Of all the major design elements, views are perhaps the easiest to create. I don't mean to imply that all views will be simple; indeed, some views can take a considerable amount of time to create. However, the actual process is relatively easy, and a simple view can be constructed in a short period of time.
There are two view styles: Outline and Calendar. An Outline view displays documents in a tabular format, and a Calendar view displays documents in day, week, and month formats. Your Notes All Documents view is an example of a standard Outline view, and your Notes Calendar is an example of a Calendar view. Both can be found in your mail database.
There are two types of views: shared and private. When you create a view, you must specify the type, and you cannot change it. Essentially, there are six types of views:
In Notes and Domino 6, Shared is the default view type of view. Users with Reader access to the database can create their own private views if given the access through the Create Personal Folders/Views option in the Access Control List (ACL) for the database. Users with Editor access and above can create shared views as long as Create Shared Folders/Views is checked in the ACL for that user or a group to which the user belongs. For designers and managers, it is checked by default. Views can be created from the Designer by selecting Views in the design tile, and clicking the New View button. Alternatively, you can choose Create, Design View from the menu. To create a shared view, select Shared from the drop-down box at the top of the Create View dialog box. See Figure 6.2.
Figure 6.2. The default view type from the Create View dialog box is Shared in Notes and Domino 6. You can see the choices in the View Type drop-down list.
Shared is the most common type of view. The second view type, Shared, Contains Documents Not in Any Folder, speaks for itself. The third view type, Shared, Contains Deleted Documents, is quite useful for reviewing documents that are marked for deletion before actually deleting them. To use this properly, you must also set the database property Allow Soft Deletions, on the Advanced tab, as shown in Figure 6.3. In combination with the setting on the same tab titled Soft Delete Expire Time in Hours, this determines how long deleted documents will remain in the database before being permanently deleted. Documents in the deleted view can be undeleted by dragging them to another folder. Alternatively, you can program a button to accomplish the task.
Figure 6.3. Enabling soft deletions in the database properties requires a Shared, Contains Deleted Documents view.
The fourth view type, Shared, Private on First Use, and the fifth, Shared, Desktop Private on First Use, are useful for displaying a subset of documents unique to individual users. Essentially, this is a design that is shared, in the sense that it appears to all users ”but when it is first used, it becomes personal to the user. In a contact-management database, a view such as this could be used to display accounts specific to a salesperson. The difference between these two views is that one is stored with the database and the other is stored in the desktop.dsk file.
The sixth view type, Private, is created by the user. If the user has the rights to create private views in the ACL, the private view is stored on the server. Otherwise, the view is stored in the desktop.dsk file. For this reason, many administrators do not permit the option Create Personal Views/Folders to be set. Of the six views available, the type you will create most often will be a shared view.
Navigating the Create View Dialog Box
Quite a few decisions must be made when first creating the view, as you can see from Figure 6.2. Selecting the view type is just one of them.
Naming a view is the first step. In selecting a name for a view, choose one that's descriptive and that reflects the contents of the view. In earlier versions of Notes and Domino, the view name was used as the link to access the view from the UI; therefore, it was necessary to make the name something that would make sense to the user. However, it's easy to customize the label displayed to the user through the use of outlines, which were introduced in Release 5. Therefore, the name can be a bit less wordy and still be meaningful to you without having to worry about the UI. After you've named the view, you can decide where to place it.
If your database will have a large number of views, it is a good idea to set up a hierarchy that will organize your views. The hierarchical structure that you create can then be used to automatically generate an outline. For example, the Monitoring Results database used by Domino Administrators has multiple layers of views. You create a view hierarchy by including the slash () character in the name, as in EventsBy Severity, which has one levels or folders, or EventsBy GeneratorTCP Server, which has two. Once you have your hierarchy created, you can place views into folders.
You might notice in Figure 6.2 that the Copy Style from View field already contains a view name. If you are creating a new view in an existing database and a view is set as the default, the default view for that database will appear in this field. You can also use the Copy From button to select a view design that is similar to a view that already exists, or you can select Folders and Views if you want to create a view from scratch. By using an existing view design, you avoid having to re-create all those columns, and you can cut any columns that you won't need.
I'll skip the Selection conditions for now and come back to them later in this chapter. For now, simply be aware that you can write your selection formula up front rather than waiting to enter the IDE by clicking the Add Condition button, or by clicking the Select by Formula check box and then clicking either the Fields and Functions button or the Formula Window button that appear.
If you are not going to actually work on the design of the view at this time, choose the OK button to save your new view without taking you into design mode. However, most of the time you should choose the Save and Customize button so that you can get into design mode and create your new view.
It almost goes without saying that it is a good idea to put some thought into what you are about to create. At minimum, you need to determine the following:
Of course, there are many other elements for you to consider; I'll discuss those in the coming pages.
Creating a View Design Checklist
You might find it useful to create a view design checklist. When complete, the checklist can become part of the project documentation. The list in Table 6.2 is not necessarily complete, and not all the items are necessary for all views.
Table 6.2. View Design Checklist
|View Name||Name of the view.|
|View Alias||Alias of the view.|
|Description||Describes the audience and the purpose of the view.|
|View Contents||A simple description of which documents will appear in the view.|
|View Style||Outline, Calendar.|
|View Type||Shared, private, and so on.|
|View Selection||Describes the documents that appear in the view.|
|View Access||General availability, or secured.|
|Document Hierarchy||Describes the response hierarchy or other hierarchy used in the view.|
|Document Categorization||Briefly indicates any document categorization used.|
|Form Formula||If a Form formula is used, describes its purpose.|
|Column 1 xx||Description of the contents of columns and include sort and categorize settings. Column formula.|
Part I. Introduction to Release 6
Whats New in Release 6?
The Release 6 Object Store
The Integrated Development Environment
Part II. Foundations of Application Design
Advanced Form Design
Using Shared Resources in Domino Applications
Using the Page Designer
Adding Framesets to Domino Applications
Automating Your Application with Agents
Part III. Programming Domino Applications
Using the Formula Language
Real-World Examples Using the Formula Language
Writing LotusScript for Domino Applications
Real-World LotusScript Examples
Writing Java for Domino Applications
Real-World Java Examples
Enhancing Domino Applications for the Web
Part IV. Advanced Design Topics
Accessing Data with XML
Accessing Data with DECS and DCRs
Security and Domino Applications
Creating Workflow Applications
Analyzing Domino Applications
Part V. Appendices
Appendix A. HTML Reference
Appendix B. Domino URL Reference