Portal-hosted composite applications are created from composite application templates which are either blank (no components) or contain existing components. These templates are created using the WebSphere® Portal Templates feature.
Refer to the composite applications
topic in the WebSphere Portal Express 6.0 Information Center
In WebSphere Portal, the visual components are referred to as “portlets”. Because Lotus® Expeditor makes composite applications of more components than just portlets, you must wrap all those non-portlet components as proxy portlets. To perform this kind of functionality, you must install Lotus Expeditor NCI to extend WebSphere Portal server capabilities to manage Lotus Expeditor clients. For more information on Lotus Expeditor NCI, refer to ../com.ibm.rcp.tools.doc.admin/welcome.html For more information about installing the NCI component into Portal, refer to ../com.ibm.rcp.tools.doc.admin/serverbasedclientinstallation.html. In the “Sample composite application project” section below, the basic steps of wrapping non-portlet components as proxy portlets are described. Additionally, you must have any portlets that you wish to project in the Expeditor runtime wrapped in a Client Services plug-in – the Lotus Expeditor toolkit can convert existing portlet projects and existing WAR files to a Client Services plug-in.
When the portlets you want to include in the composite application are available on the portal, you can begin creation of a Portal-hosted composite application in one of two ways, either by using the WebSphere Portal user interface or the Lotus Expeditor user interface. To view a list of existing composite applications hosted by a specific WebSphere Portal server and create new composite applications using the Lotus Expeditor user interface, you must set the Home Portal Account preference in Lotus Expeditor. Once you have set this preference, Lotus Expeditor associates with the WebSphere Portal server set in the preference.
To create composite applications using the WebSphere Portal user interface:
- Open a browser to the Portal and log in.
- Click Templates from the main Launch menu of the Portal user interface.
- Go to the Application Library tab and select the New button.
- A list of composite application templates to displays. You will use these as a starting point.
For complete information about using the WebSphere Portal user interface to create composite applications, refer to composite applications
To create composite applications using the Lotus Expeditor user interface:
- Launch and log into Lotus Expeditor.
- Click Portal Applications from the main Launch menu.
Note: This link will only appear if the Home Portal Account preference has been set or there are other composite applications installed on the system.
- The Portal applications catalog opens. Click New to begin.
Note: When you create a composite application using Lotus Expeditor, it is also created on the remote Portal.
There are two different types of components, which can be part of a composite application: a portlet application which can only be rendered on the Portal but not in Lotus Expeditor (an error message is shown in a placeholder view within the composite application) or a portlet application which can be successfully rendered on both Portal and on Lotus Expeditor. For instructions on creating a component that can be successfully rendered on both Portal and Lotus Expeditor, please refer to Developing Portlet applications
Defining the Rich Client properties on the Portal UI
This section explains how to define the respective Rich Client properties for the composite application in the Portal UI in order for the application to be accessed on the Lotus Expeditor client. Note that these steps are important when your composite applications are being assembled on the Portal and then accessed on the Lotus Expeditor client.
There are a few pre-requisite steps needed for this section:
- Install the Network Client Installer component into your WebSphere Portal server platform. Refer to ../com.ibm.rcp.tools.doc.admin/networkclientinstallintro.html.
- Create your SWT components and generate the deployable plug-in bundles in the form of an update site. The SWT components should be represented in Portal in the form of dummy portlet (or proxy portlet). The dummy portlet should be deployed and assembled in the Sample composite application on Portal. Refer to Creating an SWT view component for information on completing these steps.
- Create your portlet component(s) and generate the deployable plug-in bundles in the form of an update site. The portlet component(s) should be deployed and assembled in the Sample composite application on Portal. Refer to Enhancing the sample by adding a portlet component for information on completing these steps.
Next, we'll define the Rich Client properties on the Portal UI:
- Login to the Home Portal page in your Portal Server. From the Templates > Application page, open the Sample composite application.
- Select the composite application page and open the page action list. Select Edit Page Layout.
Note: At this point, it is assumed you have both assembled your component into a sample composite application on the Portal Server and wired the components together.
- Click on the Rich Client tab to open the Rich Client Administration page. Here, you will define the Rich Client properties for your composite application to make it rich client friendly.
- Under the Page Properties section, select the properties you wish to enable when your composite application runs in the rich client Lotus Expeditor client. For example, selecting the Add to the launcher option adds your application icon on the launch menu when you start the Lotus Expeditor client. Click OK to save your settings.
- The Portlets section contains a list of all the portlet components that are part of your composite application. Edit the instance properties for the portlets by selecting the pencil icon.
- Navigate to the Rich Client Properties section. Provide the Eclipse SWT view ID or the Portlet context root value for the component that you have selected. If it is an Eclipse SWT component, then provide the view ID for your SWT component (you can find the view ID for your SWT component in the plugin.xml file). If it is a portlet component, then provide the context root value for your portlet project (do not include the portlet name). Click OK to save your settings.
- Navigate to the Feature requirements section and click Add to specify the feature and update site information to show the component in the Lotus Expeditor client. Provide the feature ID, its version and the matching rule needed. Then provide the Eclipse update site that provides the feature. Click Done to save your settings.
- Navigate to the Layout Properties page to provide the settings for the layout of the application on the Lotus Expeditor client.
- Repeat steps 6-8 for all portlet components that are part of the composite application.
- Save all your changes in the sample composite application.
Using the steps above, you have now defined the rich client properties for all the components of your composite application. These properties are needed to access and render your Sample composite application components on the rich client friendly Lotus Expeditor client.
Finally, we'll open the Lotus Expeditor client and provision and install our Sample composite application from the Portal server:
- Open the Lotus Expeditor client.
- Select Open > Portal applications.
- Select the Sample composite application from the Portal Applications and launch it. You can also Synchronize your Lotus Expeditor client with the Portal server. Please remember that your Home Portal account settings are specified in your Lotus Expeditor client.
Parent topic: Developing composite applications: XPD621