ILUG 2008 Templates, Templates Everywhere

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Presented by Kevin Pettitt and Bruce Elgort at the Irish Lotus User Group conference in Dublin, June 2008.

If you think the only application templates available for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino are the ones that are bundled with it (and even if you already know better) it's time you learned more about the many excellent free and open source Lotus Notes and Domino templates and where they come from. Join us for a fast-paced look at some of the best templates from OpenNTF.org, trade publications, bloggers, and other little known sources. While its easy to build your own applications in Lotus Notes, its even easier, and usually more rewarding, to build on top of someone else's. Whether you're a developer, admin, or both, you'll come away from this session ready to put these templates into action to become more productive, make your job easier, and impress your boss.

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ILUG 2008 Templates, Templates Everywhere

  1. 1. Templates, Templates Everywhere — If You Know Where to Look Kevin Pettitt Bruce Elgort
  2. 2. Your Hosts for Today's Session… Kevin Pettitt a.k.a Lotus Guru LotusGuru Consulting Developer, Admin, Architect Father of SuperNTF Blog: www.LotusGuru.com 2
  3. 3. Your Hosts for Today's Session… Bruce Elgort OpenNTF Co-Founder Taking Notes Podcast Idea Jam Show-N-Tell-Thursdays Mad Drummer Blogs: www.bruceelgort.com Contributing Editor: vowe.net 3
  4. 4. Things You Will Learn About Templates  There’s something for everyone – Developers, Admins, and yes, even end users!  Where to find the really good ones  How to get the most out of them  Tons of awesome ones are out there, both free and commercial – We're going to talk about free ones of course  4
  5. 5. Agenda …  Templates – The Basics  What does Lotus give us?  Where to find more?  Some of the best templates money can’t buy  The Final Word
  6. 6. “Hello Template, Haven’t We Met Before?”  Microsoft Word has *.dot  Microsoft Excel has *.xlt  PowerPoint has *.pot  Access has *.mdn  IBM Lotus and Domino have *.NTF 6
  7. 7. Quickr Uses Templates, Too (PlaceTypes Actually)  QActivities  QPresent  QAnnounce  QProject  QContacts  QSite  QIdeas  QSurvey  QIssues  QMeeting  QPhotos 7
  8. 8. Notes Templates 101 – A Review  Easy way to create IBM Lotus Notes and Domino applications  Easy to apply updates to an application – File  Application  Refresh Design – File  Application  Replace Design  Mass updates … 8
  9. 9. Agenda …  Templates – The basics  What does Lotus give us?  Where to find more?  Some of the best templates money can’t buy  Parting Thoughts 9
  10. 10. What Templates Come Out of the (Virtual) Box?  Personal Journal  TeamRoom  Document Library  Microsoft Office Library  Discussion  Domino Blog  DDM Template and other administrative templates  RSS Feed Generator 10
  11. 11. Discussion – Notes … 11
  12. 12. Discussion – Notes … and Web 12
  13. 13. Personal Journal – Notes 13
  14. 14. Document Library – Notes … 14
  15. 15. Document Library – Notes … and Web 15
  16. 16. TeamRoom – Notes … 16
  17. 17. TeamRoom – Notes … and Web 17
  18. 18. IBM Blog – Notes … 18
  19. 19. IBM Blog – Notes … Web 19
  20. 20. DDM – Domino Domain Monitor 20
  21. 21. DDM – Domino Domain Monitor 21
  22. 22. Agenda …  Templates – The basics  What does Lotus give us?  Where to find more?  Some of the best templates money can’t buy  The Final Word 22
  23. 23. Where to find more?  The extremely obvious – The developerWorks Lotus Sandbox – LDD Articles – OpenNTF  Not so obvious – The Lotus Community Blogs – Business Partners – both free and commercial – Journals – THE VIEW, Databased Advisor
  24. 24. The developerWorks Lotus Sandbox  The “original” place to download templates and other code  Not community-oriented  Not updated that often   IBM is placing code on OpenNTF 24
  25. 25. What Is Open Source Software?  Open source software is … – Software for which the underlying programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes – Free programs created through the collaborative efforts of programmers from around the world 25
  26. 26. The OpenNTF Site  Projects (240+) – Complete Applications – Application Components – And now Composite Applications  Code Bin (1,500+) – LotusScript – Java – JavaScript – @Formulas 26
  27. 27. Other Stuff on the OpenNTF Site  Application Catalog – Includes many non-OpenNTF but still free applications  RSS is everywhere – Use it to keep up with a projects, new template releases, new Code Bin submissions  Rate code and projects – Social Networking really works! 27
  28. 28. Seven-Step Program for Deploying Templates  Download a template  Sign the template – or better yet “clean” it  File  Database  New or File  Application  New (Notes 8)  Configure ACL  Configure application  Make customizations if you like (and because you can)  Use your new application 28
  29. 29. Not Everything Is Perfect …  Your mileage may vary …  Many templates lack documentation  Some have not been updated in a while  Some OpenNTF projects are “Rated” while others aren’t  Lack of screen shots and other collateral 29
