Saturday, October 30, 2004

Framework for Portlets

Portlets, like model-I JSPs, need some framework to keep code manageable. While saying framework, initially we are more concerned with the basic structure of the portlets. Though it can be argued that portlets are based on MVC pattern and less prone to code management problems. But due to single controller architecture, soon the controller codes start zooming and becomes highly unmanageable. At this stage we need some framework with some best practices to avoid code management problems. There are various methodologies available like State Pattern by IBM. Here in this article authors has suggested that portlets have three major functions -

1. Validate
2. Store Data
3. Prepare Request

Based on above assumption, he has tried to standardize above three major processes of portlet development. Idea is new one and, in my opinion, can be useful for small to medium size portlet development. For detailed portlets (say more than 100 lines of code), in my opinion, we should go for some proper framework like JSF, Spring or Struts. Have a look at the article - Portlet How-To: Using an Action Interface to Improve Portlet Code.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Which is the most popular portal server?

It is the one of the most frequently asked questions in portal world and I believe that no one has the right answer. There are various surveys and research reports but all telling different stories. One report is saying that IBM is leading the market and other-one is saying that Plumtree is the market leader. Most of the reports don't consider open source portal servers at all, I don't know why? In my opinion no research can be said complete without including the open source portal servers. Few of my fellow blog authors are of opinion that most of the research reports are fabricated & biased and vendors use them to promote their products only. In my opinion there is no easy method to find the right answer. I have created one survey for finding the answer of the same question. Right now, IBM Portal Server is leading and eXo is at the second spot. Please go and cast your vote.

Note: The poll is on portlets yahoogroup and you need to be a member for casting your vote.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

New Version of WebSphere Portal

IBM is going to release version 5.1 of WebSphere Portal. The release is long awaited and I have still to see it. But from the available resources, following are the major additions in features -

1. Integrated workflow engine
2. Multiple Site Support
3. Improved Content Management (Lotus Workplace Web Content Management, JCR, Search)
4. Improved Document Manager (Tree View, JCR)

The next major release i.e. Portal 6.0 is targeted around 2Q05.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

JBoss Takes On jBPM Project

JBoss, owners of the popular JBoss open source development community, added another piece to its middleware product portfolio with the addition of the Java Business Process Management (jBPM) Project, officials announced Monday.

Complete Story

Monday, October 18, 2004

Enterprise Portal Content Management

Content Management is one of the major motivations behind portals. But it is really unfortunate that there is no portal solution (at least in java world) that can fulfill even the basic content publishing requirements. A basic content management solution contains at least a content repository, content creation methods, content publishing methods, workflow and an API for content manipulation.

In the past I have given a look on few major portals and reached to this conclusion. First, as usual, I have given a look on various open source portals. But other than the basic content repository and few APIs, I wasn't able to find anything. Means no open source portal can be used as an instant content publishing solution. The affair on commercial portals is also muted. The best portal server, in my opinion is IBM WebSphere Portal Server (again in java world). It comes with it's own content publishing tool called WebSphere Portal Content Publisher (WPCP). It can be used for small and medium size business but it lacks the feature for an enterprise content publishing.

There are various third party content management tools available but it is not easy to integrate them with portal sever. For example Interwoven Teamsite has support for many portal servers including IBM WebSphere Portal and BEA WebLogic Portal but it is not easy to integrate it fully with the portal servers. Also there are some licensing issues. So here comes the closing words - If you are planning to use portals merely for content publishing, it seems not a good idea in current scenario.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

FatWire Software Releases Content Server 6

FatWire Software, a provider of enterprise content management solutions for deploying content-centric applications, has announced the release of Content Server 6, the latest edition of its enterprise level software. Content Server 6 adds new features that are designed to help organizations speed multi-site deployments, increase reuse of existing assets, provide higher levels of security, and use Content Server in portal environments. This latest version of Content Server is available and shipping to customers immediately. Specific new and enhanced features include: Site Launcher, SAFE (Secure Authorization for Enterprise), Portal Integration, and InSite Editor 2.

Compete Story at

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


For quite long, I had not checked OASIS's website. Today somehow I got the link of WSRP FAQ and found it contains answers of many common questions (yes, I know it is FAQ). For people who don't know what is OASIS, it is the committee taking care of WSRP standard; in fact many web services related standards. WSRP is still an evolving technology and on my WSRP discussion forum, people ask very basic questions. Most of the people are not very sure what WSRP can do, what it can not, how to do that etc.

OASIS website has few very useful documents. These two documents are must read, if you are related to WSRP, in any ways -

You can have a quick glance on contents here -

  • What is the difference between JSR 168 and WSRP?

  • What is a WSRP Producer?

  • What is a WSRP Consumer?

  • How does a Consumer discover a Producer and the Portlets it offers?

  • What are the standard WSRP user categories supposed to mean in a real-world environment? Are there any generally accepted practices for assigning
    behavior to a user category?

  • What happens during the registration process?

  • Is it valid for a Producer to change the set of required registration properties after Consumers have registered? If so, how does the Consumer learn of this change?

  • Should a Producer respond with an InvalidRegistrationFault when a
    modifyRegistration() invocation fails because the required registration
    properties have changed?

  • How does a Consumer assert to a Producer an anonymous user (or that it does not know the user)?

  • What does it mean to pass a null UserContext to operations that take it for the purpose of filtering the returned data on the user information in the context?

  • How does caching work with WSRP? Will my WSRP Producer be overwhelmed by

  • How can user Portlet preferences be saved? What are the typical patterns for
    preference storage?

  • Can WSRP Portlets be used with other devices like PDAs or cell phones?

  • How does WSRP address security?

  • Can a WSRP Portlet introduce anything malicious into my portal?

  • What concept does WSRP have of sessions?

  • How does a Consumer's user sessions relate to sessions on a Producer?

  • Can Portlet session state be shared between WSRP Portlets that are hosted on the same Producer?

  • Are there any JavaScript conventions for use in URLs?

  • How do I generate Java building stubs, skeletons, and datatypes from the WSRP TC WSDL files?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Metamorphosis Portlets

Oh, strange title. No no, I have not created any portlet that can bring back your youth. Rather I am talking about new look of this (portlets) blog. The last theme was quite old and in fact fairly dull too. This time, I have chosen the theme that I like most on blogger and it looks professional too.

Other than all old features, 'mail the post' and 'blogger comment system' is now activated. So you can mail any post to your friends. Only problem that I am getting, I am not able to copy my old comments to the new templates. I will skip this, if I am not able to find any automated method. If anyone here knows any automated method of copying comments from Holoscan to blogger, please let me know.

Anyways, please let me know your views on changed look.