nopcommerce Widget programming allows for Substantial Customizations
In the postings so far we have witnessed the power of nopcommerce to breathe life into eCommerce portals. This online shopping platform neatly integrates all conceivable options to setup the shopping website as desired. In addition to the same, a nopcommerce Widget comes in handy if the developer wishes to further extend the usability of nopcommerce.
What is a nopcommerce widget?
A widget is essentially a mini application that can be easily embedded within the website, by a developer or a user depending on the authority to edit the said page. It is basically a small program, which may or may not use the information from the other applications or plugins, but can be opted for even by the end-user. This standalone application can offer a whole range of information like weather, stocks, unit / rate conversions etc.
In the case of a nopcommerce widget, these do differ much from the standard definition. However, there has to be structure and order to the way these widgets are deployed. These structured areas are referred to as 'Widget Zones'. Developers can add a new widget zone simply by adding the following code:
to the appropriate .cshtml file, and return the same name in the
public IList <string> GetWidgetZones()
Accordingly, these widget zones and widgets therein can be displayed in multiple types of pages and the whole structure and its path is relative to the root of the nop.Web project.
Despite the need for structure, one can add as many zone as the developer wishes, simply by calling the @Html.Widget("ZONE_NAME") method at any place in the view. This will instantly create a new zone, ready for injection within the page.
Having mentioned the normal occurrence, a nopCommerce widget, may have its own widget zones in the standard theme. But developers can easily play with themes and alter the placement and override these widget zones and place the customized widget zones, anywhere it is desired.
Nopcommerce plugins and widgets share a lot of similarities:
Despite such an elaborate explanation, developers need not differentiate widgets from plugins since at the core, they share many similarities. In fact, widgets are created as plugins. Many widgets do come with their own source code too. Hence it is a wise idea to check the 'Plugins' folder in the root of the solution. There are two widget / plugins pre-existent. Please note, one should not look for these plugins in the Nop.Web project folder as this is where finalized plugins go when they have been fully compiled.
Widgets are as flexible as nopcommerce and can be used as deemed fit for the portal. New Developers need to merely study about how a plugin is created to get a decent idea about a widget should be compiled. A nopcommerce widgets, being a plugin at the core, developers can quickly start creating tactile widgets. These widgets even have the same Description.txt we discussed in our earlier article about nopCommerce Plugins. Additionally, one can multiple ready to deploy widgets on the web too. nopCommerce widgets could easily be used in place of plugins or vice versa.
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