Composite Application Issues

Well after the fuss over at Rob’s blog about Composite Apps in Notes 8, coincidentally I had to look at them for the first time this weekend. Unfortunately it’s not been a good experience so far.

Firstly it took three reinstalls of the Notes 8 Beta 3 software to actually be able to use the Composite App editor or the Property Broker Editor. Fair enough to some degree as it’s beta software and my system is hardly standard (an aging build of XP running in Parallels). But still massively annoying. The symptoms were that I’d click Edit Application or “Open” against a Properties WSDL file and then… nothing, no errors, no editors. I have no explanation for why it started working on the third resintall attempt except that I was getting progressively more aggressive in my uninstalling each time, there must have been some setting that wasn’t being cleared out.

So then once I was able to get the editors running I’ve found them to be hugely unstable. To the point where after every click I am saving because when they crash, they go in a big way and take out the whole Notes client, Designer client as well as the editor which is open. Again I can forgive this, and am just hoping it’s a combination of my machine and beta software.

What I am unable to forgive, so far at least, is the fact that I just can’t get a single composite app to work. I took the usual approach of using an existing template as a starting point, the Personal Address Book in this case. As soon as I try and add a property, nothing happens. But again there are no errors to give any hint of a problem. I must be doing something wrong but with no information it’s impossible to tell what. So the next step is to try one of the sample apps linked to by the Composite Apps Blog. I am not trying anything clever here, just following the steps listed but I just can’t get anything to work at all. The apps themselves work fine but as soon as a change is made to them they stop working altogether.

Now I know I’m not the sharpest knife if the cutlery drawer but I do know Notes and Domino pretty well and I also know how to follow instructions. I hope that there is something wrong with my machine, as if there isn’t then this new Composite App lark is just not going to fly.