Understanding the widget framework in WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 7

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.

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What are the IBM WebSphere Commerce Validated Technology Partner Solutions?

wsc-isv-partner-300x300With the launch for Feature Pack 7 of WebSphere Commerce came a new Widget Framework (more on that in a later post) and with that framework came a list of technology partners who have contributions to the base product in the form of widgets and other integrations. In the next series of blog posts I am going to dive into each of these partner solutions and see what they are all about. The partners span a large set of functionality, bringing a fairly comprehensive set of function to the base WebSphere Commerce platform.

IBM WebSphere Commerce Validated Technology Partners bring together innovative and relevant e-commerce services and solutions to help serve the global community of IBM WebSphere Commerce customers across a wide range of industries. By leveraging pre-built integrations, WebSphere Commerce customers can deliver additional value faster with complimentary capabilities that differentiate the customer experience. – link

Here is a list of areas where validated technology partners have provided extended functionality to the platform:

  • Analytics & Business Intelligence
  • Campaign Management & Marketing
  • Community, Social & Customer Engagement
  • Content Management & Rich Media
  • Order Management & Fulfillment
  • Omni-Channel – In-Store & Mobile
  • Payments, Pricing & Tax
  • Product Management & Configuration
  • Search Optimization

For more information check out the IBM WebSphere Commerce Validated Technology Partner Solutions page.

Microsoft versus Lotus – a nice site to check out

Tonight I am checking out a discussion on LinkedIn and this site was posted in one of the responses.  The site is in Dutch but you can get the main idea using Google Translate.  The author has some pretty good and in depth analysis on the two companies and their social software and collaboration capabilities and has been blogging about it for a while.

Personally I see more opportunities for IBMs strategy.

Where a pure Exchange messaging product, Lotus Domino is a complete application platform. Hoewel er heel wat bedrijven zijn die slechts de mailfunctionaliteit van Lotus Domino gebruiken, blijft het feit staan dat ze daarmee een product hebben waarmee indien goed gebruikt men de productiviteit van de medewerkers flink kan verhogen zonder dat dit geld voor extra licenties hoeft te kosten. Although there are many companies that only the email functionality of Lotus Domino using ICT, the fact that they are thus a product that when used properly the productivity of employees can increase substantially without any money for additional licenses inexpensive.

I can not do this site justice  – you will need to check it out yourself.

In English using Google Translate.

Learn about deploying features, plugins and widgets

This is a really good web cast about Eclipse Features, Plug-ins and how they are deployed and installed into Lotus Notes.  Chris Miller does a great job explaining the difference between plugins, features and widgets.  I really like how Chris talks about Eclipse Features – many do not understand or even realize what a Feature is.  If you want to know this stuff make sure you watch and listen to his great web cast about these new packaging models in the Lotus Notes 8.x client. You can see his original post or you can just watch the embedded replay below.

Education like this is very important.  More and more companies develop plugins and widgets; as an administrator you need to know how the plugin and widget get deployed and then, more importantly, how they are updated or removed.

http://ui.mevio.com/widgets/mwm/MevioWM.swf?r=36915

Tutorial: How to add the Attachment Viewer to your mail file

As promised, here is the step by step tutorial for adding the attachment viewer to your email.  Go ahead and check out the video before you begin so you will get a clear picture of what I am talking about – in case you missed the post.  While these steps are very basic, I am going to explain them using the very technical Eclipse terminology so in the end you will surely know how the Notes 8 client is constructed and especially Mail. 🙂

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Using Widgets to manage and deploy plug-ins to Lotus Notes

Many customers are in the process of upgrading to Notes 8.x and specifically 8.5.1 and are very excited about Eclipse development.  A common question is how can we manage these plug-ins and deploy them to the client?  Here is a great link to get started in the Domino Administrator help.

“While Widgets and Live Text can be used to deploy a variety of Live Text and gadget-like capabilities to client users, they play a unique role in installing and updating (deploying and provisioning) feature plug-ins and policies to all managed clients in the IBM® Lotus® Domino®-administered enterprise, including IBM® Lotus® Notes® as well as IBM® Lotus® Expeditor® clients.”