IBM Think Review 3 – Domino App Dev
A comment first on atmosphere around the brand: it’s refreshing to see the enthusiasm and fun around the brand, as well as the effort around marketing already in place (all those Domino2025 stickers and other products, as well as the Destination Domino microsite which will evolve as time goes by). I look forward to continuing to work with these people throughout the year and beyond, as before.
Notes on an iPad was announced. This required ID Vault , supports encryption and all Domino security. It only allows a single ID and connection to a single Domino server, but for most end users that will be sufficient. Offline usage is supported and this will be the big benefit, although careful thought will be required around replication formulas. It will be available through the app store and supports all standard Notes functionality. Some components are styled to fit more in with iOS functionality (e.g. dialogs, pickers etc). On the whole, most functionality will just work (including formula language and LotusScript). iPhone will require coding changes to fit the form factor, but the groundwork will be laid in Domino V10 to make those coding changes. Android tablet support will follow, though it’s unclear the effort required and so a realistic timescale to commit at this point. Fitting in with this, Windows support will also work for touchscreen in Notes Clien to support those devices.
However, the fact Notes apps will predominantly “just work” must not mean customers do nothing. Application modernisation is not about giving it a web UI. It’s about giving it a modern feel. Putting an app that is ten years old and looks it onto an iPad is not modernisation. It’s a travesty and a tragedy, it is an IT crime. For the love of Domino, spend some time reviewing the apps you’re deploying to iPad to ensure they look half decent. Otherwise spend the money to migrate them off the platform. If, because of IT laziness or line of business unwillingness to invest, an app makes Domino look bad then it’s bad for Domino: get it off the platform I love and suffer elsewhere!
The key background that needs to be borne in mind with the announcement about Notes on iPad has two aspects. Firstly, no one – IBM, third parties or migrators – have come up with a good, cost-effective tool to modernise Notes Client applications for mobile devices. Notes on iPad was achievable for Domino V10 and also supports offline usage. Secondly, Apple do not support Java on their devices. So XPages for offline support is not a viable option and Android (which does use Java) is not a major competitor for Apple in the enterprise. In the context of these key deciding factors, the approach is understandable and should not be deemed as anti-XPages, just pro-iPad and iPhone, whilst still leaving room for Android in the future. Like the common code set announced at IBM Think for Windows and iOS desktop clients, it is logically sensible to ensure best ability to support the platform going forward.