IBM invites Davalen to present “Tips from the Top Chefs” at IBM Exceptional Web Experience 2012 Event

With just a few short weeks to go until the 2012 IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference, IBM has invited Davalen to present a second session. This time it’s for a perfectly blended business and technical session entitled “Tips from the Top Chefs: Proven Recipes for Successful Web Experience Factory Design” presented by Davalen Lead Architect for IBM Web Experience Factory, Michael “Spoon” Witherspoon and Davalen Managing Partner, Dave Jacob.

Here are the details:

Tips from the Top Chefs: Proven Recipes for Successful Web Experience Factory Design
Dave Jacob, Solutions Design Engineer, Davalen
Mike Witherspoon, Lead Architect – Web Experience Factory Practice Davalen

Tuesday, 8:30AM – 9:30AM, Meeting Room 406

It takes more than a great kitchen and quality ingredients to produce great looking, delicious food. A winning recipe is a big advantages is a little advice from a top chef. In this session, Web Experience Factory (WEF) Chefs Dave Jacob and Michael “Spoon” Witherspoon share the recipe used by Davalen to successfully deliver on large WEF development efforts. The secret ingredients includes large quantities of leadership, creating a center of excellence for enforcing architectural standards, educating all team members on the tools, and a WEF optimized coding infrastructure. Each of these ingredients will be explained in detail with real world examples of clients that made this work to perfection. Forget what you already know about WEF planning, scheduling, UI mockups, functional prototypes, and development dependencies and come learn the strategies and tactics for delivering an exceptional user experience, on time and under budget.

This year’s conference is being held in Austin, Texas beginning Monday, May 21 and ending Thursday May 24, 2012.

Don’t miss this and other great sessions at the event. Register now and remember to mark Davalen’s other session: TECH-D22 as a “must see” presentation to learn how to make exceptional Web 2.0 Web Experience Factory Portlets.

More details to follow so check back soon!

Next Release Date: IBM WebSphere Portal V8.0 and IBM Web Experience Factory V8.0

On May 1st, IBM published a US based software announcement stating the next edition of IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Experience Factory. According to the announcement version 8.0 will “deliver new capabilities for integrated social, contextual, and optimized multichannel online experiences.”

The new versions have an electronic release date of May 4, 2012 with a media availability of May 25th.

The overview section of the announcements also states:

WebSphere Portal V8.0 and Web Experience Factory bring together the essential capabilities that help you create, manage, and deliver powerful online web experiences, including social when and where it can most influence productivity; mobile to take your web experiences to where your users are with targeted content; and integration with real-time analytics, giving the insight to the make the right decisions. Highlights of the new releases:

  • Social: Delivers IBM Connections content and services for Portal or Web Content Management; provides authentication via popular social sites; enables social communication where and when you need it.
  • Mobile: Designed to develop and render content and applications that display perfectly on smart phones, desktops, or just about any Web-enabled device.
  • Content-driven: Delivers content relevant to each user, in a way that is compelling to each user.
  • Managed: Enables pages that can be updated, previewed, versioned, published, and rolled back
  • Insightful: Offers in-place, real-time web page and channel delivery analyses based on web analytics page overlays.
  • Integrated: Enables site designers to create web portal pages using HTML and web content, feeds, portlets, iWidgets, and more; cross-enterprise application integration, such as SAP.
  • Extensible: Allows developers to extend existing or develop their own builders, capturing repeatable patterns for use by other developers within the team.
  • Open: Supports open standards APIs making it easier for developers and designers to learn, integrate and leverage systems that rely on these same open standards.

To read the full release click here. Image

IBM invites Davalen to present “Have your Dojo and Eat it Too!” at IBM Exceptional Web Experience 2012 Event

With just a few months to go until the 2012 IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference, IBM has invited Davalen’s Lead Architect for IBM Web Experience Factory, Michael “Spoon” Witherspoon, to present a unique and technical-based session entitled “Have Your Dojo and Eat It Too!”

Monday, May 21, 2012
1:45 – 2:45    Meeting Room 408
TECH-D22 Have your Dojo and eat it too!
Michael “Spoon” Witherspoon

This presentation will focus on how to create a great UI using Dojo while allowing page automation to perform its magic. It will also explain and demonstrate specific techniques for integrating the features of Dojo input fields with the Page Automation framework.

This year’s conference is being held in Austin, Texas beginning Monday, May 21 and ending Thursday May 24, 2012.

Don’t miss this and other great sessions at the event. Register now and don’t forget to mark TECH-D22 as a “must see” presentation to learn how to make exceptional Web 2.0 Web Experience Factory Portlets.

More details to follow so check back soon!

