What's new in IBM Rational Application Developer V9.0 Portal Tools

Support for jQuery tooling, the Maven framework, and the Mac OS — as well as simplified Dojo mobile view creation — are top improvements

The IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software V9.0 portal toolkit has several new and enhanced features. Using code snippets and examples, this article illustrates these features, including jQuery tooling, Maven integration, Mac OS support, and simplified Dojo mobile view creation.


Mansi Gaba (mansigaba@in.ibm.com), Staff Software Engineer, IBM

author photoMansi Gaba is a staff software engineer at IBM India Software Labs in Delhi, India. Her areas of expertise include WebSphere Portal, JavaServer Faces (JSF) portlet bridge, JSF technology on WebSphere Portal, JSR 286, portlet and portlet server tooling domains, Eclipse, portlet technologies, and user interface technologies and frameworks. She has completed Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP), Sun Certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD) and Sun Certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD) certifications.

29 October 2013

Also available in Chinese

The IBM® Rational® Application Developer integrated development environment (IDE) includes tools that help you design, develop, test, and deploy portal applications that can integrate with Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) frameworks, including JavaServer Faces (JSF) technologies. Rational Application Developer portal toolkit provides tools and features for integrating portlet projects with client-side JavaScript libraries, and you can use it to publish, test, and debug your applications on IBM® WebSphere® Portal or IBM® WebSphere® Application Server.

Highlights of the new and enhanced features

Rational Application Developer V9.0 has added support for the Maven framework, Apple Macintosh OS, and jQuery JavaScript library, which simplifies the client-side scripting of HTML pages. The jQuery tooling support for portlet projects includes content assist, autocomplete, views, palette drag-and-drop, wizards, editors, and automated code generation. To create jQuery–enabled portlets for mobile devices, you can now use jQuery mobile widgets in Rational Application Developer. Maven support in portal tools helps to automate the build process for portal application development.

Added jQuery support for portlets

To take advantage of the new capabilities when you create a portlet project, go to the Web 2.0 Features dialog, check the JavaScript toolkit option, and choose the jQuery radio button, as shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1. jQuery toolkit settings in Web 2.0 Features dialog
jQuery toolkit settings

Selecting jQuery in the portlet creation wizard installs the jQuery on WebSphere Portal in the Web 2.0 project facet of the portlet project. See Figure 2:

Figure 2. The manage features wizard
Project facets wizard

With the new jQuery facet enabled in a portlet project, you can add jQuery mobile widgets from the Palette view by expanding the desired drawer that you want to use, as Figure 3 shows. You may then drag any jQuery mobile widget into the corresponding portlet device or tablet view JavaServer Pages (JSP) file.

Figure 3. Add jQuery mobile widgets
Palette view for jQuery mobile widgets

When you create a jQuery–enabled portlet project, a project named PortaljQuery is automatically generated. Copying jQuery artifacts such as JavaScript or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files (any version) into this project enables jQuery and jQuery mobile support. In addition, jQuery mobile widgets are then available to use in portlet device or tablet JSP pages. The widget ID is appended with <portlet:namespace/> to avoid namespace collision in portlet objects.

Using content assist

Content assist is available in the portlet JSP file for jQuery APIs. See Figure 4:

Figure 4. Content assist in a jQuery–enabled portlet project
Content assist for JavaScript files

Automatic code generation in a jQuery-enabled portlet project

In a jQuery-enabled portlet project, portlet and portletHelper JavaScript files are automatically generated. In addition, portlet objects are instantiated in a portlet JSP file, which can access portlet variables in portlet JSP pages.

The jQuery mobile view

You can create a jQuery Mobile Page using existing UI patterns that are available in the Mobile Navigation view. You don't need to create the UI from scratch; out-of-the-box templates are available for frequently used UIs.

Select the category of template such as Authentication, Configuration, Lists, and Navigation and Search. Each template has several available formats, which can be customized by setting properties through the Property view. See Figure 5:

Figure 5. Create a jQuery Mobile Page
Add jQuery mobile view wizard

Create a WebSphere Portal jQuery theme profile

Formerly, to apply a jQuery profile to WebSphere Portal, you needed to copy jQuery artifacts to it, create a module, register the module, and update the profile. The Rational Application Developer portal toolkit now provides a new feature that automates all these steps with just a single click.

A new option has been added in the WebSphere Portal context menu to create or update a jQuery profile. Figure 6 shows how, by using the jQuery artifacts present in the PortaljQuery project, you can create the theme module and profile for jQuery and apply them on the page where the jQuery portlet is deployed:

Figure 6. Create or update a jQuery theme profile
Server context menu for jQuery theme profile

Enhanced Dojo Mobile View creation

Creating a Dojo mobile view has been enhanced by providing UI templates such as Authentication, Configuration, Lists, and Navigation and Search. You can select any UI template to create a Dojo Mobile View. See Figure 7:

Figure 7. Create a new Dojo Mobile View
Wizard that adds Dojo Mobile View

Integrated Maven support

The Maven framework automates and simplifies the build process by using standards in a common, flexible system that you can learn once and deploy across multiple projects. Maven's Project Object Model (POM) provides a mechanism for a uniform build system for all associated projects. You can extract useful information from POM to get better control of projects, especially in a distributed development environment, and integrate Maven with source control systems to manage a release. And by providing uniformity to a project's build infrastructure, Maven promotes quality and productivity by helping you apply build best practices.

Rational Application Developer has introduced tooling support for Maven–based development. The portal toolkit provides:

  • Capabilities to mavenize existing portlet projects
  • IBM deployment plugin for WebSphere Portal based on Maven
  • Tools to integrate portal JAR files with pom.xml
  • IBM archetype for portlet projects based on Maven (see Figure 8)
Figure 8. IBM archetype for portlet projects
New Maven project wizard

Enhanced Apple Mac support

Rational Application Developer can be installed on the Apple Mac. Create portlet projects through the Rational Application Developer portal toolkit on the Mac platform and then deploy those projects on a remote WebSphere Portal for testing.


Rational Application Developer V9.0 provides a single environment for debugging, testing, and deploying on WebSphere Portal. Now this IDE is enhanced to help you create multichannel development capabilities using jQuery and Maven. These enhanced tools of Rational Application Developer help you build portal applications faster and more easily.



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ArticleTitle=What's new in IBM Rational Application Developer V9.0 Portal Tools