.NODE

Working with Shared Resources

Shared resources are objects, typically files, that are not Lotus Domino files or design elements but that can be used and referenced from within the application. Like shared objects, shared resources enable you to maintain application resource files from a single location.

Images

Shared images are graphics files that can be used throughout the applicationsuch as a company logo. Valid image file formats include JPEG, GIF, and BMP. These files can be used on forms, subforms, pages, action buttons, and outlines. Image resources can also be used as watermark or background images throughout the application.

Files

This section is used to store file attachments including HTML, PDF, word processing files, spreadsheets, or general presentations.

Applets

Applets are generally used to enhance Web applications but can be used in Lotus Notes applications as well. Through the use of applets, you can enhance the user interface and perform specialized tasks. Applets are created externally to the Notes Designer interface using the Java programming language and are imported into the Notes database design.

Style Sheets

Style sheets, also known as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), are used to apply a consistent format to a Web page, form, or view. Using style sheets, you can control the look and feel of all related design elements from a common location. For example, style sheets allow you to specify the font, size, and color to be used for all text, buttons, and Web links. This ensures a common presentation across all Web pages and enables the designer to change all attributes from one location.

Data Connections

Starting in release 6, Lotus introduced the Data Connection Resource. This design element enables the Notes database to connect to a relational database. Using this design element, a Notes database can link and store (or retrieve) data external to the NSF file.

Note

Implementation of this feature requires the Domino Enterprise Connector Services (DECS) software to be installed on your Domino server.

A.4.1

 

Working with "Other" Design Elements

Finally, the remaining design elements can be found in the "Other" section of the Design pane. For the most part, this section contains design components that apply to the overall database application. This Other section contains the following design elements.

Design Element

Description Overview

Database Resources

Contains special database objects

Icon

Allows the designer to modify the database icon that is shown in the Lotus Notes client

Using This Database

Stores help information on how to use the database

About This Database

Stores help information on the purpose for the database

Database Script

Stores LotusScript code that applies to the overall database

Navigators

Enables designers to customize the application graphical user interface

Synopsis

Enables designers to create reports that detail the design of the database

 

Icon

This special design element stores the image that's displayed on the database from the Lotus Notes client. When a new database is created, Designer creates a default icon. Using this design element, you can customize the appearance of the icon (see Figure 4.36). This helps the user visually recognize the database. A well-designed icon can also act as a visual cue to the purpose of the database.

Figure 4.36. Database icons help users identify databases.

Follow these instructions to edit the database icon.

1.

In the Design pane, navigate to Other > Database Resources. This will display four special database objects.
 

2.

Select Icon to edit the database icon.
 

3.

Using the paintbrush, pencil, eraser, and color, click on the bitmap to modify the icon. When finished, click OK to save the database icon image.
 

Using This Database

Each Lotus Notes database has the option to include two types of help filesUsing This Database and About This Database. The "Using This Database" document generally explains how to use the database. This document is intended to help users navigate the tool. The "Using" document is accessed from the Help menu. The following are some considerations to include in the document.

  • Provide a database overview
  • Describe the forms
  • Describe access groups
  • Describe various roles
  • List the database administrator

Tip

You may want to keep the "Using This Database" content generic. This way, the help context will always match the actual design of the database. This is a frequent problem when the database design changes but the help content does not, resulting in discrepancies between the help document and the implemented database design.

Follow these instructions to create the "Using This Database" document.

1.

In the Design pane, navigate to Other > Database Resources. This will display four special database objects.
 

2.

Double-click Using This Database to open the document in edit mode.
 

3.

Add information to the document, such as text, images, copyright, attachments, or related information.
 

4.

Select File > Save (or Ctrl+S) to save the document. You will not be prompted to specify a name when saving this special database object.
 

About This Database

The "About This Database" document is a special database object. By default, this document is displayed the first time any user opens the database, provided the document exists. This document should provide a general introduction to the database.

