Call 32-bit COM Objects from 64-bit Domino

We all know that when you upgrade your Domino environment from 32-bit to 64-bit, any COM objects you use will not work anymore. You thn need to get and install a 64-bit version of the COM object.

But what if there is no 64-bit version? Do you have to stay on 32-bit Domino forever? Or rather, stay on Domino 9.x, since Domino 10 (and probably also the upcoming version 11) are 64-bit only.

Perhaps not. I found this article that describes how to use a 32-bit COM object in a 64-bit environment, like Domino 10. I have not had time to test it myself, but I will probably try it this weekend.

Read all the details at


Thirty Years – What A Ride!

Thirty years. It can feel like an eternity, or like just yesterday. That is how long I have been working in the IT industry, as of 2 weeks ago.

When I graduated the Swedish equivalent of High School in the spring of 1988, I did not know what lay ahead. If anyone would have told me where I would be 30 years later, I am not sure I would have believed them.

Computers, and especially programming, was my big interest. I had spent every available hour in the computer room in school. I went there during breaks between classes (if only 15-20 minutes) as well as during lunch break (usually 1 hour long. I learned to eat really fast, to maximize my time in front of the computer… Then after school I often spent 4-5 hours learning to program, either from books, magazines, or from other students.

After I graduated, I was not really motivated to go to college. But I found an intensive one-year college level education in systems programming and computer science. It would be classes 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week. Today you would probably call it boot-camp…

Unfortunately the class did not make, it needed a couple more students. So in the beginning OS September 1988,after about 2 weeks of classes, we were told to come back in January. We were encouraged to find a job or internship in the mean time. So I started to call around to different companies I found in the yellow pages.

After a few days I got a hit, a company was looking for a first line support technician. I sent in my application (I did not even have a formal resume) and a copy of my high school grades. A week later (on a Friday) I had an interview, and the following Monday I started working there. This company was Microsoft.

Needless to say, I learned a lot at Microsoft. I return to the class during the spring semester, worked at Microsoft during the summer break and then again after I graduated at Christmas.

After a year in the Air Force for the (then) mandatory military service, I intended to go back to Microsoft, but I was offered a job as a programmer at another company, and I jumped at that option. From there it just continued, via 5 years as an IT journalist and then over 20 years working mainly with Lotus (later IBM) Notes and Domino.

There are times when it feels it was just like yesterday I was writing Pascal code for a computer running CP/M-86 as operating system. Or when my coworker and I, who lived in the same apartment building (but on different floors and in different ends of the building) decided to run RG58 coax cable between out apartments, so we could network our computers. Or when I went scuba diving in Egypt and brought an IBM ThinkPad 701C (the model with the expanding keyboard) and a digital camera with me, so I could write a diary to publish on my personal website. Yes, it was pretty much a blog, way back in 1995…

But when I look at how technology has changed, it feel like the middle ages.

Our network at school (yes, we actually has one!) had a hard disk the size of a small shoebox, and with a capacity of 30 MB, to be shared between students and teachers. Yes, it’s not a typo. 30 Megabyte! Today most hard drives have at least twice that amount of memory just for cache…

Compare that with my mobile phone, on which I am writing this post while riding a bus from Dallas to Houston. It has 2185 times that memory (64 GB) built in. I have an additional 200 GB in the form of a micro SD card. This amount of storage would have been unfathomable 30 years ago.

Today we have internet access everywhere. I can sit in my car, in a restaurant or on a bus in the middle of nowhere and still have access to all the knowledge (not to mention cat videos) in the world. In fractions of a second I can perform a search that would have been virtually impossible 30 years ago.

I can turn on and off the lights at home, no matter where in the world I am. I can check the temperature in the different rooms and change the AC settings, if needed. I get an automatic alert if there is smoke I the house, or water where it is not supposed to be. And I can check the status of my laundry remotely.

I can talk to the computer, phone and other devices and have them turn lights on or off, tell me what the weather will be later that day or the next few days, or play any music I ask it to play. This is just like in Star Trek or 2001, except it is for real.

I can buy anything I need from the comfort of my home, or from anywhere in the world, and get it delivered within a day or two, sometimes even the same day.

At the same time I do miss the days back when I started with computers. It was like a new frontier, an unknown area where you had no idea what could happen next.

I still remember the excitement when I managed to create something new and cool, and I got it to work after spending countless hours working on it and troubleshooting the code. It is rare that I feel that excitement today, in the same way. But it still happens. .

I am very fortunate to be able to work with what I love, and have been able to do it for this long. I am looking forward to the next 30 years with great excitement.

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Microsoft goes NoSQL with DocumentDB


“Flexible schemas”, “automatic indexing”… Sounds interesting, I can see this for some companies as a way to migrate Domino applications to Azure. Put your .NSF based data there and use different technologies to work with it. Also, it has a “pay-as-you-go” pricing, making it even more attractive.

More info here.


Microsoft releases Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft today released the latest version of their development environment Visual Studio. There are even free versions, including the complete IDE Visual Studio Community and the code editor Visual Studio Code (available for Widnows, Linux and OSX).

