Don't believe your own propaganda

by Volker Weber

Ed writes:

The term "RAD" (rapid application development) is often used to describe the capability to quickly build and deploy applications on Lotus Domino. It's been one of the product's core strengths going all the way back

In theory. In practice however, just take a look at the templates IBM ships. If it were so easy to rapidly build applications, those templates would use all the latest features of Domino 8.5.

They don't.


That's not a RAD issue, that's a priorities and budgeting issue. It's not viewed as a high enough priority by IBM to warrant attention.

Carl Tyler, 2011-03-29

Well, you have to look no further for priorities and budgeting.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-29

IBM has open sourced some templates on OpenNTF in 2009.

Henning Heinz, 2011-03-29

Yep. Can't master the RAD.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-29

The misunderstanding here is with the definition of RAD, actually.

RAD cannot be defined with CRUD applications and development times. Do you have prototyping, unit testing, quick implementation with minimum framework coding, etc.

In such a contest, Microsoft Access will beat all down. Microsoft Fox Pro may beat even MS Access! But using PHP to develop a discussion forum?

Serdar Basegmez, 2011-03-29

RAD is a marketing term from the last millenium.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-29

Collecting requirements and formalizing business intelligence processes not equal to RAD.

Tony Lee, 2011-03-29

Of course it's RAD, just look how many fix packs IBM releases, they are developed in lightning speed and it shows sometimes. :)

Steve Medure, 2011-03-29

*RAD: Rapidly Achieved Demos

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. In practice, we all whip up a RAD* to get the customer buy-in to do real development work which by its nature is not rapid. Very few fools still have their jobs who took a RAD* and deployed it to production for full time use.

Jerry Carter, 2011-03-29

Steve, the fixpack are not built using Notes. And it's not called RAD but Agile, a last decade fad. ;-)

Jerry, you are right. They were promoted to management.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-29

Where they eventually are given a generous early retirement, after many such contributions.

Jerry Carter, 2011-03-29

"In theory. In practice however, just take a look at the templates IBM ships. If it were so easy to rapidly build applications, those templates would use all the latest features of Domino 8.5.

They don't."

They are working on them. TeamRoom OpenNTF 8.5.2

I believe they also announced that the Document Library and Discussion templates were getting updates as well. Should they move faster, yes. But this is a baby step in the right direction.

John Head, 2011-03-29

Apparently not rapid baby steps.

Volker Weber, 2011-03-29

Yup, budgets and priorities. Its given to the least cost contract staff working out of Dublin. I had a call a couple of years ago and tried the 'spend a little more, get more quality' idea but was shot down.

Hey. IBM is big. Budgets are big. Innovation is what the customers do.

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2011-03-29

Apparently not rapid baby steps.
Maybe the babies are spending too much time talking about it? :-)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2011-03-29

Volker, that's the way it's always been, even way back in 97 when I first started there. The features for developing templates are RAD, but that doesn't mean creating production ready, shrink wrap software with them is easy. You still need lots of fit and finish, testing, documentation translation, support docs etc. All those things are often unnecessary overhead for an enterprise to adopt a new RAD dev feature, they can often just grab and go and be productive and deploy their app to their 5 users. True RAD development. But apps that ship with Notes have to worry about a lot more than layout the the initial form and adding in a few code events here and there. It's internationally deployed software that millions of people end up judging a billion $ product on.

It takes a release to produce the tools, then another release to produce good production apps on top of it. As with most features, the RAD features often aren't production ready until late in the product dev cycle, so building production ready templates with them is challenging when they are buggy, and time compressed once they are ready. So it's typically limited to a few cool proof of concept demos in the first release.

Anyway, just defending my long times peeps back at lotus. I know what a hard time it is producing these tools and building stuff with them. They are chronically understaffed and underfunded and produce still an amazing tool that I have a very soft spot in my heart for :)

Damien Katz, 2011-03-29

*sigh* always baby steps in the right direction..meanwhile the rest of the world leaps ahead

Colin Williams, 2011-03-29

Notes was a RAD tool in the days of classic Notes development, but these are gone. If Notes would be still a strategic application platform in IBM's product line, there would be no discussion about modernizing the whole template set and of course there would be no understaffed und underfunded development team ...

Peter Meuser, 2011-03-29

I think all given arguments are right so far. What I would like to add is, that it's allways been good usance to leave the doing /development to IBM's business partners. And I think Volker is very aware of this fact.
And in the beginning those templates showed the new possibilities. But these times are long gone and it's time for IBM to give old and new customers a true impression of what's possible with their 'new' RAD. Volker's hint is only too true and a clever hint in the right direction...

Ingo Meroth, 2011-03-29

@Damien. I am assuming that there are only a handful of coders pumping out code for the Lotus Notes client and server.

The bureaucracy makes bizarre decisions when s/w paid for by thousands of organisations and millions of users gets minimal support for years from within IBM, whilst Symphony gets something like 35 developers to produce it's product. It's free and with only a fraction of the user base. I would have thought an extra 30 people working on quality and features for Lotus Notes and the server would be a better investment. Heck, all the Mac fanboys might even have their designer client by now..

Giulio Campobassi, 2011-03-30

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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