The coolest XPages demo ever – revealed

 

During the AD105 presentation at MWLUG this afternoon, Ryan Baxter and I demonstrated how you can use an XPages application to control a Drone.

We were able to make it take off, take a picture and then land, all from an XPage application interface.

 

 

For more on how this works check out Ryan’s Video 🙂

MWLUG 2015 – IBM Bluemix: Expand Your Horizons – Coolest demo ever !

In two weeks time Ryan Baxter and I will be taking the stage to talk about IBM Bluemix and how Domino/XPages developers have a whole new vista of opportunities open to this in IBM Bluemix.

I look forward to seeing many old friends and new faces there – please stick around to the end for what will hopefully be,

The coolest demonstration in the history of MWLUG

When?

Thursday August 20th – 4:00pm AD105: IBM Bluemix: Expand Your Horizons

Abstract

As a developer, you always need to add new tools to your developer tool belt.  Bluemix gives you many options to take what you already know and build upon it, allowing you to continuously reinvent yourself and your apps. Whether you are an XPages developer looking to leverage new technologies like Watson or Docker, or you want to start exploring new languages and frameworks like the MEAN stack, Bluemix has something to offer you.  Using the powerful deployment models and integration services in Bluemix, it is also easy to build solutions that combine the new with the old making it easy to build upon the work you have already done.  Expand your horizons, improve yourself and join us for a whirlwind tour of what Bluemix has to offer you!

 

Be there – or hear about it from your friends……….

An introduction to creating applications in the Bluemix environment – now available

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An introduction to creating applications in the Bluemix environment


If you missed our recent webcast, “An introduction to creating Domino applications in the Bluemix environment”, don’t worry – it’s now available on-demand. You can view both the video replay and presentation easily right from your desk.

Watch this webcast and learn how to:

  • Easily get Bluemix up and running and how to create you own XPages applications quickly
  • Integrate with the other services available within the Bluemix ecosystem
  • Maximize the new and exciting possibilities this integration opens up to the Domino community            
   
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XPages in Bluemix (experimental) is live

XPages is now available as an experimental release in Bluemix. As of July 2015, anyone can sign up for a free Bluemix account and try out the new XPages in the cloud capability.

What does Experimental mean?

Within Bluemix there are three levels of capability “completeness”. Experimental, Beta and Production ready. Experimental has no Service Level Agreement, no promise of availability and the code base can change at any time without notice. The reason IBM uses this level of completeness is to test drive an application’s capabilities and to elicit feedback from users. They understand that XPages in Bluemix is different than what we are used to on premesis. There is some getting used to the difference in coding patterns when we want to to “@DbName()” for example is now – bluemixContext.getDataService().findDBName().

So experimental means is that it is not production ready and IBM is honest and open about it. For me, it is better to have something than nothing and exciting to thing that in some small way I might be able to help drive the direction of the platform in this manner. Don’t forget – so can you !

Capabilities

The current version of XPages release on day 1 does not have all the same features as an on premises installation. For one, as a developer you do not have direct access to the server, you do not have programmatic access to the server. Your code will run as a designer, but never as an administrator. You cannot have multiple databases on the same application route. This means that many on premises application cannot just be ported straight to Bluemix. Notes client applications will not run in Bluemix (oh well eh……..)

And at the same time there are features and capabilities within Bluemix that are not available  on premises. Some examples are:

  • Scaling you application and running it on multiple instances
  • Automatic failure and restart if the application crashes (which is does, this is experimental after all)
  • Integration with a multitude of services that do not exist on premises
  • Git source control integration at the click of a button
  • Devops capabilities like:
    • Automatic Build and deploy
    • Monitoring and Diagnostics
    • API Monitoring tools
  • Hybrid capabilities
    • The ability to run an XPage application securely, in the cloud, while accessing data securely through an encrypted tunnel back inside the enterprise.
  • and the list goes on……
  • Watson
  • Twitter
  • and on…..

Feedback for IBM

If you have any questions and or would like to get more information on XPages in Bluemix there are a number of ways you can do that:

So how can I get started?

  • Go to http://www.bluemix,net
  • Sign up for a 30 day free trial
  • Follow the instructions and guides shown below
  • Watch videos, read blogs and learn

I started using Bluemix so that I could prepare for XPages arrival, but also so that I could learn new technologies like nodejs and cloudant. As I mentioned before, I strongly recommend you take this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons and learn something new.