Using WEF to Add Mobility to Your Web Applications

Justin McGarvie

 by Justin McGarvie, Junior Web Experience Factory Developer


With smart devices emerging as the go-to source for information, mobilizing your web application has become a new obsession. As the need for mobilized web apps grows, so too does the importance of taking advantage of the expanding market. Recognizing this, discussion at conferences such as the Lotusphere and the Exceptional Web Experience has turned to the all-important question—how can IBM based products be used to tap into this growing market?

Being leading experts at Web Experience Factory (WEF), Davalen has already begun work on mobilizing web/portal applications using built-in templates and profiles in WEF. Davalen created a new assignment to publish a portal to a mobile device. No bells and whistles, just a basic portal to show that it could be done quickly with current data. To demonstrate additional business value, Davalen chose me to implement mobility—a newly hired junior developer and recent college graduate. Although I came to Davalen with a good technology background, my only experience with WEF was a week-long self-paced study of portal administration and how to develop web and portal applications using WEF, with Davalen’s WEF course (WPC52) as my study guide. However, combining my knowledge from the course and my own research focused on WEF for mobility, I was able to successfully create an outward facing portal in its basic form.

So, how did I do it?

Luckily, I kept notes on my process in order to share with others. At this point, the solution is not very glamorous but does show how to use WEF to add mobility to a web or portal application. The next stage of the project is to add a mobile-based landing page utilizing style sheets for the organization of data, navigation, and overall look and feel. There are three builders that are essential to creating a mobile portlet using the WEF’s 7.0.1’s mobile themes and templates.

  1. The View and Form builder (Figure 1) allows data to be organized into tables similar to the Data Page/Page builders, however, it is not as flexible as the Data Page is.
Figure 1: View and Form Builder.

2. The next builder that is essential is the Data Layout Builder (Figure 2) which allows the choice between several different layout templates. This allows you to map the data from the View and Form page that was created to the certain layout that is chosen. You can also choose different styles from the Styles column.

Figure 2: Data Layout Builder.

3. The third builder would be the Theme builder to implement one of the Mobile Themes that are included in the WEF or to use a theme that was created.

It is possible to create a Layout Template for the Data Layout Builder by placing it in the data_layout_templates folder. It is possible to view and copy and modify the provided templates (Figure 3).

Figure 3: The Multi-Line List template.

It is possible to use other builders with these to modify look and feel of the portlets such as using the Text Builder to place a Header text for each page. The final Look and feel of the Customer List and Detail portlets with the use of a modified Multi-Line List layout to add the column headers to the table is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Completed Customer List and Details Portlets.

As the need for mobilized web apps grows, so too does the importance of taking advantage of the expanding market.Combining my knowledge from the Davalen course and my own research focused on WEF for mobility, I was able to successfully create an outward facing portal. At the conclusion of this stage of the project, I have proof that an IBM based product, IBM Web Experience Factory, can easily be utilized to tap into the growing mobile market, even by those who are new to the toolset.

This article is from our monthly resource e-Newsletter. Did you miss it in your inbox? Visit our eNewsletter archives for past editions or if you want to receive our monthly newsletter automatically, simply write to Ruth Jarvis and request to be added to our E-Newsletter list. Thank you!

Jump start your career in 2012 with Davalen, LLC, a Premier BP to IBM Software Services!

Stop by Davalen Booth#312 at Lotusphere and meet with Deborah Corcoran, Davalen’s Resource Deployment Manager, for new Career Opportunities!

Give your career and skills a shot of excitement!
Davalen is currently looking to hire corp-corp (1099) consultants with the following IBM software skill expertise:

  • IBM WebSphere Architects, Administrators and Developers
  •  IBM Web Experience Factory Developers (Formerly known as IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory)
  • Senior level IBM Lotus Domino Architect, Administrators, and Developers specializing in Lotus Notes Connections, Quickr and QuickrJ, and Lotus Notes Mobile applications

Do you want to start working on cutting edge engagements with high profile nationally known companies? Then here’s your chance to make an exciting change to Davalen, LLC, a, a Premier core Business Partner to IBM Software Services.

Come to Booth #312 at Lotusphere 2012 to learn more about exciting career opportunities with Davalen. If you are not attending Lotusphere this year, please send your resume to:

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December 20, 2005. A Wake up Call for Domino developers

Dave Jacob

 by Dave Jacob, Managing Partner, WebSphere Practice 

 December 20, 2005. It’s the day IBM announced the acquisition of Bowstreet and Davalen started down the path of retooling our Domino staff to IBM Web Experience Factory (or Portlet Factory as it was called in those days).

