Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lotus Notes Application Browser Plugin

Yesterday i had a review and demo on Lotus Notes Application Browser Plug-in. Its a Plug-in that runs in your Windows browser similar to Adobe Acrobat browser Plug-in. Where once installed, you can view pdf file from your browser.

With that means using Notes Application Browser Plug-in, Notes based applications can be accessed using your Windows Browser without any modifications.

There is no dependency on Server end, its a client component. The plug-in is a one-time download, once installed, the browser can access Notes applications directly using notes URL notes:///

Basically it evokes basic notes components in the background and the UI is more over similar to notes client but within your browser.

I think this is good for Companies having thousands of Notes Applications and wants to completely go aways with Notes client. Without being redesigning their existing Notes based applications to Xpages.

Moving Notes Applications to Xpages itself would be a years project depends on no. of application used. New applications will definitely be on XPages, but existing applications, especially the old ones can now be webified using Application Browser this Plug-ins.

I am not impressed much, as this is still NRPC communication in the background. Which means the performance will be similar to using your Notes client. So this is not good for applications accessed via Web. As response will be delayed depending on your network bandwidth.

It does not support Java agents, if your application has Java agent this is not for you. It might be available in the final release.

Notes Application Browser Plug-in will be part of Notes 8.5.4 client installation. It might be available as a separate installer for Application Browser Plug-ins. Its still under development mode, some new functionality might be added before final release.  Presently it olny supports IE and Firfox browser, their might support for mobile browser in future.

This is good work from IBM, easy way to have older applications in browser.

I will keep posted more information on this, once i start testing this Plug-in.

6 comments:

carl said...

"I am not impressed much, as this is still NRPC communication in the background. Which means the performance will be similar to using your Notes client. So this is not good for applications accessed via Web. As response will be delayed depending on your network bandwidth."

How is this different to a web application where web response will be delayed depending on your network bandwidth?

Andrew Pollack said...

If this were not Windows specific, it would make application development much easier for some kinds of applications. Unfortunately, because it is windows only, anyone who has people using their application with Macs or Tablets cannot use it. As a result, uptake will be limited.

JFranchetti said...

IBM Lotus should develop an iPad app that does the same thing. That would let you open any Lotus Notes application (NSF file) through such app. It could have some logic to automatically make action buttons and view row height a little larger (more touch friendly).

Wouter Aukema said...

Nice to read your post about the Notes Player Shrinivas.

The fact that you write that you are not impressed, triggered me to make a longer comment.

Having analyzed the network performance of almost 2 million corporate Notes users world wide, I kind of understand where you're coming from:

The Notes protocol is -like many other protocols- in terms of performance much depending on latency. Not so much primarily on bandwidth as you write. (Average consumption for Notes clients is no more than 10 kbps.)

Fact is that network latency in countries like India is very high compared to e.g. North American and European countries. Try pinging a US host from India and chances are high you will see 200+ ms. response times or even higher. No comparable protocol will perform well under those circumstances.

Personally, I wouldn’t compare a web application to the Notes rich client. The objective of the Notes Application Player is not to make web apps form native Domino apps. Its purpose is to provide a different front-end without having to migrate designs and source-code.

Shrinivas Sahadev said...

Greetings Wouter,

Apreciate your comments,

I am not denying the good work behind the application plugin. Which provide a different front-end without having to migrate designs and source-code.

There will be a latency in accessing Notes application over Wan as compared to Web application. Consider an enviornment where users are spread across different geographic locations. I agree the latency may vary depends on network bandwidth.
But it wount be easy as accessing web applications.

popein said...

In my experience, in many cases the performance of a Notes-client based app is not only a matter of NRPC but also of design.
You see often forms with dozens of @DbLookups([NoCache] on computed fields which go to the server to retrieve same info from same views repeatedly when you open a doc.

Notes client developers have not focused on network performance for many years because there was no push for centralizing servers and the server used to be local. But of course, on top of that on Notes classic apps you need to actively think on network and performance to develop things better - while for web apps more of that stuff will be processed at the server automatically.

Unfortunately, the apps organizations will likely want to deliver trough this browser plug-in are probably old apps which were designed at the time the servers were closer to the user, or people had the option of working on local replicas of the app.

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