Each XperienCentral page is connected to a "design template". A design template, what is often referred to as a "template" in other CMS systems, is connected to a JSP file. It is used by XperienCentral to generate the source code (HTML, for example) for a page. One cannot access these JSP design templates directly from the webserver - an editor has to assign it to a created page.
A website page can be divided in one or more so-called "page parts" that contain different information. Usually, there is a page part with the main content of a page (an article, for example), a page part with the site navigation, a page part for the page sections, and so forth. In XperienCentral, each page part is connected to its own JSP file. A JSP file associated with a page part uses the
.jspf extension (Java Server Page Fragment).
The page parts needed are requested from the page JSP, and the associated JSPF is used to generate the HTML code for each page part. Finally, the page’s source code is combined with the source code of all the page parts and is sent as, for example, an HTML page to the website’s visitor.
One of the most important page parts is the "content" page part. The content elements of a page are retrieved here. Each content element has its own design template and, therefore, its own JSPF file. The content page part requests all these JSPF files and combines the generated HTML code.
A design with associated design templates and JSP files comes standard with XperienCentral. Example Layout shows a schematic picture of standard layout. Page parts are also indicated. The standard layout is useful because it contains many tasks already pre-programmed. Before creating your own design, examine the standard layout.
The XperienCentral API, Tags and JSTL
One of the most important parts of the Design SDK is the XperienCentral design API which defines the interface between an application and a service. In the XperienCentral context, the web pages, as the end user sees them, are the "application" and XperienCentral is the service.
JSPs are made dynamic by adding calls to functions that are specified in the XperienCentral design API. The API is implemented in Java and is requested in a JSP as a tag library (a so-called taglib) or directly using a special notation (expression language).
Besides the XperienCentral taglib, third party taglibs can be used, such as the JSTL taglibs. JSTL taglibs allow the use of statements such as
forEach in a JSP. Other functions are used to format dates, to use locales, and to execute queries. See Example Design Layout - 1 for more documentation about these taglibs.