 Davalen had already seen revenue and opportunities for Domino developers maturing and we were quickly moving into the Java space to sharpen our skills and continue to grow. For many Domino developers, the leap to Java was large and not nearly as intuitive as Lotus Designer.

Enter IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF).  

Originally, we saw a faster opportunity for the Domino community to retool and expand its reach than going down the classic Java path. We were right about the market but wrong about the Domino developer shift other than at Davalen. For some reason, Domino developers continue to lament the demise of Domino and its opportunities instead of leveraging what they know to move into the next paradigm shift.

Welcome to IBM Web Experience Factory (WEF) – where @functions are replaced by builders which link together to build applications, sound familiar?

With the latest release of WEF and its support for mobile devices and rapid web application development, opportunity is exploding.

  Are you awake yet?

You’re six years late but still on the front end of the curve. Davalen is at full employment and experiencing rapid growth thanks to WEF and will be hiring and training many of you willing to make the shift. You’re welcome.

Whether you want to join Davalen or just improve your career options, join the WEF club!

This article is from our monthly resource e-Newsletter. Did you miss it in your inbox? Visit our eNewsletter archives for past editions or if you want to receive our monthly newsletter automatically, simply write to Ruth Jarvis and request to be added to our E-Newsletter list. Thank you!

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Dave Jacob

by  Dave Jacob, Managing Partner, WebSphere Practice

For this month, I would like to repost a LinkedIn article from Adam Ginsberg, IBM who is responsible for both Web Experience Factory (Portlet Factory) and RAD Portal Toolkit. It gives some insight into when to use various IBM tools as well as the advantages of Portlet Factory for supporting a plethora of mobile devices quickly with a minimum (none) of hand coding.

“Our goal is to make the development of exceptional web experiences as easy as possible for the largest group of developers. In the market place there are many different development technologies and approaches preferred, almost religiously, by different developers including Java Developers, .NET/C#, PHP, Ruby, Scala etc. Even grouping Java developers together is really hard with all the different approaches, tooling and frameworks preferred by different developers. For example, Java developers need to choose between tooling and frameworks like Spring, JSF, Struts, DOJO to name a few.

So from my perspective, with intent to be as open as possible, it probably makes sense to group developers looking at delivering exceptional web experiences via a WebSphere Portal platform into 3 key categories:

Type 1: Enterprise Java developers who are coder-naughts by trade and prefer a traditional enterprise Java development approach, and while there may be tooling, you ultimately dealing with lines of Java code. We provide tooling like RAD Portal Toolkit, but as mentioned above there are definitely groups of developers who prefer or have been instructed (via enterprise edict) to use other Java development tools. At the end of the day we keep them whole by the ability to “house” standard based JSR168, JSR286, WSRP based portlets, regardless of the development platform used.

Type 2: Agnostic coders – this group of developers, have strong understanding of development principles, but may not have deep J2EE skills. Note this includes Type #1, J2EE Developers and many other types of developers like .NET developers who can use a MODEL based development tool like Web Experience Factory to develop sophisticated solutions, without a lot of hand coding or need to get into the weeds of specific tooling. Sure, there’s an extension point if you do know Java, but it’s really not required for development of solutions. Another attraction point is the out of the box builders to connect to many different types of back-ends, like SAP, Domino and Oracle PeopleSoft without needing to know the ins and outs of those platforms.

Type 3: The traditional web developer who’s not going to get caught up in building of enterprise applications. They would prefer to use their web development platform of choice, and would perhaps be happy to wrap it up as an iWidget for including in a portal driven exceptional web experience.

From speaking to customers and partners I find that organizations who are Type 1 will tend to stick to the traditional development tooling, and they are privileged to have a strong pool of deep java developers. That said there is a super-set of developers (i.e. including Type 1, 2 &3) who can use a model-based tool like Web Experience Factory to develop and extend out of the box functionality.

So, with the intent to reach a larger audience and skill set of developers we continue to provide strong investment in Web Experience Factory.

At IBM we also tend to use it for internal development projects like our Unified Task Portlet, IBM Connections Portlets, our IBM Industry Toolboxes for WebSphere Portal. Key reasons include:

  1. For ease of development and
  2. To allow a broader audience of developers to be able to modify and extend out of the box solutions, if needed.

We also find that model-based approach of Web Experience Factory with “builders” make it very easy to:

  1. Explain to developers what’s happening within a specific bit of code. If you look at a wizard-like interface and don’t have to reverse engineer code. This improves the learning curve and maintainability of solutions.
  2. Maximize re-use – using models and builders, with predefined patterns helps maximize re-use of common assets across teams and projects.

