Jboss Portal 2.4 Released

Jboss released its Jboss Portal 2.4. It has included features for better WSRP implementation. Here is the link to article JBOSS Portal 2.4GA Released


The Seven Secrets of SOA Success

Here is one of the interesting article on SOA implementation The Seven Secrets of SOA Success


BEA Acquires SOA Repository Flashline

In a trend to capture the SOA market, bigger firms are in spree of buying several SOA domain players. One more such aquisition happened last week. BEA acquired SOA Repository Flashline.

The new acquisition will boost BEA AquaLogic(TM) Service Registry and will provide a complete metadata management solution.

Here is the Link


BEA Releases BEA Weblogic 9.2

Bea has released its version of weblogic 9.2. The central points are :
  • It does not include the Plumtree Portal Server.
  • The Emphasis is on Service oriented architecture
  • Better support for Ajax and WSRP
  • Standards-based portlet federation, based upon the WSRP standard, with support for syndication of portal books and pages, personalized delivery, performance optimization and service lifecycle governance.
  • A new community framework, as part of portal business services that is designed to simplify portal membership, management, and end user production of community portals.
  • Portal lifecycle management capabilities including the new release of BEA Workshop for WebLogic which provides an Eclipse-based development environment for Java, portal, Web, and service-oriented applications. Also, portal propagation is included to help simplify the IT management for moving portals through staging from development to production.

For more information visit Weblogic press release

Oracle's Whitepaper on Portal & SOA

Just a few days back i had blogged about BEA Survey result as how Portal market is going to get a boost by SOA. Here is another whitepaper sponsered by Oracle this time. It explains as how SOA and Portal gel together. It gives an overview of SOA and its benefits and how it can readily be used with Portal. It quotes a Gartner Paper "A Portal May Be Your First Step to Leverage SOA," September 22, 2005 and supports its finding.

One can have a look on this paper at Portals: The Face of
Service-Oriented Architectures


Peoplesoft Designer

Hi, got a chance to work with Peoplesoft CRM. Found it great. I liked the Designer Module, one can sketch the skeleton of the whole process. I am not sure if it uses BPEL at backend?????? I guess not though.


Portal Perspective: mashups

There are new trends coming up as Web 2.0 is becoming more popular. The newer among them is of providing the customized web solutions(composite applications) through combining two or more Lightweight Services. These are seen in implementations of “Mashups”.

The definition of “Mashups” as on Wikipedia is “A mashup is a website or Web 2.0 application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service. This is akin to transclusion.”
Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API. Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom) and JavaScript.

One can see many examples of using Mashups on Google Map Apis. There are also many websites which maintain a list of mashups and also API’s. Thus these are faster to develop and information can be extracted and displayed in an innovative way.
Sometime back a few friends came to me and ask me if Mashups can provide Page level integration, why do we need Portal? They were exited seeing on some website serveral Windows on the same page using Ajax and other API’s.

The mashup provides lighweight composite applications. Portal also does gives a Presentation Level Integration of applications, but it does much more then just that. There are other features like SSO, Personalization, Authentication, and so on that are part of portal. For implementing Web Serivices Portal uses WSRP its based on SOAP.But on the other hand Portal require some infrastructure to begin with. But Mashups can be built easily.

The Portal Vendor’s have realized some of the important features of Web 2.0 that should be incorporated in Portal too. The Ajax functionality will be part of JSR 268 specification. The ajax can be beneficial in various ways for Portal. I did made Blog entry on that quite some time back Ajax in Portlets. Wikipedia, Blogs are already implemented by some portal vendors.

Now the Portal vendors are working on providing the Mashups functionality. Liferay is a leading OS Portal vendor and its already working on implementation of Mashups. BEA is working on Project “Runner” for mashups. More portal vendors would also doing a similar implementations.


When to use Customization & Personalization in Portals?

I recently came across the question of whether to use the Personalization or customization feature. I realize many people who are new to portal, face similar dilemma. So here is the question “if we have some users (roles) who want to see different content when logged in to the portal? Which technique to use, the Personalization approach or Customization approach?”

The solution can be that we develop a portlet for each role. Lets say there are 3 roles, dealer, retailer, and customer. So we develop a separate portlet for each such role. Now we can “customize” the view of each user by placing appropriate portlet on appropriate pages and showing the user a particular portlet or page on log in.

The other approach is having just one portlet. Now based on the logged in user role, a different JSP file or content rendered. That is we have personalized the data depending on the logged in information.

In my view the former approach of having 3 different portlet is better at most of the times.

One should always try to develop the application seeing the future needs and flexibility to change the application easily. Suppose we do change the Re-direct JSP to another JSP depending on the user role, this will work in this scenario. Tomorrow the Role Name might change or some new roles might be added. The new role may want to have the combination of view what we have for our current roles. We will then require to change the code to fit to changed scenario. This kind of technique is what we use in normal J2EE applications. This technique I guess is not fully exploiting the potential of portal.

Now let us look at the second approach. Have 3 portlets for 3 roles. The administrator who will deploy portlet application to the Portal server will need to create Page Views depending on the Login of each Role. He will just need to add the corresponding Portlet on those pages. If suppose the ROLE name changes or new Role is created, then there is no need to change the code. Just what portlets should be displayed to this role, will be added to the page by administrator.

The central idea is to create as many small independent information blocks as one can in form of portlets. And then combine them together to have final Content to be displayed to the end user.

The personalization features should be used when user himself is given the right to modify it or change it according to his own needs. Like changing of color and changing the number of records to be displayed are classic examples.