Posted by: Benoit Dubuc | 2010/11/04

New TLCC Xpage course 2: my impressions

Yep, the course just came out and I already can comment on it.  The reason is quite simple: the guys at TLCC asked me to be part of the review team before the course went public.  It was a great honor for me to be part of that team.

So the new course is really a great follow up to the previous xpage course TLCC has.  It goes a lot deeper into xpages with topics such as these:

  • XPage architecture and events
  • Specific uses for Custom Controls
  • How to use Dojo to add Web 2.0 features
  • Creating different types of charts and graphs using Domino data
  • The OneUI theme
  • Displaying reports using the Dojo DataGrid widget
  • Creating “XAgents” to output Domino data in XML and JSON data formats
  • Using XML and relational data as data sources
  • Creating a great user interface with Dojo dialog boxes
  • Allow users to expand and collapse all categories in a view
  • How to use third party CSS frameworks like Blueprint on your XPage
  • Fix display issues with categories in a View Control
  • Return the user back to the correct starting view page from where they opened a document
  • Localizing your XPages for different languages

I am quite pleased with the content as these are topics I faced when I started building more complex xpages applications.  Some of the topics I was really happy to see in there are communication between custom controls and all that has to do with Dojo.  I always though t IBM could have done a better job at making our life easier when they integrated Dojo and with 8.5.2 and the TLCC information in that course, it is a lot easier to take advantage of the Dojo features.

Other topics of great interest were running agents from server side JavaScript, using data from an external RDBMS system (it was easy with standards forms and DECS, but how the heck is it done in xpages???) and, although many articles were done on that topic, there is a great section on using OneUI and even Blueprint CSS frameworks.

I wish they would have covered themes though, as I think this is a topic that needs to be understood as I’m pretty sure not all of us will want to Lotus look and feel of OneUI for our applications.  But they do cover localization and this is one fairly important topic as well being from Canada, a bilingual country.

So, fellow yellow bleeders, for those who already have the previous xpages course from TLCC or for those that want to move their knowledge to the next level, this is a really great course.  As I already mentioned, I’m a “hands on learner” and the TLCC format suits me very well: being in Notes learning Notes develpment, you can’t be wrong!

Great job again TLCC!

-note: TLCC did give me a copy of the course (after all, I had to review it) but never asked for anything else than reviewing the course.  This blog entry is my initiative alone and apart from asking when would I be able to publish, TLCC has nothing to do with it.  We all blog about things we like and I have been a TLCC fan since my R5 to R6 update course.

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Responses

  1. I was disappointed to see the content being created as a second course. I had my work purchase the Xpages package…hoping it would be all i need to develop Xpages.

    Going back to ask for more training is always more of a pain than get the right bundle at the start.

    Mr. Calhoun is a great instructor and I am sure this course is as good as the Xpages #1 course.

  2. Well, you are right and I also understand TLCC for doing it this way. In my area, external training costs an average of $500/day. If you look at the classes available for C# let’s say, you will find a beginner’s class, intermediate and advanced. So you will need to go for training 3 times to get the advanced stuff.

    The other thing to consider too is the amount of information in a class/course. It takes how long to go through the material and you also need to think about the time required to prepare that material.

    I’m not defending TLCC here, but as a guy who created some training material a few times in my career, I know all the efforts involved in that and that you can’t put all topics on a complex subject into one class/course.

    Try to talk to the TLCC people since you already bought the first course. Who knows, they might offer something… I would give it a try!

  3. Wow! You got a review copy? Lucky. I wish I could get on that list. :-)

    But seriously the TLCC courses are great. I’ve bought several, including the first XPage course, with my own personal money and will likely buy this one when feasible. They are very well done.

    I like seeing that BluePrint is covered in this course. I’m sure Paul does a better job then me, but if anyone is interested in that specifically I discussed using BluePrint with XPages on Episode 11 of NotesIn9 which you can easily get to via XPages.TV or the direct link:

    http://notesin9.com/index.php/2010/02/03/episode-011-speedgeeking-xpages-and-ui-layout/

  4. David, I’m sure the Blueprint topic is there because of your video. I know the *Jam software family uses it as well, so it is quite relevant to have that covered.

    And keep those videos coming, they are just great!

  5. I’m in the same boat as Patrick.
    I do hope TLCC offers the ‘sequel’ at a reduced price for people who bought the first course.

    Another concern I have is that, due to the arrival of the XPages Extensions, some of the course content might be less meaningful.

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