Since its creation in 2006, jQuery has been one of the most widely used and acclaimed JavaScript frameworks.

It has served a critical role in the standardization of scripting across multiple browsers. jQuery has brought interactive sites to the web with its groundbreaking jQueryUI framework. It has even served as the base of today’s web app frameworks such as Angular and React. Over 75 percent of the top 10,000 websites today use jQuery. It is so ingrained in the web today, that it feels like front end developers no longer learn JavaScript, they learn jQuery. And with the recent release of the jQuery Aurora starter store for WebSphere Commerce v8, jQuery finally comes to WebSphere Commerce!

WebSphere Commerce stores have used the Dojo framework for as long as I can remember. Dojo was one of the first widely available frameworks, and with its release, it enabled functionality that was previously thought out of reach. When IBM chose Dojo, it helped propel WebSphere Commerce to one of the best eBusiness solutions available. However, over the years, Dojo has begun to show its age. In the ever-evolving web development space, it was not able to capture the critical mass of users and developers fast enough. And as the mobile web and responsive sites become more and more important, it has not kept pace with some of the other utilities out there. As people have moved to modular solutions like bootstrap and react for more efficient page speeds, Dojo tried to be a jack of all trades.

With the announcement in recent years that the Dojo Foundation and jQuery Foundation would be merging, many have been wondering when jQuery would be integrated into WebSphere Commerce. With the Aurora jQuery store, this speculation is finally a reality. So now the question is “What does jQuery mean to us?” jQuery has a number of advantages that can impact both your site’s presentation as well as your development capabilities:

Ease of Use

Cross Browser Consistency

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Community Support

Page Load and Use Speed

What makes jQuery so special?

Why has it become the gold standard of JavaScript frameworks? The biggest reason for jQuery’s adoption has always been its ease of use. It took abstract ideas like the Document Object Model and event triggers and made them accessible to a person making their first website. Now, you can pick an element using the same structure as your CSS, and you can add interaction with a simple ‘.click’. During the Wild West days of web development, this ease of access and consistency was very important. Since it established itself as the easiest to use solution, it quickly attracted the best talent to expand and empower the framework.

One of the biggest benefits of jQuery is the breadth of resources online. Documentation is extremely thorough, and the community is extremely helpful. Resources like Stack Overflow provide easy to find solutions to common problems. The community has also developed a robust collection of plugins to take care of any needs. From a homepage carousel, to an easy to implement type-ahead, to efficient field validation and form submission, a plugin has been developed for any complex UI/UX situation.

The other important tent post is performance. The jQuery framework prioritizes speed and footprint. At one-third the size of Dojo, it ensures that it loads as quickly as possible, regardless of internet speed. Its page timing methodology totes the line of executing as soon as possible while not interfering with the loading of the page. What these two things mean, are that your site will load sooner, and be interactive faster than with other tools. Google recommends that a commerce site loads in less than 2 seconds. For every millisecond wasted, you are losing conversions. jQuery helps ensure you can reach that goal.

WebSphere Commerce integrating jQuery now enables the best commerce platform to use the best JavaScript framework. Out of the box, there is now a strong solution to make sure your front end performs as well as your back end. This also allows you to customize the front end of the store easier and more efficiently than ever before.

Contact us to learn how you can take advantage of these great new features.

With the jQuery Aurora starter store now available for WebSphere Commerce v8, performance is greater than ever! Not sure how this will impact your store?

About The Author

Bobby Knapp

Bobby is a Mobile & UX Solution Architect at Blue Sky Technology Partners. He has worked on a variety of solutions including WebSphere Commerce driven native mobile applications, interactive custom product configurators, and Atlassian driven solutions to integrate store fronts with corporate workflows. In his 8 years of mobile and UX development, Bobby has become well known for delivering innovative solutions while optimizing site performance.

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