Friday concluded my trip to MWLUG 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI. It was an excellent trip. REST services via DDS, XPages controls, or servlets were highly features, along with heavy adoption by the community of Java. To me, these two elements capstone the very best of what Domino can be; which is modern, relevant, and strong. What I liked about this MWLUG was primarily:
- More Advanced Sessions
- Community Accessibility
1. More Advanced Sessions
Between my own advancements as a Domino/XPages developer and the XPage community's progression, we've all come a long way. All this relates to the ideal evolutionary progression of an XPage developer. This isn't entirely a new concept as people do develop at differing degrees of difficultiy, and the subject has been talked about in length by many in the community. The bottom line is: you get better or not based on your drive and will to learn, combined with the accessibility of information, examples, and flat out aid from others.
2. Community Accessibility
That last bit, about getting better ideas and new ways of doing things in an accessible community is why this all works for us. I started on XPages under three years ago and I've learned at a steep curve, thanks to TLCC courses, Notes in 9, webinars, the occasional conference/*LUG, and blogs of others.
I'm fortunate to have learned so much from others, so that when David Leedy said (in episode 150) that we should all quit griping and contribute back, I decided to. I was pleased to find that not only did this blog get read by a few people, and some even recognized me from my less-than-best profile image, but that it may have aided a few people out there. Goal achieved, but I'm not done yet. So thank you to David and the others who have established such a great community, and welcoming me into it with such grace. Where else can you get drunk with a few IBM Champions and have a great time?
Specifically, those sessions which I have keyed in on to watch for, integrate into my current development practices, and gave me good ideas for further use.
- AD110: Finding Bugs, Fixing Bugs with Julian Robichaux and Paul Calhoun
Just when I thought I'd heard all Paul has to say on better Java development in XPages via some excellent webinars, I was happily proven wrong.
- AD108: Enhance Your XPages App with Files, Images and More
David Leedy did some interesting things with files in dedicated documents in a common storage scheme, which also played into an excellent use of multiple-file uploads, with progress.
- AD106: Don't Fall Asleep Using Relational Databases: Using Hibernate with XPages
Toby Samples showed off how to implement and model non-Domino back ends (SQL, DB2, etc.) and make them work in Java with XPages.
- AD105: Building a Structured App with XPages Scaffolding
Jesse Gallagher showed just how awesome you can make an XPages (or Domino) application. Not only did he demo an application making use of his XPages Scaffolding / Frostillic.us framework, but also showed the absolute raw power of the dark side... er, absolute raw power of data object modeling your business logic in Java, to feed into an ultra-simplified XPages front-end via managed bean, that also plays perfectly into servlet generation for validating custom RESTful calls from a client-side application (a la AngularJS). In other words, put down that cheap stuff and starting drinking from the top shelf.
- OS102: Write Once, Run Anywhere: Angular.js in XPages
Mark Roden showed what I knew to be awesome, the flexibility and power of AngularJS in business applications; impressively easy and powerful apps. What he showed on top of what I already knew (how flipping awesome AngularJS is), was how to leverage CORS to your advantage, so you can run the same application, hosted in Domino/XPages, IBM Connections, IBM Bluemix, or even MS Sharepoint. Those in the crowd may remember a comment from me on the last one, but it goes to show that you can make business applications work very well inside of even Sharepoint; not a task to be under-appreciated.
Ultimately, I had a great time at MWLUG, met some excellent fellow developers, and even had some decent beer. Best of all, I've got some great new ideas on what to do with and how to use XPages to do some better development. Stick with me and you'll see how these topics work their way into my blog, as I go. Hopefully it'll help someone else down the line.