Customers often have to implement portal- or portlet-based solutions that guide users through a well-defined sequence of screens. These sequences route users along paths that interconnect user interface artifacts, such as forms or masks, so that the users can accomplish specific tasks. From a user perspective, stepping through such sequences feels to the users like working with wizards. It relieves them from thinking about the right sequence of going through the screens and processing them.
The need for such solutions arises across all industries. In the insurance industry, screen flow modelers might need to model flows for processing policy quotations or claim submissions. Quoting a vehicle insurance policy might be composed of steps such as vehicle selection, vehicle data specification, insure data collection, tariff characteristics selection. Similar applications can be required for banking, help desk, or travel applications.
When developers write portal based solutions, the screens and the functions behind them are usually provided by portlets. But the mapping of individual screens to portlets can be difficult, as it impacts both the user experience and the reusability.
As of today, customers usually must select between two extremes:
The IBM® UX Screen Flow Manager provides operators, developers, and dialog modelers with the best of two worlds: It provides the basis for developing fine-granular, small split portlets, which can also be declaratively interconnected and managed by IBM WebSphere® Portal. This way, it provides an answer to the tradeoff decision by providing both strict user guidance and high reusability.