Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Web Clipper Portlet

Web Clipper (also called Screen Scrapper or URL Scrapper) is the fastest way to bring (integrate) existing web application into portal. Nearly all commercial portals come with some kind of out-of-box Web Clipping portlets. Though, those web clipping solutions are not powerful enough and cannot always meet enterprise requirements. That is the reason, we can see various third party solutions in the market. Red Oak solution is the latest addition to the list of Web Clipper Portlet vendors -

Check Red Oak Press Release

Other than Red Oak, few other products also support enterprise level web clipping portlets. Here are two popular products -

1. Clickmarks Portlet Factory
2. Kapow RoboSuite

There is also one open source solution named PortletBridge which looks quite powerful. PortletBridge has been presently tested with following portals -

  • Pluto 1.0.1
  • JBoss Portal 2.2
  • JBoss Portal 2.0
  • LifeRay Professional 3.6.0
  • Gridsphere Portal 2.1.1
  • uPortal 2.5.1

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Easy to use portal

I keep getting the question that which (open source) portal should one use. The answer is not simple and depends upon the requirements. Today I got the similar email once again asking which portal is easiest to use.

Here is normally what I suggest to people -

  1. Looking for easy to use portal - Stringbeans, and eXo
  2. Looking for lots of out-of-box portlets - Liferay
  3. Looking for portal with extendible architecture and standard support - eXo
  4. Looking for good JSR 168 compliant portlet container - eXo, and JBoss

Though I believe that all the oepn source portals needs to improve on documentation front to make them really easy to use.

Update (June 30th, 2006): I received lots of feedback on this post. Based on that I want to make one clarification. In concluding above, I kept developer's point of view in mind and not end-user's. For example when I am saying "easy to use", it means easy to use for developers i.e. easy to deploy portlets, easy to adminster and easy to develop portlets etc.

Monday, June 12, 2006

JSR 286 (Portlet Specification V 2.0) Preview

Stefan Hepper, specification lead - jsr 286, presented the a futuristic view of portlet specification 2.0 (jsr 286 ) and its status in 2006 JavaOne Conference. The presentation is available at -

What comes next in the Portlet Specification V 2.0 with JSR 286

To summarize, here are the major working areas for JSR 286 -

  • Coordination (Events support, Sharing session beyond portlet application, Sharing render parameters across portlets)
  • WSRP 2.0 alignment
  • Better support for Web Frameworks (JSF, Struts, Spring, WebWork)
  • AJAX Support

For everybody's information, the committee is nearly done with the first early draft and it will be made available soon.