Lotus Notes Domino and Web: Application Development ? Tips for Programmers

Beginning with Domino version R4 it has integration with the Web, and the server itself becomes a HTTP-server. The next releases of Domino Web-server add new functionality (for example servlet managers, supported JVM versions upgrade, etc). To give you general picture and abstracting from details we'll talk about two major Domino Web-server functions:

1. Domino Web-server is the full-featured HTTP-server. In other words, it can provide static (or conditionally static) files as the reply to HTTP-browser's requests (including HTML, image, JavaScript, applets, etc);

2. During the browser's requests to Domino dynamic resources by specific URL, the server can create in passing HTML-pages, making the Domino object visible.

For sure, it is reasonably simplified model (we mentioned that, for example, Domino Web-server supports servlet technology), but this model allows to discuss the major issues in creation of Web-applications based on Lotus Domino technology. Following the major problems are:

? in Domino-based Web-applications creation developer is strongly limited to use built-in program languages' possibilities. Thus, from 380 inbuilt @-commands of @-formulas language nearly 40 are supported in Web. LotusScript is supported only in three types of Web-agents, etc;

? application security problems. The standard authentication, authorization, coding, digital signatures, etc. mechanisms are simplified in Web or do not work. So SSL + x.509, etc. certificates are to be used in such cases;

? applications efficiency. HTML-pages generation in passing surely takes the server resources, so if the application is poorly constructed, it may cause the server failure. For example, if the first page of the site is generated by an agent, then concurrent request from rather big number of users may cause the service failure situation. Developers are to take care themselves for loading balance putting into different parts often changed and more static data;

? result of HTML-pages generation in passing from Domino resources is not every time obvious. Often such a procedure issues appearance in generated page «additional» by developer point of view tags (for ex.,

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