Friday, November 26, 2004

Free Portlets Repository

Seeing the dearth of free JSR 168 portlets, I have created a folder on the file section of portlets forum where one can upload portlets. There are already 15 portlets available in the repository contributed by different members. I request everyone to contribute portlets that can be the part of learning material and instant reuse. You can also create your own folder inside the free portlets folder.

Your suggestions on 'free portlet repository' are welcome.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Example Portlets/ Sample Portlets

Studying existing source codes is the best method of learning new software technology. But it is difficult to find codes on Internet in case of portlets. In my previous post titled free portlets, I mentioned about few free resources on Internet where you can find portlets. But most of those resources are based on vendor dependant APIs and tools and hence not much useful in JSR 168 Portlet API learning. Here are few Sample Portlets that you can use for start learning portlet development -

1. http://www.geocities.com/lestermartin/portlet/portlet-dev-env.zip - 2 portlets (Hello World and Calculator) by Lester Martin
2. Notepad, Bookmark and Showtime Portlets - 3 sample portlets (Notepad, Bookmark and Showtime) from Sun Microsystems
3. http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=91153 - 5 portlets (Google, Rss, Wizard, Upload, Mail) by POST: Portlet Open Source Trading Website

I am sure that there are various example portlets scattered across the Internet. If you know any of those portlets you can let me "pandeypunit AT yahoo.com" know or upload it to the portlets discussion forum. These portlets are already available at the file section of portlets discussion forum.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Start Learning Portlet

I was looking for some introductory articles to give to our portlet trainees. But as usual, I found nothing really useful on Internet. Most of the good articles are vendor specific and not for JSR 168 portlet API. But I had to give something to them. I identified following articles that can be useful in click start learning of JSR 168 portlets -

Understanding the Java Portlet Specification

Developing to the Java Portlet Specification

Introducing the Portlet Specification, Part 1

Introducing the Portlet Specification, Part 2

Seeing such a slack of portlet development articles, I have started working on "hands-on" type tutorial on portlet development that I'll post here soon. Till the time the second article i.e. "Developing to the Java Portlet Specification" can be the good starting point.

Happy portletting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Most Popular Enterprise Portal

The portal poll is still going on but I think that it's time to conclude. I am in touch with the industry and watching it closely for a long time but the results are somewhat surprising to me. I was not expecting that the open source portal servers would do that well.

For me it is always difficult to interpret the data. But I'll try to do it with my limited understanding and almost no knowledge of statistics. I must make it clear that -

  1. My group and blogs may have audiences that may not be representing the real portal world.
  2. It may be biased towards one community or other. For example there is another poll going on titled "Do You Use Open Source Portal Servers". Around 68 percent users voted in favor i.e. they use open source portal servers. So one point is clear that my blogs/ groups have good readership/ usage among open source community. Though now-a-days I see more questions pertaining to commercial portals than open source portals.

Now as the there are sufficient votes, we can use this sample to draw some conclusions. Though, I understand that it cannot give us the complete market picture, still it can be a useful way to get the glimpse of the market and usage.

So much talks and no data??? Here is the scorecard -


Note: Others contain MS Sharepoint (1%), Vignette(4%), Plumtree(2%), SAP Netweaver(2%) and Oracle (3%) Portal Servers.

If we assume that usage of my forums and blogs spread uniformly among portal community, here are few conclusions that I can draw from it -

  1. Open Source Portal Servers are in more use than the Commercial Portal Servers.
  2. eXo is the most popular portal server & Liferay is closely behind.
  3. In commercial portals, IBM has the lead on BEA. Other commercial portals are far behind.
  4. People are looking more towards open source solutions.
  5. Standardization (JSR 168, WSRP, JCR) is one major popularity criteria. It may be the reason for eXo advantage.
  6. Integration with other products is not a primary criterion for portal popularity.
  7. Even the major portal features like content management and collaboration is down the wish list.
  8. Development tool (again eXo has advantage) is another important popularity criteria for portals, at least among open source portals.
  9. Portlets are not available in MS Sharepoint portal servers so it is not fare to measure it in a portlet community poll.
  10. Plumtree and Vignette popularity is declining, if we compare it with previous research reports. OR
  11. The portlet development community for Plumtree and Vignette is not that big as compared to other portals.

I want to apologize that I missed few portals servers from both the open source and commercial world. I initially believed that these are not much popular. But this poll has shown that assumptions are not always true. I assure that I'll include them in any future poll. Here is a list of portals that I missed out -

  1. GridSphere
  2. Jahia
  3. PeopleSoft
  4. SunOne
  5. Novell Extend Director

It is probably the first attempt to evaluate open source and commercial portals together. There are various researches and reports available on Internet but those all exclude open source portals. This poll has proved that any research without including open source portals cannot depict a real market.

Thanks to my readers and members, my blogs and groups has grown as a big portal community. My portlets and WSRP groups have around 1500 members and my blogs are receiving thousands of hits a day. Due to this community only, such types of opinion polls are possible. Thanks to my readers and members once again. Finally, just to remind again that the portal poll is still on so you can cast your votes before it is late.

For those, we are looking for similar content, we had few discussions and other similar attempts in the past, but those all were restricted to open source only. Here are other similar attempts -

1. TSS on Choosing Portal Server
2. Which Open Source Portal Server?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Creating a map portlet for Oracle Portal

While surfing, found following article -

Creating a map portlet for Oracle Portal: "Creating a map portlet for Oracle Portal"

UPDATE (Nov 20): Blog author has revised the post incorporating JSR 168. I received few emails regarding the need for JSR 168 portlets instead of oracle specific portlets. So it is the welcome modification. The new article is available at -

http://www.orablogs.com/oragis/archives/000661.html