We all know that the modern user wants to use our applications on any device, from anywhere in the world. This used to be a real challenge for applications using EMC Documentum. The out of the box applications such as WebTop, Administrator and TaskSpace where all designed to be used on a PC or laptop with a big screen. If you try to use those on your smartphone, the usability is going down the drain. And I’m not even mentioning that is uses a browser plugin for file transfers.
With the advent of Documentum 7 and xCP 2, things are looking better. The new xCP application UI works in all major browsers without using plugins. It also scales better to fit on smaller size screens.
However, there is still a way to go before the xCP UI can be called Responsive.
The xCP UI was designed for PC screens, not with ‘Mobile first’ in mind. It uses a lot of screen area by default and tries to shrink and rearrange things on screens that are smaller. For the designer it is difficult to control how things will look on smaller screens.
Fortunately there is another novelty in xCP 2: REST services.
The addition of REST services makes it possible to use any of the popular HTML5 / CCS3 / REST frameworks to write beautiful, responsive client applications.
Since the Bootstrap framework (by Twitter) is one of the most popular UI frameworks and it was highly recommended by the InformedConsulting UX experts, I decided to see how difficult it would be to write an application using Bootstrap.
(Last week at EMCWorld #MMTM14 it was mentioned that EMC is also looking into the use of Bootstrap for the
future responsive UI; seems I am ahead of the game 🙂
To start your application, you will need to do some user interface design. You need to decide where you want to have your header, footer, menu’s, tabs, panels, dialogs etc.
You can do this with an HTML editor, but you can also use one of a growing number of UX Design tools.
For instance you could try out Pingendo
In my case I used Aptana Studio.
This helps with syntax highlighting, syntax checking (have you closed all your braces?), code outline, etc.
Testing the application is easy in some ways and difficult in others.
For my project the easy setup and easy deployment and testing resulted in the first working application demo after only a day! Most of that day was spent on the UX Design. After this first day, things got a little more involved, with more work being spent on coding and testing.
Now, a week into the project, we have an application with a few tabs, a query builder, a browse tree, right-click menu’s, browser stored history and more. And it looks good too, on my laptop, iPad and smartphone!
Here is what it looks like:
I am really happy with the results so far.
Let me know what you think.