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 Under the hood of XPages

Tomas NielsenPost date: 2008-01-24 15:35

During LotuSphere I had the opportunity to meet the developers behind the upcoming XPages. The presentations of the new XPage technology had given me a lot of questions 
about how Lotus were going to put it all together.
My first thought was that they would have to upgrade the existing servlet-engine of Domino to be able to support JSF. But after talking to some of the architects and developers the plan looks like this:

There will be a completely new servlet engine embedded within domino that will process the XPages and JSF components of the page, that engine will be of a newer flavor than the existing servlet engine. The obvious benefits are of course that you do not have to deploy jars, wars or class files directly to your file system. Everything can be replicated and copied in normal domino-style fashion.

My next concern was of speed. Domino's servlet engine is fast but not that fast, When they take a new, modern servlet engine and embed it inside of Domino and add all the 
new features how would that handle on the road?
Apparently this should not be a problem since they are going to take away some of the layers sitting in between the browser-request and the server core. I could not get any 
specifics about this but certainly sounds promising!

My impression from the discussions is that the plumbing is not completely decided yet and might change but I do really love the direction this is taking.

At one of the sessions they hinted at the possibilities for a session object. I have waited long for this; I even posted it on Bob Balabans wish list for the next domino 
release (I am not saying I am the only one). The session did however not answer that many questions about the session object.

So the next investigations went into how/what/in what context can I use the session object?

There will be four different session objects:
- A server session that can be used to store global information in between requests.
- An application session. This is of course a per database session object.
- A user session. This is the really interesting part.
- A request session. This is a per-request session object.

The session objects will only be available within the XPage scope. There are no plans to support it in LotuScript or Java agents.
This is a bit unfortunate but maybe there can be a workaround or maybe we will all leave the old design elements behind and die!

The future for Domino sure looks bright!

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