We recently hosted a lively and informative webcast that covered the new updates coming later this year for Domino application development. Andrew Manby and Marty Lechleider took attendees through the specifics of the upcoming App Dev Pack release, and a preview of what’s coming in future versions. On the low-code front, Marty gave an update on plans for bringing HCL LEAP into Domino (Project Sandstone) and how it will enable IT and business users to build new apps easily. You can watch the replay here.
There were a lot of great questions asked, and we provide those, and the answers, here.
Q: The AppDev pack v1.0.2 contains a feature in “preview” mode. What does “preview” mean?
A: It means that the feature will work but should not be used in production. The feature might change slightly before being defined as production-ready.
LEAP on Domino Service Integration
Q: Is it possible to integrate LEAP with external services? Including lookups for names on a database other than the Domino directory?
A: Yes, LEAP has a generalized way to connect to any REST service to do lookups. However, please note that full support may not be in the initial LEAP on Domino (Project Sandstone) release but will follow shortly in a subsequent release.
Q: Are LEAP apps exposed as services to other non-LEAP applications?
A: Yes, this is the way LEAP works today. A developer can access LEAP applications data via this API. The API will honor any access rights you have set on the data: However, please note, that full support may not be in the initial Project Sandstone release but will follow shortly in a subsequent release.
Q: It would be cool if we could use Domino data “as a service” like Marty did with the LEAP apps as a service.
A: Yes, we agree. The team is looking into this and should be able to add this at some point.
Q: Can we “look up” the manager for a particular request from existing customized NSF?
A: We will add the ability to look up data from Domino source in Project Sandstone at some point.
Q: Can drop-down choices be populated directly from a backend ODBC? Oracle, DB2, etc.?
A: LEAP supports REST for data integration and not ODBC. If the backend is exposed as a REST endpoint, then LEAP should be able to get the data and use it to populate the drop-down.
Q: Does LEAP support responsive web settings? Can apps be mobile-friendly?
A: Yes, LEAP has page settings which allow you to specify responsive web-behavior. Page widths can be dynamic; breakpoints can be set to collapse to a single column or carousel mode and rules can be set to show/hide elements of the page based on width.
Q: If I want a LEAP app work on both a desktop and a smartphone, do I need to design two separate “forms”?
A: No. The responsive web settings will take care of this so that a single app will render appropriately on any device.
Q: Will Project Sandstone apps, if used on mobile devices, use local storage, or will they require to be always online?
A: LEAP today does not store any data locally or support disconnected use. We are looking at ways to leverage Domino for offline use on mobile devices. As a workaround one could use Domino Designer to add Forms/Views to a LEAP generated NSF to support mobile offline use.
Q: Do you have an anticipated (approximate) ship date for LEAP for Domino (Project Sandstone) yet?
A: It is planned to be shipped in beta in the V11 timeframe, more details to be released when we launch Domino V11.
Q: Will it be part of the V11 beta?
A: No, Project Sandstone will be a separate beta.
Q: When will the Project Sandstone beta happen? How will I be able to enroll?
A: More details to be released soon when we launch Domino V11.
Q: Where is the sandbox? How can I access the sandbox?
A: You can access the sandbox here.
Q: I tried making service calls to different external APIs in the LEAP Sandbox, and they failed. Can you help?
A: The LEAP Sandbox requires that certificates be set up for each service endpoint and for the APIs to be whitelisted by the LEAP server admin.
Q: What is the roadmap for printing in LEAP?
A: LEAP has a print view which can be used to print or print to PDF the form and data. We plan to improve this print view over time. LEAP also has the ability to fill PDF templates and store them as part of the submission record. These capabilities will not be in the initial Project Sandstone release and will follow shortly.
Q: Can a LEAP app contain an array of entries inside an app, like “photos taken on-site”?
A: Yes. To do this in LEAP you would add a table with fields for the photo. At run time the user could then add any number of photos into the table.
Q: Can we create our own templates?
A: Yes, you can create your own templates. LEAP has the ability to export apps with or without data to a file. This file can then be easily imported into a user’s LEAP workspace.
Q: Will LEAP on Domino have a visual workflow editor?
A: Not initially. We have started looking at how we can simplify workflow in LEAP and include a visual approach for building workflows.
Q: Can we create apps from Domino data, like you did in the webinar with Excel data?
A: This is something we are working on and hope to have in LEAP at some point.
Q: Will the LEAP generated NSF require new design elements, and will they be visible from Domino Designer?
A: Project Sandstone will take care of everything needed for the NSF.
Q: Can we use custom CSS style sheets with LEAP?
A: Yes, LEAP allows you to attach or point to external style sheets.
Q: Can we add LEAP forms and workflows to existing Domino apps?
A: No. This is not the initial focus of Project Sandstone.
Q: Can I add widgets to the LEAP palette?
A: This is not something LEAP currently allows but is a top customer request. We are looking into this capability and to how we can open LEAP to third parties for custom extensions.
Q: Can we send an email and make a service call when an action button is clicked?
A: Yes, in fact, you can call multiple services and send multiple emails.
Q: How can LEAP apps be localized?
A: Strings can be externalized for your content and labels and dynamically pulled into the app at runtime based on the locale or language preference.
Q: Can an area/section of a LEAP app contain a grid item from another LEAP app?
A: Yes, a grid of external information (another LEAP app) can be included in your app by using a table. The table would be set up to pull the information from that external source based on an event.
Q: Can GPS/Maps be integrated?
A: Yes. LEAP includes a function for determining a user’s location: app.getLocation(). This function will return the users GPS coordinates which you can then dynamically push into an HTML fragment as part of the map embed code.
Q: Where can the certifications be taken?
A: No certification testing has been developed or announce at this point.
Q: What will it take to install LEAP on Domino?
A: Project Sandstone will be a very simple install and will not have any dependencies on anything that you do not already have with Domino.
Q: What technology is LEAP, and how will it run on Domino?
A: LEAP is a Java program which will run on Domino.
Q: Is Domino still viewed as a low-code platform by HCL, or LEAP?
A: Domino is a low-to pro-code platform, and we are adding Project Sandstone to augment Domino’s strength. Also, Designer is more mid-code as you know. Think of it as Domino improving its tooling.
Q: Do I have to pay extra to get LEAP if I am an existing Domino customer?
A: The plan is to include LEAP on Domino (Project Sandstone) for existing Domino customers.
Q: Will LEAP on Domino be an additional capability that requires us to upgrade our license?
A: No, the plan is not to require this.
Q: Will the planned Project Sandstone replace Domino Designer?
A: No, Project Sandstone is focused on the low-code part of our strategy. Domino Designer will continue to play an important role with the mid-pro code part of our strategy.
Q: Is it a valid use case for the business user to create apps and then have a pro-coder modify them?
Q: Can I have multiple people working on a LEAP app at the same time?
A: LEAP is not currently architected for this. Multiple people can work on an app but not at the same time.