Saturday, 23 July 2011

n-Mobility - a lightweight Lotus Notes Client for mobile devices

In my last posting about the Blackberry Developers Challenge I have announced our participation with a SoapgateQ! enabled application. Here we go...

n-Mobility 

is a lightweight client for mobile devices to (initially) view/read any Notes database on your Playbook using our web service based data access API for Domino (SoapgateQ!). n-Mobility allows access to a configurable list of Notes databases, its views and documents. It takes about 30 minutes per database you want to enable for mobile devices (depends a bit on the complexity of the database). No design changes or development is required, the creation of a Database Access Profile in the SoapgateQ! database is all it takes.

Today I will simply post a few screen shots of the current beta and maybe I produce a little video over the weekend.




























































After the initially launch for the Blackberry Playbook we intend to cross-compile for iOS (iPad) too.

As the deadline for the Blackberry Challenge is approaching fast, it is likely that the first beta will be available within a week or two. Depending how fast Blackberry will approve the app once we posted it.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Use our FREE Mobility Toolkit for Domino to win the Blackberry Developers Challenge

There is still time to enter the 2011 BlackBerry® Developers Challenge and to develop the "Best Flash/AIR Mobile App for BlackBerry PlayBook". Applications can be submitted until August 12, 2011.


With our FREE Mobility Toolkit for Domino consisting of SoapgateQ! 2.0 - a web service based Data Access API for Domino -, the supporting Flex/AIR libraries and the many sample projects for Flash Builder 4.5 it should be a peace of cake to develop a winning business type application for the Playbook.

As we recognize that the deadline is rather short, we will provide free support for our mobility toolkit for any application developed in the context of this competition.

I have started a series of postings talking about Going mobile with Lotus Notes Domino (part 1). The posting provides the links to get started with SoapgateQ!

Of course we do participate as well in this Challenge. In my next posting about the Blackberry Developers Challenge I will talk about this application.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Going mobile with Lotus Notes Domino


With this article I will start a series of postings about developing mobile applications for Lotus Notes Domino databases.  Today’s posting is about IBM's and our (Flexdomino.net) efforts to provide a Data Access API to Lotus Notes Domino.  

Not sure how closely you follow IBM’s efforts to provide developers with the means to develop mobile applications for Domino databases, but considering that you ended up reading this article I will assume you do.

If not, you might want to have a look at what is going on at OpenNTF and read about IBM’s effort to develop a REST API and providing XPages functionality to support apps for mobile devices:

http://www.openntf.org/blogs/openntf.nsf/d6plinks/NHEF-8J2V3G


If you follow my blog, you might also have read about my previous postings about our efforts at Flexdomino.net to develop a web service based Data Access API for Lotus Notes Domino called SoapgateQ!  Version 2.0 has recently being launched, and as part of this launch we provide a free Community Server License (you can find download and info links at the end of this article):



Before discussing the differences of the two APIs, let’s first talk about the different ways of developing a mobile app. Basically you have three options:

  1. A browser based application. For a Domino developer this obviously means XPages development, utilizing the tools provided by IBM. One of which is the new REST API.
  2. Native development. A developer would use whatever tools are available to develop for the OS of each targeted device, such as Android, iOS, QNX, WebOS etc. For native development both APIs (IBM REST API or SoapgateQ!) could be utilized to access Domino databases.
  3. Apps developed for middle-ware (such as Flash/Air/Silverlight) or cross-compiled apps. Again, both APIs could be utilized to access Domino databases.

I do not intend to start yet another one of these dreaded controversial debates about Flash vs. HTML5 or Flash vs. Native development, for which reason I will not talk about the pros and cons of the different methods to develop a mobile app.

Instead I will highlight the simple fact that IBM thinks XPages with regards to Lotus Notes Domino and the REST API is part of its broader strategy of Social Business. IBM will not provide any tools other then the REST API for native developers nor will it support middle-ware developers beyond this API. I have not heard or seen any official statement of IBM, but a high ranking IBMer stated in a session at LS 2011 that “IBM doesn’t believe in middle-ware”; hence it doesn’t believe in Flash/Air (or Silverlight for that matter). Having said this, IBM does not want you not to use Flash/AIR; the latter is simply not part of their strategy.

To summarize this: IBM wants you to develop browser based mobile apps with XPages using the REST API.

For those of you who are not XPages developers or simply have a case where a browser based app is not an option,  but a native app or an Flex/AIR based app or a Flex to iOS cross-compiled app is the best choice, this is where SoapgateQ! and its supporting Flex/Air libs can help you. Actually you might even want to use SoapgateQ! for XPages, but I will talk about this at a later stage.

In the next article I will talk about the differences of the two APIs and I will then start talking about our experience developing mobile applications with SoapgateQ!

In the meantime I would like to invite you to have a look at SoapgateQ! 2.0. Just get your free Community Server License and dissect the many samples we have provided for the different mobile OS on the market.

SoapgateQ! – Download & other useful links

Our technical user forum:

http://forum.qkom.de

Downloads for the SoapgateQ! 2.0 database and manual:

http://forum.qkom.de/board10-downloads/board16-download-soapgate-q/board20-soapgate-q-core-files

Downloads for the Flex Libs for SoapgateQ! 2.0 and manual:

http://forum.qkom.de/board10-downloads/board16-download-soapgate-q/board19-flex-air-libraries

Download for the Bookstore Demo for the most relevant OS and devices:

http://forum.qkom.de/board10-downloads/board16-download-soapgate-q/board11-bookstore-demos