Preparing for IBM Connect 2017

IBM Connect 2017In about 1 week I will jump on a plane and will fly across the Atlantic Ocean to San Francisco for IBM Connect 2017.

This time not only as an attendee, but also a speaker and IBM Champion.


My session

Who wants to attend my session, need to get out of bed early. It is planned on Thursday 23rd of February in room 2003.

The title is ‘How Watson, Bluemix, Cloudant, and XPages Can Work Together In A Real World Application

I will talk about our HR Assistant application and show the techniques we used to build and integrate it with Watson and Cloudant

More details,

The coming days I will do the final preparations of my session.


Since this week the IBM event app has been updated with all the information about IBM Connect 2017. Plan your schedule, connect with speakers, IBM Champions and other attendees.

When not yet installed on your mobile device go get it in the specific app stores


Looking forward to meet every one and see you in San Francisco.

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Bye Eclipse, hello IntelliJ Ultimate

IntelliJ IDE

In Januari I started on a new role, Full Stack developer at Rabobank.

One of the developers in my team is a big fan of IntelliJ from JetBrains, so I gave it a try over the past weeks.

I must say I don’t miss Eclipse at all.

Currently I am running it on macOS, but also in a VDI of the customer, which runs Windows.


What is IntelliJ

It is a very complete IDE, not for Java development only, but also Front end development, like AngularJS, because WebStorm is part of IntelliJ Ultimate.

Lots of integration is already build in and if still need other plugins, JetBrains has a plugin catalog.

There is a free version, but when you want to go down the road the Ultimate version is your friend.


What do I like the most

Here are some things I found I liked the most, and I only scratched the surface.

  • Autocomplete when coding is much intuitive then you know from Eclipse. Makes coding easier and quicker.
  • Maven actions are easy collected in one panel, where you get a direct overview of all the Lifecycle action, but you can also create custom extension, like ‘mvn clean install’. If profiles are used in the pom.xml you can select them when package or deploy an project
  • Build in Terminal or CMD. Very convenient, no extra window need to be opened
  • Click on a Java class and a select the action ‘create Test’. It will give a choice which methods need to be tested and with which JUnit version. It will generate directly a test class, and packages in the test folder. Gives you a head start to write unit tests.
  • When running tests. in sidebar icons are visible to run the whole test class or only one method in this class.
  • The IDE identify new files or languages, and give you suggestions, what can or need to be done. For example I added a Docker file to deploy our Spring Boot application to Docker. IntelliJ made the suggestion to set up an Docker environment. Cool…
  • Build in tooling for Spring Framework, for me the defacto lately.
  • Build in database connectivity with SQL datasources, easy to set up via the settings. Which makes the use of PL/SQL developer not necessary anymore.
  • Really extended integration with Source Control Systems, like Git, with good visibility of all the branches which I liked about GitFlow in SourceTree.
  • I can immediately also develop an AngularJS application, without switching IDE.


For me it will be the main IDE and I discover every day new features. Admit that Eclipse can full fill lots of these features, but IntelliJ has taken it a step further. Which gives my a total IDE.


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First time speaking at IBM Connect in San Francisco

After a long period on the sessions waitlist, I received an email that my session is approved, in the end.

It will my first time speaking at IBM Connect/Lotusphere, so I am looking forward to it.

My session will be about the HR Assistant application, which was the winner of the IBM Development Competition 2016.

#1129 – “How Watson, Bluemix, Cloudant, and XPages Can Work Together In A Real World Application”

The role of a human resources employee can be hard work when it comes to filtering hundreds or thousands of job applications. Often, the cover letters are submitted in unstructured formats making keeping data in order and identifying interesting job applications difficult. In this session we will give a look behind the scenes of the award winning HR Assistant application which uses a combination of IBM Bluemix, Watson and a Cloudant database to improve the recruitment process. We will explain how we integrate the different technologies and display the content graphically using XPages along with how the development progressed and the challenges we faced.


Looking forward to be in San Francisco again, one of the best US cities I have been visited.

BTW If any want an $100 discount on the conference full registration, please contact me or any other IBM Champion.

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Websphere Liberty Profile and external authentication redirect

At one of my customers I was busy with the upgrade their virtual development environment.

Current state

Currently we run Websphere Application Sever 8 inside Rational Application Developer on a not so fat virtual development environment. Which cause lots of waiting for the developer to deploy changes of the portal to the local WAS server.

We tried JRebel, but in combination with RAD I can say it is not happy couple. It caused have memory use and after a certain period a not response environment ;-(


New environment and a problem

So we decided to move for the development environment to the latest Eclipse version with Websphere Liberty Profile.

Benefit of Eclipse is a more lean IDE, where we can install SonarLint and Findbugs plugins. WLP for local development is also much more easier to install and much faster.

After I ran the migration tooling in Eclipse I had my server.xml, so that was easy 😉

To run the EAR files of our portals should be untouched, because on production we still use WAS.

The portals run also on JSF 1.2, so we load the JSF and the properties via commonLibrary on the class path.


Voila, one of the portals was running on WLP, which is using Basic Authentication, but……. the others using an external  authentication mechanisme. After successful authentication the user is redirected back to the portal.

This redirect caused a connection refused error ;-(


The solution

On the website of IBM I found the solution.

By adding host=”*” to the httpEndpoint tag, which tells WLP to accept all incoming requests.

The final httpEndpoint looks like this

<httpEndpoint id="defaultHttpEndpoint" host="*" httpPort="8081" httpsPort="443" />

Happy coding

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My slides of my Cloudant introduction session at Meet IT

Last Wednesday Meet IT conference was held at IBM Client Center in Milan. I did a session about Cloudant and how you can use it inside an XPages application.

My session was in the Auditorium, a big room like a theater with good chairs, very good audio and screens. Was nice to it such big room.


A big thanks to Giuseppe Grasso, Daniele Grillo and Stefano Benassi for organising it. All well deserved IBM Champions
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I am an IBM Champion, again


Yesterday at MeetIT conference in Milan, Amanda Bauman, has announced the IBM Champions for ICS.

I am among the 123 IBM Champions in 2017, and that makes me very happy.

It is the third time after 2013 and 2014, but the first time as an Freelancer.


Thanks to all how nominated me.

Let see what 2017 will bring as an IBM Champion. One great event is already known, speaking at IBM InterConnect.


A special attention for 2 new Dutch IBM Champions, Ronald Dekkers from Acuity and Remco Angioni, my former colleague at e-office.


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My abstract has been accepted for IBM InterConnect 2017


Yesterday I received an email from the IBM InterConnect 2017 team with the message that my abstract has been accepted.

Wow, was stunned, and happy and a little bit ‘scared’……..

When the news is setting in, I was thinking of the next steps.

I already made the registration, next housing and flights. And of course preparing my slide deck

My session will be about our HR Assistant application we build for the ICS Development Competition, with a deep dive in the code and lessons learned.


Hope to see you in Las Vegas…..

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Special page for my open source projects

Tonight I thought it would be a good idea to create a special page at my side with links of all my open source projects.

You can find them here or at the bottom of my homepage.

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My evolution as a developer: becoming a Full stack developer

evolution of a developer

Is the time of the year to have some time to reflect.


Entering the IT

Around 2000 I entered the IT world, first as a Domino Administrator, but after a good talk with a former colleague I made the switch to become a Developer.

So I became Domino Developer and learned Formula language and later Lotusscript. Did some certifications.

When the browser became more important I moved more and more to web development and did some great projects, for example I build the public website of a big insurance company. Was a lot of fun and challenges on such a high traffic website.


Learning Java

Along with these web development projects there was also an increasing amount of Java projects, so I learned Java and did a few nice Java projects. It was really nice to do these Java backend projects, but Front end development was   screaming for my attention



In 2008 IBM introduced XPages, and implementation of JSF. They took 1.1 version and ripped out all the unnecessary parts and added much needed features, which are still not native in the latest greatest version of JSF, like partial refresh. Which the XPages developer took for granted.

I was an early adapter, and despite of the lack of Documentation I liked it. At that time, It was a perfect combination, Java in de the back end, combined with Front end development, like HTML, JS and CSS.

I have build nice solutions.


Going freelance

In 2014 I made the decision to start my own business and became a freelance developer. As a freelancer I followed the money and in the Netherlands there is high demand of Java developer, especially in the enterprise world. So I moved more and more to the JEE world, learned a lot of new tooling, like Maven, Jenkins, JUnit testing and much more…

Most of the applications I build was based on JSF, with a lot of Spring Framework.

Meanwhile there was also time to build more XPages based applications, like the HR Assistant which was our entry of the ICS Development Competition, where we used Cloudant as datastore and IBM Watson to analyse.

I also found some time to learn more of the Salesforce platform, I heard good things about it. I must admit I liked the way Salesforce helping to get new Developers on board, via their Trailhead platform


Full stack

The last months I was looking around to new technology, had a short look at ReactJS. Looks good and very lightweight, the developer descide what should be loaded. Created a very small application.

But now AngularJS 2 has been gone gold, I am learning as much as possible. Took our HR Assistant application as an example and I am busy to rebuild it in AngularJS 2. It is a steep learning curve, but I can get the data from Cloudant, so what could go wrong 😉


Next step

First of January 2017 I will start as full stack Java developer, at a new customer. It will be a very interesting project with lots of new technology like Java, AngularJS, Docker, Salesforce, Websphere Liberty. They are also looking to the cloud, and Bluemix was mentioned.

So interesting times are ahead and I am looking forward to this new step in my career.

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My slides of my Cloudant session at Sutol 2016

Today I did a session at Sutol conference in Prague.

It was about how to get started with Cloudant as an XPages developer.

In my session I mentioned my Cloudant OSGi plugin, which can be find at
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