I suck at coding in HTML.
Sure I can do it, but with about the same efficiency as I have when typing on a Dvorak keyboard. It's not that I don't understand what HTML does but it uses this weird language that bears no resemblance to my native tongue of Forms, Fields and @functions.
So when I set up Lotus Foundations Server to run my office I left the Home Page alone for a couple of months until I finally forced myself to change it from the default and add some blurb about why I was better than all of the other Lotus Business Partners in Sydney. It took me about a day to code everything I wanted and I decided that I wasn't going to revisit that Page unless I moved offices and needed to update my company details.
Then a couple of weeks ago Bob Baehr pinged me with news about his new baby - Advanced Web Configuration for Foundations - and told me that he could make my Foundations Server work like a proper Domino Web server.
If you've worked with Foundations you'd know that by default your domain name points at your Apache Web server and shows a default Login page. It's a functional but somewhat uninspiring screen and it has no interface with your Domino environment. You can create a URL to a Notes database on your server eg: http://www.abc.com.au/data/myhomepage.nsf?Opendatabase , but that's rather ugly and I don't think many customers could be bothered to do that much typing. They'd much rather just type in http://www.abc.com.au and rely on your server to send them to your Notes-based Home Page.
Advanced Web Configuration for Foundations promises to let them do just that.
The product comes as a zipped 800k .pkg file that drops into your server's autoinstall folder. Although the software manual is fifteen pages long the installation process is so simple that I think Bob could have listed the instructions on a single page. Sure enough, the software installation process was over before I knew it. Click here, tick there, reboot the server and five minutes later my domain name was reading from a Notes database.
A regular native true-blue ODS-rated Form-View-and-Agent-enabled Notes database.
That's more than exciting - it's a whole d@rned revolution in the Lotus Foundations server space because now I don't need to dick around with text-based HTML. I can dust off my old NotesPortal.nsf and provide links for my visitors to get through to all of my other public access web-enabled databases. Lotus Foundations Server is now a viable upgrade path from a traditional Domino server for any SMB customer with a home-grown Domino web site.
You can check out Advanced Web Configuration for Foundations at http://www.bobbaehr.com
The downside is that I can't run my Apache server any more but on reflection I don't really see that as a downside. The standard Foundations Webconfig access screen still runs and that's all I need.
Now excuse me while I go and add another link to my Home Page using a Notes interface - the way nature intended it.