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Creating Form-Based Business Object for Lotus Notes and Domino Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129306D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 4 page(s) / 44K

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The method included in this invention disclosure is about a new way to define and create more flexible and user-friendly form-based Business Object (BO) for Lotus Notes and Domino.

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Creating Form-Based Business Object for Lotus Notes and Domino

Lotus Notes and Domino server is a client-server enterprise messaging and collaboration system widely used by various industries and organizations. Many of them use Lotus Notes as an interface to certain back-end enterprise information systems and databases. All Lotus Notes user, design elements, and administrative data are stored in a database in Notes. A Note in Lotus Notes is a simple data structure that stores database design elements, user-created data, and administrative information [1].

Document and Form are the most common Note types in Lotus Notes database. The mechanism for entering the information into a Lotus Notes database is Form. Form provides the structure for creating, editing, and viewing a data Note. Form contains all the design elements: fields to store the user's information, static text, buttons, sections, images, and subforms that help the user to enter the data into the database [2].

Form is the interaction with Document. Once a user fills in the fields on a Form and executes the Save function, a Document will be created in the database. Forms provide fields for entering information such as text and checkboxes. In this disclosure, a method to design and create the Lotus Notes and Domino Business Objects (BOs) based on Form structure will be discussed.

Every Note contains a set of Items. Items store the content of a Note, for example, a text field is an Item in a Form Note. Items are the basic units of Notes data. Every Note in a database can contain one or more Items. Each Item has a name, a type, one or more flags, a length, and a value. For instance, each Form Note contains its own list of Items, although the Item values differ from Form to Form.

Like any other objects, each Item in a Note has its data type. Each Item value in a Note starts with a word containing the Item's data type - for example, TYPE_TEXT or TYPE_NUMBER. Table 1 shows the field Item data types [3] of Form which are relevant to this invention disclosure:

Table 1. Data Type of Form Items

Field Item Data


Description Cardinality

Authors allow users to control who can read and create documents created from a form

Checkbox Each choice is displayed with a box, users click to select. Checkboxes have border, column, and spacing options.

Combobox Each choice is displayed with a drop-down list box. Users click arrows to view the entries. They can then click the one they want. Combo boxes have border, width, and placement options.

Date/Time Date/Time fields display time and date information in a variety of formats.

Dialog list Users either press ENTER or click the entry helper button to see all the choices at once, press the space bar to display choices one at a time, or type a letter to display the first choice beginning with that letter.

Listbox Each choice is displayed with an expanded list box. Users click an entry to select it. List boxes have border, size, and placement opti...