Visual Studio now includes even more tools for cross platform mobile development for iOS  and Android. There is even an Android emulator included. The web development part supports tools and frameworks like Angular, Bootstrap, jQuery, Backbone and Django.

And naturally the IDE also supports Windows, including Windows 10 (expected to be released at the end of the month).

I have been using tools in the Visual Studio family for many years, I started with a beta of Visual Basic 1.0 a long time ago, and used all version up to and including VB 6.0. I also played around some with Visual C++ and even Visual J++. After that I focused mainly on Lotus Notes development, but recently I have started some C#/.NET projects at work using Visual Studio Community 2013.


Microsoft and jQuery Ajax calls – not using standards

I recently started using C# and .NET for the first time to build a web application. It is just a proof of concept application where I am trying to implement CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) though jQuery and Ajax calls from a simple webpage. The application should let me retrieve a list of all companies in the database, get information about a specific company (based on a company id), update an existing company (and create a new company in the database if it does not exist) and finally allow a company to be deleted.

I been doing these things for years using IBM Domino as the backend, simple reading the query string and parsing the name-value pairs before performing actions based on the values. So when I started using Visual Studio I naturally thought things would work the same there.

But I found out that ASP.NET is using a different method to address web resources. It uses the concept of routes, so instead of adding information passed to the server using the query string, the data is passed in the actual URL:
To get a list of all companies you would call /api/Company, and to get information about a specific company you add the company id (/api/Company/Q1234). If I want to pass two arguments to the server, for example to get all companies in a specific city and state, you would call /api/Company/TX/Dallas.

In my opinion, this gives you much less flexibility than if  you pass arguments in the query string. You must put the arguments in the correct order, and it is much harder to use optional arguments. One example of where I used optional argumenst is for sort order. In some cases I want the companies to be returned in descending order, instead of the default ascending. Or I want to sort on a specific column/values. In those cases I pass along a special argument, but normally I don’t. Less data to transfer that way, and cleaner code. But it still works.

It is when you want to perform a POST of form data to the server that it get really complicated and annoying. This is the sample code using the ASP.NET Web API generated by Visual Studio 2013:

// POST: api/Company
public void Post([FromBody]string value)
    ... do stuff here

As you perhaps can tell, this function only take one argument, which is pretty useless in a real application. And you can’t just add additional arguments in the declaration. One way to do it (as described here) is to use a data transfer object containing all the arguments, which then is used in the function:

public class CompanyDTO
    public string CompanyID { get; set; }
    public string LegalName { get; set; }
    public string Address { get; set; }
    public string City { get; set; }
    public string State { get; set; }
    public string ZIP { get; set; }

// POST: api/Company
public string Post(CompanyDTO Company)
    return Company.LegalName + " in " + Company.City + ", " + Company.State;

The issue here is that you need to put the arguments in exactly the same order in the Ajax call (and hence the query string) as they are declared in the code. You also can’t (as far as I understand) send only updated values, you need to always send all the fields, even if just one field has been changed.

So what should one do? The best solution I found this far is to pass the data from the browser as a string, containing JSON. Not as a JSON object, as that will not work.

So do not do this:

    type: "POST",
    url:  "api/Company/",
    data: {'city':'Dallas','legalname':'Test Company, LLC'},
    contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
    dataType: "json"

The browser will just convert the JSON object to name-value pairs, and you end up with null in your code. Instead, change the jQuery code to this:

    type: "POST",
    url:  "api/Company/",
    data: "{'city':'Dallas','legalname':'Test Company, LLC','Owner':'Karl-Henry Martinsson'}",
    contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
    dataType: "json"

Now it will work! Notice the small change, I added quotes around the JSON. An added bonus is that you don’t need to pass along all fields, just the ones you want/need in any order. And if you pass along a field/name that is not defined on the server, it will simply be ignored.

You probably don’t want to build the data string manually. Perhaps you want to loop though certain fields and retrieve the values to pass to the server. You would do something like this:

// Create a new empty object
var Company = { };
// Loop through all elements with the class 'dataField' and
// build an object with the ID of the element as the name.
$('.dataField').each(function() {
  Company[] = this.value;

  type: "POST",
  contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
  url: "/api/Company",
  data: JSON.stringify(Company),
  dataType: "json"

I use JSON.stringify to convert the JSON object to a string before sending it to the server.

So this is what I found out. Hopefully it will help someone. I am still a bit frustrated that Micorosft once again decided to do things a different way than the rest of the world, but I guess one should not be surprised at that.






Windows 10 will be a free upgrade

Owners of Windows 7 and 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when it is released later this year, Microsoft announced at their big Windows 190 even today. A consumer preview release will be available for free shortly, but a date for the finished version has not been announced yet.

Among the other news is that Internet Explorer will be retired as of Windows 10 and be replaced by a new modern browser (code name Spartan) created from the ground up. The start menu is back, and Cortana (Microaoft answer to Apple’s Siri, and already available on Windows phones) will be available for the desktop as well. Talking about desktop, Windows 10 will support multiple desktops, similar to what Linux users have been able to enjoy for years.

At the event Microsoft also demonstrated a holographic headset. A new API allows developers to create augmented reality applications that can interact with the new headset/goggles.


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