Saturday, March 21, 2009

Creating Composite Application with Care

A big part of Notes 8 has been the ability to create and run composite applications. Regardless on how you create composite applications whether the IBM way or Richard's way, you need to really understand the audience that you are developing the application for before you venture into composite applications. Composite applications are great in tying different components together to create a visual relationship between data. For the Notes 8 client this can be done by displaying different components in different frames that are linked together.

However, this is not always the best way of displaying the information. For example, netbooks are now very popular with a number of sales staff that we have been working with. The typical screen resolution of netbooks are 1024 x 576 much shorter that the typical laptop with 1024 x 768. Therefore, screen real estate is very precious. As the results, composite applications like the Lead Manager composite application example from IBM becomes discouraging to use as shown below. The more framed windows, the less space you have to work with visually.

With limited space you need to carefully design the layout of the application to maximize the space usage. You need to consider other techniques like using a form or page as a composite tool to bring data together from different sources and display the information in a single form or page. The form becomes the display tool not the data source.

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