On stackoverflow the following question was asked:
there seems to be a rising hype in XPages for web development.
so far all i see XPages is good for is quick development of Forms. It seems like a modern day version of VB
what are the advantages of using xpages as oppose to other java frameworks?
Here is what I answered:
The unique thing is that the infrastructure comes with everything you need to build and run applications. There is a built in document oriented database (though you can use relational databases), web server, directory, security, search functionality, etc. While the frontend part is rather new the backend components have been proven in production for almost two decades.
Another unique thing are the rapid development and deployment mechanisms. XPages are built with an Eclipse based tool supporting drag and drop functionality for simpler applications but also full Java capabilities for advanced programming. Since the document oriented databases can store both the design and the data complete applications can be easily deployed. Furthermore these databases can be easily replicated to other databases in distributed environments.