I have recently spent some time reading the Info Center about the Commerce Composer Widget Architecture. Think of widgets as the building blocks to construct a page in your store front. Widgets are basically JSP snippets with a data JSPF and two user interface JSPF’s, one for the horizontal representation and one for the vertical representation. This is essentially a basic J2EE programming model. The widget code structure is still pretty much the same as it was in FEP5 but in the new FEP7 you have to do some more steps in registering the widgets with the store.
Pictures courtesy of the WebSphere Commerce Info Center – link
Widgets should be dynamic and implement the new responsive design guidelines to insure they appear correctly in the user interface.
To start, there are over two dozen layout widgets that come with FEP7 that you can use in your new store front. Much of the original Aurora JSP pages have been “widgetized” so these widgets can now be used in other places on the site or even removed – for instance, if you do not want faceted navigation then simply do not include the widget!
Check out the image below and click it to see the page in the info center to learn more about the widgets for Commerce Composer.
I am going to end with a nice tutorial, also on the InfoCenter – “Creating Commerce Composer widgets“, if you are a developer or business partner, then this is the place to begin to create your new exciting widget.
If you want a primer for widgets and layouts check out this video from FEP5: