My slides from BLUG are now up on Slideshare! http://www.slideshare.net/kjbrown13/blug-tools
Thank you to all who attended! I hope you learned something new, despite me talking faster than the speed of light!
I’ve had some recent blog entries on using the tools, like DXL Magic or Noteman. Frequently as developers, we think, I’ll just do it myself. We code things, that’s our job, so we ignore the tools that may be available to us. Or maybe we think they’re too expensive. Whatever the reason, I find myself realizing that some tools save me so much time that they are worth the cost. Whether that cost is actual money, or just a piece of my pride (What?! You didn’t just code something yourself?!).
Sadly, sometimes I don’t look at a tool because it does too much. I don’t have the time to spend to figure it all out, or what it can do for me.
So, what are your favorite tools as a Domino developer? Why is it your favorite tool? What do you use it for?
A couple of weeks ago I blogged Use The Tools, about using tools to help you. Yes, you could do it the hard way, but why? Last time I wrote about Noteman. Today I want to mention Stephan Wissel’s DXL Magic. I wrote about it way back in May 2009. I happened to need it again yesterday and luckily I checked OpenNTF to see if there was an updated version. Guess what? There is! And it’s super easy to use! Lots of options, easy to use interface.
In my particular instance, I wanted to search through a database to find where particular views were being used. I had reason to believe there were several unused views in the application, but I wanted to be sure I didn’t have some code somewhere that called them. Enter DXLMagic. I simply used the Export button to export the design of the entire application into an XML file. Using XMLPad, I easily searched for the names and aliases of the views. Stephan has added lots of other really cool features in here and it’s FREE! So don’t do more work than you have to! Use the tools!
Here is a screen shot of the Windows version…
I have to remind myself to use tools now and again. Frequently in Domino development, I will slog through and do things the way I know how to do them, whether or not it is the best or most efficient way, simply because it is the comfortable way.
That’s just plain dumb. I admit it.
I maintain an application, like many others it has documents and responses to those documents. Occasionally users need to “re-assign” the responses to a different parent document (and of course, it needs to be done ASAP!). Fine, there is a mechanism within the application to do so. However, life being the way it is, sometimes for reasons too lengthy and boring to get into in this post, the documents needing to be re-assigned don’t get re-assigned.
So, what to do? I could write some code that gets the UNID of the correct parent and replaces the value in the $REF field in the response documents, but I don’t want to do that. And better still, I don’t NEED to do that. There is a TOOL that already does that for me.
Enter Noteman. I received a copy of this to review sometime ago and honestly just didn’t get around to playing with it. The icon is a little Swiss Army Knife looking thing, and I think that is completely appropriate, as it is one of those tools that does a million things. I am lazy and never fully explore it, so am not even aware of all the possibilities. Heck I don’t even know what half of those things are for. BUT, if you take the time and figure out what is there, it can save you a ton of time. Just think how long it would take you to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew…
Anyway, back to Noteman, which has an “Editor” tool. Right there in the Editor screen is the button “Make Response…”, which does EXACTLY what I needed the other day. I didn’t have to code anything, test it, fix it, re-test it and then update the documents. I opened the parent document in Noteman, SELECTED and COPIED the UNID (can you hear me weeping tears of joy?), then opened the response docs, hit “Make Response…”, put in the new UNID, saved and closed. There is a Multi-Editor tool as well for changing a bunch of docs at once.
It is a cliche, but don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the tools available to you. Save yourself the time and effort that could be spent writing better code!