As IBM Workplace and WebSphere become more ingrained in Lotus Domino shops, Domino developers face the opportunity and need to bring Notes/Domino applications to the Workplace desktop. This tip discusses how to do that, courtesy of IBM's 2005 Redbook, Building a Component for IBM Workplace.
Many Notes/Domino developers have already worked on integrating Domino and WebSphere Portal; typically by using Domino Application Portlet to deliver Domino collaborative functions and data to WebSphere Portal or Domino JSP custom tag libraries.
Since IBM Lotus Workplace operates within WebSphere Portal, those integration efforts can also be leveraged to provide access to Domino via Workplace.
However, IBM Workplace also offers some additional integration methods. Since Workplace applications are composed in templates, they enable several different components -- such as Domino portlets -- to be combined in unique ways on a page.
One portlet can represent a single Domino application. More commonly, though, many portlets -- accessing one or multiple applications -- are combined to form a unique WebSphere Portal/Workplace application.
IBM Lotus Workplace offers three key ways to combine Domino and Workplace functions:
- Pairing Lotus Domino and IBM Workplace Portlets: You can create an integrated page by simply placing Workplace portlets next to complimentary Domino applications. An example the IBM Redbook provides: Place a Workplace calendar portlet beside a Domino database portlet containing the minutes of recent meetings, so a user can easily switch between the two.
- Workplace Java Server Pages (JSP) Tags: You can employ IBM Workplace custom JSP tags -- namely the Person tag and the OnlineCenter tag, which are included in the Workplace Team Collaboration 2.0 -- to add a named person as the object of a Lotus Domino function.
The Person tag adds collaborative options for specific individuals to a Domino Workplace portlet. For instance, when used with a purchase order application, you can see who is working on a specific purchase order. Likewise, the OnlineCenter tag provides awareness of a person's presence online, so you can see if the person is available for a chat about the purchase order.
- Collaborative Component Interface APIs: You can create a Workplace application using the Collaborative Application Component Interface APIs, which are part of the IBM Lotus Workplace API Toolkit.
For example, the Building a Component for IBM Lotus Workplace Redbook provides instructions on how to create a Domino Discussion application consisting of a Domino discussion database inside a Workplace application. This application is comprised of a portlet and a stateless EJB, which implements the Collaborative Application Component Interfaces. The Domino database remains in Domino, but is accessed via Workplace (as well as, of course, Lotus Notes).
Like Domino, IBM Lotus Workplace is a platform for building collaborative applications. Integration with Domino applications and data enables organizations to leverage their investment in Domino by extending it to a wider user base. For more information on working with Workplace, download the IBM Redbook, Building a Component for IBM Workplace.
About the author: Sue Hildreth is a freelance writer and editor based in Waltham, Mass. She can be reached at Sue.Hildreth@comcast.net.
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