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Extending widgets in the WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for Communications Enabled Applications

Add instant messaging capabilities to a cobrowsing window

Dustin Amrhein, Technical Evangelist, IBM
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Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, Dustin worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In addition, Dustin lead the technical effort in the development of a Java RESTful services framework. In his current role, Dustin is a technical evangelist for emerging technologies in IBM’s WebSphere portfolio. His current focus is on WebSphere technologies that deliver cloud computing capabilities, including the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.

Summary:  One of the ways that the IBM® WebSphere® Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack for Communications Enabled Applications (CEA) simplifies embedding communications capabilities into Web applications is through a ready-to-use set of Dojo widgets. These widgets enable click-to-call functionality, cobrowsing sessions, two-way form capabilities, and more. These widgets and the functions they provide can be leveraged by simply including the appropriate HTML element on a user's Web page. Beyond the functions they deliver right out of the box, you can extend these widgets to provide a customized, enhanced communications experience in your Web applications using your own HTML, Dojo, and JavaScript™ skills. To see how, follow this tutorial and extend the Collaboration Dialog and Cobrowse widgets to deliver instant messaging capability in a Web cobrowsing session.

Date:  17 Mar 2010
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (778 KB | 27 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

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Verify your WebSphere Application Server environment

In this section, you will verify your WebSphere Application Server environment with the Feature Pack for CEA, make sure that the PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample (included with the feature pack) is installed, and ensure that the communications functions in the application are working properly.

  1. The first step in the verification process is to log into the WebSphere Application Server administration console and verify that the PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample is installed and in the started state (Figure 1).

    Figure 1. PlantsByWebSphereAjax application listing
    Figure 1. PlantsByWebSphereAjax application listing

  2. Verify that the standard cobrowsing function in the sample application works as expected. Open this URL: http://<host>:<port>/PlantsByWebSphereAjax/index.html where host represents the host name for your WebSphere Application Server installation and port represents the default HTTP port being used by your server instance. You should see the page shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2. PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample home page
    Figure 2. PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample home page

  3. This tutorial explains how you can extend the Collaboration Dialog and Cobrowse widgets in order to deliver instant messaging capabilities in cobrowsing (linked) sessions. To see both of these widgets in action as they are shipped with the feature pack, start a cobrowse session in the sample application by clicking on the Cobrowse link in the upper right section of the toolbar. The panel shown in Figure 3 will display, which enables you to initiate and participate in cobrowse sessions using the Collaboration Dialog and Cobrowse widgets.

    Figure 3. PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample cobrowse page
    Figure 3. PlantsByWebSphereAjax sample cobrowse page

  4. Click the Create button to display the panel shown in Figure 4. (If the Create button is disabled Figure 3, it is likely that the Communications Enabled Applications service has not been enabled for your application server. Refer to the setup instructions for more information.)

    Figure 4. Cobrowse session creation
    Figure 4. Cobrowse session creation

  5. Copy the value of Invitation Link. From a different browser, open the URL specified from the Invitation Link. When the URL has been opened in a different browser, a cobrowse window will appear in both browsers. In the browser where the link was created and the session initiated, you will see the cobrowse window shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5. Cobrowse window
    Figure 5. Cobrowse window

  6. You can now use the buttons in the top toolbar to interact with your cobrowsing participant. Using the function provided in the cobrowse session, your participating colleague can follow as you navigate the site, highlight important items on the page, share data, and switch control between you and your participant. After completing this tutorial, you will add instant messaging to that list of capabilities.

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static.content.url=http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/js/artrating/
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