  30. 30. Community Blogs  Ben Langhinrichs  Alan Bell  Codestore  Alan Lepofsky  Nathan Freeman  Mikkel Heisterberg  Matt White  Chris Blatnick  Ben Poole  Tim Tripcony  Rocky Oliver  Ulrich Krause  Jerry Carter  Chris Toohey  Julian Robichaux To name just a few … 30
  31. 31. Agenda …  Templates – The basics  What does Lotus give us?  Where to find more?  Some of the best templates money can’t buy  The Final Word 31
  32. 32. !! HELP !! 32
  33. 33. !! HELP !!  Head Chefs: Ulrich Krause, Thomas Schulte  Type: Complete Notes Client Application  What is it? – Help Desk application for IT support staff  What can I do with it? – Full-featured Help Desk application – Easily convert an email to a help ticket – Multi-lingual 33
  34. 34. IT Help Desk 34
  35. 35. IT Help Desk 35
  36. 36. IT Help Desk  Head Chef: Brian Green  Type: Complete Notes Client Application  What is it? – IT Help Desk  What can I do with it? – Full featured help desk This and other downloads: www.automatedlogic.com/domino 36
  37. 37. (e)Help 37
  38. 38. (e)Help  Head Chef: Stephane Eursels  Type: Complete Notes Client Application  What is it? – Full featured help desk application  What can I do with it? – Capture and track IT support tickets in centralized manner – Integrate user/customer in resolution workflow Design based on (e)notes core 38
  39. 39. (e)Notes Core  Head Chef: Stephane Eursels  Type: Notes Client Application Framework  What is it? – Framework for building Notes client applications  What’s it all about? – Foundation for building Notes client applications – Extremely flexible configuration – Highly integrated with other “(e)” modules – Geared for intermediate or advanced developers – Origins in France, but translated into English 39
  40. 40. domBulletin 40
  41. 41. domBulletin
  42. 42. domBulletin  Head Chef: Michael Bourak  Type: Complete Notes Client and Web Application  What is it? – Discussion database  What can I do with it? – Host multiple discussion rooms – Organize posts by topic – Enable voting 42
  43. 43. OpenNTF Mail Experience 43
  44. 44. OpenNTF Mail Experience – More Preferences 44
  45. 45. OpenNTF Mail Experience  Head Chefs: Vince Schuurman and (formerly) Bruce Elgort  Type: Lotus Notes Mail Template  What is it? – Alternate mail template for Notes 7 and 8  What can I do with it? – Additional views, e.g., by size – Additional features in Outline – configure what shows – Quick stuff – Default reply actions – single click to start most replies – Include vCard in outgoing messages – Color-coded Calendar Categories 45
  46. 46. DominoWiki 46
  47. 47. DominoWiki 47
  48. 48. DominoWiki  Head Chef: Ben Poole  Type: Web Application  What is it? – Domino-based wiki Web site  What can I do with it? – User-generated documentation library – Enable community interaction without heavy overhead (e.g., authentication, content moderation) – Customize appearance with different themes 48
  49. 49. OpenLog 49
  50. 50. OpenLog  Head Chef: Julian Robichaux  Type: Logging Utility  What is it? – The emerging standard event logging framework for all of your Notes databases, agents, scripts, and Web pages  What can I do with it? – Log errors in Notes and Web applications – Log events (both good and bad) – Set email notifications – Subscribe to RSS Error Feeds 50
  51. 51. Flow  Head Chef: Corey Davis  Type: Logging Utility  What is it? – Another Event and Error Logging framework  What can I do with it? – Log errors in Notes and Web applications – Log events (both good and bad) – Set email notifications  Different from OpenLog – Less document heavy – logs multiple events to single document (like log.nsf)
  52. 52. Domino Team Mailbox 52
  53. 53. Domino Team Mailbox  Head Chef: Brian Green  Type: Complete Notes Client Application  What is it? – Stripped-down mail template optimized for shared mail  What can I do with it? – Shared mailbox that isn’t a hack of standard mail template – Auto-respond to inquiries to sales@company.com or info@company.com – Centrally manage large collection of mailboxes using administration interface 53
  54. 54. Vacation Request 54
  55. 55. Vacation Request  Head Chefs: Gary Cousins, Bob Brodsky  Type: Complete Notes and Web Application  What is it? – Leave tracking and vacation and request system  What can I do with it? – Book time off, vacation/holiday requests – Enable management approval of requests – Automatically track remaining leave against annual allowance – View scheduled leave in a calendar format – Update the somewhat dated UI – it is open source remember 55
  56. 56. VIC CRM 56
  57. 57. VIC CRM  Head Chef: Dave Leigh  Type: Complete Notes Client Application  What is it? – Customer Relationship Management suite  What can I do with it? – Manage customer contacts, meetings, phone calls, and other correspondence – Track contracts and warranty information for your customers – Manage schedule for all sales activity This and other downloads: www.cratchit.org 57
  58. 58. Import (AGE Consulting – Australia) 58
  59. 59. Import (AGE Consulting – Australia)  Creator: AGE Computer Consultancy  Type: Data Utility  What is it? – Tool for importing Excel Data into Notes  What can I do with it? – Import spreadsheet data to update *existing* Notes documents – Useful when LEI or Notrix is overkill but you don’t want to write a custom import agent – Define key matching, update behavior, field mapping, data transformations, et. al. – Schedule recurring import jobs to run automatically – Download: www.agecom.com.au/agecom.nsf/ProductsByTitle 59
