Lately I have been thinking about the benefits of making Notes and Domino first class OpenSocial containers.  While OpenSocial may not be the most popular specification, especially among typical Domino application developers, I feel like it would have huge benefits if it was integrated into to the platform.  It can be used in so many different areas, such as Widgets, NSFs,  and XPages.

  • Widgets – Today in Notes, Google gadgets are a type of Widget.  Google gadgets are useful but pretty much static.  OpenSocial gadgets can actually access data from the context they are running in.  So these gadgets, if it is allowed, could access social data from Notes.  Imagine the possibilities!
  • NSF Applications – You can imagine being able to place OpenSocial and Google gadgets in your NSF applications as well.  Here, the OpenSocial gadgets would run in the context of the NSF and have access to data inside that NSF.
  • XPages – OpenSocial gadgets and XPages seems like a natural fit, for obvious reasons.

So why should application developers care about any of this?  REUSE!  In todays world reuse is key.  If you can write an application that works on all platforms inside several different applications, thats huge.  Imagine writing an OpenSocial gadget that worked in Notes, iNotes, XPages, NSFs, LotusLive, Connections, Quicker, iGoogle, Orkut,….I think you get the idea.  Thats the beauty of using an open standard that is widely adopted.  It’s not possible today….but we can always dream.  Feel free to leave me your thoughts if you are interested……

Ryan J Baxter

Husband, Father, Software Engineer