Calling all Business Partners, Developers, Hackers, and Consultants alike!

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):

Widgets Panel

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:

[codesyntax lang=”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”
widgetRestrictionGroups=”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!

WebSphere Commerce developer tutorials on InfoCenter

One hidden gem in the WebSphere Commerce world is the InfoCenter. The InfoCenter contains all kinds of great information but the piece I want to focus on today is the Tutorial section. If you are a WebSphere Commerce developer (aspiring or current) then this is definitely an area to check out. Many of the tutorials were created because of the business needs of our customers. Here are a few tutorials I know get a lot of attention:

Tutorial: Adding fields in the Catalogs tool

In this tutorial, you will be extending the Management Center Catalogs tool to manage the warranty and care instruction information and add logic to show the information about store product pages. This tutorial continues the warranty scenario introduced in the tutorial.

Tutorial: Adding search conditions for advanced search in the Catalogs tool

In this tutorial you will be adding new search conditions to the Advanced Search dialog in the Catalogs tool . You will extend the advanced search with two new conditions: warranty type and warranty term.

Tutorial: Extending simple search in the Catalogs tool

In this tutorial you will be extending simple search in the Catalogs tool in the Management Center. Simple search is a function performed in the search widget of the Management Center and it provides the capability to search on a single property, such as the price or size of a product. The current Catalogs tool provides several simple searches such as search catalog entries by name and search category by name. In this tutorial you will provide search on catalog entries by warranty term, warranty type, and care instruction. This will allow your customers to search for additional single properties of your products.

Tutorial: Adding support for multiple values of Attribute Dictionary attributes

In this tutorial, you can customize the attribute dictionary feature to add support for multiple values for attribute dictionary attributes.