Chatting with some of the incredibly smart London Developer Co-op last night at their summer party (Thanks!). And on a roundtable discussion with some of their customers, Mark (perhaps the smartest rapier wielding Notes Developer in the land) outlined a fantastic Notes use-case.
Lets for a second forget the Notes Fat Client. I know it seems like heresy, but honestly. Put it to one side. Lets also, for a second ignore the fantastic (if slightly buggy) xPages. Lets face it, only people on 8.5 will have that. Lets focus on what Domino can do really well
And that is:
- Data security. We take reader/author fields for granted, but seriously, its powerful mojo. The idea that you can have a terrabyte of records, but people ONLY see what they are allowed to see is incredible.
- The indexer. Notes builds views really really well. Faster, as IBM found out in project Avalon, than SQL datbases in some circumstances. We might winge and moan, but only if our databases hit a million records or so.
- 'Rich content' - rich text, file attachments, and the like. It just deals with it, albeit with some errors.
So lets consider a use-case for Domino that uses all these strengths but doesnt rely on shonky v5 web site development (as I'm using right now), fat client or xPages. What do you get ?
It transpires what you get is a fantastic medium for ad-hock SQL queries via web service, where with a trivial piece of code, you can offer your end users a SQL scratchpad style area, where Domino is hoovering in SQL queries from big databases, manipulating the data (adding reader fields if necessary) then delivering this data back out via web services.
A headless MI (Management Information) box. Sweet.
As always, the LDC chappies are way, way ahead of the game on this path, and you should really get in touch with them to talk about this stuff.