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Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way
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Start Your Notes App the SuperNTF Way

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Presented by Kevin Pettitt at ILUG 2008 in Dublin, June 2008. …

Presented by Kevin Pettitt at ILUG 2008 in Dublin, June 2008.

SuperNTF is the open-source Notes client application framework built from the ground up to enable even novice developers to embrace coding best practices. No more customized discussion databases! The feature-rich yet uncomplicated design of this template encourage wide adoption, enabling you to promote coding standards across your organization. Even advanced developers will find plenty of features to cherry pick for use in other applications. From integrated help and error handling to getting soft deletions right and providing an alternate "dashboard" interface, SuperNTF makes it easy to look like you're working hard. The session will also offer an in-depth review of the template’s advanced features for user activity and field change tracking, configuration, and data reporting/exporting, and show you how to inject new life into existing apps, or provide a strong foundation for new ones.

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  • 1. Starting Your Application the SuperNTF Way Kevin Pettitt
  • 2. Your Host for Today’s Session … Kevin Pettitt President LotusGuru Consulting Independent Consultant Developer, Admin, Architect Blog: www.lotusguru.com 2
  • 3. What Is SuperNTF?  Generic starter application template that isn’t “-blank-”  Notes Client application framework designed for easy understanding to encourage wide adoption  Built from the ground up with the goal of making development best practice easy for even novice Notes developers  Fusion of many other open source projects 3
  • 4. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 4
  • 5. In the Beginning, There Was -Blank-  And it really was “blank”  Next step - Doc Library or Discussion template – Just to have some code to start  Advanced developers created their own “common design elements” – Great for reusing code among many applications – Problem: Only they understood how it worked 5
  • 6. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 6
  • 7. Design Standards – Huh?  Notes is a very “approachable” development platform – Any decent spreadsheet jock can whip up a Notes database  limited skills hinder code standardization efforts  It takes time and effort to enforce standards  Only way way to achieve some level of coding standards for novice developers – Make it EASY to do things “right” without thinking 7
  • 8. Key Benefits of Standardized Code  No more reinventing the wheel – Unless it’s a better wheel  Commonly used routines are readily available  Easier to troubleshoot, maintain, and enhance – Especially when the standard code has been more rigorously tested than any one application  The next developer to touch the app won't curse your name 8
  • 9. What Is an Application Framework?  A basic template for jumpstarting a new application  A collection of generic design elements useful in any kind of application  A way to standardize the “plumbing” of all your custom Notes applications  Everything *except* what makes the application unique 9
  • 10. Framework Pitfalls  Often developed organically over time by single developer – Thoughts of having others use the framework may not take hold until after most of it is built – Only that developer understands the “quirks” – Steep learning curve for others without that developer on the team  Tendency toward complexity – Time spent “improving” the framework may actually detract from others’ ability to maintain code later – The more tightly integrated it gets the easier it is to break 10
  • 11. What Makes SuperNTF Different?  Conceived with ease of understanding in mind – Novices can create nice looking applications without quot;breakingquot; something  Design goal: Make it easy to follow and thereby gain wide adoption – Low learning curve also helps intermediate and advanced developers ability to customize and extend more easily – Code is written for readability – elegance over complexity  Designed to facilitate quot;cherry pickingquot; code – Many individual pieces can be copied and reused in other applications and still work – Copying elements with their dependencies will be made easier in the future 11
  • 12. Meet the SuperNTF Team  Head of R&D: Kevin Pettitt – aka quot;Robbery and Deploymentquot;  With contributions from: The Domino community – No one has a monopoly on best practice ideas – Most borrowed code reworked significantly to adhere to SuperNTF simplicity standards  New quot;volunteersquot; all the time as more great ideas appear 12
  • 13. So How Simple Is “Simple”?  Simple doesn’t mean boring – There are still lots of cool features, as you will see – Significant attention was paid to offering an attractive default UI design  Many advanced functions are “black boxed” – Eliminates the need to manipulate truly complex code (although you still can if you want) – High degree of configurability further minimizes need to touch code 13
  • 14. Agenda …  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 14
  • 15. Key Navigation Elements  Separate frameset for normal use… 15
  • 16. Key Navigation Elements  …and for administrative functions 16
  • 17. Key Navigation Elements  Standard action bar in separate frame – Eliminates need for most typical view actions – Leaves room for a descriptive view title – Actions show only when appropriate (e.g., “Search” only visible if database is full-text indexed)  Administration panel logically organized – Configuration – Logging – Cool Design Views – Utility views (e.g., Design element views, All Documents) 17
  • 18. Alternate “Dashboard” Interface  Content of each tab is configurable  Double-clicking on preview opens document fully 18
  • 19. Centralized Form Configuration 19
