HCL Domino Volt: Agile Web Application Development in Domino

New kid on the block in the catalogue of HCL Digital Solutions. The arrival of HCL Domino Volt bring us the possibility of creating application based on configuration and visual design and less code-oriented. Called “low code”, this kind of development comes closer to “functional” construction in counterpoint to “technical” construction. Obviously, there is less control over the final result of the application to be developed, although the speed of development is greatly accelerated.

HCL Domino Volt already existed in a previous version such as “IBM Form Experience Builder” and, renamed to “HCL Leap”, which is modified again to, this time on a Domino server and with some improvements, get its current shape.

HCL Domino Volt: Main design panel

With a completely web interface and certainly, in a very intuitive way (that’s the key), HCL Domino Volt allows to create browser-oriented Domino applications, but also, with certain changes and knowing well where not to touch, you can allow access with the Notes client or by other Domino applications, since this resulting an NSF, and allows you to modify your views or forms with HCL Designer, although this is not the purpose that HCL wants to give to this new tool.

HCL Domino Volt from HCL Designer

An interesting feature is that you can create an application from an Excel file (always complying with a certain structure). Easily and after an assistant, we will have an application with a basic CRUD. The use of application templates to have an initial model available within our organization is also allowed.

For connectivity with external providers, in HCL Domino Volt we can define “services” with which we can access or modify REST services and use them in our applications. In addition, HCL ensures that other Domino Databases will be enabled to access and connect to our Volt applications, and they are studying the integration with other platforms such as SAP or other protocols such as SOAP.

You can easily get our apps to look professional. The generated applications are responsive (They adapt to the size of the device on which we are viewing it) although, and this is a point at which in my opinion HCL should improve, the result of the final HTML is fuzzy. In addition, the framework used is an old one known for those that we develop in xpages, Dojo Toolkit, and not in its latest version. For now, we will have to forget about the use of modern frameworks or creating custom components, concepts that in my opinion would greatly improve the tool and its potential.

In the browser part, access to the DOM and certain functions is conditioned by the “dojox.secure” module. HCL provides us its own limited API, although in recent webinars and inside a HCL Community post, Marty Lechleider ensures that we can disable this securization (if we trust our developers) and use all the functionality that javascript bring us on the browser side, specially with the use of 3rd party libs.

In general, low code development platforms fit the need to build low-complexity applications, with specific purpose and an uniform design and without the need for visual effects. We can’t think of HCL Domino volt as a new tool for modernizing applications. The purpose that HCL has ported HCL LEAP to Domino and created an aggressive marketing campaign is to bid hard in the field of “low code” applications, to be used as a factory of applications and help in the digitization of very determined processes at a little cost and even being able to be applications developed by non-technical users. HCL has promised integration with other platforms (SAP, maybe Microsoft Office, …) and along with certain technical improvements, it can position itself very high in the “low code” development market.

HCL Nomad: Notes Client in Smatphones and Tablets

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