Friday, February 28, 2020

From 0 to DONE in 10 - Why Domino is the Ideal Platform to Create Our Low-code solution iPhora Flow

As an application platform, Domino has always been unique and has had the flexibility and capabilities that other platforms can only dream about.  Bundled into one single application server, you have all the components that you need for building and running applications, both in the client-server and web/mobile environment.  On one platform you have:

  • User and Data Security
  • NoSQL database platform
  • Ability to Create Integration Points
  • Flexible Data Structure
  • Scalable Infrastructure
  • Enterprise level application environment

All of this can fit into and run in this tiny box that is less than the size of an external hard drive.  Try this with any of the other platforms.  Maybe scale it by a factor of 100?



Notes power users were doing low-code decades before it became a buzz word.  In fact Notes users were creating applications, even before most of the companies and software that we use everyday even existed.

Unfortunately, Domino has fallen behind.  However, with HCL taking over our favorite platform, Domino is catching up and HCL will be releasing their Domino Volt soon. If you are fortunate enough to attend Engage 2020 and signed up for the Domino Volt workshop, you will be able to experience what HCL has been working on for low-code for Domino developers.

From the POV of a company that has been working on process automation for 20 years and using Domino as our primary platform, Domino Volt is a good start for Notes Developers.  We started creating low-code on Domino about 15 years ago but not the concept that most think of these days.

We started with componentizing all the code that we created for clients so that they can be reused and selected based on customers needs.  We started focusing more on the customer business rather than on programming.  At that time it was a Notes client solution which we then evolved into a Web solution which is now known as iPhora.

Since we deal with complex business processes, we further had to create methodologies to handle these processes which became more and more complex.  So we created an architecture that was modular and interchangeable.  Domino with its flexibility was ideal.  NoSQL really is the way to go.  Domino databases are the analogy to Docker instances which help organize applications.  The concept of a Domino database is very hard for individual outside of the Domino world to comprehend.  Only after they start using do they comprehend the power.

Based on our experience and designs, last year we developed the iPhora opus4 Node processor to handle all functions and processes as nodes where users regardless of skill level can use to assembly applications and processes.  Then we developed an interface to manage this nodes.

The results is iPhora Flow, a Domino-based flow-based solution for citizen to professional developers to rapidly create applications.  This video is a sneak preview of iPhora Flow which is the first of a series of products.  iPhora Flow runs on top of iPhora AppPlace and after you build your application you can immediate deploy the application full secured by iPhora Security.

By the way, iPhora is powered by LotusScript and Java. Sorry for the typo in the video, but we were in a rush to complete the video and edit it in 4 hours.  And, yes you can normally change it with the process designer. 


Monday, February 24, 2020

Building Effective Business Solutions Using Low-code and Engage 2020

I have not blogged in a long time not since CollabSphere 2019.  We have been relatively busy working on projects and on our newest versions of our Domino-based iPhora solutions.  We started working on our iPhora platform over a decade ago with the focus of creating a platform that we would use to help companies automate their complex business processes.  It started as a Lotus Notes-based solution and then went on to become a web-based solution. Further discussions on this later.

This leads you into the area that we have been focusing on for a few years.  The low-code market.  Rather than focusing on code and code, we spend more time with the customers on their business, their processes and organizing these processes.  Majority of the time, customers have an overall idea of what they need, but the details are hard to pin down.  That is where we come in.

As we all know, effective business applications are critical to the success of any organization large and small.  How fast and consistency you create these applications is critical to how effective your organization responds to the ever changing business environment. A big and growing market has been the no-code and low-code market for which Lotus Notes was at the forefront. Like everything in this world nothing stays the same. There are now many players in the no-code and low-code market with many even in Domino world.  Along with a list of other low-code solutions for Domino, HCL Digital Solutions is coming out with their Domino Volt solution this year.

The honorable Rob Novak and I are speaking next week at the annual Engage 2020 conference on this topic.  Our session is entitled "The Lowdown on Low-Code: What Every Developer, Admin and Manager Needs to Know." We will discuss with the audience about the low-code market and what it means to you as a business user, power user, developer, administrator and manager.

As part of this presentation we would like your feedback on what you think about low-code. So we are running a quick 3 minutes survey to get your feedback.  Please help us. Thank you for your participation.  Rob will put on his magician's hat and maybe you will be transported to the Land of Magic!!!

See everyone at Engage 2020.  There is still a few slots left.  So get registered.   https://engage.ug

Low-code Survey, https://s.surveyplanet.com/GApBa5P5