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XPages Custom Controls, what will you use?

XPages is a constant topic when talking to Domino developers. One of my favorite questions to them is: "What (custom) controls are you expecting to use". The controls might exist, being build or being acquired. This is the unsorted list of what I heard so far:
  • Names fields with address picker
  • Custom address dialogs
  • Numeric spinners
  • Graphic controls connected to a data source
  • Custom data sources control
  • Controls supporting encryption/decryption
  • Workflow controls
  • Tagging input/Tag cloud from Lotus Connections
  • Controls that are Sametime aware
  • Chat controls
  • Data filter control that looks like the Excel filter mechanism
  • Tree control to render an outline
  • Dialogbox control
  • Login/User account control
  • Pivot table linked to a data source
  • Picture gallery controls in various forms and shapes including cover flow
  • Task list controls (add this to a task in Notes or Activities)
  • Notification control (send a message to notify others: eMail, Chat, Twitter)
  • Document history controls
  • Access control control (reader/author field management)
  • Translation control (translate the DATA)
  • Rating control
  • Feedback control
  • Shopping cart control
  • Lotus Connections Business Card control
  • Attachment control. Here I got multiple ideas around attachment management including Quickr integration
  • "See also" control: add a link to the page
  • Application Help control
  • Comment control
  • Expiry control (from just adding a date to sophisticated lookups in corporate policies databases)
  • Media view control (Flash, Media players etc.)
  • Inline edit control (edit one field without switching to edit mode)
  • Spreadsheet control (with Export - thx John)
  • Search control (from search in a view to Enterprise Search to Google search)
  • Poll control (ask a question and render the results)
  • ToolTip control
  • "Print This" control
  • PDF control
  • Gannt chart control
  • Scheduling control (using Quarz) for tasks
  • Balsamiq Mockup control
  • iLog Rule engine control
  • Update: New control requests/ideas
    • Query Building control (Formula/FullText), thx Erik
    • Datasource merge control: Have 2 identical structured datasources and merge their content into a single grid/table
    • Login/Credential for SSO, thx Kevin
    • Transformation/Export control: transform the content of the pages into other formats. A superset of PDF/Spreadsheet export.
    • Paypal control: there are new more open APIs available now
    • Actionbar / Dropdown menu control
    • Right Mouseclick menu
    • Document lock/unlock control
    • Timer control: execute JavaScript and/or Ajax calls on time
    • Slilder control for views, data tables and repeat control
Interesting insight: We are seeing "small" controls like the names field as well as "big" ones like an entire Workflow piece. To be clear: that's what customers and partner said, that's * not* taken from any IBM ToDo list (or at least none I'm aware of). Some of these controls are already in the wild.
What controls are you looking to use in your application?

Posted by on 17 July 2009 | Comments (7) | categories: XPages


  1. posted by Theo Heselmans on Friday 17 July 2009 AD:
    Wow, what a huge list !

    The most important for me are:
    - Name picker (single and multi)
    - Grid Control (see janusys.com)
    - Dialogbox (with url input and return value/function)
    - Native 'FieldSet' panel
    - Attachment control (1 or multiple)

    You should create a special IdeaJamSpace just for voting on these !
  2. posted by Erik Brooks on Friday 17 July 2009 AD:
    @Formula and/or Full-Text query-building control
  3. posted by Peter Presnell on Friday 17 July 2009 AD:
    You have compiled a great starting list. If you havn't already done so take a look at { Link } these guys are the best in the ASP.Net field.
  4. posted by John Turnbow on Friday 17 July 2009 AD:
    This is a good list and a good starting point.

    I would also like to see a spreadsheet type editable grid control associated with a view (multiple documents) or embedded in an Xpage. And the ability to EXPORT as an spreadsheet either XLS or ODF.

    General abiltiy to export as XLS or ODS throughout the application.

    I see you have the PDF control Emoticon biggrin.gif

  5. posted by Kevin Pettitt on Saturday 18 July 2009 AD:
    @2 The Full Text Search and/or @Formula control could be given a front end that looks more like an Ebay search drill down, such that you check different options under various criteria for inclusion/exclusion, and the messy syntax is built behind the scenes. Configuring which criteria are displayed and how would be an essential part of that.

    Users, at least authenticated ones, should be able to save a search, send it to someone else, or even share it and allow others to update it, all using "search definition" documents with reader/author fields, the contents of which might involve using one of those name-picker controls mentioned. It is the ability to securely share discreet bits of your own "stuff" in this way that gives Domino an advantage over other platforms.
  6. posted by Kevin Pettitt on Saturday 18 July 2009 AD:
    Shared login control, by which I mean some way of defining a single username/password login to some external system, e.g. Twitter, and allowing internal user to "share" that login without necessarily knowing what it is. In the Twitter use case, you might have a corporate twitter account being monitored by various folks in the organization, from Managers who just read, to PR types who compose new and reply messages from within the Xpage interface. Haven't thought it all through but you get the idea.
  7. posted by Patrick Kwinten on Tuesday 21 July 2009 AD:
    - Preview pane, like in Notes, for a View control.
    - Captcha function