In the past, only single screens were to be found, and probably a TV or a desktop. With technology charting its way into every possible avenue, we now have different types of screens, from mobile phones to very big monitors, and even TVs being used as computer screens. Similarly, the development of UI has also shifted from traditional desktop applications to web applications. With this change, JavaScript and CSS are now the primary languages to create a web app. These two changes intertwine when you consider developing a web app that is usable and suitable across all screens.

Whether it be the smallest screen or the most prominent TV — the application needs to be simple, and subsequently it should allow users to see all the details.

Wide range of frameworks exist in the market, and the choice is ours to choose an intuitive framework which helps to enhance the customer experience. Here, we present an amazing GUI (Graphical User Interface) Framework – ZK, abbreviated as ZKOSS.

ZKOSS Framework

ZK is a UI framework influential in building fantastic web and mobile applications without having to learn JavaScript or AJAX. It is an open-source ajax based web application that is written in Java. ZK empowers the creation of GUI for web application with very minimal programming knowledge.

Building a User Interface with ZK is relatively easy — combining and collating from the hundreds of components readily at hand, one can swiftly create their UI with various ZK components. Each component’s style, behavior, and function can be configured upon the specific users’ desire.

The ZK Framework uses a server-centric approach in which the engine automatically does the content synchronization of components and event pipe-line between clients and servers. It is also vital to note ZK does not use the standard web request and response mechanism.

Also, it does not send the form field to the server using GET parameters and POST request. Instead, the AJAX requests are sent to the server to update the internal state of each screen widget. On the browser side, ZK downloads JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) Description of the web page and uses a client renderer to turn that into UI.

Features of ZKOSS Framework

  • Entirely based on Java, ZK is renowned for its “Ajax without JavaScript” approach, enabling developers to build RIA (Rich Internet Applications) without any knowledge of Ajax and JavaScript.
  • Responsive design themes along with Bootstrap, HTML and CSS 3 support.
  • Over 100 Ajax components offer UI designers a variety of feature-rich components to its users.
  • ZK framework uses a ZUML (User Interface Markup Language), which makes the design of rich user interfaces similar to authoring HTML pages. ZUML is a variant of XUL (XML User Interface Language) inheriting all the features available to XML, and it separates the UI definition from the run-time logic.
  • An event-driven component-based model (similar to desktop programming models) supporting multiple event-driven GUI design patterns.

ZK Framework in SAP hybris

Take a look at how ZK Framework complements the processes within SAP Hybris.

Cockpit Extensions

The cockpit extension provides Hybris Cockpit Framework, which allows building a different set of front ends for SAP Hybris Commerce running in web browsers.

The Hybris Cockpit framework is based on ZK Framework 3.6, a rich internet application framework that enables desktop-like GUIs within a web browser. ZK framework currently used in SAP Hybris Commerce is 8.5.

Note: The starting page of all cockpits is index.zul

All Cockpits index.zul

ZUL Files

Web files created in the ZK User Interface Markup Language (ZUML) contain definitions for user interface elements as well as zscript code. ZUL files are used to develop rich Web-based user interfaces.

The contents are first parsed on a Java-based web server, such as Apache Tomcat, and then sent to the requesting client’s web browser. Conceptually, ZUL files are similar to JSP files.

Product Cockpits index.zul

Why Hybris Uses ZK?

Here are some key points that state the reasons for ZK hybris Integration.

  • All the zul pages are mobile friendly.
  • The lines of codes we develop in zul are less compared to the other languages.
  • Low development time.
  • ZK boasts plenty of components (containers, data, diagrams, reports, and all the essential components) which can be integrated into places where the need arises.
  • The best thing about ZK is that it only needs a low memory space.

To create any UI components, users need to write specific lines of code. Whereas, using the ZK framework, users can integrate the component from the component library by specifying the name of the component. Following which, we have component-explorer.zul to import all the essential components by adding the name.

Component Explorer

Now that you know ZK Framework is a boon which lets you create effervescent apps, do you want to build your dream online store with SAP hybris? Check out the amazing features SAP hybris offers, and Get In Touch with DCKAP to embark on a journey towards eCommerce excellence.

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