So you're a LotusScript developer and want to extend your knowledge to be able to build applications in XPages for Domino 8.5.x. Where do you start ?
There is no point trying to learn something new without a purpose, so find a small project that you will build in XPages. Important: ensure you only pick something simple ! There are quite a few new things to learn, so you don't want to be overwhelmed by complex business logic when you are trying to create your initial kit-bag of resources. Remember back to when you started with LotusScript - it took a while to collect those script libraries of reusable code before you became really productive. It is the same with XPages.
There are some excellent resources (mostly free) made available by the XPages community. Start here: XPages.info
Here you can download the 8.5.2 designer client (for free). Note the 'Forum' link at the top, where you can ask questions. There are some excellent 'Demos' where you can download real code to examine, and the 'Resources' links provide a wealth of knowledge. An incredible site, don't you think ? I can also recommend David Leedy's Notes-in-9 videos from XPages.tv.
Once I had my initial project selected, I enrolled in the View's XPages Bootcamp. This is a three-day, instructor-led seminar delivered by Paul Calhoun & Russ Maher. Being someone who learns best with face-to-face contact, where I can ask questions and write code, this suited me perfectly. They assumed no prior knowledge beyond what a Notes Developer will know. You take your own laptop to do the workshop exercises, so you have a fantastic collection of working code to take home. With a focus on the project I was planning to do, I was able to ask all the right questions to help get me started. This really maximised the value from attending the course, given I had travelled from Australia to Copenhagen. (What a beautiful city in December !)
Timing my first XPages project to go into production in early February enabled me to take any issues to Lotusphere in January. I had plenty !
A more complex XPages project was built upon the simple workflow application I had used to 'cut my teeth' over the Christmas/New Year period. This went live in May 2011. I will share some of the things I learned during this journey in later blog posts.
I have just purchased and completed the first seven lessons from XPages 101. Matt White is an incredibly good instructor, so I can strongly recommend this course. There are currently 54 lessons, with more being added all the time. Because June is 'Learn XPages Month' we receive a 33% discount on a twelve-month subscription to these brilliant resources. Lesson 22 is free, if you want to see for yourself how good this course really is. It contains so many fantastic tips and more code to add to our kit-bags !
In six short months, I now have the confidence that I am as productive with XPages development as I am with LotusScript. It's a wonderful feeling !