November 28 2006
One of the interesting thoughts that came out of Jake Howlett's twin postings last week was the sense of being "stuck" that was expressed by a number of the comments. The feeling expressed by some is frustration, perceiving that the tools haven't evolved to meet their needs, or that IBM isn't listening and doesn't care.
I can understand some of that frustration.
Now the hard part of these types of discussions is that I've never been a developer. I've taken programming classes, but my IT career was on the network/architecture/admin side. So it's hard for me to relate to some of the challenges, and even harder for me to provide answers.
What I do know is that IBM has been evolving the programming model for Domino over the last several years. New tools and new capabilities have been introduced. There's web services in Domino 7. The Domino Toolkit for WebSphere Studio. Integration components like the Domino and Extended Products Portlets for WebSphere Portal. Notes Access for SAP Solutions. NSFDB2 in limited availability.
There are also the two newest tools -- Lotus Component Designer and Lotus Expeditor. And there's the opportunity that both Expeditor and Notes 8 open up in terms of the Eclipse framework itself, for things like composite applications. And even a possibility for Domino Designer itself to move into that Eclipse world.
With all of those new tools and capabilities, it seems to me like there has in fact been a lot of evolution -- whether every feature request or design goal for Domino Designer has been addressed thus far or not. But all of these tools that I mentioned got scant mention in the comments on Jake's threads. Those that did mention some of these tools seemed to get a bit of a cold shoulder (at least to me), or were critical in a way that certainly didn't encourage others to check them out.
I'm sure some of the developers out there have used some of these new tools or methods. I'm especially interested in the Domino 7 web services capabilities, and how/if they are being used. Notwithstanding the sometimes-valid complaints in these discussions, are there positive experiences with the new tools or methods that can be described, shared, referenced in a way that helps this discussion?
My ultimate goal in asking is to help find ways to evolve Domino developer skills to continue to be relevant in the market, and to attract new developers. How can we get there?