My humble suggestion to the IBM PM team: Please do XPages RDBMS before DDE for Mac

February 21 2011

Ed has continued the discussion about Domino Designer on (DDE) on a Mac today. He talks about how he is convinced it needs to be done, but asks at what cost? What gets left off the to-do list in place? There is some chatter about server work vs. DDE Mac. While I have never been part of the IBM triage process for deciding what goes in a release, from what I have heard, observed, and been told, there is usually a bucket for server, client, and DDE/Development. So I am going to go with the assumption that DDE for Mac and Domino Server improvements are different groups and won't compete with each other for resources.

So while I talked about DDE for Mac last week, I must say to all those at IBM listening, I would give up any further DDE platform support for RDBMS support. Allowing XPages to connect directly to JDBC or other third-party relational systems would be a major boon for the platform. XPages has the ability to become the middleware development platform for collaboration. Not being able to pull in data from other systems without a huge amount of work is a huge limitation in the product today. I know that Phil and Maureen and the rest of the XPages team has heard this. They know what we need. Please, make this one of the top development priorities (at the same time you do IMAP IDLE please).

And as much as I see how DDE on the Mac can help the product and address a new target of developer that we need to bring into the product community, having RDBMS support in XPages in Domino NEXT is CRITICAL. I personally think it is the #1 feature that can be in the next release of the product.

19 Responses to “My humble suggestion to the IBM PM team: Please do XPages RDBMS before DDE for Mac”

  1. 1) Darren Duke says:

    Yup. Completely agree. Phillip had mentioned an OpenNTF project "soon" that may well address this issue.

    Here's hoping.

  2. 2) Darren Duke says:

    oh, and I've been on about this for 18 months or so...

    { Link }

    Go vote it up!

  3. 3) John Head says:

    Darren, when you and I agree, we know it's a major issue (or cows are indeed in the cockpit with Tyler) :-)

  4. 4) Stuart McIntyre says:

    Wow you two agreeing? It's getting cold down there!

    Nor sure its necessarily an either/or decision, but yes, I agree RDBMS support is a must have...

  5. 5) John Head says:

    @4 Stuart - I think for Notes / Domino NEXT, it is an either/or decision. They can't contain both of those efforts in a single release - at least I guess they can't. So let's say they say we can do only one ... which do you pick? Which impacts the platform the most? Hard decisions have to be made ...

  6. 6) Bill Kron says:

    I absolutely agree. I am also hoping that the project that Darren referenced becomes available soon. May I also suggest that access to MS SQL Server data is considered as much a priority as access to IBM's DB2? This is a constant source of frustration for those of us in mostly Microsoft environments.

  7. 7) Richard Moy says:

    I attended Stephen Wissel's and Jim Quill's session, "SHOW107 The DataSource Session: Take XPages Data Boldly Where No XPages Data Has Been Taken Before" at Lotusphere and they showed how XPages can be used to access RDBMS. I believe that are working on a project to add that capability maybe as part of the Extension Library.

  8. 8) Steve Smillie says:

    I agree as well. Easier RDBMS in XPages is a top need for us. and I agree with Bill (#6) as well. It can't just be for DB2, it needs to include MS SQL for sure and maybe some other sources!!

    Richard (#7) I am interested in that project as well. Perhaps IBM needs to put more resources behind Jim Quill's project and make that the starting point for this solution, it can be available on OpenNTF until it can be incorporated in Domino Next.

  9. 9) John Turnbow says:

    I agree... Easier RDBMS is a top need here as well!

    I like MAC, but, still, in the corporate world MAC is a tiny percentage...

    I pray Ed goes after RDMBS first!

  10. 10) Nathan T. Freeman says:

    "I think for Notes / Domino NEXT, it is an either/or decision."

    If that's true, John, then the dev team has truly reached its nadir. Neither of these objectives is particularly hard, they serve two entirely different goals, and the personnel overlap should be minimal -- given that there are plenty of Eclipse plugins to visually manage RDBMS queries already.

    You said it yourself just a couple of days ago: this platform is going to live or die based on its support for applications. And if it's going to have apps, it's going to need developers, developers, developers.

    XPages and DDE have shown that it's possible to revitalize Domino as an application platform, and IBM needs to double or triple down on that.

  11. 11) Patrick Kwinten says:

    why not make Domino Designer a 100% development tool in the browser like Orion for Eclipse? { Link }

  12. 12) Sean Cull says:

    Can we have a SSJS debugger first too. Attracting new developers to the platform would work better with a debugger.

    We were all so excited to get XPages that we begrudgingly accepted no debugger. Someone coming from another well tooled platform will not be so easicly placated.

  13. 13) Renato Casati says:

    Only few dasy ago I write on IdeaJam the same request.

    { Link }

  14. 14) John D Head says:

    Patrick - I would love a 100% web based IDE, but I think that is a bit much to do in the 'NEXT' timeframe that IBM laid out at LS11. If that is the long term goal, than even more reason to do the RDBMS stuff for Next and push the Mac stuff until later.

  15. 15) John D Head says:

    While I agree the need for a complete XPages debugger, not just SSJS, is needed, I think we can live with what we have until we get the RDBMS stuff in place. YMMV.

  16. 16) John D Head says:

    Renato - I don't think anyone is saying this is a DB2 only feature. I can tell you that eveything I have heard or discussed with IBM on this topic, both in public and in NDA discussions, it has always been a JDBC data source driver - not a product specific one.

  17. 17) Mike Miller says:

    Put me down as a "Yes" for RDBMS integration. Agree with @10 that this should not be hard to do. Make it easy to manage and instantiate the driver connection and expose methods in XPages (even extend them to make them easier to work with in the IDE) and all that is left is teach the developers some SQL tricks to manipulate the data.

  18. 18) Lars Berntrop-Bos says:

    I'm with Nathan: WE NEED BOTH! SOON!!!

    a) lack of RDBMS support is really hurtin' me

    b) We need DDE on Mac so ALL the college kids can run the XPages classes!!!

    I'm not being selfish cuz I don't have a capable Mac (Not for lack of wanting one tho'...)

  19. 19) Renato Casati says:

    John, on Idea Jam, I said that we need an easy integration with Oracle and SQL Server for having a WEB 2.0 Open RAD Environment.

    When I spoke about Domino-DB2 Integration I said that it wasn't a success story.

    I Completely agree with your article.

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