XPages on Bluemix - finally we got here

Monday, July 13, 2015 4:35 PM UTC

Part I

I am late with this but finally I got here, too. XPages arrived on IBM's PaaS platform Bluemix last Friday - great! In March 2015 I was told there will be a beta program which I also can join - I never received any info or invitation to it though. To be honest: I didn't have the time to ask about it since then and I am also not that encouraged about it at all as I run my own server "in the cloud", which basically means: a host server "somewhere else". But here we are now. But it's not a "beta", it's "experimental" which means this is a stage before "beta":

 

 

So whatever it is called, let's have a look at it.

Others did before during the last days, and just to name a few, here they are: Marky Roden, Fredrik Norling, John Oldenburger and Paul Withers.

They all did what I'd probably would have done at this early stage.

Some preparations to be done

  1. Install or prepare a local Domino server to be used exclusively for Bluemix development - I recommend a VM with that server
  2. Make sure you can access the cert.id of the server's organization because you want to cross-certify the Bluemix ID, that you will be presented to, to access your environment with that ID - because you have to sign and develop anything with that ID

Getting started on the Bluemix Dashboard

I recommend you to start with the IBM XPages NoSQL service instead of the XSP Runtime boilerplate. Why? Pretty simple: you are getting your Notes ID for development and to access the Domino server on Bluemix only that way. At least I didn't find a link to "my" ID after creating the XSP application container, which is one thing I'd improve for the beta stage.

On the left menu click "SERVICES" and then add a new service:

Scroll down a bit and find the new service:

Woo hoo, this icon looks familiar, right? Grinsend

Follow the next screens and you are done. You of course can give your Domino service a name you like. For the first steps I doubt that you need a specific naming convention now.

You can rename the service here but just leave it "unbound" for the moment.

After you have clicked "CREATE" you have your own Domino environment setup! WOO HOO!

The following page will present you some basic links. The trick is to click the "LAUNCH" button

that will then redirect you the dashboard of your server to administrate it - some kind of. At least you can see your credentials, the link to download your ID and the action to create other web users.

Fun fact: this app is also made with XPages L├Ąchelnd

Please download your ID file right here NOW!

You should now cross certify this ID to your local Domino environment where you develop your applications. Remember: you have to sign your applications with this ID to get them running. This is mandatory for the data NSF and the XSP NSF as well!

Remember also: XSP and data is separated on IBM Bluemix!

The tododata.nsf that is shown here can be ignored - this is the default data container for the sample ToDo app you already know from the latest Extlib versions with responsive design (aka Bootstrap).

Once you cross certified the ID with your environment you are able to reach the Domino server on Bluemix via the IP that is given in the dashboard - a connection document will be created automatically for you.

By the way: you can repeat this - the ID will be the same, also the credentials will be. I just deleted my first NoSQL service and created a new one - same result regarding the ID and the credentials. No new cross certification needed.

What you can and cannot do

You cannot access the names.nsf as it seems to contain more than only your information and credentials - I can't say.

You can access your own directory under

bluemix/<yourUserId>/dev/

though and create new databases that will be accessible as data containers to your XPages apps later!

More to come

This was the first part of how to get started in a more "traditional" way: setting up the environment, setting up the database(s) and then let you create the data model etc. The next part will contain a detailed view on how to add the Xpages App on Bluemix that will use one of the data container. At this point I am not sure which of my applications I'd move to Bluemix right now - maybe it will be my Bookmarks app as it is simple enough.

 






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