Posted: 9 Jan 2017 0:38 EST Last activity: 23 Jan 2017 13:32 EST
Ask the Expert - Design Templates with Chithra Jayakumar and Spencer Black
Spencer is a Software Engineer of User Interface. He came to Pega in 2013 as an intern and officially joined the team full time after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2015. His team specializes in Live UI, Form Factor, Sections, Harnesses and Design Templates in Express. Meet Chithra:
Chithra is a Senior Software Engineer of User Interface. Worked in all tiers of software development with a passion on building better UI. Joined Pega in 2015 and mainly involved in the implementation of Application Views and Design Templates.
Message from Spencer & Chithra:
"We are looking forward to a great conversation on design templates for rapidly building UI in Pega 7! We are very excited to share information and answer all your questions on design templates and where we are heading in that area. Hope you enjoy this session and thanks for joining us!”
Not sure what questions to post? Join our TechTalk 1/10/17 @9:30am ET over on the PDN! The topic is Design Templates! Check it out and then come back and ask Chithra and Spencer any questions you have!
Thanks for your question! Templates behave similarly to how dynamic layouts work. They simply quicken the experience in regards to flexibility. The regions under the two columns for the 70/30 layout will be responsive only if there is enough real estate in the device to work with. We did not want the fields to appear squished on devices with small screen sizes. You can get a rough idea of what the view look like with the Express form factor preview. Depending on the width of the device, fields can appear stacked as opposed to this 70/30 view .
The template icon is mandatory to provide a visual for all users to view templates on a shared system. The image gets carried over on the template picker as well as the layout editor for visual aid. In fact, you can actually click it instead of clicking the "Change" button to show the template picker.
By shared system, I mean multiple users accessing the design templates. This is beyond the application level and goes to the instance that users are developing on. Those seven pre-canned design templates are included by default. To further describe the design template image, they represent the look of the template to users.
The techtalk said that design templates can be used with almost everything but they are some exceptions like repeating dynamic layouts. What are the other exceptions and what is the roàdmap to support them.
Thanks for your feedback! Currently supported controls are Grids, Repeating Dynamic Layout and Layouts. One can create section using design templates and that can be used as section includes inside of those controls. We are planning to address some of these limitation around the repeating structures in 2017.
Most of the time we use dynamic layout with different percentage for each field. Sometime we go for 50-50, sometime 30-70, sometime 90-10 etc. Will it not be nice to pass the percentage as parameter(Or may be even property referance) to the template and template will help the section to render accordingly. That would reduce the number of template as well.
I think we are storing the template in the client as static content and pass only the data. If we can make the format parameterized, then it will reduce the browser overhead as well.
This is a great feedback! We discussed with our Product Owner and add it to the product backlog. Current offering has 7 pre-canned design templates and you can create as many template as you need since design templates are not stored on the client and there is no overhead. This approach ensures that each template can have exactly the layout and rending required for that use case.
Thank you everyone for participating in this month's edition of Ask the Expert! A special thanks to both Chithra and Spencer for being our experts! Don't forget to check out the TechTalk at the beginning of this thread to learn even more! For future questions, please click Write a Post in the top right pane!