Today IBM published a new release of the XPages Extension Library. However this is NOT just another release, but a major update with a huge amount of new functionality. Here are the new features:

1) New version of mobile controls (video, tutorial)

2) A preview release of Social Enabler (video)

3) New Extension Library tooling plugin for Domino Designer

A new plugin is available that provides new basic Domino Designer visualization for all Extension Library controls, as well as some enhanced tooling for sophisticated controls like the ApplicationLayout. Other enhancements include new specialized pickers to help assign property values when working in the All Properties panel. The data view and dynamic view panel controls now have property panels and a dialog to help you set the data source, and the dynamic content control also has Designer support to make it easier to use the control.

A new editor is available to allow you to set properties in the file either in source mode, or through a property panel like interface that also provides extensive hover help to describe each of the available properties.

4) New application templates

There are new versions of the Domino Discussion and TeamRoom templates that have been extended to use new features. You can use these templates to create XPages applications that will run on the web, the Notes client or on mobile devices. You are encouraged in particular to try the mobile app implementations - both from a developer and end-user standpoint. That is to say, these templates are a good sample reference point for anyone looking to get started with XPages mobile development, while evaluating the mobile applications as an end-user will enable you to give us invaluable feedback on its features or limitations and this help us make improvements in the future.

5) General runtime upgrade to support accessibility and localization requirements

Some of the controls and complex types in the XPages Extension Library were not fully compliant with accessibility and localization standards. A simple example would be the use of the 'title' attribute as a control label rather than as a descriptive tag for assistive technologies (such as screen readers, etc). Issues like this and others have been addressed in this release. In this context some changes had to be done to comply with IBM internal policies like accessibility and localization. Some of these changes require existing NSF applications to be re-compiled. Also for power developers implementing Java controls using the Extensibility API some changes have to be done. Phil Riand and Pete Janzen describe in this document the details.

The new functionality in the Extension Library to build mobile apps and social applications can be used in the OpenNTF XPages Development Contest.

Enjoy !

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