Tag Archives: version controlling

Lotus Notes and Git

If multiple developers are working on a project it is possible that they do development on their local machine(Lotus Domino server is installed on their local machine). Everybody is working on separate module so they can work independently. After the development is complete we need to merge the changes done by every developer into single nsf file so that we can deploy. We used to make a list of design elements which we have modified/created/deleted during the development process, and based on that list from every developer we do merging. Since we are human, we are bound to make mistakes. This list is created manually so there is a possibility to make mistakes or miss out something. So after merging process all unit tests must be executed to ensure all changes has been merged.

To avoid this mistake and overhead of unit testing again and again, we need to automate this process. Let me tell you how we can automate it and ensure it would not break our application.

  1. Install Git on all developers machines for version controlling. This step is not required but it will help during merging process if some conflict arise. Git will give you list of all design elements which are created/modified/deleted without any error.
  2. There are two possibilities, either Git is installed on all developers machine or it is not installed on some/all of developers machine
    1. If Git is installed on all machines: We can use Git pull request to pull and merge all changes made. If a conflict arise(conflict arise only when if a change is made on same line and same file by two or more developers) Git will ask you how to resolve the conflict. We can select manual resolution to ensure we are not going to lose anything
    2. If Git is not installed:
      1. take ntf from all developers(e.g., app1.ntf, app2.ntf, app3.ntf, …)
      2. Create nsf(app.nsf) from first ntf(app1.ntf) and set up version controlling using Git for it.
      3. By default Git creates a branch and call it “master”. Commit all changes in master branch
      4. Create a new branch “app2″ and switch to this branch
      5. Go to Lotus Notes workspace and replace design of created nsf(app.nsf) with design of next template(app2.ntf). Once design replace is completed, it will automatically export all changes to Git repository.
      6. Commit all changes in current branch
      7. Perform step iii – vi for all templates
      8. Now we have all design changes recorded in Git on separate branches, we just need to merge it. Merge “app2″ branch with “master” branch and commit it, then merge next branch with master.
      9. Once this merging process is complete, open Domino Designer and sync the application with on disk project.
      10. You are done. Nothing more to do.

I explained above how can we use Git in our development environment and it gives us flexibility to work in distributed manner. It do not enforce all of us to use it. If few of us are not comfortable in using it they can easily avoid it without any complexity. If you are new to Git, I recommend you to read this documentation.