In this article I will introduce the blog series EXTJS in XPages and discuss why this important to your XPages development knowledge
For ever and a day it has been the dream of Lotus Notes developers to be able to “modernize” their notes client applications and provide their clients an interactive user interface which is similar enough to the notes view interface to seem “familiar” but it different and “cool” enough to help them make the decision to modernize. I believe EXTJS used correctly, provides that user experience and compelling business demands to upgrade.
Recreating the notes view of data
Ahhhh the notes view – we have all used it, probably most of us for longer than the age of our oldest children – but the notes view still rocks………..until you want to display it on the web. In XPages we have the View Panel which is a great and simple way to get data onto the webpage in no time at all and have the users at least navigate to their desired documents. View Panels are good, and repeat controls are better, giving the developer more control over the format and layout of the data displayed while still serving the data from the trusty view on the back end. But do the user’s “dig it”? Maybe…I guess it depends on how well you have managed their high expectations 🙂 My guess is not really…
The view Panel?
A view panel does not look like a notes view. It does not function like a notes view. It really doesn’t provide the user with a simple way to find their data in a large set.
Score: Effort for the developer to create – 2 – 2 Experience for the user
The repeat control
A repeat control is better….well it should be from the user’s perspective, but is it really? It is actually harder for the developer to create a repeat control, but at the same time is more flexible than a view control to create a custom layout which meets the users requirements. But does it make a better user interface for the user ?- not unless the developer is also a graphics designer.
Score: Effort for the developer to create – 5 – 3 Experience for the user
Just take a quick look at grids in the http://dev.sencha.com/deploy/ext-4.0.0/examples/ library, I will wait for you………don’t get distracted by the cool charts, tabs, windows, layout managers and all that stuff your users don’t care about (riiight) let’s at least stay focused on the grids.
If you came back from that not being impressed by the examples then you need to either look again stupid, or walk away now.
In this series of articles I am going to show how some of the EXTJS grids can be easily used in XPages applications by simply looking at the examples and then applying what we know about them and XPages to implement a grid within the XPages environment.
Score: Effort for the developer to create (the first time) – 7 – 9 Experience for the user
In about 60 minutes (give or take)
This is going to be a fun ride and I hope you enjoy it with me 🙂
I have to say thank you to a great team of guys at PSC who I came to work with this past summer and introduced me to what they were doing with EXTJS:- Imran Bhaidani, Steve “Slobo” Lohja, Andrew Barickman and Troy Reimer. Imran was the grids genius and spent many many hours learning their capabilities. I know a thing or two now about EXTJS but I jumped into the project in the middle and I wanted to go back and learn it properly from scratch myself. I am not using any of their code, this is all me, learning it as I go along 🙂