So this week I got the opportunity to create my first widget for the new WebSphere Commerce Composer in feature pack 7. I have to give big kudos to the documentation team and the InfoCenter because I followed the five steps in this tutorial and after a couple of hours got it all up and running in my first attempt! I am not going to say what kind of widget I created to extend WebSphere Commerce but I will say its pretty cool and I am excited that I got past this first hurdle. The I could barely contain myself as I rebuilt the Management Center project and then launched the Commerce Composer to see if my widget was listed with all of the other widgets to be inserted into my page layout (and no, I am not showing my widget name in the screen shot, more on that on another day):
The instructions are very easy to follow if you have the development environment for FEP7 already up and running, however, the info center accounts for this if you don’t and shows you how to install things like JET.
Speaking of JET, while the emitter is not 100% with its output, it is pretty darn close, I would say about 99.9%! Mainly because there is a file or two you have to merge into existing files. All of the source code for the widget was generated for me from this simple XML:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<pageLayout vendor=”IBM” targetFolder=”src”>
<widgetDef identifier=”BobsWidget” UIObjectName=”BobsWidgetObject” displayName=”Bobs Widget” description=”Bobs Widget” widgetDisplayGroups=”AnyPage,SearchPage”
<property name=”channeldID” displayName=”Channel Id”/>
<property name=”maxNumberOfOffers” displayName=”Max Number of offers”/>
Once you run the XML through the JET emitter class specified in the instructions all of the code is generated for you. This also gives you an idea how the architecture of Management Center works and is a great primer just for that.
So in short, if you want an integration with the one of the largest ecommerce deployment packages in the world (ie. WebSphere Commerce) then get your widget created today!