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DXLMagic - using the DesignExtractor

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I'll show you to take full advantage of the DXLMagic Tools one post at a time. You have exported your database application using the DesignExporter. Now you can run reports, transform the XML, edit it etc. When you are planning to work on individual element using the full DXL is a bit cumbersome, especially when you plan to write back just some parts of it later on. To split your file into multiple files you use the DesignExtractor. It will extract parts of your DXL based on an XPath expression. If XPath is still a mystery for you, this would be the time for a tutorial, Jeni's Introduction or Michael's Reference. Since you typically want to extract more than one sort of element, DesignExtractor uses a command file with instructions.
The syntax for DesignExtractor is:
java [PathToDXL] [ResultPath] [CommandFile]
In the latest version of the DXLMagic.jar I have updated the path parameter, so you now can use "." for the current directory instead of specifying absolute path names. [PathToDXL] must point to a DXL File. I currently don't process all DXL files in one directory (Maybe I should think about such an option), so you have to point it to one DXL file. [ResultPath] is where your individual files go. You will see in a second, that you can specify subdirectories for individual results. The interesting part is the command file. The command file executes one extraction per line (empty lines or line with # at the beginning are ignored) and needs 3 parameters:
  1. File Prefix: The extractor tries to name the file using a name or alias found in the result from the XPath expression. If it can't find something it uses a running number. It appends this to the file prefix. If your file prefix contains a directory separator it will write that file into that subdirectory (and create it if needed). So the full name for any file is composed out of [ResultPath]+[File Prefix]+[Name that the Extractor figured out]. A typical value for File Prefix would be "forms/form"
  2. Export Mode: The extractor can write the result of the XPath expression into one summary file or into one file each for every result node. If you want one summary file you use "summary", for individual files use "single".
  3. XPath expression: The heart of the extractor. An XPath expression is evaluated and returns a note-set. You can do whatever you fancy including using the extractor against other XML files (you might struggle with the name spaces a little bit then). To make your live easier with the XPath, the DXL namespace is abbreviated "d:". Typically you would extract high level elements like forms, views, libraries, agents etc.. However you are not limited to that. You could e.g. extract all fields to feed them into a cross-reference system. Getting started is easy: Extracting all views is this expression "/d:/database/d:view".
The command file you typically will want to use looks like this:
Happy extracting. I'll continue that series with some of the stylesheets we have written. Stylesheets are not only good for reports, but also to whip your code into shape. Stay tuned.


Setting up DXLMagic to run from the command line

It is a little hidden in the slide deck. These are the steps for setting up the DXLMagic environment to be useable. You need to replace [AppDir] with the path to your Notes application (typically something like C:\Notes, C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus Notes, /applications/lotus/notes or /opt/ibm/lotus/notes, depending on your platform. You also will need to set [DataDir]: the place where your nsf live and [JarDir] where you copied the DXLMagic.jar file (can be in the Notes directory, up to you). So here are the steps:
  1. Install and configure Java 6 (It should work with Java 5, but I haven't tested it)
  2. Copy the DXLMagic.jar file into the [JarDir]
  3. Edit your environment to include Notes on the path and the Jar files on the classpath and add an environment parameter LD_LIBRARY:
    • Windows: notepad c:\autoexec.bat and add these lines:
      SET PATH=%PATH%;[AppDir]
      SET CLASSPATH=.;[AppDir]\jvm\lib\ext\*;[JarDir]\DXLMagic.jar
      SET LD_LIBRARY=[AppDir]
      (Reminder: if you have spaces in your path you need to put the path in quotes)
    • Linux: sudo nano /etc/environment and add/edit these lines:
      PATH="[whatever was there]:[AppDir]"
    • Mac: vi ~/.profile and add/edit these lines:
      export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=[AppDir]/Contents/MacOS (where AppDir is going to look something like: /Applications/
      export CLASSPATH=$CLASSPATH$:.:[AppDir]/Contents/MacOS/jvm/lib/ext/*:[JarDir]/DXLMagic.jar"
      (Thx Luis)
Update: Fixed the classpath to ...ext/*
Now you are ready to go. Lets have a look at the available commands.


