Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Do You Node Why it Matters? - The Importance of Domino 10 and Node

With IBM Domino v10 coming this fall, it brings one critical new feature to Domino, the integration of Node with Domino. IBM Domino v10 brings the most popular application development environment to the most secure application platform. Some are asking why does this matter.

There are literally 10 tens of thousands of applications and NPM modules that have been developed  from of all sources, some professional and well trained developers and some home grown self taught developers. How many of these modules have been vetted by security experts is an important question to ask. What IBM Domino brings to the table is 30 years of security design and approaches. This is why it is important that IBM with HCL has carefully chosen the right modules to use.  Yes, they were behind on the TLS implementations, but the basic Domino architecture has capabilities still to this day have never been surpassed by others.

DominoDB (as some now call it) with Node now brings Domino to a level where you can compare it with MongoDB and Cloudant. Yes, these other NoSQL platforms are extremely fast but this is achieved at a price of no security. You have to create your own security framework or rely on a third party solution. For new developers that don't have the appropriate experience the lack of data security vastly increases the chances of a data breach. Meanwhile, DominoDB comes with built-in security automatically.

So why is Node important to you if your company is running IBM Domino,  a Domino/XPages developer, a Domino administrator or a Notes/Domino ISV?

Organizations with IBM Domino
For companies running Domino applications or using Domino for mail, the integration of Node is critical. Regardless of whether you are thinking about switching to .NET or other platform or creating more applications with Domino, Node is the great normalizer.  Node provides a common application interface to integrate and surface data from all sources regardless of the platform.  Currently, most application platforms have integration to Node.  There is no need to migrate your data or create complex integrations.  Node allows your organization to have the most appropriate platform for the task and bring everything together.  Incorporating 2 factor authentication into your Domino application now becomes possible with Node without a major effort.  Integrating text messaging into your application or utilizing cloud services into your application can now be easily done. Most third party services already provide Node ready APIs. No longer can they said that Domino is an old platform that they can not find developers for.

IBM Domino/XPages Developers
Domino developers who plan to continue using XPages and Java, the integration of Node brings another tool that you can utilize to extend your application. By creating REST APIs using Node there are a vast library of available modules for your application.  If you are still using traditional Domino Web applications or Notes Applications, the new extended LotusScript capabilities with network connectivity and JSON parsing will allow you to access the vase library of NPM modules or connect to other services via their Node accessible APIs.  For Domino developers who are consultants, Node is an new opportunity to expand your skill set and portfolio while still utilizing your existing Domino skills. It also provides to your customers a modern and secure application platform to build their applications.

IBM Domino Administrators
As a Domino administrator, Node with Domino bring new opportunity for you to learn new skills and include them as part of your portfolio which you not only can use with Domino but other platforms.  Domino v10 incorporates the follow technologies and more:
  • Nginx
  • Loopback
  • Node
  • Docker
IBM Notes/Domino ISVs
For Domino ISVs that provide tools to IBM Domino customers, the addition of Node creates new opportunity for products and services to track, manage and monitor processes and activities that Node brings.  Imagine new tools to manage not just the normal Domino data but now JSON data stored in a Domino document.  New discovery tools or data management tools that work on JSON data will be needed.  Even if you are not using Node with Domino the new LotusScript JSON extensions will transform Domino is a JSON NoSQL platform.

Phora Group's Perspective
One of our biggest concerns with Node and databases like MongoDB has been the lack of built-in data security and any fidelity regarding document ACLs.  Author and readers fields, well they do not exist. With Domino v10, IBM and HCL has spent the time to scale Domino to new levels while providing the same security that we have known and expect from Domino.

For Phora Group, the built-in data security of Domino provides us a basic building block to create additional levels of security to meet the requirements dictated by iPhora.  This security building block has now been extend to Node for us to take advantage of.

When we were building ReCor our training company in the mid-90s, the development team consisted of many students whom we later hired full-time or they became very successful in their fields. They worked at that time on a new technology called Java and created our learning management system (LMS) called SkillSpace.  The projects allowed them to learn how to build enterprise level solutions while we received the benefit of a lower cost labor force.

When IBM moved Domino Web development to XPages, there was not much desire by university students to learn XPages. However, with the integration of Node with Domino, we see another opportunity to work with college students interested in data security, IoT and Node development.  We are in discussions with a local university here in the Chicagoland area to help further develop the iPhora platform.  Teams of 2 to 3 students will be building different components using the framework and design patterns that we have created over the past few years. But rather than using LotusScript and unusual web design tools of Domino, they will be using Node and the Node ecosystem.  This will provide students real world experience while for us the benefit of a lower cost labor force.

So as an ISV that utilizes the Domino platform, Domino v10 brings new opportunities and great potential. We are excited about Node with Domino and so should you.

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