Tuesday Jun 09, 2009

Simplify Your Portal Deployment: Web Space Server 10 VM Template

If you're looking for an even easier way to deploy Webspace, look no further than the recently-released Sun GlassFish Web Space Server Virtual Machine (VM) Template.  This project pulls together many of Sun's open source components, and provides a simplified, pre-configured virtual image containing GlassFish Webspace Server, GlassFish Enterprise Server, MySQL, and OpenSolaris (Just Enough), in multiple virtual image formats. 

Ready, Set, (deploy) and Go!

Monday Feb 09, 2009

Sun GlassFish Web Space Server 10.0: Now Available!

Web Space LogoSun GlassFish Web Space Server 10.0 has been released today [download].  It is Sun's next-generation portal server platform. It enables businesses large and small to pull together applications and content from a variety of Web-based and internal sources and present them as a unified, customizable portal on Web browsers, kiosks, and mobile devices.  It is part of a larger Portfolio of software being released today as part of the GlassFish Portfolio.

Web Space Server started out about a year ago with a partnership with Liferay Portal to join forces to develop the core portal in the Liferay community. Web Space Server is Sun's first product based on this effort and common code base. You may still run across instances of the term Project WebSynergy - this was Sun's internal codename for the project before it was released.

Standards such as JSR 168, JSR 286, JSR 170, and WSRP 2.0 provide a solid foundation on which to build a modern web 2.0 enterprise application platform, using lightweight web-oriented architectures, and powerful developer tools to create a rich ecosystem for developers, integrators, administrators, and now users to collaborate and innovate with.

A new user-oriented site webspace.dev.java.net  has been established.  This site will house information most useful to administrators and end users of Web Space Server, including download and documentation links, community support forums, email lists, wiki content, and other useful information.

New community builds and milestones of Web Space Server will continue to be released to deliver new features and fix bugs.  This release is marked 10.0 to indicate it is a (r)evolutionary step from previous portal efforts, such as Portal Server 7.2.

The WebSyner--err--Web Space team is proud to bring you this first release, and hope you will like it as much as we do!

Thursday Sep 18, 2008

How to do I18n and L10n in WebSynergy

Recently we have defined a common way to do I18n and L10n in WebSynergy. This process will be used for I18n/L10n during development of WebSynergy. It can also be used to develop new porlet with taking advantage of existing UI Tag lib and Language util class for I18n/L10n.

Details can be found on my personal blog entry .

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Project WebSynergy Stable Build 2: Now Available!

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.

The Project WebSynergy team is now proud to make its Stable Build 2 available for download!  This release represents a significant milestone for the project, incorporating a number of new features, improvements, and a general enhancements over the last stable build (which was made available in May @ JavaOne).

Some of the things to look for in SB2:

  • Release Stability and Cadence
  • The primary goal of this release was to establish regular builds (which you will start seeing regularly, not once every 2 months), get testing frameworks in place and automated (as soon as the public site, see below, is setup, automated test results will be posted as well), and establish basic hooks/frameworks in the Liferay community for future builds/releases to take advantage of.  As mentioned in my previous post, this is a Stable Build (as opposed to a Community Build or Commercial Release).

  • WSRP 2.0 Consumer Support & Admin Application

  • WSRP 2.0 Consumer support is now available.  In addition, a WSRP consumer administration application is available in WebSynergy that enables managing multiple WSRP Consumers. For more information, read the blog post.

  • Mirage/Journal

  • Liferay Portal has been modified to use the Mirage API. This API enables WebSynergy to use JCR-compliant repository.

  • Roller Blog Application

  • The Roller Blog app provides integration with Roller Weblogger version 4.0. Using this app, portal users can create and manage blogs on a Roller 4.0 server.

  • Simple API for Workflow

  • The Simple API for Workflow (SAW) feature is integrated into the Project WebSynergy SB 2 stable build. A sample Expense Report portlet provided with this feature showcases a typical enterprise Expense Report Application that involves human workflow. You can use SAW to connect to a business process engine such as the Java Composite Application Platform Suite provides the workflow functionality to the Expense Report portlet.

  • Presence

  • For more information on this feature, see this article on the Liferay wiki. In upcoming Project WebSynergy builds, new applications using this infrastructure will provide a more presence-aware Portal to end users.

  • Semantic

  • Core semantic processing libraries and utilities have been integrated into the portal. In the upcoming Project WebSynergy builds, the communities in the Liferay Portal Communities use this feature to provide a semantically rich experience to end users.