DXLMagic 0.1 released

I finally made it. The DXLMagic 0.1 release is available on OpenNTF. It contains the database to generate the job files and the Java executables. I need to cleanup the XSLT stylesheets, they will follow soon.


AD215 - Slides Online Now

Also check the project on OpenNTF.


AD215 - Feedback

Guys I'm flattered. And I'll work on my accent, promise! Your feedback:


Domino Designer Platform(s)

There's a big discussion about what platforms Domino Designer should run on. Currently it is Windows only. The contenders are Linux and OS/X. There's a catch: every new platform will slow development down in creating new functionality. I think with the current machine generation one platform will be enough: Linux. Make Designer a first class citizen on Linux and then package this into a VM that can play on any other platform. Since there isn't a license issue with Linux and we could strip down the VM content to run fast. VM players are available for free from VMWare or VirtualBox. I'm using VirtualBox and love it. This way we can eat our cake and have it too. Designer on all platforms without slowing the development team down.


iPhone love

Last April I ranted to a senior IBM exec about mobile devices and our strategy. While Lotus Traveler's SyncML is a great way to synchronize with a mobile device we only supported Windows Mobile then. My point of view was: "If the mountain (of mobile devices) doesn't come to the prophet, then the prophet needs to go to the mountain" a.k.a. support whatever sync protocol is supported by the mobile device. Now the results of my rant are coming in: We will support ActiveSync for mobile devices. So iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile, Palm and any device supporting ActiveSync will be able to sync with Domino.


AD301 - Introducing the Composite Application Container Framework

Bob Balfe and Brian O'Gorman worked through the Container Component Framework (CCF). The CCF is a higher abstraction of the composite application framework. Instead of coding WSDL files and custom code the containers allow you to assemble new applications in the Composite Application Editor (CAE) alone. To be able to do that a new view part has been created: the container. A container can define their own properties and events. To be able to do that the container needs to know where it is. That "where" is called a landmark. A landmark could be a URL, a heading or any other piece that can be identified by a String (including regular expressions, wildcards or XPath expressions). The container properties allow to specify landmarks, properties and events. Available containers are:
  • Browser Container: Landmarks can define values which are in different positions in the DOM on different pages to publish a single property. You can use simple expressions like id:name or full XPath expressions. The tooling shields you from learning XPath expressions (neat), you just name the landmark and point to the element you want to use.
  • Notes View Container: Extract information from Notes views without changing the database or use WSDL. What's neat: multiple document selections are supported with a custom definable delimiter.
  • PIM View Container: Accesses the PIM Java Views and supports Formula and Column extraction. It supports a lot of predefined properties.
  • Symphony Spreadsheet Container: extract and publish data from spreadsheets using single cells, cell ranges or named ranges.
  • Host on Demand: Wire your 3270 session in your application (not shown here).
  • Roll your own: there is a new Expeditor class that serves as a base: With overwriting a few methods your container is ready to go.
  • OpenSpan: Host any Windows application in Expeditor/Notes
Future containers will be: Excel, more Symphony, enhanced configuration options including your own landmark editors. Go and check them out.