  60. 60. Spreadsheet Import Wizard (THE VIEW) 60
  61. 61. Spreadsheet Import Wizard (THE VIEW)  Creator: Thierry Seunevel  Type: Data Utility  What is it? – Lightweight tool for importing Excel Data into Notes  What can I do with it? – Quickly import basic spreadsheet data into Notes – Map spreadsheet columns to form fields or view columns THE VIEW, March/ – Save import profiles for later reuse April 2007 This and other downloads: www.eview.com 61
  62. 62. BlogSphere V3 62
  63. 63. BlogSphere V3 63
  64. 64. BlogSphere V3
  65. 65. BlogSphere V3
  66. 66. BlogSphere V3  Head Chef: Declan Lynch  Type: Complete Client and Web Application  What is it? – Feature-rich Notes-based blogging platform similar to IBM Blog template  What can I do with it? – Create your own blog using Lotus Notes – Quickly set up attractive Web interface using pre-defined skins – Easily switch between multiple configurations – Include integrated photo albums 66
  67. 67. NOTESurvey Central 67
  68. 68. NOTESurvey Central  Head Chefs: Rocky Oliver  Type: Notes Client Application  What is it? – User-configurable survey creation and capture tool  What can I do with it? – Leverage advanced DXL techniques to build survey forms without code – Questions can be multiple choice combobox, radio button, or checkbox Download: www.lotusgeek.com/SapphireOak/LotusGeekBlog.nsf/downloads/ ROLR-7B5TPD 68
  69. 69. eTimesheets 69
  70. 70. eTimesheets  Head Chef: Rob Wills  Type: Web Application  What is it? – Human resource tool for capturing and processing timesheets  What can I do with it? – Enable user entry of hours worked and mileage data – Use an auditable approval workflow process – Interface with a separate ERP system – Entirely Web-based 70
  71. 71. DocMaster 71
  72. 72. DocMaster  Creator: Chris Doig  Type: Notes Client  What is it? – Single Database Document Manager  What can I do with it? – Store documentation, attachments, links – Set up basic workflow for managing document completion percentage, expiration, etc. – Control access for reading and editing documents – Re-use many of the code tricks from the template in other applications Download: www.chrisdoig.net
  73. 73. DomainPatrol
  74. 74. DomainPatrol  Head Chef: Peter Narlund  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Tool for analyzing server databases and making mass changes to various settings (“catalog.nsf on steroids”)  What can I do with it? – Collect information about all databases in your environment – Review database security and other settings – Effect changes to most database settings from within interface – Free version of scanner runs only from workstation – server- based scanner sold as commercial (nsf design is open)
  75. 75. Conaex Admin Platform 75
  76. 76. Conaex Admin Platform  Head Chefs: Heinrich Hilbert, Marc Fischer  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Tool for analyzing server databases and making mass changes to various settings  What can I do with it? – Collect information about all databases across an entire environment from a single server – Review database security and other settings – Effect changes to most database settings from within interface – Set up recurring “task” definitions to carry out maintenance operations on a schedule 76
  77. 77. Agent Monitor (DAF)  Head Chef: Jörg Reck  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Utility to show data on all the scheduled agents on a server  What can I do with it? – Collect information about all scheduled agents on a server into a single database – Enable/disable, re-assign servers agents directly from the app – Reassign server  Design based on Domino Application Framework 77
  78. 78. Domino Application Framework  Head Chef: Jörg Reck  Type: Notes Client and Web Application Framework  What is it? – Framework for Notes and Web applications  What can I do with it? – Use as a standard application foundation for Notes Client and Domino Web applications – Highly configurable 78
  79. 79. AGE – Agent Manager  Head Chefs: AGE Computer Consultancy  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Utility to show data on all the scheduled agents on a server  What can I do with it? – Collect information about all scheduled agents on a server into a single database – Enable/disable, re-assign servers agents directly from the app – Download: ww.agecom.com.au/agecom.nsf/ProductsByTitle 79
  80. 80. Conflict Manager 80
  81. 81. Conflict Manager  Head Chef: Hynek Kobelka  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Tool for locating and resolving replication/save conflicts on an entire server  What can I do with it? – Check all databases on a server for replication conflicts – View and resolve conflicts from within the application Download: www.pylonware.com/www/en/download.jsp 81
  82. 82. ASND Export Facility
  83. 83. ASND Export Facility  Head Chef: Sean Burgess  Type: Data Utility  What is it? – Reporting tool for Notes/Domino Data  What can I do with it? – Define and save report definitions that can be shared and re-used – Use formula- or form-based criteria for selecting data sets – Include advanced formatting such as text colors and column titles Note: Integrated into SuperNTF!
