Your Development & Design Resource
Online resources for Lotus Developers
11/11/2009 01:31 PM by Chris Toohey
With the potential for new developers to the IBM Lotus Domino platform -- as a result of the new pricetag for Lotus Domino Designer in Eclipse -- I thought that I would put together a list of resources for the Lotus Developer.
These resources include online communities and directories of subject matter experts, listings of open source and community-maintained content, Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages, LinkedIn discussion forums, YouTube channels, and various other online resources that are intended to empower IT Professionals and Lotus yellowbleeders alike!
Now, in no particular order...
"Help, I'm stuck..."
Learning a new technology can be fun. I get a sense of accomplishment each time I climb to the top of some small hill on a platform in which I am wholly unfamiliar. Each Hello World brings me mad geek joy! However, there's nothing more frustrating than hitting a wall and not knowing where to go for help.
Here's a list of online resources to help you get started:
- http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus - I'll assume that if you have your copy of Domino Designer, you've at least been to developerWorks Lotus... but this online resource is the place to get started. Complete with downloadable examples, product and release-specific discussion and support forums, tutorials, and countless other resources (such as My developerWorks), developerWorks Lotus should be your first stop when you get stumped.
- PlanetLotus.org - The Lotus Online Community is one of the most welcoming group of geeks you'll ever encounter, and often at the forefront of that community are the bloggers and podcasters. PlanetLotus aggregates all of the RSS feeds from these Lotus-centric blogs and podcasts as well as features their own forums, Twitter feeds, and other community-minded resources. You're bound to find a subject matter expert here that would be more than happy to answer your question or help you get unstuck.
- developerWorks Product Wikis - From Best Practices to Domino Web Application Development to Lotus Symphony, the IBM Lotus developerWorks Product Wikis contain community and vendor-authored information on each feature and function for a given product. Developers should know that techniques and best practices constantly evolve, and these wikis allow the documentation and tutorials to evolve in tandem!
- Lotus Greenhouse - A publicaly-accessible (registration/login required) implementation of IBM Lotus Connections, Lotus Greenhouse will allow you to not only connect to subject matter experts that can help answer your questions, In addition, adding sametime.lotus.com as a Sametime Community to your Lotus Notes Client Sametime Sidebar Client will allow you to immediately connect to fellow yellowbleeders who I'm certain would be more than willing to answer your questions.
- BleedYellow.com - And speaking of yellowbleeders, IBM Business Partner Lotus 911 has setup BleedYellow, a publically-accessible (registration/login required) Lotus Connections environment. Don't have an in-house instance of Lotus Connections, but you want to track your tasks using Activities (and actually use that Sidebar Widget?!), this is the community resource for you. And if the subject matter expert that you're looking for is not on Greenhouse, they're more than likely on BleedYellow!
"I just need to see an example of..."
Some people are great with a 500 page book that details every API call, each Design Element and it's intended function, and outlines the how to in building your first Lotus application.
For the rest of us who -- quite frankly -- don't have time to read, or prefer to get more hands-on with a product by dissecting fully functional applications to learn how things work, I recommend OpenNTF.org. OpenNTF.org is the community-driven, IBM-supported open source application resource for IBM Lotus Notes/Domino.
And while this is an amazing resource for customers who need a particular application like a Helpdesk, CRM, Wiki, or Weblog solution that runs on IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, it can be an invaluable resource for the novice and intermediate Lotus Developer.
I have several applications in there myself, which you can rip apart to see how a hack like me does things...
"Where are the other Lotus geeks?"
You're not alone out there. There are other IT Professionals that use IBM Lotus products, and every once in a while - when the moon is full - yellowbleeders come out of air conditioned server rooms and high-wall cubicles share war stories and learn about new products and features. Sometimes there's pizza!
These are the regional Lotus User Group meetings... but what if you don't know where or when your regional Lotus User Group meets (or even know if you have a regional Lotus User Group)? Check out LotusUserGroup.org!
From their website:
LotusUserGroup.org supports the worldwide community of Lotus technology professionals, which includes regional and virtual user groups, customers, business partners, vendors, IBM staff, developers, consultants, and other related Lotus professionals.
Membership has it's benefits, as not only will you get great information via their newsletters and access to their guest-hosted discussion forums, but until November 20th, 2009, LotusUserGroup.org members can get a discounted rate for Lotusphere 2010!
I use (enter social network here)...
IBM and the greater Lotus Online Community have worked to establish connections with IT Professionals beyond the IBM domain and pre-existing websites mentioned above by spreading the good word across various social networks.
You can now get Lotus-centric news and information via Twitter, through Facebook, learn about new and exciting product features through YouTube, or communicate with fellow yellowbleeders via LinkedIn. Here's a quick list, broken down by social network:
I am certain that missed a resource or twelve, which is a very good thing: our online community and thus our online resources are thriving and ever-expanding. This is a good sign not only for IT Professionals that work with IBM Lotus products, but also a good outward message to be received by interested IT Professionals that are looking for a new development platform.
Feel free to include any additional online resources in the comments of this post, and I'll make sure to keep the body of this post updated!