Versioncontrol using Source Control Enablement and Mercurial

by Arnd Koch,
assono GmbH, Standort Kiel,

Modern style development without some kind of version control  is not reasonable these days.  In Lotus Notes development however, version control systems are rarely used, mostly because it is very hard to maintain such a system and Notes offers very little to help here. In the new Eclipse based Domino Designer however are a lot of tools available, which can improve your work in ways you have always dreamed of. Version control can be easy and once you start using it, you'll enjoy your work like never before.

The Eclipse plugin "Source Control Enablement" (OpenNTF project) can tie a local source code repository to a Lotus Notes application using DXL export functionality. Using this plugin its possible to access the design elements of the Notes Application through the local file system. DXL however has a pretty bad reputation because it is not 100% round-trip safe, so it is strongly  recommended to use it with care.

The official documentation of the "Source Control Enablement" plugin contains only references to Subversion (SVN) as version control system. But since the plugin just creates a Eclipse project directory and the corresponding files form the Notes Application, other version control systems can be used instead of SVN. Especially modern, distributed systems like Git and Mercurial gaining more and more popularity. With this version control systems distributed teams can work on local repositories at each site.

And they can be used for Notes development, even integration in the Domino Designer is possible by installing the "MercurialEclipse" plugin. Git or more precisely the "EGit" on the other hand seems to be incompatible with Domino Designer (unsolvable dependencies).

A short setup guide:

  1. Download the  "Source Control Enablement" Plugin: Download
  2. Enable the Installation of Eclipse plugins in the Domino Designers Preferences:
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  3. Open the Install dialog ("File/Application/install") and add the zip file ( the one contained in the zip you downloaded before) as Location. Afterwards install the plug-in and restart the client to enable it.
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  4. The installation of  MercurialEclipse  is pretty much the same, the only difference is that there is no ready to use install package available. The url provided on the Website is not working for installation in Domino Designer, it also requires registration. However there is a manual download option, too. After downloading the files (including the "site.xml") you can create a ZIP file or just use the Download directory as "Folder Source" in Domino Designer. The down-side is that you have to check for plugin Updates yourself from time to time.
  5. Use the context menu "Team Integration/Associate with a new on-disk project" in order to create a new repository for your Notes application:
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  6. When switching to the Java perspective (Menu: "Window/Open Perspective/Java") you can see a new project which contains the exported files. Just use the Menu again ("Team/Share") to enable Mercurial for this project, for more information about using Mercurial you should look at the documentation.

For more Information about working with
Mercurial :


http://mercurial.selenic.com/guide/

http://mercurial.selenic.com/wiki/UnderstandingMercurial

http://mercurial.selenic.com/wiki/Tutorial

http://hgbook.red-bean.com/

Technical article IBM Notes IBM Notes Traveler JavaScript Java

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