This build represents another in a series of binary releases of this project leading up to Sun's commercial release.  The product based on this project is also being renamed (Project WebSynergy is the internal codename), and we really don't want to have name confusion between the free-to-use, open source version and commercially supported version, so the external site presence (as described in my previous post) does not yet exist.  This should be resolved in the 14 days.

Note on GlassFish v3 - Project WebSynergy is available on GlassFish v2.  In the coming days, we expect to also make available a v3-based bundle based on GlassFish v3 TP2.

Friday Aug 01, 2008

Project WebSynergy Update Part 1: Community and Roadmap

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.

  1. 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.
  2. <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.
  3. [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.
  4. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Stable Build: Higher amount of testing. Complete documentation. Available roughly every 6-8 weeks.
  3. 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!).

Project WebSynergy Release Model

What you should get out of this image:

  1. The names of the components and releases and dates are all subject to change :-)
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Monday Jun 23, 2008

JSR286 (Portlet 2.0) spec has been released

JCPThe JSR 286 (Portlet 2.0) specification has been released. Congratulations to Stefan Hepper, the spec lead of JSR 286 and the rest of the expert group. It has been a pleasure working with all on this JSR.

The main features of this JSR include

OpenPortal Portlet Container 2.0, which is a fully compliant implementation of the Portlet 2.0 (JSR286) specification, has been released. Check my blog for more details.

Tuesday Jun 17, 2008

Leasing for Remote Portlets

WSRP 2.0 offers Leasing of Portlets as part  of the specification. Leasing is the process by which a Consumer registers with a Producer for a specified time period, after which the Consumer Registration is rendered invalid. Lifetime is an optional parameter in the Registration offered by V2 producers. The OpenPortal WSRP project (Sun's open source implementation of WSRP ) has implemented this feature using the Open Source Portlet Container 2.0 . Check this wiki page for more information on portlet leasing.

Here's a primer on using the Leasing feature.. 

Sunday May 11, 2008

Expense Report Widget showcasing SAW in Project WebSynergy

The expense-report widget, that is delivered as a part of the Project WebSynergy bundle, models a typical workflow scenario  where SAW (Simple API for Workflow) could be used. In an organization, employees raise expense reports and submit them to the managers to be approved or rejected. Once submitted, the report triggers a workflow process(in a workflow engine like JavaCAPS), and becomes a pending task for the associated manager. When the manager approves/rejects the report, the report goes to the next step in the workflow process.

This widget has been integrated with a simple JavaCAPS workflow process. If a workflow engine is unavailable, the SAW calls to the  Workflow engine can be disabled using the preferences. If the call to the workflow engine is enabled without configuring the engine, it results in a system error.

 In addition to Workflow, this widget has the following features: 

  •  JMaki - Uses JMaki Yahoo Datatable
  •  Usage of ServeResource feature of JSR286 portlets for Ajax requests (For Displaying Report Details)

Click here to know more about this widget....

Here is a step-by-step screencast showcasing the widget.

CMS on Project WebSynergy

     With the announcement of Project WebSynergy, the aggregation and presentation solution for most internet and enterprise applications looks to be heading in the right direction. A significant requirement for any such application is a good Content Management System (CMS). Check out this entry as to how Project Mirage is leveraged and used in WebSynergy. 

Wednesday Apr 02, 2008

WSRP 2.0 specification approved by OASIS

Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) specification version 2.0 has been approved as an OASIS standard. Here are the links to the approved specification.

  1. HTML: http://docs.oasis-open.org/wsrp/v2/wsrp-2.0-spec-cs-02.html
  2. PDF: http://docs.oasis-open.org/wsrp/v2/wsrp-2.0-spec-cs-02.pdf
  3. XML Schema: http://docs.oasis-open.org/wsrp/v2/wsrp-2.0-types.xsd
  4. WSDL:

The OpenPortal WSRP Project implements the above all the mandatory and some of the major optional features defined in this specification and milestone 3 binary is available for download.


Wednesday Nov 28, 2007

OpenPortal@FOSS.IN 2007

One of world's largest FOSS events, FOSS.IN 2007 is opening in Bangalore. Sun is a platinum sponsor of this event. Sun is participating in almost all the events throughout the five days of conference: Project days,Presentations Demos, Hack center, BoFs, Lightning talks
Click here for the official FOSS.IN page.