  84. 84. Qenos Workflow Application Framework 84
  85. 85. Qenos Workflow Application Framework  Head Chefs: Mark Demicoli and Ray Thomas  Type: Notes Client Application Framework  What is it? – Complete Notes client workflow application framework  What can I do with it? – Workflow-enable any Notes application – Control all aspects of workflow through extensive configuration – Customize notifications for each workflow stage – Track and secure each step in the workflow process 85
  86. 86. wfNote – Simple Workflow Plug-in 86
  87. 87. wfNote – Simple Workflow Plug-in 87
  88. 88. wfNote – Simple Workflow Plug-in  Head Chef: Vilhjalmur Helgason  Type: Notes Client Application Component  What is it? – Simple, yet flexible, workflow module for Lotus Notes  What can I do with it? – Sequential approval, conditional branching, approval delegation, and multiple approvers – Define the next task, mail to be sent, approver, and additional approvers using either simple dialog list or complex @Formula – Easily test and fine-tune workflow using special utility 88
  89. 89. OpenSlice  Head Chefs: Tim and Laurette Rynne  Type: Notes Client and Web Application Framework  What is it? – Application framework for building Notes and Web applications  What can I do with it? – Use as a standard application foundation for Notes Client and Domino Web applications – Highly configurable Download: www.openslice.com 89
  90. 90. Audit Manager/Trigger Happy 90
  91. 91. Audit Manager/Trigger Happy  Head Chefs: Neil Gower – Trigger Happy: Damien Katz – UI work by Thomas Gumz Windows only!  Type: Administration Utility  What is it? – Powerful centralized database change tracking utility  What can I do with it? – Record document opens, deletions, and field-level changes on select databases – View activity history by several key attributes across entire notes environment – Set up and maintain audit configurations centrally 91
  92. 92. SuperNTF 92
  93. 93. SuperNTF  Head Chef: Kevin Pettitt  Type: Notes Client Application Framework  What is it? – Easy to use starter database framework  What can I do with it? – Use as a standard application framework for all your Notes Client development efforts – Quickly create applications that embody many development “best practices” – Easy enough for even novice developers to use – Cherry-pick individual code modules for use in other applications 93
  94. 94. Agenda …  Templates – The basics  What does Lotus give us?  Where to find more?  Some of the best templates money can’t buy  The Final Word 94
  95. 95. Making Code Your Own (Sort Of) Arghhh! 95
  96. 96. Making Code Your Own (Sort Of)  Use a Ytria ScanEZ or borrow from SuperNTF to “Design Clean” templates: – Purge $UpdateBy field from all design elements – Goes beyond simply “signing” the database – Avoid cross-certificate notifications – Avoid ECL alerts – Hide “foreign” origin of open source code  User ActionBarEZ and ViewEZ to quickly change appearance of application – Enables mass changes to all action bar and view properties – Apply a whole new quot;skinquot; to hundreds of elements in one go – Make quick work of putting the new corporate colors everywhere 96
  97. 97. Resources  THE VIEW (of course) – www.eview.com  Databased Advisor – http://databased.advisor.com  DominoPower – www.DominoPower.com  Domino Blogs via PlanetLotus.org – www.planetlotus.org  developerWorks Lotus – www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus 97
  98. 98. Parting Thoughts  Open source is a driver for custom development – Particularly for organizations with development talent but limited software budgets  Demonstrate value with minimal investment – No/low cost “proof of concept” to help demonstrate value – Helps to justify funding further custom development or buying a similar commercial application  Templates don’t have to be used “whole” – You can also mine them for code to use in other applications  Consider releasing your own templates – You get the satisfaction of “giving back” – It’s a way to gain notoriety, either for an individual or a company 98
  99. 99. Parting Thoughts  OpenNTF assuming more Sandbox responsibilities – E.g., Composite Applications  Free templates can be gateways to commercial offerings – Commercial vendors can benefit from “competition” – No/low cost “proof of concept” to help demonstrate value, either to justify funding further custom development or buying a similar commercial application 99
  100. 100. Q&A Ask us anything…well, almost anything. 100

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