Tutorial: Adding a tool to the Management Center

In this tutorial, you are adding a tool to the Management Center. You are adding the Recipes tool. You learn to use the Management Center programming framework to create a presentation layer with OpenLaszlo and JavaServer Pages (JSP) files.
This tutorial is a continuation of the Creating the Project BOD service module tutorial. The Recipes tool uses the services that are provided by the Project service module. You use and expand on the assets and configuration changes that you previously created.
A recipe is an object that describes how to use several products that the retailer sells. Recipe is only one example, directed to a retailer who sells cooking related items, however this approach can be used for other market segments as well. For example, a retailer who sells building supplies can call this object a Project plan. This object can then describe how to build an object from their building supplies. In this tutorial, Recipe is a new primary object that you create.

Note: The Recipes tool uses the Project service module. The use of this Project service module is a design choice. Project is a general term appropriate for a service module. You are using Recipe as the name of the objects in the presentation layer.
The Recipe object has the following attributes.
Recipe name
The time that it takes to complete the recipe.
Difficult, medium, or easy.
The short and long descriptions. Only the short description is shown in the Recipe list.

The ingredients and recipe instructions are child objects of Recipe. Ingredients are items that are incorporated into the recipe. An ingredient for the recipe can be a product that the store sells or something that is not in the catalog.

Within the new Recipes tool, business users can create, delete, or change a recipe, tag a recipe to facilitate grouping them together, associate a recipe with one or more products within the Recipes tool and associate a product with one or more recipes within the Catalogs tool. In the storefront, shoppers can navigate recipes by recipe collection, and the recommended products for that recipe are listed. Product pages also provide links to recipes that use that product.

Learning objectives

After you complete the tutorial, you can be familiar with the following concepts:

  • Project service modules.
  • Management Center object definitions.
  • Top and primary object definitions.
  • Child and reference objects.
  • List view and properties view.
  • Management Center tool definitions.
After you complete this tutorial, you can be able to perform the following tasks:
  • Add a custom tool to the Management Center.
  • Create Management Center object definitions that include: primary objects, child objects, and reference objects.
  • Create Management Center view definitions, such as properties views and list views.
  • Create Struts actions to process Management Center services.
  • Create JSP files to display information with the get-data tag.

Time required

Expect this tutorial to take five hours to complete. The tutorial can take longer if you explore concepts that are related to this tutorial.

Skill level

This tutorial is intended for advanced WebSphere Commerce developers responsible for creating and customizing WebSphere Commerce SOA services and customizing the Management Center user interface. To complete this tutorial, ensure that you are familiar with the following terms and concepts:
  • Java programming language
  • XPath
  • XSD
  • Web services
  • XML
  • WebSphere Commerce services
  • WebSphere Commerce data service layer
  • Nouns
  • Relational databases
  • SQL

System requirements

Before you begin this tutorial, ensure that you complete the following tasks:

Tutorial resources

To complete this tutorial, the following resources are used. Ensure that you download and extract any compressed files that contain code samples to a temporary directory, such as C:\Temp before you begin this tutorial: