Friday, 13 February 2009

Getting used to Lotus Domino Designer 8.5, findings so far

Shortly after the announcement I upgraded to the Notes 8.5 platform, including the new Eclipse based designer client.
And of course it is looking very familiar as we Notes developers were already using the very similar and good working IDE. But it is now based on Eclipse which makes adding plugins and tools easier and is close to the RAD client we are using for our Websphere Commerce development.
But there are definitely some things that need getting used to. I guess it is mostly getting used to a new way of working, but there are also some issues.
I thought I'd share my initial findings and I am curious what others think.


  1. The designer client takes more time to start, as does opening the first pane of design elements (enough to get the first cup of coffee of the day). After that it appears to be performing like the "old" client.
  2. Databases are now called applications.
  3. The old bookmarked applications stored in the previous designer client are not converted to the new eclipse workspace.
  4. The application icons do not show until an application is opened/expanded. This make visually browsing for the application that needs some changes a lot harder.
  5. The folders are replaced by working sets. Drag and drop of applications from one working set to another (like with the "old" folders) is not possible. This needs to be done opening the working set dialog box and consciously checking and unchecking applications (again by name, not icon).
  6. The extra available eclipse views for specific tasks are helpfull and can be dragged to a suitable size and place..
  7. The old familiar properties box comes up for "old" design elements and the new one at the bottom seem to be for the new design elements like the xpages, although it also shows some properties for the "old" design elements.
  8. The lotusscript debugger still opens as a seperate window. I expected this one to be integrated as a seperate pane in the new designer client.