Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Notes community's involvement

Recently Ed Brill posted an article about a prominent Australian company dumping Domino in favor of Exchange. This sparked a disucssion which led to a lot of people saying the problem was Notes didn't ship with enough canned templates.

Personally I've never used any Notes templates other than the standard ones for administration databases. I created exactly one each of discussion databases, document libraries, team rooms, and database libraries. I tried to wade through the code, found it more confusing than helpful, and went off on my own... and never looked back. In my seven years developing Notes applications I have shared databases with a colleague who works in the same industry, but I have not ever used anything from OpenNTF, the Sandbox or any of the updated templates provided in newer releases of Notes.

I'm telling you all that to give you some background in where I'm going with this. John Head took up the torch from Ed's blog posting and suggested that maybe it's time for the community to step up and fill the need for more templates. On the surface that's a great idea.

The early dialog centered around duplicating the templates provided by Microsoft as part of Sharepoint Portal. My concern was that this was headed in the direction of serving as nothing more than a marketing tool for business partners to sell more of their own services. The templates would be little more than a slick UI with little behind it, leading to my analogy of a Potemkin's village of templates.

For me to get fully on board with this it has to provide fully functional applications, not just proofs of concept. In this vein Bruce Elgort suggested we take the top 20 downloaded OpenNTF templates and bring them up to speed. I think that's a fantastic idea, and I'm on board with it. It's certainly more productive than endless hours of Guild Wars. :-)


  1. Charles,

    These Sharepoint applications that are being endlessly blogged about, are they browser based, run from within Outlook, or are they run from within a Sharepoint client?

  2. Sharepoint applications are 100% browser based. That is the Sharepoint client.