Friday, August 17, 2007

Portletize Lotus Notes Application - Part 1 (Profile Sets)

From the existing samples in Portlet Factory (PF), you can get a simple Lotus Notes (LN) application up and running in no time. I will skip the most details covered in the sample.

By using just a Domino View & Form builder, you can get the most simple function of viewing, creating, editing and deleting documents. When setting up the builder, you have to put in the property file for the Domino connection, Database Name, etc. Development and production server should have different settings.

In LN, I normally use profile document. The profile document would contain settings that is needed for the application to run. Same for PF, we can use Profile Set also. Profile Sets contains one or more profiles entries. There's a sample on PF samples page on how to use the profiles feature.

An example that we can use here is to set a profile for the Database name. In my environment, production path and development path is different. Thus for the application to run, it have to point to the correct database path. First, create a Profile Input for the Database name. If a profile set does not exist, you can create a new profile set. Then create a new Profile Entry name DatabaseName type text. I give it a default value to the development server database path.

Next is to set the entries configurable on the portal. Add in a Portlet Adapter builder to create the portlet. Then scroll down to Portlet Sets section. There should be a list of Profile Sets that is created. For those that you want to be configurable, it can be set to "Show individual profile values in Configure". You may want to check on "Require Configuration". This would force the portlet to be configured during deployed before it can be used.

I received a portlet application from a team and it needs code changes everytime it is deploy in development and production. This cause a lot of issue when they forget to make the changes. Thus using the Profile Set example above, it provides a more flexible way to deploy application to different environments.

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