PageBuilder2 theme in WebSphere Portal 7.0

WebSphere Portal 7 provides improved page builder and improved client side rendering and has a new default portal theme, the Page Builder theme. Themes define how your portal site will look. After installation, a default theme is deployed and you can either customize that theme or create your own. The new themes approach introduced in 7 involves less editing of JSPs and allows you to mix iWidgets and portlets on the same portal page and take advantage of both client side and server side rendering mode. WebSphere Portal 7 continues to support other themes, including your custom themes. If you have an existing portal site you can continue to use your existing themes or you can migrate your themes to the new standard.

These are some of the main points about the new Page Builder theme

  • Static pages use plain HTML. This can include placeholders for dynamic content, such as portlets or iWidgets. You can create and edit static pages by using an HTML editor tool of your choice.

  • The Page Builder theme allows you to render and edit static pages that which include portlets and iWidgets. The theme allows you for each page to configure whether that page is rendered in client side aggregation mode, or in server side aggregation mode. Users with editor rights on the page can toggle pages between client side and server side mode. The Page Builder theme consists of a plain HTML file. You can customize it by using a HTML editor tool of your choice. The portal provides several include files that you can use to add the logic for starting and editing the page.

  • You can use portlets and iWidgets to add application logic to a static page. JSR168 and 286 define the standard for portlets, and the iWidget specification 2.0 defines iWidgets. Both portlets and iWidgets are self-contained pieces of application logic that you can develop, deploy, and use in a flexible manner. You need to distinguish between the types of code and its execution:

    1. Portlets are written as Java code. They are designed to be executed in a portlet container on the server side. If they are rendered by client side execution instead, the portal translates them into iWidgets markup that can be executed in the browser.

    2. iWidgets are written as Javascript logic. They are designed to be executed in the browser on the client side. For server side execution the portal wraps iWidgets into portlets.

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