As you know, in May of this year, Sun and Liferay announced a partnership
to jointly develop next generation enterprise portal technology. The Sun portal team has since begun the rollout of Project WebSynergy
, codename for the initiative to release a product based on this common technology.
Since May, we have been working on establishing the project in more concrete forms, establishing an online presence, producing regular builds, and releasing source code. In the next month or so you should see the results of this groundwork. In the meantime, I'll keep you updated on where we are at (in addition to making builds and source available, see below). This "Part 1" will cover Community and Roadmap. In future parts, we'll cover items such as architecture, build structure and distribution contents, feature deepdives, and other technical interests.
Most of the work to date has been over at the Sun Liferay community
, integrating components (e.g. Portlet Container
), and new features (e.g. Message Board improvements
) needed for WebSynergy. As the project evolves, additional features will be developed and used in WebSynergy proper and ultimately be part of a commercial offering.
OpenPortal consists of a number of projects. Each of these projects delivers a certain set of functionality, and Sun (as well as anyone else who wishes) produces a commercial offering based off of the available source.
- portal.dev.java.net - Core portal software, from which Sun's commercial Portal Server 7.x vintage is derived. In addition, patches to 7.x will be generated for 7.x from this project's source. No changes planned.
- <name>.dev.java.net - Parent project of Project WebSynergy, from which Sun will derive a commercial offering. Source and regular builds will appear here once the site is operational. The name of this site is TBD.
- [mirage,saw,wsrp,ruon,swa,portlet-container,jsfportletbridge].dev.java.net - Projects delivering major functionality, consumed by both Sun Portal Server 7.x and WebSynergy. No changes planned.
- portalpack.netbeans.org - NetBeans & Eclipse plugins for developing portlets. No changes planned.
In short, we are adding a new project to OpenPortal to represent the core of WebSynergy, since it is so very different from the 7.x vintage. OpenPortal is also now a proper part of the larger GlassFish community
(which means association with a vibrant and growing open source community).
For WebSynergy, we are going to take a different tact: make things available early and often. Because project community members are now using the latest open source code to develop new features before Sun has released its latest commercial offerings, some consumers are finding that they would rather have features earlier, even if long-term support is not available. In response to this demand from both Sun Java System Portal Server customers, and the OpenPortal community, we will be producing builds with varying support options, much more frequently than in the past --as often as bi-weekly. This will give customers a chance to get working code immediately, and pay only for the support they really need (or use the freely available builds with no support). This kind of a model is being adopted in other projects (e.g. OpenSSO), so its function may already be familiar to you.
There are three types of builds
that will be made available based on Project WebSynergy:
- Community Build: Lightly tested, new features likely to be incomplete or have issues. Entirely supported by Community. New community builds generally available approximately 2-3 times a month.
- Stable Build: Higher amount of testing. Complete documentation. Available roughly every 6-8 weeks.
- Commercial Release - Highest amount of testing, complete documentation, commercial support available. Suitable for long term enterprise deployments. Frequency varies.
The demo that was made available at JavaOne represented the first Stable Build (SB1). SB2's plan is to be available this onth, with an expected date for the first Commercial Release in the first quarter of 2009. Before SB2, there may be a community build (I had implied it would be this week, but a few of the features going into Liferay are still under code review, and not ready yet).
As indicated in the original announcement, we are not maintaining a fork. Instead, various components will be developed in WebSynergy, some of which will be integrated upstream (e.g. in Liferay) as needed, and a commercial release (and associated sustaining tail) will be initiated for each Commercial Release. This is depicted in the below illustration (click on the image to get a larger version!).
What you should get out of this image:
- The names of the components and releases and dates are all subject to change :-)
- There is no fork. Each release is based off of a specific point in time of all components, including Liferay. For the next release(s), new snapshots are taken, and the old ones ignored.
- Bugfixes bi-directionally flow between WebSynergy and Liferay before and after each Commercial Release.
Stay tuned for part 2 and for the new WebSynergy site and builds to go live soon!