New FoCul Web Site

FoCul has today launched a new web site.

Our customers have been really pleased with our services, as shown in the recent client survey, but we are often told that we do not tell enough people about what we can do.

We are really proud of our work and our skills. The new site will give people more opportunity to see what we can do by including more testimonials, case studies and links to free downloads from FoCul.

Andrew Champion and Sean Cull will also be blogging on the site.

If you are interested in what we do then please give us a call.

FoCul Customer Survey shows why we are special

FoCul recently carried out a customer survey with Cynara Livera at Clearly, Simply, Truly. The results of the survey were fantastic with a response rate of over 80% and overwhelmingly positive feedback.

The thing that our clients valued most was our ability to understand their needs and our ability to work with them to deliver solutions that exceeded their expectations. Some of the feedback is listed below.

Other themes included :

  • our deep technical knowledge
  • our industry experience
  • our ability to deliver projects in a flexible way
  • our value for money
  • our responsiveness
  • our honesty

Continue reading “FoCul Customer Survey shows why we are special”

FoCul updates the Open Source Domino Visual Directory

FoCul has updated its Apache Open Source Visual Directory application which allows thumbnails for users to be shown in Notes views. The application is open source and is listed at OpenNTF.

We will be creating a full project for the application on OpenNTF in the near future. The original project description from 2008 is listed below :

SNTT – Visual Directory – thumbnails in the domino directory

Last year one of our clients asked us to help create a directory of staff with thumbnail images, profiles and contact details. After bouncing it about we agreed that using the Domino directory would make sense as much of the information was already there.

I am always wary of messing with the directory but in this case it was a relatively small directory ( < 200 people ) and we set out to add design elements rather than modify existing design elements. The scheme that we came up with is shown in the images above – essentially the system converts thumbnail images ( 80px x 80px ) into image resources and then displays these image resources in the view.

I doubt that this approach will scale to very large organisations but I have used it on a version of Jake Howletts test directory with 2,000 names and it works fine.

Before launching into the technical description I would like to thank the following people whose code is included in some way :

Our client who paid for some of this work and kindly agreed for it to be open sourced – it was a win – win because we obviously didn’t charge them for the open source code that we used.
Ewan Arthur, a colleague from FoCul, who worked with me on the code
Julian Robichaux – http://www.openntf.org/Projects/codebin/codebin.nsf/0/DF779ACFF30EB48886257118004D35B5
Lou Capizzoli on Openntf.org http://www.openntf.org/Projects/codebin/codebin.nsf/0/DF779ACFF30EB48886257118004D35B5
Charles Robinson http://www.cubert.net ( the my documents folder code )
Rocky Oliver / Andre Guiard http://www.lotusgeek.com/SapphireOak/LotusGeekBlog.nsf/D6Plinks/ROLR-6MBMQJ

The Scheme

A new form was used to display the persons profile. This form has an action button allowing a jpg file to be uploaded and stored in a rich text field called UserPhoto.

A background agent ( which needs unrestricted privileges ) takes the newly attached jpg files, downloads this to the hard drive on the server and then creates an image resource using DXL using code from Lou and Julian. The name of the image resource is the document unique id of the person record. The jpg file is deleted from the hard drive once the image resource has been created

A new view displays the person records and the image resources associated with each person record. The view has a form formula which forces the new profile form to be used when a document is opened from this view. The form has a form field to make sure that the default form for that record is always the original Domino Directory person form,

In the examples attached below I have left the default domino directory views in place but it is a simple matter to change the default opening view ( edit the Mainframeset ) to be the new one with the images

Note that the forms and code shown here are simplified from the production system but the key concepts still work.

The Design Elements

The only change to the existing elements of the Domino directory is the default view for the mainframeset frameset, everything else uses new design elements. These are :

Forms :

.FoCul\PersonProfile

Views :

Focul\01. Profiles\By Name)

Script Library :

.FoCul_Image_Resource_Handling_6_01

Scheduled Agent :

.FoCul\Update Image Resources ( note that this needs to be set up for your named server )
note that the agent contains a selection rule so that it only runs on records needing to be processed

Other agents :

.FoCul\Set images for all people – populates all records with test images stored in c:\temp\images ( may not be MAC friendly )

(.FoCul Remove Profile)

The Downloads

There are four downloads :

Very Small : The script library at the heart of the system

.FoCul_Image_Resource_Handling_6_01.lss

Small : A database with just the required additional design elements ( 0.5 Mb )

designelementsonly.zip

Medium : A full Domino Directory (8.0.2 ) with the original and the new design elements and 10 records ( 3 Mb )

somerecords.zip

Large : The 2000 record Domino Directory with test images ( 40 Mb )

fakenameswimages.zip

Areas for Improvement

The system probably won’t work on MAC or Linux ( clients and servers ) without some simple changes to the file paths construction

Some code is needed to remove the resource images when a thumbnail or person record is remove