Follow these instructions to create the "About This Database" document.

1.

In the Design pane, navigate to Other > Database Resources. This will display four special database objects.
 

2.

Double-click About This Database to open the document in edit mode.
 

3.

Add information to the document, such as text, copyright, release level, primary database contact, or other related information.
 

4.

Select File > Save (or Ctrl+S) to save the document. You will not be prompted to specify a name when saving this special database object.
 

The "About" document is an optional design element. The default is to automatically display the document the first time each user accesses the database. However, in the database properties dialog, you can also (1) display the "About" document every time the database is opened, (2) only display it when the document is modified, or (3) never display it when the database is opened.

You may want to display the document every time it is opened to relay important updates or present reminders. Conversely, you can disable the display if desired. To change the options, open the database properties by selecting the File > Database > Properties menu options (see Figure 4.37).

Figure 4.37. Set display properties for the "About" document

Tip

Add text in the "About This Database" and "Using This Database" design elements to help users navigate the application. The "About" page usually provides a summary of what the database does, whereas the "Using" page generally describes how to use or navigate the application.

Note

The "About This Database" document only displays if the document exists. Based on the default properties for the database, this document is only displayed to users the first time the application is opened.

 

Database Script

The Database Script is a special design element that contains LotusScript or Formula Language code that applies to the overall database. The Database Script is similar to the LotusScript library, except the code applies specifically to the Notes database.

Navigators

Navigators are used to display a graphical user interface in the Notes database. As the name implies, they help the user navigate the application through a series of buttons, hotspots, graphics, and text. Using this interface, the user can click buttons to display information or even jump to another database.

Note

Starting with release 5, navigators were replaced with framesets, outlines, and pages, which offer more robust features. However, this function is still supported.

 

Synopsis

The Synopsis creates a detailed report for various design elements in the Notes database (see Figure 4.38). Using this design feature, you can gather information on the entire database or select design elements. Each report displays the object name, type, property attributes, and associated source code (where applicable).

Figure 4.38. Synopsis dialog box

Note

The Synopsis is not a design element. Using this feature, you can create design reports to help debug the application or to locate all instances of a text phrase or subroutine call.

Follow these instructions to create a synopsis report.

1.

Select File > Database > Design Synopsis. Alternatively, navigate to the Other section in the Design pane and choose Synopsis. This will display the Synopsis dialog box that's used to build reports.
 

2.

From the Choose Design Elements tab, select a design type.
 

3.

Next, select one or more design elements and click Add. Alternatively, click Add All to include all elements in the report. Continue to select design types and elements until the report includes all desired database elements.
 

4.

Click OK to generate the report.
 

Note

In most cases, you can include all design types and objects in the synopsis report. However, Designer may encounter problems generating reports if the database contains a significant number of design elements or source code. When this occurs, you will receive an error "Document has too many paragraphsit must be split into several documents." Reducing the number of design elements selected when building the report request can rectify this problem.


An Introduction to the Lotus Domino Tool Suite

Getting Started with Designer

Navigating the Domino Designer Workspace

Domino Design Elements

An Introduction to Formula Language

An Introduction to LotusScript

Fundamentals of a Notes Application

Calendar Applications

Collaborative Applications

Reference Library Applications

Workflow Applications

Web Applications

Design Enhancements Using LotusScript

Design Enhancements Using Formula Language

View Enhancements

Sample Agents

Miscellaneous Enhancements and Tips for Domino Databases

Data Management

Security

Application Deployment and Maintenance

Troubleshooting

Appendix A. Online Project Files and Sample Applications

Appendix B. IBM® Lotus® Notes® and Domino®Whats Next?





Lotus Notes Developer's Toolbox(c) Tips for Rapid and Successful Deployment
Lotus Notes Developers Toolbox: Tips for Rapid and Successful Deployment
ISBN: 0132214482
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 293
Authors: Mark Elliott
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