Resources

To get you going here are some resources to check out for more information

Enjoy

 

Marky and John on tour in D.C. next week: 2015-07-28

Next week on Tuesday (July 28th), John Head and I will be in the Maryland / D.C / Virginia area and we would love to talk to Domino/XPages/Modern Web Apps teams about their projects and plans for the future of the platform. This is not intended to be a “can you fix this code for me” kinda trip, but more of a strategic learning experience.

If anyone is interested in meeting up please ping me marky @ myblogname . com

XPages in Bluemix – Pushing new changes via Bluemix git repository

In this article I will look at modifying the out of the box boilerplate application and starting to look at the tooling around the new XPages in Bluemix capability. I will specifically talk about the use of the Bluemix integrated git repository.

Introduction

In the previous article I walked through the basic steps of creating the boilerplate XPages application in Bluemix. So let’s look at what we created and how we can mess with it 🙂

The Dashboard

Looking at the dashboard for our new boilerplate application we can start to see a number of items. On the top right there is an option to Add Git

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Continuing will create a git repository within the Bluemix integrated jazz hub repository. Once complete you will see a link to the new repo

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Clicking on the link will take you to the repo page

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We can immediately see from this image that it is not quite what we normally expect from a “source control repo” for XPages development. The entire NSF is part of the repo……but let’s go with it.

Click on the “Git URL” link to get the URL for the repo

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I use source tree for this part of the process – Clone New and use the URL for the repo – you will have to log into IBM as well

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Once complete you will have the repo locally – it can then be opened in Domino Designer

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As we have seen before – we have the to do boilerplate application – to which we can add a new simple XPage

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Note

You must be using the notes ID provided by bluemix for your notes applications.

Build and then close the application in designer

Within Sourcetree – we commit the changes in the master branch and push to repo

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Once that is complete we can refresh the jazz hub repo page and see the committed change

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When we created this repo in Bluemix, the automatic build and deploy tasks were created as well – so clicking on the “Build and Deploy” tab on the top right takes us the deploy page where we can see this in action

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Once that is complete we can go over to our application http://hub.mybluemix.net/ToDo_design.nsf/marky.xsp and there it is

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Conclusion

Using this method we are able to upload a new XPage into the application without using the built in tooling in OpenNTF release v13

Caveats

I did have a build issue, don’t know why (experimental code) but clicking the redeploy button fixed it.

Don’t forget to build before you send to Bleumix (duh Marky)

I am not sure I recommend this manner of deploying an application to Bluemix via this method – I just wanted to see if it was possible.

 

 

 

XPages in Bluemix – Looking at the application dashboard

In this article I will explain the XPages in Bluemix application dashboard and what is available to the developer from the Bluemix web interface.

The Dashboard

Once you have created your new XPages application in Bluemix it will appear on the “Dashboard” with a weird spacecraft for an icon.

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Clicking on the box will review a lot about your application

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Link to the application

Clicking on the link at the top left will open your application in a new window

Clicking on the pencil next to it allows you to edit and / or create an additional subdomain for the application (yes it can have many)

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Add Git

Clicking on this link will automatically create a source control site for this application

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Memory allocated ($$$)

By default the application has 512M allocated to it. Once XPages in Bluemix goes live this will become more significant – this is the number by which Bluemix determines how much you get charged each month. Throughout Bluemix you are charged by the GigaByte hour. That is the number of Gigabytes utilized by a running application each hour. so in this case 512M for an hour is 0.5 Gigabyte hours. Over a typical month that is 720 hours, or 360GBHours. The free allocation is typically 375hours. So this one application running for a month is all you would have “free”. You can reduce this value through the menu, but what you need will be based on your application. Right now (July 2015) XPages is free – keep an eye on it !!!

VCAP services

On the bottom of the smaller box for IBM XPages NoSQL Database you will see a down arrow – if you click on it you will see what are called the “VCAP” services. These are the Cloud Foundry Environmental Variables.

“Environment variables are the means by which the Cloud Foundry runtime communicates with a deployed application about its environment. This page describes the environment variables that Droplet Execution Agents (DEAs) and buildpacks set for applications.”

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This JSON construct is critical to telling Bluemix how the XPages boilerplate application works. When you use the self selection to deploy the application all this information is created on the fly. Looking at the labels for the data they should be relatively self explanatory for a Domino developer.