The vision of accessing a Domino application has been closely related to a PC; whether with the Notes client or through a browser, the possibilities of accessing the applications from a mobile device were limited or laborious.
With Xpages and the use of Dojo Mobile you can do an approximation, serving a different content and adapted to a device other than the classic station of work. Perhaps by packaging the generated code in a tool like Cordova and with some other modifications, an acceptable solution could be reached, although maybe it will be complicated to maintain.
With HCL Nomad we have the opportunity to have an entry point to our Domino applications from an Android or Iphone device. It can be defined as the Notes Client available on smartphones and tablets. We could obtain it from App Store or Google Play and, using an ID to access the server, run it to access our Notes applications.
To develop applications to run on HCL Nomad ** there is no specific SDK **, like exists on Android or iPhone. In my opinion, you can’t think that with the uptake of HCL Nomad, we have a mobile application development suite available from scratch. There are technical or UI / UX limitations that make it impossible to meet certain design patterns that are so common in current mobile applications, such as the classic “hamburger” menu, animations, push notifications or access to the NFC.
The real deal of HCL Nomad is the ability to adapt our applications that are accessed (and intended) for and by the Notes client with very little effort, without the need to learn new languages or technologies and without leaving the one that has been our application editor for many years, the HCL Domino Designer, to which version 11 has been added new specific functionality for Nomad. In a comparison of what it would cost to reach the same solution with a native Android or IOS development, the savings are substantial and sufficient to bet clearly on this technology in mobile environments.
The functionalities that we can find in the HCL Nomad client (At least, at the time of writing this article) are, among others, access to the device’s camera or gallery to import its content into any application, new Lotusscript classes to GPS access and, of course, the well-known Domino local replication.
HCL has not only launched this new technology, but has created the “Template Experience” project, in which with the help of certain HCL Masters we can see the templates that we have historically used on our server, such as the Teamroom, the Discussion Forum or the Notebook with a design adapted to a tablet or smartphone.
The HCL Nomad project opens a door that has historically been closed to the Domino server, the Mobile door. Nowadays, the possibilities that mobility and mobile apps give you are so wide that any self-respecting application development environment must have a facility for its design and development. HCL is giving its customers many reasons to stay. In my opinion, HCL should continue down this path and become as close to native development as it can be with native Android and IOS SDKs. Perhaps in the evolution of this new technology is the key to attracting new customers to your platform.