Thursday, April 21, 2005

Integrating iSeries Host Applications into Portals

With TN5250j, it is possible to easily integrate your host applications into your portal with full single sign-on capabilities. Here is how you can do it -

Integrating iSeries Host Applications into Portals

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Vignette Releases Portal 7.2

Vignette today announced the new version of its portal. The most important highlight of this release is the adoption of standards JSR 168 & WSRP. Now Vignette can be used to consume external remote portlets for web services. Following are some of the new features -

-- Enhanced out-of-the-box search capabilities that allow users to query a wide range of internal and external data sources
-- Improved personalization.
-- Improved & tightly integrated content management system.
-- Integration with Vignette(R) Records and Documents through the use of standards-based JSR-168 portlets.

Check press release here.

Monday, April 04, 2005

To hell with the Weblogic Workshop

With the development of JSR 168, we had seen some really beautiful dreams. There will be a world where vendor neutralization will be everywhere. Anyone will be able to take portlets from one portal and will be able to deploy it in another portal. It will be as good as web application porting. And during this beautiful dream, here comes the devil – the spec violation and making so many additions to make interoperability non-interoperable.

Why I am talking about my nightmare here. Isn't I am using the Weblogic workshop for a while now? What happened, have they said 'no' to sponsor some of my project? :-) Though we are using the Weblogic workshop for portlet development for quite a while, but I was not directly involved in the development. I mostly use IBM WSAD or Eclipse for JSR 168 portlet development. The real reason behind this sudden agony is that I had to deploy the portlet developed using Weblogic workshop into the WebSphere portal. First and the most interesting one - Workshop uses Weblogic specific ".portal" and ".portlet" files for storing configuration. It keeps hell lot of files related to skins and skeleton and the framework. It uses Struts and EJB automatically in the portal - use it or not use it. The web.xml will be of over 100 lines. And especially you will not find any option for exporting to the web archive (".war") format. What a pity!!!!

It taken my more than one hour to convert a medium size portlet and to make that workable in WebSphere Portal and remove all unnecessary files. The problem with Weblogic portal is its design. In Weblogic Workshop, you are never developing portlet, rather you always develop portal and it is the reason of having hundreds of unnecessary files. (Worshop has one benefit too of this approach i.e. you can directly test you portal inside the IDE) Though there is a command line tool to convert Weblogic format portal into web archive ".war" format, but this tool proved nearly useless to me. I would rather have copied the files in the WebSphere Portlet folder structure and debugged there only.

So if you are using Weblogic Workshop for croos-platform portlet deployment, be warned. It can create your life more difficult. Though it provides all those trendy debugging and testing features but it destroys all standard codes. The release of Weblogic 9.0 is round the corner and I hope this problem will be solved with a better design. Till the time use some other product and be happy.