Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Which Open Source Portal Server to Choose?

Like with any other new technology, it is the most frequently asked question related to portals. The portlet and portal technology is now here for quite a while but I am asked this question so often that I decided to write here. If you will check manageability, you will find total of 17 open source portal servers listed. It is really not easy to evaluate all products and take decision.

I am now involved with this technology for quite a while. I am continuous in touch with Internet and discussion groups. So I decided to shortlist few portals severs that you should pay attention to. You can say it is my choice of portals. My choice is based on following parameters -

* Support of JSR 168 and WSRP standard
* The amount of work going on i.e. activity
* News being generated
* Opinion polls and reports on Internet
* My intuition

I have not worked with all servers listed here, but it is based on my experience with the portal and portlet technology. Here is my list -

* eXo
* GridSphere
* JA-SIG uPortal
* Jakarta Jetspeed 2
* Liferay

The above list in not in any order. I decided to write it, just to narrow down the initial choice. I want to repeat here once again that it is strictly based on my opinion and yours may be different. Anyway if you have different opinion, please let me know.

Portlet Development Tutorial

If you are a fan of Sun Java Studio or just starting portal development, you will find this article useful -

Building JSR 168-Compliant Portlets with Sun Java Studio Enterprise

It summarizes JSR 168 and WSRP and then moves to actual portlet development. You will find google portlet as an example. Keep in mind that the article is strictly bound to Sun Java Studio. So if you are using some other portal server / toolkit you will not find much to read.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Java Portals and EAI

Sorry for being away from this blog for quite a while. I am busy in researching various different tools and technologies. Although my objective for all this exercise was to find some enterprise application integration solution for my problem yet I never strictly stick to the objective. I experimented with WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets), Workflow Management & BPM (Business Process Management), "Bowstreet Portlet Factory" and "Clickmarks Portlet Factory", Web-clipping technology, all with Java Portals. In fact, after all this exercise I found that Java Portals can be extremely beneficial solution for EAI problem.

There are lots of integration methodologies and technologies available like messaging, and web services. But I found that in most of the cases portals can be the best integration technologies. I have found that completely desperate systems can be integrated with portals. We tried integration of application written in Microsoft with the help of WSRP technology. We tried integration of PeopleSoft with "Clickmarks Portlet Factory" and we tried integration of SAP applications with "Bowstreet Portlet Factory." We also tried web-clipping portlets available with IBM WebSphere Portals for integrating our in-house applications. In all the cases it was straightforward and less time taking process compared to other integration methodologies. In my opinion, only portal technology can make it so fast and easy. Clients can be convinced due to fast migration process to portals. Anyway these are not the only advantages of using portals, in fact there are many but for that I'll have to write a book :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Bowstreet Portlet Factory 5.8.2 Launched

Bowstreet(TM), a leading provider of development tools for adaptive J2EE applications, today announced the availability of Bowstreet Portlet Factory version 5.8.2. This new release features the PeopleSoft Extension, allowing companies to rapidly integrate PeopleSoft data and business processes with their portals.

Check the press release here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

500 Members

On January 5th this year, I had written about the century i.e. 100 group members for our JSR 168 Portlets & Java Portals discussion forum. But it is really surprising to see how the portlets, portals, JSR 168 & WSRP technologies are picking up. Only in four months, the group attained landmark of 500 members. I have few more discussion groups on other domains but this group is the fastest growing group.

I hope this group will really prove useful for learners of these technologies.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Open Source Java WSRP Portals

Hi all,

Today, while web surfing, I came to know that uPortal also supports WSRP. I was not knowing this so I was quite surprised. I am planning to compile a list of Open Source WSRP Portals. At present I know only three open source java portals that support WSRP i.e. -

1. eXo
2. uPortal
3. Gluecode (Thanks Patrick for update)

Please let me know (put comments here) other open source java WSRP portal servers. I am planning to expand the list.

[Update on Sep 28th, 2004]

Comprehensive and up-to-date list is available on OASIS website. Here you will find a list of all open-source and commercial products supporting WSRP. On the day of writing, OASIS has listed following products -


Punit Pandey