In information technology, the user interface (UI) is everything designed into a device with which we as human beings interact with technology. This includes hardware such as the display screen, keyboard, mouse, light pen, stylus, and graphic user interfaces (GUI) such as the texts, buttons, illuminated characters, and help messages to name a few. The sole aim of user interface is to ease and promote rewarding interactions between humans and technologies.
With our ever increasing dependency on digital technology, there is a rising demanding to humanize user interfaces. The last few years has seen many instances of people opting for products and services largely due to a better user interface. The biggest example of this would be Apple’s iOS operating system which is known for its ease-of-use and user-friendly nature.
Staying in tune with the need for intuitive user interfaces, Pegasystems has reworked its UI capabilities in the Pega 7 platform. This change in Pega 7 makes things easier both for the application developer as well the end user. Pega 7 provides better UI capabilities, separating business logic from functional logic. Following are the key UI changes in Pega 7.
Pega 7’s built-in auto generated UI is completely responsive; a trend that is being adopted by various developers across different fields of software and application design. When the UI is generated, it automatically creates components compatible for all devices. This gives the developer the option to designed freely without worrying about platform compatibility.
In simple words, an application built for web browsers will work seamlessly on mobile devices. The weight of UI is distributed between:
- Control rules
- UI stream rules
- Application skins
When any of the components designed to work on laptop are referenced on any mobile device, Pega 7 will automatically adjust and render UI compatible on that device.
Once the UI is rendered on a mobile device, it will change from one layout type to another based on the skin rule configuration. For e.g. the pixel size may be reduced to 678px etc. to suit various mobile devices.
Separation of Business Logic
With different formats defined for selection using the skin rules, business logic is separated from the presentation layer. Developers don’t have to worry about the presentation logic, as it would be taken care by the presentation layer.
If there is a need for a different presentation of same the layout, then the skin rule need to change the format specification. Change will be applied across the application wherever the format is referenced.
Support for HTML 5 standards
Pega’s UI fully supports HTML 5 standards starting from Pega 7. Considering the versatility and wide acceptance of HTML 5 among all disciplines of software development makes this addition a breath of fresh air. From technical stand point, its internal architecture has been changed from using “table” tags to “div” tags. This also ensures that applications developed are truly responsive, in every sense of the term.
Moving away from traditional css files for styling of applications, Pega’s skin rules are powerful in a way to design css rules and apply them to different UI elements and preview them. The Designer Studio eliminates the need for manual coding of HTML, CSS, and Java script.
Pega7 has introduced enhanced skin rules that are more advanced than its previous versions. Skin rules gives us the flexibility to define the following:
- Break points for responsive UI
- Reusable components with Preview
- Mixins (re-usable css components)
- Highly usable OOTB (out-of-the-box) skins
Enterprise application depends lot on the UI rich features. With all the above mentioned features, Pega7 will enable us to make enterprise wide changes to the UI without having to reconstruct the content. Its strong separation of presentation from logic will make the applications easier for upgrades, refactoring of application without having to worry about presentation logic. Also, its mobile rich features will make the developers concentrate on presentation agnostic of the device, which is important in terms of cost.
We hope you liked this post about Pega 7’s stellar UI capabilities. If you have any interesting observations of your own, feel free to use the comment section below. Follow Princeton Blue on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get BPM-specific updates regularly.