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This paper describes the Product Advisor component of the IBM WebSphere™ Commerce Suite. Product Advisor consists of a set of tools to be used by marketing personnel to generate, without programming help, Web shopping applications involving a product catalog. The user interfaces generated by these tools cover an extensible set of shopping paradigms including parametric search, a knowledge-based “virtual salesperson,” and side-by-side comparison shopping. The paper also describes the Java™ infrastructure that supports the Product Advisor tools: servlets, JavaBeans™ and JavaServer Pages™ in the server, and applets in the client. Furthermore, it describes the implementation techniques used for rendering dynamic data: a data container hierarchy, a data type hierarchy, and presentation beans.
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