ANALYSIS: Recycle Your Code
By Bob Lewis
For years, software developers have talked of the day when they could create a program simply by linking together code from past programming efforts. When it comes to Lotus Notes and Domino, the day has arrived.
Ives Development, Inc. a Beverly, Massachusetts based software development firm, has released it latest Lotus based add-on, TeamStudio Librarian. TeamStudio Librarian enables and encourages the principle of code reuse in Notes and Domino development, by providing a simple way for developers to build libraries of shareable design elements, such as subforms, agents and script libraries.
According to Nigel Cheshire, CEO of Ives Development, "TeamStudio Librarian represents a quantum leap toward the elusive goal of code reuse for many organizations. The beauty of this product is its simplicity. Now developers can share and reuse design elements very easily, without the need to adopt a complex, externally defined architecture."
Many of my peers, when questioned as to whether they would have a use for this product, replied that they had, to a limited degree, already started to build libraries of design elements within their IT shop. Typically the element, be it a form or sub-form, is being saved in a Notes template which is dedicated to the task of being a librarian for generic elements.
This was all well and good, but in the case of saving a shared field, as well as its attributes, code associated with the default value, input translation, etc., the use of this saved field was restricted to forms within the same database. If a developer wanted to use the shared field in a different database, they would have to copy and paste the definition of the field, and possibly link back to the original, using template linking.
TeamStudio Librarian overcomes some of these problems by allowing the developer to preview the element before being copied into a database design, and optionally maintaining a template link between the library element and the corresponding copy of the element in the finished database design.
The overriding design concept of this product is "drag-and-drop", wherein the developer previews the elements in the library, then drags-and-drops them into the database design under development.
TeamStudio Librarian works with Notes R4.x, and will be compatible with Lotus Notes R5 in June 1999. Included in the $425 price, is one free year's maintenance and unlimited technical support.
While you are checking out their web site at www.teamstudio.com, check out their other major Lotus oriented products, including TeamStudioDelta, Configurator, Analyzer and CIAO! See you in the Library.
Bob Lewis is VP of IT at the FoodService Purchasing Cooperative Inc. (Louisville, Ky.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.