Can I ask all  of you who are lucky enough to be at Lotusphere one favour ?

Please don’t be shy.

We are all customers of IBM, we pay them hard earned money so that we can use their products and services.

They are also genuinely interested in our views about how to make their products and their approach to selling their products better – so tell them what you think would work better.

At UKLUG this year a group of about ten of us were standing talking about the future of XPages and our frustrations with the licensing schemes that were available.

Ted Stanton from IBM had given the Key Note at the event and happened to be walking by.

We sort of “door stopped” him and asked if he would listed to our views. He very graciously did and later took the time to write those up and pass them on to others such as Ed Brill and Pete Jenzen.

I did initially feel a bit bad about pouncing on him but he recognised our enthusiasm for his products and we had a really good ad-hoc session. Pete Jenzen then followed up with various members of the group over the next few weeks and some of what was discussed probably helped influenced the shape of  the XWork server.

I have also found that the developers and support guys to be fantastically helpful. Martin Donnelly, Tony McGuckin, Susan Bullock, Mary Beth Raven ( now ex IBM ), Maureen Leyland,  and various others have all taken the time to understand my ideas and make helpful suggestions on previous occasions.

And there’s also the irrepressible Joyce Davis who is the linchpin of IBMs community outreach work,

The Lotusphere Labs are a great way to meet the people who actually code the stuff we love. Go play with their new stuff and tell them what you think.

Have a think about what the top 5 things you would ask for would be AND why.

For me as a developer it would be :

1) SSJS debugger because it would cut our costs by 20% +

2) Automatic SSJS syntax checking because it would really reduce the risk of breaking apps in production.

3) Full feature parity in XPINC generally but specifically for opening documents using parameters so that we can have full fidelity XPinC apps.

4) Removal of the 64K limit in SSJS @dbcolumn lookups so I can have filters on XPage views where I won’t get empty results.

5) Better ( some even ) control over which replica a link will open because too many customers seem to end up inadvertently using servers in Aberdeen, Brazil, China.etc..

Oh, and one last thing, make sure you tell them the 5 best things that they have already given you !

For me it would be

1) XPages

2) Support of OpenNTF

3) A rich Application Server that I can deploy very easily on a range of Operating Systems

4) The XWork server and the opportunity to loose the negative conjurations associated with Lotus ( which annoy me but we need to move on )

5) The mobile, REST and RDBMS functionality appearing in XPages.

5.1) XPINC – It really serves our customers well – the always connected world isn’t here yet.

5.2) OneUI – seriously, it makes my life as a developer much easier.

Thanks and have a great time. I’m not jealous at all 😉