XPages Extension Library Book – it just makes you better!

In this article I will review the new XPages Extension Library book by IBM Press.

Introduction

If you are using or going to use XPages in your organization you need to get the Extension Library – it is already included in 8.5.3 UP1 and in the future it is just going to be part of the standard install and we won’t even consider it an “add on”.

And if you are a developer using the Extension Library, like you should, then you NEED to buy this book and read it. I am not understating that fact, you need to buy it, otherwise you are doing yourself and your company a disservice. What I realized very quickly was that I thought I knew the Extension Library, when in fact I had only scratched the surface and how much more functionality I could be taking advantage of. I have used many parts of the Extension Library now for a few months and I have stolen re-used parts of the example database like the REST services and basically copied and pasted them. I never really understand what they were and how the worked, but didn’t need to either………my loss apparently.

So what’s it do for me?

It just makes you better – and unless you improve and get better, someone else’s going to be doing your job for you!

What this book does is it breaks down all those sections you see every day in the Control Palette and explains it in simple to understand manner.

Extension Library controls in your Designer Control Palette
Extension Library controls in your Designer Control Palette

For example…

  • Chapter 2 – Installation and deployment, written from the perspective of someone who’s had to do it, a LOT and you know they know what they are talking about.
  • Chapter 4 – Forms Dynamic Content and More contains a section on the Dynamic Content control – that is the equivalent of computed Subforms – who knew!! Excellent !!
  • Chapter 5 – Dojo made easy– this does an excellent job of explaining how dojo is integrated into the XPage designer client with good examples!!
    • and I still prefer jQuery, but now I have an even better understanding of why 🙂
  • Chapter 9 – The Application’s Layout has a history of OneUI and while I still think it is massively over complicated for what it needs to be, there are clear explanations of how it breaks down and how you can manipulate each separate section for your evil needs
  • Chapter 11 – REST services took my knowledge from 10% to 90% in an hour. Soooooo many applications for this capability, I *really* wish I had had this 10 years ago!
  • Chapter 12 – XPages gets relational – oh yes it does baby!
  • Chapter 13 – Get Social – I would love to get social and now I know how to – (but I am not social and will now go back in my corner and cry)

 

Talk to me like a person – not a machine

You know when you add an ExtLib custom control to your XPage and you see the “All Properties” and 95% of the explanation seems alien speak to you? This book provides the “real person” explanation of the property and what it does for you. Laying all the properties out together in one place also makes is a whole lot easier to understand the control, its purpose and how you use it!

details on client - que?
details on client – que?

Is really IBM speak for….

oooh that's what it means
oooh that’s what it means

 

The Authors

To varying levels I have gotten to know the authors of this book over the last few months and they a genuinely some of the best people you could ever hope to meet. They wrote this book because they are just like you and me – developers – and they want to spread their knowledge and make the whole community better.

Conclusion

This book was written by developers for developers and like I said, you owe it to yourself and your company to check it out. The cost of the book is less than an hour’s worth of your time to your company and unless you are an XPage ÜberGenius already, you cannot help but learn from this book and it will pay for itself the first day you really sit down and read it.

Go Buy it ! No buts, just go buy it.

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