Note, we currently invest just as strongly in RAD Portal Toolkit, but we just don’t have the luxury of developing all our out of the box capability in both Web Experience Factory and RAD. As above, we’ve chosen Web Experience Factory.

Additionally, I would strongly recommend that organizations that are looking to leverage Web Experience Factory invest in skilling their developers correctly with training from IBM or via our partners, like you would any other development platform. I would also encourage engaging with IBM services or a partner on the first project, at least from a mentoring perspective, to ensure you build up the necessary skills for successful project.”

See the original posts and comments as well as add your own questions and thoughts here

This article is from our monthly resource e-Newsletter. Did you miss it in your inbox? Visit our eNewsletter archives for past editions or if you want to receive our monthly newsletter automatically, simply write to Ruth Jarvis and request to be added to our E-Newsletter list. Thank you!

Davalen Technical Presentation “Practical Field Experience – Using Ajax/Dojo with Portlet Factory” (TECH-D12) to be at IBM Exceptional Web Experience 2011 Conference

More details to come: Davalen to present 2nd session at IBM Exceptional Web Experience 2011

TECH-D12 Practical Field Experience – Using Ajax/Dojo with Portlet Factory

Presented by: Michael Witherspoon, Davalen, LLC

Learn to use Ajax / Dojo features by leveraging the experience of Davalen’s Portlet Factory experts. Through lecture and demonstration you will learn to use Dojo builders with Portlet Factory Page Automation, apply Rich Data Definitions, and use advanced techniques for drag / drop and inline editing.  Many valuable hints, tips, tricks, and best practices derived from real-world situations will be explained to help you get the most out of using Dojo in Portlet Factory.

See Spoon’s fantastic presentations from past years:

We Speak Business. We Understand Technology. ®

Dave Jacob

by Dave Jacob, Managing Partner, WebSphere Practice

A fascinating book was recommended to me by the CIO of Global Partners, Ken Piddington entitled, “World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs” by Peter High. The book reinforces a concept that is central to the mission of Davalen – it’s that information technology vendors must understand the businesses they support for both you and the enterprise to succeed. When Davalen began in 1993, we were so sure of this idea that we trademarked this concept as: “We speak business. We understand technology.”

The IT department should not be a cost center reacting to a myriad of requests but a strategic partner in the business that offers solutions using the toolkit they have available, i.e. their software. As Davalen has grown, we found IBM to have the most comprehensive toolkit, which allowed us to recommend the best business value to our clients.

Getting the most out of your IBM software starts with understanding the business need and how it will increase revenue or reduce cost. These metrics are not always apparent but starting with this mindset helps IT become part of the solution and not a bottleneck. Priorities are set as an organization with clear measurements of the software impact on the business.

Early in my career, I was on a design team that automated claims processing for the Medicare B program. In every case, we doubled the IT budget of the organization – try that in your company. However, the business case was compelling because we automated much of the claims process and reduced the overall business cost by 50 percent.

Much of my time currently is spent managing the WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Portlet Factory practice at Davalen. We have found that once we go through the business analysis and define the appropriate processes to automate, that Portlet Factory cuts our development time by 60 percent or more so we can get to the solution more quickly.

Using the IBM tools available and with our deep understanding that IT supports the business processes, Davalen is in a unique position to help your business get the most from your IBM investment.

2010 Closes Strong and the Momentum Continues into Q1

Deborah Corcoran

by Deborah Corcoran, National Practice Manager for Resource Deployment Services to IBM

In closing out 2010, Davalen had a huge uptick in resource staffing requests across the board in all IBM software applications – everything from upgrades to new application integrations. Despite the international economic challenges, IT staffing held strong.  Davalen customers know that we are the “go to” Business Partner for all things IBM, especially when it comes to our highly skilled and IBM certified consultants.

Q1 is starting out very strong and trending toward more staffing opportunities that are longer in term. The contracting resource requests coming across are for projects that are much more expanded in length than in previous years, especially for Q1/Q2. Customers have started to focus on projects that were set to launch in Q4, but didn’t seem to either get the funding or time ran out due to holiday schedules.

The big push so far is for Lotus Notes Connections installs and integrations with various other IBM software applications such as WebSphere. The WebSphere space seems to be really taking the lead in Q1 as is Portlet Factory.  More and more of our customers are inquiring about our Portlet Factory practice and how they can integrate this application into their current environment.

Our New Years momentum brings us right into our countdown for Lotusphere 2011! Davalen will be exhibiting for the 4th year in a row at Booth # 221. Lotusphere is always such a great venue to share stories and gain important industry information, so please stop by and say “hello.”

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us for of your IT Staffing requirements and I look forward to seeing you at Lotusphere!