  • 20. Centralized Form Configuration (cont.)  Each application-specific form has its own “configuration” document  Controls which form features are enabled – Shared Actions – (e.g., Edit, Save & Close, etc.) – Validation – edit a form-wide formula right on the form config. – User Activity Tracking – who read/edited what and when – Field Change History – what did they change and when – Comments – user feedback mechanism 20
  • 21. View Configuration  Set the View “Header Title”  Configure “Help” and “New Document” behavior 21
  • 22. User Activity Tracking – Summary  Keeps a running history of every time a document is READ or EDITED  Saves each record as a separate document – Can be easily tabulated and sorted in views – Allows user to “jump” directly to the source document 22
  • 23. User Activity Tracking  Consolidated Activity History 23
  • 24. User Activity Tracking  Current Document 24
  • 25. User Activity Tracking – Dashboard Reports  At-a-glance view to most active users and documents  Apply custom filters to highlight the specific information you want 25
  • 26. Field Change History  Form config specifies which form fields to track – Also assign user-friendly field labels 26
  • 27. Field Change History (cont.)  All changes to target fields are recorded in a single rich-text field – Change history dialog accessed via action button 27
  • 28. OpenLog Used for Error and Event Logging 28
  • 29. Integrated Help  Create help documents within the application  Link them to specific forms and views via configuration 29
  • 30. Integrated Help (cont.)  Press F1 to pull up the relevant help document 30
  • 31. Exporting Data – The Quick and Simple Way  View actions export all or selected docs  Use column naming “trick” to … – Get categorized column titles to appear – Omit specific columns from export 31
  • 32. Exporting Data – The Structured and Repeatable Way  Integrated with the OpenNTF ASND Export Facility 32
  • 33. Soft Deletions Work!  No matter how you delete a document – Press <Delete> key at document or view level – Cut document(s) from a view – Drag to Trash – From “Delete” action in document or view  Confirmation warning always appears 33
  • 34. Soft Deletions Work! (cont.)  Easily restore some or all deleted documents  Configure deletion purge interval in main DB configuration 34
  • 35. Design Views 35
  • 36. Design Views (cont.)  Yes, that’s right, you’re seeing design elements in regular views! – Made possible via the $FormulaClass “hack” – Allows ALL design elements to appear in a single view – Includes action button to “clean” the design elements (i.e., remove old $UpdatedBy entries and re-sign them)  Other variations show – All image resources with image preview – All fields and subforms listed by form(s) where they appear  Views can be copied to any other database to provide instant value 36
  • 37. Icons, Icons, Everywhere  Outline entry and action icons used throughout to provide visual cues to associated function  Many include mouse-over animations – Further improves visual cue of mouse position – Injects a little fun into the application, which users love  All images can be previewed in the “Images Preview” design element view 37
  • 38. All Documents View  Shows all docs in the database grouped by form name  Useful for finding “lost” docs, the “last” one edited, or the 300 customer documents you accidentally pasted 38
  • 39. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 39 39
  • 40. So What’s It Look Like Under the Hood?  It’s not a Ferrari, but then you wouldn’t let your rookie mechanic work on it if it were that complicated  It is, however … – Cleanly designed – Easy to work on without “breaking” anything – Individual parts are clearly identifiable – Yet still highly functional with lots of cool features 40
  • 41. A Code Tour of SuperNTF 41
  • 42. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 42 42
  • 43. Creating a “SuperNTF” View  Shortcut: create a new view based on one of the demo views – Easy way to get actions that are the “hooks” into the view configuration  Customize columns, row colors, etc., as desired  Display view into the outline and open it  Click – Any guesses what that does ?  Fill out the view configuration – You may need to come back after creating a form to change the “New Document” behavior 43
  • 44. Creating a “SuperNTF” Form  All the “hooks” into the configuration are encapsulated in two subforms – SYSTEM - Standard Hidden Form Header – SYSTEM - Standard Hidden Form Footer  Just a few other details – “Form” field – set to form alias – Window title: @If(@IsNewDoc; quot;New Documentquot;; WindowTitle) – Turn off the create menu – PLEASE!  Tie the form into one or more views  Compose a document and click 44
  • 45. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 45 45
  • 46. Basics of Overhauling Existing Application  Add SuperNTF design elements to existing application – Or for very simple examples, copy the key elements into a “blank” SuperNTF database  Migrate views to new design – Remove unnecessary actions – Add Standard SuperNTF Actions – Update column fonts – Ytria Tools make this dead easy  Add standard SuperNTF subforms to key forms – Configure the enabled features for each form 46
  • 47. Agenda…  A brief history of File – Database – New  Overview of standards and frameworks  SuperNTF feature walkthrough  What’s under the hood  Creating a new application  Overhauling an existing application  Final Word 47 47
  • 48. Resources  Download SuperNTF – www.superntf.org  My Blog: www.lotusguru.com – Includes many articles pertaining to SuperNTF, including upcoming features  SuperNTF IdeaJam? – Stay tuned  48 48
  • 49. Parting Thoughts  Coding standards will only gain wide adoption if they are easy to learn and use – And what use is a “standard” no one uses? – Even experienced developers will appreciate the freedom to focus on application logic  Cool things to do with SuperNTF – Give power users more power without giving yourself more headache – Give older apps a professional facelift  Sharing is good! – Please share your good ideas and useful SuperNTF customizations 49
  • 50. Sharing is Good  Sharing is good! – Please share your good ideas and useful SuperNTF customizations 50

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