Next week IBM Lifetime Champion Theo Heselmans is hosting Engage, back in Antwerp, of which I have fond memories. The last time the conference was there, Tim Tripcony and I spent quite some time discussing all things XPages on a walk around the city and at the speakers dinner. I’m looking forward again to enjoying the beautiful city. This time both myself (Paul Withers) and Tim Malone will be speaking.

The Power To Believe

On Monday at 11:45 Tim Malone will be speaking with HP Dalen will be covering big data. HP was previously in ICS before moving to work with Hadoop, so knows a great deal about both aspects. And Tim’s experience with both ICS and Kenexa brings an insight into big data from both sides. The abstract is:

The main differentiator for really successful companies today is data and the intelligence they draw from their data to make better and faster decisions.
Data is the new bacon!
We will provide a quick (and not very technical) overview of the hottest trends in Analytics and Big Data like Hadoop, Spark, Data Streaming and Real Time Analytics. We will discuss a number of examples from a variety of industries, with emphasis on real outcomes for business users from big data and dark data. We will discuss how combining different data sources for instance from your Domino applications, Smarter Workforce systems, business data like point of sales data with new and innovative data from weather, Twitter and government data can help you uncover hidden relationships in your data that will help you better understand your business and help you make better decisions.

GraphQL 101

On Monday at 13:30 in Room C I’ll be speaking with Phil Riand on GraphQL. It’s an area we’ve both been involved in, on my side with Watson Work Services and on Phil’s side with Darwino and Domino. The abstract is:

GraphQL is a key approach for allowing flexible and performant querying via REST. Find out why it’s at the heart of Watson Work Services, will be used in Connections Pink and has been implemented for Darwino. We’ll also launch an open source implementation for accessing your Domino data. Learn its history and how it allows flexible run-time querying to return only the data you want. With natural language JSON querying independent of a specific database or storage engine, this introduction to GraphQL will be key for developers wanting to use or implement a flexible REST service API for their applications.

Domino Next Generation IDE

There is more choice that ever before on how to expose Domino data to applications (Notes Client, traditional Domino web, XPages, REST in all its various approaches, Darwino, We4IT’s Aveedo, Sapho, client-side applications). I want to stress this session is not about replacing more standard approaches, nor is it about replacing Domino Designer. Nor does it signal an end to XPages development for me. It’s about streamlining tooling as much as possible for non-traditional development by thinking innovatively. The abstract is:

If a hypothetical application uses Domino only for data and REST services, can we get to a future without Domino Designer? This round-table discussion will gather what the requirements would be and the technical aspects that would be required (e.g. how to create views), deployment and maintenance. The aim is to come up with ideas for a blueprint and inspire the community to build an open-source solution aggressively during the rest of 2017.

To help put this into context, for the latest ODA demo database, NSFs are automatically deployed as part of the setup. Similarly for the buzzquote bingo app that was used alongside my session at IBM Connect 2016, the NSFs were generated within the code when the application was first accessed, including setting certain database properties and ACL settings to minimise visibility.

And the plugin I used at IBM Connect this year (and will use again at Engage next week) to post to Watson Workspace also included code to run scheduled logging of events triggered from message queues. So feasibility for a scheduled process manager has already been done.

And views can be generated via DXL. Stephan Wissel’s Swagger codegen does this not only for views but also forms. Jese Gallagher’s Forms and Views project also allowed basic form, view and folder generation from a web GUI. The bulk of that code has been included into ODA in the packages for some time. I’ve recently been revisiting that, adding a few fixes as well as enhancements. With the current develop branch of ODA, it’s possible to programmatically create a view with code like this:

		Session sess = Factory.getSession(SessionType.NATIVE);
		Database extLib = sess.getDatabase("oda_1.nsf");
		View contacts = extLib.getView("AllContactsProgrammatic");
		if (null != contacts) {
		DatabaseDesign dbDesign = extLib.getDesign();
		DesignView newView = dbDesign.createView();
		newView.setSelectionFormula("SELECT Form=\"Contact\"");
		DesignColumn col = newView.addColumn();
		DesignColumn name = newView.addColumn();
		name.setFormula("FirstName+\" \"+LastName");
		DesignColumn city = newView.addColumn();

So the building blocks are there for most of what would be needed if developing a Vaadin or React or Angular app, without needing to open Domino Designer, both to build and deploy initial databases and updates.

I’m looking forward to a good conference next week, with lots of learning about not only Domino but also Connections Pink and Watson Work Services. ICS is certainly changing and the enthusiasm of those pushing the boundaries and blogging is very exciting.

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