Feature Pack 7 or laterWebSphere Commerce Developer

Creating Commerce Composer layout templates

You can create layout templates and update the Commerce Composer framework to include the new layout template for use within the Commerce Composer tool. A layout template is a reusable starting point that can be used when a user creates a layout. A layout template is a wireframe that includes a specific arrangement of slots. When a user creates a layout in the Commerce Composer tool, layout widgets are assigned to these slots.

By default, the Aurora starter store provides a number of layout templates within the Commerce Composer tool. Management Center users can use these templates to compose page layouts. If your store requires layout templates other than the templates provided with WebSphere Commerce, you can create your own layout templates.

Before you begin

Ensure that you are familiar with the terms and concepts that are described in the following topics:The following steps use a store that is based on the Aurora starter store as an example for creating a layout template. Ensure that the following tasks are complete:
  • Install WebSphere Commerce Developer
  • Install WebSphere Commerce Version 7 Feature Pack 7
  • Enable the store-enhancements feature.
  • Publish a store that is based on the Aurora starter store.

Best Practices

When you are creating a layout template, ensure that you follow the best practices for creating Commerce Composer assets. For more information about these tips and guidelines, see Best practices for developing Commerce Composer assets.

About this task

To create a layout template, you must define the storefront and data components for the layout template. You must use the Data Load utility to load the data components for the layout template to register the template. The storefront components for the template define the container for the widget and the configurable slots within the container. The storefront components consist of the definition of the template container, the placement of the template slots, and the environment setup file. A container is a specialized widget. Both containers and widgets are defined and registered within the same database tables. A slot is a conceptual place holder within a container. The positional placements of the slots are defined with x and y coordinates to represent the rectangular slots. The positional properties are used for displaying the slots within the grid that display in Management Center. For more information about the components that comprise a layout template, see Commerce Composer layout template architecture.

Feature Pack 8Note: If you need to copy a Commerce Composer layout template from one instance to another instance, you can use the Data Extract and Data Load utilities. Use the Data Extract utility to extract the template registration and subscription data and then use the Data Load utility to load the extracted data into the target instance. For more information, see Extracting Commerce Composer data with the Data Extract utility.

After you create your custom template, the Commerce Composer framework uses the layout authoring services to enable Management Center users to access and use the template to compose a layout. Templates are device-specific. Your template definition must set whether the template can be used to create layouts for use on a mobile or desktop device. The definition can also define a template to be responsive. For more information, see Creating responsive layout templates.

As an example, the following steps use the Any page, single slot layout template that is provided by default with WebSphere Commerce as a starting point for creating a custom layout template. The following steps copy the definition and assets for this template and customizes the files to create a custom template. The new Any page, seven slots, tabs custom layout template includes seven slots, four of which are tabbed slots.
Figure 1: Process for creating a layout template. The following image illustrates the change between the existing template that is used as a model for creating a custom template, and the completed custom template.

Template creation process

Procedure