Updating a web document using ajax

Posted on 2008-10-22
Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I have a web application where users amend a document on the web. There is lots of information to be captured and this information needs to be on one screen for ease of use. We have a problem where users say their browsers crash and their information is lost. We want to implement autosave using ajax on our form. I am a novice at Ajax and from what I have read, we use the ajax code to submit the request to the server. This I have working. BUT

The listening mechanism I have for the request is an agent. So basically, when I send the request I specify the url to the agent and I include the doc id , the field name and the field value in the queryString.
The problem I am concerned about it that the agent will go and find the backend document make the change to the field and save the document. But the user is still busy editing the document and when they save the document, it sends a proper save to the server. Will this cause a save conflict on the document when the user saves the document as we have saved the document in the backend and now those same fields are sent back to the server ?

Is there another approach to implementing autosave over the web ?
Is there another listening mechanism in domino other than an agent to sort out the update to the field ?

var xmlHttp;

function createXMLHttpRequest() { 

  if (window.ActiveXObject) { 

    xmlHttp = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"); 


  else if (window.XMLHttpRequest) { 

    xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); 



function AutoSave()


var CurrLocation = new String (window.location)

var LocationSplit = CurrLocation.split("/")

var server = LocationSplit[0] +"//" + LocationSplit[2] 

var path = document.forms[0].dbpath.value

var pos=0;

currURL = (document.location.href).toLowerCase();

if (trim(server) == "") {

pos = currURL.indexOf('://'); 

if (pos < 0 )


	var CurrLocation = new String (window.location)

	var LocationSplit = CurrLocation.split("/")

	var server = LocationSplit[0] +"//" + LocationSplit[2] 


//server = "http://Localhost" // PUT YOUR SERVERNAME HERE



pos += 3;

pos = currURL.indexOf('/', pos);

server = currURL.substring(0, pos)



if( trim(path) == "" )


if( pos > 0 )


newPos = currURL.indexOf('.nsf',pos);

if (newPos > 0)


path = currURL.substring(pos+1,newPos+4)




//Javascript index starts at 0, so need to decrement the column by -1

var args='&docID=' + document.forms[0].DocID.value + "&testing=" + document.forms[0].Testing.value

vurl = trim(server)+"/"+trim(path)+"/UpdateMyDocument?openagent" + args


  createXMLHttpRequest(); // build update string


  //xmlHttp.onreadystatechange = this.handleStateChange;

  alert("2")"GET" ,vurl ,true);






function trim(sStr)


var iI = 0;

var iJ = 0;

var iTam = 0;

var sAux = "";

iTam = sStr.length;

if(iTam==0) return(sStr);

for(iI=0; iI<iTam; iI++)

if(sStr.charAt(iI)!=' ') break;

if(iI >= iTam) return("");

for(iJ=iTam - 1; iJ>=0; iJ--)

if(sStr.charAt(iJ)!=' ') break;


} //End of trim

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Question by:devguru001
LVL 46

Accepted Solution

Sjef Bosman earned 500 total points
ID: 22794444
I suppose it could work, but what you should know is that a Domino server uses an intermediate document as a cache for the front-end. Such an intermediate document is created also when the user opens a new document with a form.

Just my 2 ideas therefore:
1) why not implement a simple button with only @Command([FileSave]) ?
2) Give them a GOOD browser (like Firefox 3), instead of spending lots of $$ on development and maintenance

Expert Comment

ID: 24785870
I'm not a fan of AJAX.  it tends to add significant complexity to a problem that can usually be solved without it.

If the fundamental problem is that the users are filling in a really big form that sometimes crashes and they lose data cos the form is so big it takes too long to complete, then one solution would be to break the form down.

you often see on web sites (such as shopping carts, questionaires, surveys) the form split in to sections.  As you progress from section to section you save the document.  you could either split the notes back end document up into smaller chunks, or as SJEF suggests, just do a filesave after each section

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31508662
There were other issues involved.

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