Browse Prior Art Database

Iframe State Controller Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131711D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 65K

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This article describes an extension to the IBM*Domino* Application Portlet (DAP). The use of an iframe is a known mechanism to include external content in the display from a Portal server; for example the DAP reverse proxy portlet employs an iFrame so that it can display Domino content that is served in a frameset. In the DAP case any user interaction with a portlet outside the DAP iFrame causes the undesireable reset of the Domino application state.

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Iframe State Controller

In addition to solving the user experience problem this idea also opens the door for interaction between the application displayed in the iFrame and portlets that may also be displayed on the same portlet page. Interactions may be by cooperative portlet technologies or other messaging devices. Typically when such interaction is required the complete page requires refreshing in order to have the display reflect the state of each portlet after the interaction.

    There is a need to find a way to store and retrieve the current state of a page. This state can be regarded as the location to which the iframe is pointing. Thus in the case of a frameset inside the iframe one needs to record every child on the frameset tree. Every time the user navigates within the iframe this state is recorded and stored. When the page containing the iframe is refreshed the state is retrieved and used to repopulate the iframe.

    This article is a result of a prototype extension to the Domino Application Portlet (DAP). Therefore some of the technology used is specific to that portlet. However there is no reason why it cannot be used outside of that portlet.

A number of technologies are combined to achieve the desired result:

The analysis of the current state of the page is achieved using javascript embedded onto every page served through the iframe. Note: The addition of the javascript to the page was achieved using DAP regular expressions. However, it could be added in a number of ways. For example, by creating a template that the site designer must adhere to(the javascript was static - the same javascript goes onto every page served through the iframe).

The state is communicated to a servlet (HistoryServlet) where it is stored and later retrieved
Communication to the servlet from the javascript on the page is carried out using XMLHttpRequest. This permits the submission of the state to the servlet and the retrieval without the need to reload the page.

A typical scenario is as follows.

On loading the page containing the iframe:

The outer page containing the iframe...