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JavaScript & LotusScript in Lotus Notes Professional Development

What role should JavaScript and Lotus Script certification play in Lotus Notes Professional Development?

Great question, I have answered a similar question in a previous posting but I will discuss the difference here..

In summary the Domino server handles programming in two ways, front end (or client side) and back-end (server-side).

For a developer who is principally creating web-sites and requires some client side processing/validation of data this can only be done with one language at the moment in a web-browser - JavaScript. If the application is being written for a Notes only client, then LotusScript can be used as an alternative to JavaScript to perform the same client-side processing, although the Notes client can handle both languages. Alternatively, if an application requires intensive back-end batch processing of documents, this can only be achieved using on of Domino's back-end (server-side) languages, ie LotusScript or Java.

So what role should those Languages play in professional development?

Obviously if a developer needs to write a simple web-site with little interaction from a visitor with no validation of that input or post-processing of the document once it has been submitted, then the requirement for a language like LotusScript or JavaScript is negligible, since the standard Domino designer tools enable a developer to design everything required in that scenario.

If the developer now needs to perform intensive validation of data before submission in both a Notes Client and a Web-browser, then a sound knowledge of JavaScript is required. Further, if the information once submitted needs to be processed - for example in a workflow application such as a 'Leave approval process' - then a server-side language is required to further manipulate that document.

In the above scenarios, the first describes roughly the capabilities of a someone who holds at least a CLS qualification and most definitely someone with CLP, while the second describes someone who has additional skills and programming capabilities and has reached a principal level of certification.

In conclusion, JavaScript and LotusScript play an important role in extending an applications capabilities and I would recommend that any developer work to attaining a Principal level certification in at least one of those languages. The choice would be the area or specialisation, given that JavaScript is only available in the front end (Notes AND Web) and therefore more useful for web-based applications, while LotusScript is Back-end (Server) and front end for Notes clients only.


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