Composite Application Development Tools
IBM provides several tools to help you build composite application components and to aggregate those
For assembling a composite application, developers have two choices:
The following section takes a closer look at several of these tools, how they are used, and the skills required to use them.
IBM Lotus Domino Designer
In the Lotus Notes and Domino 8 release, Lotus Domino Designer maintains the familiar
Component interaction for the specific composite application is defined when the composite application is
In Lotus Notes and Domino 8, Lotus Domino Designer provides new property box options plus new LotusScript classes,
IBM Workplace Designer
If your background is in Lotus Domino programming, think of Workplace Designer as a tool for providing Lotus Domino Designer-type application development functionality to the IBM Workplace family of products.
In fact, those familiar with Lotus Domino Designer will notice similarities with many IBM Workplace Designer features and concepts. This is not coincidental; Workplace Designer was created with the Lotus Domino Designer in mind. This allows
Figure B.2. User interface of IBM Workplace Designer 2.6 
Workplace Designer is based on Eclipse and has many of the features usually associated with Eclipse-based products, including a central page designer
IBM Application Editor Tool
Every WebSphere Portal composite application is derived initially from a composite application template. Composite application templates allow users with proper permissions to create composite applications easily in a self-serve model. A composite application template includes the aggregation of components, pages, page layouts, application roles, role mapping, and points of variability to be applied when a new composite application is created from the template. Composite application templates can also be edited by users with proper permissions.
Figure B.3 illustrates how components are placed on a page through the IBM Application Editor. You use this editor to create or modify a composite application or a composite application template.
Figure B.3. Application Editor feature that is accessed through a Web browser 
Application Editor is the tool of choice for the less technical line-of-business user. These folks need to create applications quickly and simply, and they need an application development tool that is intuitive, easy to use, and requires no programming.
Under the covers, an application template is a representation of the application in XML and is used to provide an instance of the application. Each WebSphere Portal composite application template has roles that map to the various pages and components. Each composite application instance inherits these initial roles from the template, and these roles can then be assigned to groups or individuals by the application owner, thereby defining the access to the composite application and permissions of the users.
The Application Editor feature also allows you to modify the roles for a composite application instance and the role mapping to pages, components, and other composite application permissions.
IBM Workplace Collaboration Services includes a set of preconfigured application templates
Benefits provided by the Application Editor tool include:
Composite Application Editor
The Composite Application Editor available in Lotus Notes and Domino 8 is a rich client feature that allows you to assemble and edit composite applications. Composite application components can include Lotus Notes databases, portlets from IBM WebSphere Portal, or Eclipse components for rich
Figure B.4 illustrates the Composite Application Editor rich client feature used to edit a composite application.
Figure B.4. Composite Application Editor user interface 
In this figure, the Composite Application Editor feature has been used to place three components into the composite. The components are selected from the component palette on the right-hand side and placed on the page through drag and drop. You can also modify the properties of the components on the selected page.
Components can be reused in different composite applications for flexible quick starts to projects without
WebSphere Portal-based composite applications are listed in the Applications Catalog. Composite application templates reside in the Template Library and, using the Composite Application Editor, you can see the composite applications and application templates that you can access and edit.
Wiring Components Together
Application components interact with each other via wires. Lotus Notes and Domino supports the wiring technology used by WebSphere Portal. Wires provide a means for passing values among the components in a composite application. A single component can have multiple wires attached to it, and components can be wired together in a one-to-one or one-to-many fashion.
The wiring interface allows you to configure connections, or wires, between components at design time. At run time, property broker functionality allows properties to be exchanged automatically using the preconfigured wires. As a result, components on the page can
The wiring interface is a visual representation that shows you the existing connections between components in an application. It also shows you the properties from one component that can connect to another component. If a match is available between two components, you can create a wire between the two components.
Using the wiring interface, you can:
Components can also be wired so that they exchange properties across pages in a multi-page composite application.
The Template Library
The Template Library available in WebSphere Portal and Workplace Collaboration Services is where you manage application templates, create a new template, or import a template. You can start to work initially with the Blank Template. Application templates define the properties, page layout, roles, and parameters of composite applications
Figure B.5. Application Template Library in WebSphere Portal version 6 
The Template Library is where you and other users can view all templates that are available for assembling applications along with their locked/unlocked status (a template is locked if another user is editing it). Modifying a template does not alter composite applications that already exist. Template changes affect only the applications that you create after you save template changes.
For each template displayed in the Template Library, you can display its drop-down menu to see the choices available to you for editing it. Your access rights to work with application templates determine which of these actions are available to you. Possible actions include:
While you edit an application template, the template file is automatically locked so that no one else can make changes to it. The locked status of the application template displays as plain text in the status column for the Application Template Library. You can unlock the template if you are the template owner or an administrator;
The Application Library
The Application Library (see Figure B.6) available in WebSphere Portal and Workplace Collaboration Services is the page where you see the composite application catalog. The application catalog is where you can view and open composite applications and create new ones from application templates. You
Figure B.6. Application Library in WebSphere Portal version 6 
If the composite application has been built using the Lotus Notes client and rich client standards, it will be accessible for editing from the WebSphere Portal Catalog using the Lotus Notes FileOpen command.
Three applications are displayed in this figure. In addition, the template on which the application is based, the owner of the application, and the date of the last update to the application are also displayed. You open an application for editing by clicking its name in the leftmost column.
Composite applications on WebSphere Portal and Workplace Collaboration Services are assembled from templates that define the properties, page layout, and roles of each application instance. The membership portlet of a composite application lists the
In summary, components are the building blocks of a composite application and work in concert to address a business need. Components in a composite application can be portlets from WebSphere Portal, Eclipse components, and Lotus Notes components. All components in an application must reside on a page.
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