BSP304 - IBM Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes

The session was run by Eric Mack and David Alan. David Alan sums it up:"In every email is a hidden berry, bear or snake", but it is not as evident as in nature and you need to think about it to figure it out. Enter the Knowledge Worker. While knowledge work requires collaboration the individual actions are very personal. Knowledge work is about value. The equation is simple: value = knowledge * methodology * technology. Knowledge is kept in personal knowledge management, the methodology is a means to an end and the the technology is the tool. The three items are multiplicators, so if one of them is weak value collapses. Everybody has a framework to work with things to do. Something like: What screams loudest gets attention; Wait until the very last minute until the pressure is to high. GTD is such a framework but more structured and efficient. There are 4 keys to get things done:
  1. Get everything out of your head and into a system you can trust
  2. Decide the very next physical action
  3. Decide the context of this action.
  4. Track these actions: Do it in 2 minutes, defer or delegate them.
David emphasised the importance of a clear mind: Mind like water. If your system isn't complete your mind will beat you up for any incomplete or broken commitment. You need balance between perspective and vision. Without vision and perspective you are are victim (crazy busy), without vision you are a micro manager, without control you are crazy maker. David worked in a rapid sequence through strong images why you need to get clear (I liked the messed up kitchen). A clear space frees you to take action and create a mess if you want to. Eric takes us through the options how to use vanilla Lotus Notes to implement GTD. Key is: work from your list. Review and update your lists regularly. Tools Eric and Alan are using: Treo & Blackberry; MindManager; GyroQ; ActiveWords and eProductivity.


The Lotusphere 2009 General Opeing Session

It wasn't Carl Tyler, however a band of blue men warmed up the crowd before Bob Picciano, the Lotus Software General Manager, took the stage. His first message was that Lotus added more than 12000 new customers since R8 shipped. He then cleared the stage for the guest speaker Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd. It was a quite an entertaining talk. This year's theme for Lotusphere is "Resonance". Picciano mused about resonance and how it can bring down the most rigid structures including shattering windows. As a twist to previous Lotuspheres Picciano featured 3 key customers and invited the senior executives to address the crowd: Coca Cola, NetJets and HSBC.
The more interesting parts of course are the announcements:
  • The first announcement came from Blackberry. 10 days after Domino 8.5 ships the Blackberry enterprise server is compatible with Domino 8.5. Blackberry has a new Sametime client supporting file transfer, a new Lotus Connections Client and supports the new Domino 8.5 Designer to develop XPages for Blackberry devices.
  • Bluehouse, our SaaS solution is now LotusLive. LotusLive has multiple components to suit every need. There is LotusLive Meetings, LotusLive Events, LotusLive Engage, LotusLive Notes, LotusLive iNotes.
    LotusLive allows you collaborate across corporate boundaries. Customers now have the possibility to blend a mix of on-premise and cloud services to suit any business or IT scenario. LotusLive also provides sidebar application for Lotus Notes and Sametime.
  • The SAP integration project "Atlantic" announced last year and will ship in Q1 2009 as the product named Alloy.
  • Notes 8.5: New side-bare galore: LinkedIn Plug-in, Lotus Activities offline capabilities. Better address integration: forward addresses as vcards, Drag & Drop sametime names into the to field of messages. Overlay calendars from various sources. LotusLive includes mobile support. On stage demo of a Blackberry online meeting session. LotusLive partners with LinkedIn, Saleforce and Skype. This puts LotusLive in the reach of 400M people.
  • iNotes 8.5: The user interface is much closer to the Notes client. Calendar overlay works. Notes widgets are available, Full Sametime status updates, full Lotus Quickr integration (kewl)
  • Domino Designer 8.5: XPsges is the new way to develop Domino applications (and will be in 8.5.1 available for the Notes Client too!). Support for mobile devices is right build in.
  • IBM SmartMarket: IBM's own market place for Business Partner applications.
  • OpenNTF: IBM will donate resources and templates to OpenNTF under an OpenSource license.
  • Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT): manages all your phone connectivity integrating multiple PABX vendors. It will include a softphone and phone awareness. Sametime chat is fully integrated will SUT including dragging Sametime contacts into conference calls or transferring a conference call to your mobile phone.
  • Sametime 8.5: available later this year. No more Java applets, iPhone support, new Rich Client as Sametime plug-in. Permanent meeting rooms including libraries with all stuff you need in a meeting. Sessions are recorded in Quicktime.
  • Lotus Connections 2.5: UI will be fully brandable using Themes, Micro blogging (like Twitter), Profiles includes a wall (like Facebook), a new WIKI as native Connections application, "Social Files" to share files (a.k.a Quickr Share), 2way integration with LinkedIn (Facebook seems to be missing yet). iWidgets can be used everywhere to add whatever needs to be added. All these will be also available to devices with micro browser: Nokia, gPhone and iPhone.
  • Lotus Quickr 8.1.1 (J2EE): shipped in December with a full integration into Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM). Quickr users now can take advantage of ECM with the full comfort of Quickr's capability like the Quickr connectors
  • Quickr 8.2 (Domino): Quickr will use XPages for customization, will include the same ECM capabilities as Quickr J2EE and support Mac and Linux clients (can't wait for that).
  • Websphere Portal & Mashups: The Websphere Portal logo is now yellow <g>. No more odd purple dot in the Lotus product family.
    Web Content Management now contains Ephox web editor to better author content. Portal and Mashups work hand in hand. Using the portal Mashups accelerator Lotus Mashups can serve as staging area for portal application. Portal uses a lot of web2.0 technologies and fully integrates the whole Lotus portfolio. Very neat. Mashups can be used to integrate corporate and personal information. You can combine your spreadsheet with data from virtually any enterprise system.
  • Lotus Marketing: No product or service, but the new ideas how Lotus marketing will raise awareness for the Lotus brand. Based on IBM's Smart Planet campaign the new Lotus tag line is Working smarter together.


