Portlet Best Practices

Viewpoint
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Portlet Best Practices

This checklist is meant to be a guide of best practices for portlet designers and developers. Complying with all of these items will ensure that your portlet maintains a consistent look and feel, and performs well within the Viewpoint portal.

  1. Maximize
    • A user should be able to maximize a portlet to view a more detailed(or at least less cluttered) view of your portlet's data.
  2. Refresh
    • If the data being displayed in your portlet changes over time, you will probably want the displayed data to be updated automatically.
    • See Adding Dynamic Updates with AJAX
  3. Rewind
    • If your portlet displays time-sensitive data, adding Rewind support will allow users to rewind your portlet to a specific time.
    • See How to Support Rewind
  4. Namespacing
    • It is important to use unique identifiers in elements on the page, as well as in Javascript code. This prevents conflicts when multiple instances of a portlet are opened on the same page.
    • See How to Give Your View a Namespace
  5. Portlet width
    • Portlets are now resizable, and will grow to fill the available space. Minimum width in the standard mode is 474px.
  6. Validation
    • Any user input to the portlet should be validated on the client side and the server side in order to prevent bad values from causing your portlet to throw exceptions.
    • See How to Validate Form Fields
  7. Caching
  8. Tooltips
    • Although a portlet's user interface should be intuitive, tooltips are a great way to clarify ambiguities(e.g., why a button is disabled) or to provide extemporaneous information(e.g., the current uptime of the system).
    • See How to Add Tool Tips
  9. Throbbers
  10. Security/Permissions
    • In order to keep control of a Viewpoint server with the administrator, it is important that each portlet support the security framework and include permissions for the various functions available. If different views or layers of data are available within a portlet, each should probably be separately permissionable by the administrator.
    • See XML Configuration and How to Add Role-Based Authorization
  11. Color Scheme
    • Viewpoint provides a common framework for portlets, but it also provides a common look and feel. Portlets running in the Viewpoint portal should look professional and meet certain design specifications.
    • See CSS Styles
  12. Testing (mem leaks, etc.)
    • While developing your portlet, use the Windows Task Manager to keep an eye on the amount of memory being used by your browser. If the memory usage increases dramatically, this may mean that your portlet has a memory leak.
  13. Limit number of css/js files
    • Due to browser limitations when dealing with a large number of included files, it is recommended that developers consolidate their CSS and Javascript into as few files as possible. Ideally, each portlet will have no more than one .css file and one .js file.
  14. Browser support
    • Portlets should look and function as intended in all Viewpoint 14.01 supported browsers: Firefox 13, Chrome 19, Safari 5.1, Internet Explorer 8, and Internet Explorer 9.
  15. User Timezone support
    • Portlets should respect the user's selected time zone. Any dates or times displayed should be displayed for the time zone the user has selected in their Profile.
    • See Dates
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