The low code tools of Entando # 3: what are the UX Packages?
What is a UX package?
As discussed in our two previous posts - here and here - Entando provides a series of tools to sharply reduce manual coding, and places our platform in the arena of the low-code platforms.
In this post, we examine a third low-code feature at Entando: UX packages. A UX package is an end-to-end distribution package of a complete web application model oriented to a particular business sector. Put simply, it is a sort of preconfigured vertical application that already includes features, components, and graphic templates that are typical of a usage scenario and therefore can be more quickly customized and transformed into a finished application.
What is a UX package made of?
A UX package combines several different components. It starts with the main component, the Entando Core. This in turn is made of three elements: the Entando Engine, which provides services and tools to create web applications, the Admin Console, which serves to manage and administer the entire platform, and the WEB UI, which is the set of tools used to create the UI / UX.
To make a UX Package, you need to add to the Core two other components: bundles and plugins.
Once created, you can reuse a UX package by cloning it for each new project. Packages themselves are not finished products, but are instead product models or "archetypes," alias project templates that can then be customized and adapted to the needs of the project. In other words, developing various applications on the same vertical using the same package is much more efficient.
We open a brief parenthesis, for those who do not know.
Bundles are combinations of UI graphic elements such as content, data structures, graphical widgets, digital assets, page templates, which are used to build the graphical interface of a web application. The set of parameters required by the AGID legislation that the web pages of the Italian institutional portals must respect is an example of a bundle.
Plugins are components that add specific features to a web application; include a Java code that is executed to implement the new features. Therefore, out-of-the-box components are to be considered. Examples of plugins are: Calendar, BI Integration, Social Network connector, BPM Connector.
An example of UX Package
Any sector can use UX packages. A Public Sector UX package could include a series of specific plugins (e.g., connection to SPID, digital signature, generation of Open Data) and one or more compliant graphic components bundles to meet the AgID guidelines. The advantage of such a UX Package is that, once realized, it can be reused and customized with the appropriate adaptations in similar contexts.
In conclusion, by using a UX Package you can quickly build a working Proof Of Concept with which you can then directly turn out a series of implementation choices. Doing so results in less code, less time, and lower development costs.