by Ann Hamm, Senior Lotus Developer
As a seasoned developer since the early days of Lotus, I look around and see an emerging new market for my skill set. I’ve been programming in Lotus Notes for years and I know formula language and LotusScript but have never really coded a web application. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed the buzz around the business implications of smart devices, coined by IBM as Social Business.
So, I went investigating to find the best resources to get involved in this evolving Social Business. For me, Lotus XPages was the way to go. XPages allows you to take your Domino application and present it on mobile devices. Obviously, my first question was: “What resources are available to get me up and running quickly?”
The capabilities of XPages are still growing, so there is information about XPages in classes, online tutorials, books, wikis, and even YouTube videos. There is a plethora of information. Therefore, if you’re looking to start down the road I did consider the following path of resources:
- The Learning Continuum Company, offers a free course called “Introduction to XPages Development.” It’s a great way to get one’s feet wet and to start to get comfortable with the XPages development environment. Exercises are used to reinforce the concepts being learned.
- Print out David Leedy’s Cheat Sheet and keep by your side.
- Purchase Mastering XPages: A Step-by-Step Guide to XPages Application Development and the XSP Language by Martin Donnelly, Mark Wallace, and Tony McGuckin. This book is a must if you want to understand what’s really happening. As a Domino developer I tried lots of different paths to make sense of XPages, and this is the first book that I found that actually explains things. It’s also the first book that I found that helped me totally understand the source code that I was looking at. It is well worth the money. I bought the Kindle version and read it on my IPad as I’m manipulating the downloaded exercise files (there is a link that comes with the purchase).
- Watch the “Notes In Nine” videos. David Leedy has created a series of videos that typically are very short (9 minutes or less) that explain one technique or one control. He’s easy to follow and very informative. You will have links to all the videos and they are divided between the typical short videos and the extended videos. The videos are also available on YouTube.
- Try to create Declan Lynch’s phone book application(final version is on OpenNTF.org). You have to search his blog by going to the bottom of a current post and clicking “older Entries” enough times until you find them, but they are still available. This particular series was written when XPages first came out, so some of the interfaces may be different, but there’s still a lot of good information here.
And FINALLY, when you are ready for more check out the IBM Lotus XPages resource center.
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