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Portlets with FacesClient Components

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While Web-based technology provides a cost-effective means to deploy, administer, and access business applications, developers must design such applications to effectively meet today's demanding business needs. A big problem for typical Web applications centers on dynamic Web page generation, coupled with the inability to avoid content regeneration when user interactions force a page refresh.

As a solution, the IBM?® FacesClient Components feature client-side processing coupled with a client-side data model to reduce server and network loads and user wait times. The result: richly interactive Web applications utilizing JavaScript for client-side processing and data structuring without browser or client upgrades.

In this article, we introduce the technology underlying FacesClient Components and describe how to build FacesClient Components-enabled portlet applications using the beta 1 version of the JSL (JavaScript Library) Emitter layer of the programming model. To help align the development group with the customer, we employ a scenario-based design approach to drive FacesClient Components technology development and features. To demonstrate the advantages of FacesClient Components-enabled applications compared to typical Web applications, we present the IBM?® Software Group (SWG) System House Customer Loyalty (CL) scenario.

In Parts 2 and 3 of this series, we will address the challenges of using FacesClient Components in a portal environment and methods for updating the client-side data model without refreshing the portal page. Note: During the prototype's development and implementation phase, the programming model's tooling and JavaServer Faces (JSF) layers were not mature enough to support development of the prototype. In Part 4, we will describe how to use the JSF programming layer and tooling to develop the CL prototype.

Web applications developed using the thin client computing model exhibit performance gaps and user interface limitations. As an alternative, the IBM?® FacesClient Components (formerly called the Odyssey Browser Framework) provides a more effective model for developing Web applications. FacesClient Components work inside a portlet programming environment to deliver exceptional value to users in the form of richer user interfaces and improved application performance. In this article, three software engineers explore the fundamentals of FacesClient Components and its uses for building portlet applications.

Who should read this: Developers of Web portal-based applications
Software versions: Beta 1 of the FacesClient components the non-JSF API for the components, as shipped in WebSphere Studio Application Developer 5.1.2
Goals of this paper: Describe how to develop a new breed of rich, dynamic, interactive and responsive Web portal applications

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