Wrapping Up the User Perspective
We have reached the end of our tour through Cocoon from the user perspective. All the Cocoon features we have discussed up to this point are available without your having to write any Java code to use them. You learned about the additional ways to configure Cocoon and, in particular, which configuration parameters exist to allow a Cocoon-based application to return the requested documents as quickly as possible.
Apart from the more common components, such as transformers and generators, Cocoon also provides additional components such as action-sets, and it allows different pipelines to be combined using content aggregation. We completed the explanation of the different sitemap sections, especially views and sitemap resources. We also looked at some examples, such as connecting Cocoon to a database.
Building applications using these concepts can get quite complicated, but luckily Cocoon provides ways of staying on top of what you are doing. Splitting the separate areas of an application into different subsitemaps is one way of making sure the solution is modular. Using the log transformer inside a pipeline allows potential errors to be found quickly and also shows you how the different components can be plugged in to a pipeline to extend the functionality.
We realize that this is a lot of information to take in. We suggest that you try and adapt the examples we have presented to do something different. Perhaps you could integrate a different data source into your application or provide a different output format for your data. Play around with the components and see what types of pipelines you can build. Add the log transformer to a pipeline and look at what goes on between the different components.
You might also find some ideas for your own applications in the next chapter, where you will expand the news portal you built in the last chapter and add some of the things you have just learned.