By Brian Arnold
As you may be aware, we released a new version of our Notes Developer Tools last month. There were many fixes and enhancements with this new version that clients have been asking for, but the biggest update was to the Teamstudio CIAO! client application.
In case you’re unfamiliar with CIAO! Client, it is our Check In And Out application (hence its name!) which can manage all design changes between developers and also ensures that your developers do not overwrite other developer’s changes (among many, many other things).
If you are also a Build Manager user you will also already know that the configuration databases between these two products are interchangeable and share some of their functionality. In case you are unfamiliar with Build Manager, it is a program that can automate every aspect of preparing and deploying your templates into your UAT/QA/production environments using a very secure, controlled approach.
When talking to our clients, both existing and potential, we found that there are a number of features that are contained in Build Manager that Domino developers really need and/or want to use in CIAO!, but are only available in Build Manager.
With our new version of CIAO! that has changed.
We have taken the developer-centric functionality that is in Build Manager and now provide those features in the latest version of CIAO! - at no additional cost to you!
Below I have detailed all of the new features available to developers who are using CIAO! These various features will help you ensure that the Notes databases/templates that you are creating have all of the necessary settings so that your deployments can happen much more smoothly.
CIAO! has long offered a promotion feature via the CIAO! Configuration database. This feature supports the creation of Promotion Paths for templates watched by CIAO! that define server and file locations where the template should be deployed. Promoting a template creates a copy of the template at the desired location, and also supports an optional build step to create a CIAO! version of the template automatically prior to the deployment.
The new version now adds several new build steps to make it easy to prepare templates for deployment in a repeatable, consistent, and self-documenting manner – all with a single click. Similar to build systems for other types of software development, these new features help ensure each new version of a template is properly prepared for release without requiring a manual process or checklist.
Significant new build steps include:
ACL Settings – Sets the general ACL and specific ACL entries for the promoted template.
Database Properties – Allows the title, categories, inherited from template name and master template name to be set, cleared or left alone. Also, version information such as the template version, name and date as well as the $TemplateBuild shared field can be edited.
Copy Database – Allows another copy of the source template to be made and placed in a different location.
Search and Replace – Calls Teamstudio Configurator allowing a search and replace to be done as part of the build. This is an excellent way to stamp user-visible elements of the design with such things as the version number and the date of creation.
Compile LotusScript – Allows the compilation of all LotusScript or specific LotusScript elements within a promoted template as part of the build.
Element Properties – Allows the Prohibit Design Refresh flag, Propagate Prohibition flag, Design Element Inheritance option and Design Element Comment field to be edited.
Sign Database – Allows the design (or database) to be signed by a specific or stored ID as part of the build.
Refresh/Replace Design – Allows one or more target databases to have their designs refreshed or replaced with the promoted template.
Email Notification – Can be used to send email messages to individuals and/or groups at one or more points in a promotion
As a longtime Domino developer (approaching my 24th year now) I have needed to perform most if not all of the above steps manually during the creation of templates before deployment into QA, UAT and production environments. Inevitably we all miss at least one of these steps or do not complete them fully from time to time. With these new automated build step features your deployments will be quicker, smoother and without any missing steps to perform!
If you would like to see a demonstration of these new features, please click below to contact us.