Adding @mention autocomplete like Facebook, Twitter & Google+ to your XPages app


For an application I was asked to add a feature to add commenting on main topics. In order to stimulate discussions it should be easy to include people in the stream, similar as in Twitter. So writing an @sign should invoke a type-ahead or auto-complete to a user-list and provide suggested users to address.

In XPages you have type-ahead option, but that is only for inputText controls, not for inputTextArea controls. So how to solve this?

A search after “lightweight wrappers for adding @user mention functionality to Twitter Bootstraps Typeahead plugin” brought me to this library. The provided examples looked promising and were just what I needed, even the option to include a profile icon, similar to IBM Connections Smartcloud.


Basic setup

I will guide you setting up a basic structure to add “@Mention” to your XPages app and use a REST service to provide a list of users from your directory.

Step 1 – get the resources in

Not that difficult. Just drop the files somewhere (ordered) in your WebContent folder e.g:


Step 2 – Reference your resources

Next we are going to make these resources available via a Theme design element:mention_impl2

Step 3 – Add an inputTextArea control and bind it to the library

We want to have the @Mention function available to an inputTextArea control so we must not forget to add that to the XPage:


When the document is ready we want to bind the @Mention library to our inputTexArea. I use the infamous XSnippet “x$ jQuery selector for XPages”. Since we will be using the Bootstrap theme in the Extension Library we have jQuery available:


Step 4 – Add REST service

Wait, did we just add $.getJSON(‘REST.xsp/users’, function(result)? What does that provide us?

REST.xsp is an XPage that contains a REST service control from the Extension Library. It calls a serviceBean


The serviceBean is a simple service that will go to a database and collect column values from a view. In this case I am using the also infamous fakenames NSF but that could be your ordinary Domino Directory (names.nsf)


If you open your developer tools in your browser you see the service provides as data:


We have to strip that down with line x$(“#{id:comment}”).mention({}).

Since we are also using the bootstrap theme for @Mention the result looks like:


Splendid! So how is your social application modernization doing?

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