

Can you help? Yes. If you've got some spare time today add whatever you like to this page. Don't be scared of it. You just click edit, make a change and press save.


  1. In you presentation I might also mention the role of the agent in opening, saving, and other events. Maybe also a quick show of the ReadViewEntries parameter to generate xml out of the box.

    BTW, cool idea on the WIKI. I have a document like that somewhere in my archives that might be able to add something.

  2. Jake,

    Add another section to the article.

    The Benefits of Domino

    Also might be worth expanding a section on the Architecture and security. Don't forgot the underlying data (the documents) are not related to the forms. Notes has always allowed the separation of data from the presentation.

  3. Ok just figured out how to add a new section.

  4. I'd like to add some graphics but it seems upload is disabled (?) Could you switch it on for logged in users?

    :-) stw

  5. Jake, I've enjoyed you site for quite a while and find it very informative. This article is a great idea. One thing I'd like to see (or find elsewhere) is an explanation of the importance of the Lotus Notes Administrator. I have 12 years of Notes / Domino development experience, and have worked closely with the Admins at previous employers. At my current employer, we do not have a Notes Admin; I am stuck doing account maintenance. Members of the server team are doing the Notes server maintenance, but they have no idea of running scheduled processes to ensure efficient server performance; ie. db compaction, performance monitering, etc. I know just enough to make the suggestions, but they're not taken seriously. It is frustrating when the company wants Notes to grow here, but is not capable of understanding that you need both Admins and Developers.


  6. They won't necessarily be that impressed with the speed of it all if they've seen Ruby on Rails :) Well, maybe the ACL / Security stuff..

  7. You're kidding, right, Marcin? RoR is nowhere near as fast as File->Database->New, adding a couple of fields and a submit button to a new form, adding the same fields to a new view (and adding @Command([Compose]) to an action on the view), adding Anonymous as Author to an ACL and previewing in the browser from Designer. You can even leave the $$Return off of the form if you make the target for the compose action _blank for purposes of the initial demo. At the very most basic level of all, creating a simple interactive application in Domino takes well under five minutes -- and that's if you have to take the time to explain what you're doing as you do it. In that five minutes, you have created an input/display structure, navigation, defined your storage, added a search facility and "secured" the application (as far as one can do security without a proper Domino server). Sure, the resulting app doesn't do much and it looks like hell, but that's all you need to do to create a working app from the ground up. RoR may not be like J2EE with Notepad and the JDK, but it's nothing like vanilla Designer, either.

Your Comments


About This Page

Written by Jake Howlett on Fri 11 Nov 2005

Share This Page

# ( ) '


The most recent comments added:

Skip to the comments or add your own.

You can subscribe to an individual RSS feed of comments on this entry.

Let's Get Social

About This Website

CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

You can find me on Twitter and on Linked In.

Read more about this site »


Here are the external links posted on the same day.

More links are available in the archive »

More Content