Displaying, collecting, and storing information

How you display, collect, and store information is an important part of any application. The design elements you use to accomplish these tasks are:

  • Pages
  • Forms and documents
  • Fields

You can use layers on pages and forms. Arranging fields, buttons, and other UI content on a layer enables you to develop your page or form content in chunks that can then be easily organized and quickly rearranged.


A page is a database design element that displays information. Pages are a familiar Web concept. Almost every Web site has a home page -- a page that contains information about the company, graphics that enhance the page, and links that take you to other places within the site or elsewhere on the Web.

Example of a page displayed via a browser

Pages can be used anytime you are displaying information to the user. Pages can contain:

  • Layers
  • Text
  • Tables
  • Graphics
  • Applets
  • Embedded objects such as views
  • Links

Pages often work in conjunction with framesets to display graphics, site navigation, or applets.

Pages can be used as components in composite applications.

For more information, see Designing Pages.

Forms and documents

Forms, like pages, display information. Everything that can be done with a page can be done with a form. What sets forms apart from pages is that forms can be used to collect information. A form provides the structure for creating and displaying documents. Documents are the elements that store data in the database.

When you create a form in Notes® Domino® Designer, users can open the form in the Notes® client from the Create menu. On the Web, you must provide a button or action that opens the form. When the user completes the form and saves it, the information is saved as a document. When a user reopens the document, the document uses the form as a template for displaying the data.

Forms can be used as components in composite applications.

For more information, see Designing Forms.


Fields are the elements on forms that collect data. Each field on a form stores a single type of information, which is stored in documents. A field's data type defines the kind of information a field accepts.

You can create fields in the following data types:

  • Text
  • Date/Time
  • Number
  • Dialog List
  • Check box
  • Radio button
  • Listbox
  • Combo box
  • Rich text
  • Authors
  • Names
  • Readers
  • Password
  • Formula
  • Time zone
  • Rich text lite
  • Color

You decide if a field is editable -- that is, populated by user input, or calculated by formulas. You can program fields to retrieve data from other Domino® applications, other components in a composite application, or from external sources. In addition, you can create shared fields, which can be used in many forms within the same database.

For more information, see Designing Fields.