GSPANN updated the client’s in-house ecosystem (based on JSP and YUI) to the latest Java version. We developed a responsive design for search and browse pages that is deployed on a single server. We performed componentization of the UI for search and browse pages and separated them from the web service (backend). We further re-architected the UI and took care of stretched banners, added breadcrumb, re-aligned items, and cleaned up the facets.
We split the UI of search and browse pages into multiple components/modules. Each individual component runs in isolation to implement/test functionalities faster and serves a different functionality for search and browse pages. All JSP layouts of each component were converted into Handlebar templates and we rendered the pages server-side using Node.js. This helped in separating the UI layer running on Node.js, which was earlier tied to a Java-based web server (JBoss, Jetty).
Since only a single server is required to maintain the responsive design of search and browse pages, the cost of server maintenance was reduced by 40%. The development and release cycle of backend and UI was separated, which helped the team responsible for different components of the UI to go live in production independent of the backend release. This also made A/B testing on UI easier.
In addition to the responsive design, we also implemented experimental features for a search and browse page that is controlled by a kill-switch if something goes wrong in production.