Less then 24h

Travel will be a chore. And the body clock will be off.


AD215 - Teaser II

There will be command line tools, and XSLT and XPATH. And a nice UI to make it easier doing DXL Magic.
DXL Studio
See you there.


AD215 - Teaser

Running reports against DXL is one of my topics in the AD215 session (Thursday 8:30am, Dolphin Hemisphere III). You will see (and learn how to do) things like that:
List of Design Elements by Designer Version
See you there.


Practical Magic with DXL

My Best-Practice-Track submission for Lotusphere didn't make it. However my development topic did. So I'm speaking in Orlando.
AD215: "Lotus Domino XML (DXL) allows you to extract information from your Notes database. Come to this session to learn a number of tips and tricks on how to use information to make your applications more functional and maintainable. For example, unification of the design of your views, separation of LotusScript from forms, comprehensive documentation for your applications are capabilities any developer would want. You'll also see how to use DXL to help generate XPages from existing design elements like forms and views. You'll leave this session with a number of new techniques on how to use this powerful tool. Attention: Contains Live Code!"


Domino Web Development ZEN style

Did I mention that I have a second topic I've submitted for Lotusphere 2009? It is about web development ZEN style. ZEN style is when every stroke is meaningful, every line as a function and there is just enough code to fulfill a purpose. It takes quite some practice to get there, so as simple as it looks.... Vote!


Vote for my topic: Inherting Notes applications

Notes applications often get transferred between generations of developers. The session sheds a light on practices what you can do on the receiving end of such a transfer. Armed with insight and tools you can get on top of any historic application understanding what it does and how to improve it. Topics covered: Gathering evidence, assessing complexity, planning improvements, quick wins with your users.


Lotusphere 09 heating up.

I'm sitting next to Tim Clark at the XPages workshop. He's working for the Business Partner Technical Enablement. At Lotusphere '09 his team will showcase Lotus technologies. He wants to know what you would like to see and opened a blog to gather feedback. Head over and give him a shout.


This site is in no way affiliated, endorsed, sanctioned, supported, nor enlightened by Lotus Software nor IBM Corporation. I may be an employee, but the opinions, theories, facts, etc. presented here are my own and are in now way given in any official capacity. In short, these are my words and this is my site, not IBM's - and don't even begin to think otherwise. (Disclaimer shamelessly plugged from Rocky Oliver)
© 2003 - 2017 Stephan H. Wissel - some rights reserved as listed here: Creative Commons License
Unless otherwise labeled by its originating author, the content found on this site is made available under the terms of an Attribution/NonCommercial/ShareAlike Creative Commons License, with the exception that no rights are granted -- since they are not mine to grant -- in any logo, graphic design, trademarks or trade names of any type. Code samples and code downloads on this site are, unless otherwise labeled, made available under an Apache 2.0 license. Other license models are available on written request and written confirmation.