Infoglue pages between the curtain
This chapter was meant to give users an overview of how a page is technically structured and rendered. It is very important to understand for developers and advanced users but ordinary users may skip this chapter.
The request/response cycle
A very important thing to understand in Infoglue later on is how a page gets delivered to the user upon request. This information is mainly important for developers as they need to make some decisions affecting this process. We have tried to sum up the process very simple in this image:
The important part to recognise here is the “Get page invoker”-step. Depending on which page type you have chosen for your page different invokers/algorithms can be used to render it. The types are defined in the management tool under “SiteNodeTypeDefinitions”.
There are two default types defined in Infoglue; one which renders pages in the old template-based way (Normal HTML page) and one that renders the page based on components on it. In addition you can even add your own invoker if needed. An example could be a WAP-page-type which behaves differently than HTML-pages does altogether or perhaps a redirect invoker which forwards the request sever side.
A page in detail
To describe we have the very simple page as an example. The basic look of a page would be something like the page below.
This page is very simple but the technique is the same no matter what layout we would use or what information we want to show. The page layout is controlled by components. The page you are looking at could be structured in many different ways, depending on the developer’s choices, but in this example it is composed out of many small/mediumsized components. A component can have any size and we could for example have one big component controlling the entire page if we want to but that would mean we could not manage the layout in detail for different pages. Instead we have used smaller components responsible for only a part of the page. For example there is a header component which is responsible for showing the logotype, flags and the navigation.
The concept of an Infoglue component is very similar to the “includes”-concept found in many web environments like ASP/JSP. The difference is that the components can have dynamic properties and can be managed graphically in InfoGlue by non coders.
The structure of a page is better shown in this drawing.
Note especially that it is by assigning contents and pages to appropriate components that you actually give the components enough data to present information to the user. The component themselves most often only contain layout logic and knows how to fetch the information you assign to it.
Hopefully this section has helped you to understand the basics of how a web page is built in InfoGlue. We will now take you through the different tools to show you where the work is done. In all chapters we will assume that you have logged into the InfoGlue administrative tool. If you don’t know how to find it or have questions please consult you administrator.