IBM Web Experience Factory 7.0.1 Now Available!
Well, in case you haven't heard, the 7.0.1 release of Web Experience Factory is now available. Customers can download it from IBM Passport Advantage, and we'll have a free trial version that should be posted in the next week or so.
Key new features in Web Experience Factory 7.0.1 include:
- Mobile and multi-channel support, with new builders, wizards, themes, and more (this is the big one!)
- New IBM Web Content Manager builder allows easy integration of content and development of custom authoring interfaces
- Improved end-user experiences with new builders such as Data Layout, Lazy Load, and Page Navigation
- Improved development experience with new editing features and usability enhancements
This page has some slides on all the new features: Announcing IBM Web Experience Factory 7.0.1
We hope you'll try it out. As I said in my previous blog post, I really think that the Factory code generation and profiling features are uniquely suited to support mobile and multi-channel web application development.
In the coming weeks, we'll be posting a bunch of new resources on the wiki to help you learn to use the new Web Experience Factory. We'll have a series of videos that demonstrate techniques, some new samples and articles, an updated "Getting Started" guide, and more. So keep your eye on the wiki, and I'll also be blogging here about some of the new resources as they become available. If you have any particular resources you'd like to see, feel free to post a comment here.
My favorite new builder in 7.0.1
Builders are at the heart of the capabilities of Web Experience Factory, and for each release I usually have a favorite builder. Of course there are always a number of builders that I really like, so it can be kind of like asking a Beatles fan to pick just one favorite Beatles song. But it's fun to do anyway.
For this 7.0.1 release, the big new feature is, of course, all the new mobile and multi-channel support, which comes in various forms including builders, themes, wizards, and more. But in terms of one particular builder, my favorite builder in 7.0.1 is the Data Layout builder. This builder makes it really easy to create great-looking data displays for both mobile and desktop devices. There are a few really cool things about the Data Layout builder:
- It comes with a bunch of very nice out-of-the-box layouts, for both mobile and desktop devices.
- It works on an existing display of data and morphs it into the selected layout. This has a couple big benefits: (1) It can work with pages that are generated from any existing builders such as View & Form, Data Services User Interface, or Data Page; and (2) you can turn on/off different layouts without affecting any other functionality such as navigation links.
- It is easy to extend the builder with new layouts. To do this you don't have to write any code at all - you simply create an HTML fragment using a few documented tags and attributes that tell the builder how to use the layout, then place the fragment file (called a layout template) into a particular folder. Optionally you can provide one or more CSS files to style your layout. Your new layout will automatically appear in the list of available layouts, and it will work just like any of the prebuilt layouts. And it's a reusable tool that you can use in any model.
Here is a short video showing the Data Layout builder: video showing how to use the Data Layout builder. In the coming weeks we plan to post additional samples and articles on the use of the Data Layout builder. The Data Layout builder is used in several of the 7.0.1 mobile samples. For more information about the Data layout builder, see the 7.0.1 product documentation, which includes detailed information on creating new layout templates.
(Regarding my favorite builders for each release... In case you're wondering, for Portlet Factory version 7.0, my favorite new builder was Data Field Settings. The Data Field Settings builder makes it really easy to control all the rich behavior of all your data fields in an automated, centralized way. Though as I say, it was tough to pick just one favorite for that release, given some of the other really powerful builders such as SQL Data Services, SQL Table Create, and Data Service User Interface.)
- Jonathan Booth