Book Review – IBM Press, Mastering XPages

I never got the chance to meet the inventors of ‘Notes’, but these guys were true visionaries.” This is the first sentence in a 748 pages book about XPages that was recently published by IBM Press.
The book is written by Martin Donnelly, Mark Wallace and Tony McGuckin with a foreword by Philippe Riand. Although all authors declare that “none of us had been down the book-writing road before”, the book is well written, even for readers that do not have english as the first language.

The main content starts with a high level overview about XPages. Even if you are already experienced in XPages development, it is worth reading this chapter. Start writing your first XPages application and follow the instructions step by step. The resulting application is a good starting point to put enhancements on top.
If you run into a problem regarding security settings on the server take a look at the very end of the book where you find the settings that have to be applied to your server.
IMHO, this information should be part of the “Getting Everything You Need” chapter.

The anatomy of an XPage is described in detail in chapter 4. Newbees to this field should read this chapter carefully. You will need this information if you want to dig deeper into XPages development later on.

Chapter 12 explains how to build your own user interface controls. This part of the book is not easy to understand for a non experienced developer, but if you follow the step by step instruction carefully, you will succeed.

All over the book you find tons of source code and numerous screenshots. It would be a good idea to make the source code available for download. But perhaps it is already available and I missed this part in the book.

The book also gives credit to all of the members of the Notes Community that started back in 8.5 with spreading the news about XPages in blogs, podcasts etc. Take these ressources as a supplement to the information you find in the book.

As a conclusion, I would recommend this book to every developer who wants to start with XPages development.

I’m not sure about the availability on or other amazon sites around the world but I’ve heard from colleagues that there is or at least had been a massive delay in delivery. If you live in Germany, you can order the book at  here. I received my copy within 3 days.

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