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So you wanna build cross-client Domino applications?

I've developed many cross-client Domino applications over the years - that is, applications that can be accessible from both the native Lotus Notes client as well as the myriad of web browsers and I'm always interested in understanding how other developers go about accomplishing this sometimes herculean task.

And this isn't particularly only the technology (and it's application) that you utilize, although I am always interested in that. I'm also interested in how closely you mirror the Lotus Notes client. An idea has been bouncing around my head lately, and I thought that this was a good as any a place to showcase said idea and get valued feedback from the good people that actually read my ramblings.

If you look at the current Lotus Notes client, applications typically launch in new "Windows" - creating a tab-based navigation system across the top of your client. What if you created your entire UI from a single "client" page that facilitated this tabbed-navigation feel and functionality? It's an abstract thought... but maybe some further explanation can get across the idea that's in my head.

Let's say the home page starts at z-index 1. If you open a form, said form launches inline and sits at z-index 2, as well as creates a clickable tab for navigation purposes. The home page, like the form, has it's own clickable tab, which when clicked sets the z-index to the ubound of the z-index array, which for all intends and purposes, we'll say is 3.

Now, put in into your Domino-based application UI. We can allow for instant toggling between application components - just like in the Lotus Notes client!

Just a thought - and, as always, yours are welcome and appreciated!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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