OpenPortal is also registering its presence via a host of demos and BoF sessions.Check out this blog for more details

Thursday Nov 01, 2007

WSRP v2 draft 4 public review

The OASIS Web Services for Remote Portlets TC has recently approved Web Services for Remote Portlets Specification v2.0 as a Committee Draft and is available for public review. The public review starts from 31 October 2007, and ends 15 November 2007.

This specification was previously submitted for a 60-day public review on 24 July 2007, this 15-day review is limited in scope to changes made from the previous review. All changes are highlighted.

The specification document and related files are available here.

Highlighted PDF copy is available here:

The schema and wsdl files are available at:




Monday Oct 29, 2007

Running Web Applications/Portlets as desktop applications

Mozilla Labs has an interesting technology - Prism - that aims to quickly bridge the gap between web applications and the computer desktop. Instead of trying to come up with a completely new presentation technology like Flex, Silverlight, JavaFX etc. they have a simple program called Prism that will allow any web application to run outside the browser as a desktop application, so that each web application runs in its own window. It isn't rocket science and there have been similar technologies in the past. But Prism is much more usable and easy to use. I use Prism to run my Gmail and Yahoo Mail as desktop windows. That way my Firefox is free for other stuff and next time I have to restart my browser (which I very frequently do because Firefox can leak memory like a sieve) I don't have to bring up Gmail and Yahoo Mail again. Also the performance of Firefox is not affected because of the email clients that are constantly open.

 There has always been a requirement to run JSR 168 portlets on the desktop as native desktop applications. Prism can be a great solution to do this in a simple and easy manner. Just double clicking on an icon on the desktop will bring up a JSR 168 Portlet running inside Prism. And with Google Gears we can perhaps even make the portlet work offline. :)

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

BEA's State of the Portal Market Report

BEA Systems released their annual State of the Market Portal Report for 2007. The report is titled "State of the Portal Market 2007: Portals and The Power of Participation". The report says that "Portals remain a top priority for CIOs  in large enterprises for the sixth consecutive year". The report adds "portals remain ideal platforms for consolidating applications, helping enable the integration and reuse of existing systems and data, and helping companies introduce Web 2.0 capabilities and social computing technologies to their increasingly tech-savvy user communities."

Some key findings of the report are

  • Market: The enterprise portal market continues to grow over nine percent annually, with an estimated $1.4 billion in annual sales by 2011.
  • Audience expansion: Despite efforts to consolidate, the number of portals deployed in an enterprise is expanding. This expansion is not necessarily due to technical limitations of software but to the increasing number of audiences being supported by portals, and by the improved flexibility of portal technology as a framework to speed application development and deployment.
  • Business and IT agility-BPM and SOA: The increased adoption of business process management (BPM) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiatives are both driving portal usage. This is because portals already utilize many SOA principles and can deliver and manage premium interaction and contextual experiences.
  • Business participation—Web 2.0 and the new enterprise: After witnessing the revolutionary impact of Web 2.0 companies on the consumer Web, leading-edge companies are embracing those principles for use in the enterprise. Portals are the leading vehicles for delivering Web 2.0 and enterprise social computing capabilities because of the rich user experience and interactive capabilities they offer.
  • Segmentation: Portal vendors are expanding their offerings to take advantage of BPM, SOA and Web 2.0. Because of the loosely coupled aspects of those technologies, the leaders in the portal market are those that can be the most open while still offering enterprise-grade capabilities like security, branding, personalization and search.
  • Benefits: In addition to the revenue-generating benefits reported by the studies, BEA portal customers report additional benefits ranging from increased employee productivity and efficiency, reduced support and service costs, increased customer loyalty, consolidation of IT infrastructure and lower operational costs via reduction in paper-based or manual processes.
  • Deployment costs: For 77 percent of BEA portal customers, the cost of consulting services for deployment or customization of software was less than license costs, demonstrating the portal’s value as a rapid, flexible deployment vehicle for a broad range of company initiatives. 
I was surprised to not find tooling mentioned in the key findings. I haven't checked the complete report yet, but I believe that easy to use tools are very important towards quickly building a portal. Maybe they included tooling under the Deployment Costs section. And I couldn't agree more with "Portals are the leading vehicles for delivering Web 2.0 and enterprise social computing capabilities because of the rich user experience and interactive capabilities they offer." OpenPortal has made a lot of progress in this direction with the Communities, Collaboration and Ajax features in Portal 7.2.

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

What Stage is your Intranet Portal In?


Did you know that your intra net portal has stages of maturity? It does! Based on a multitude of primary and secondary sources of research Avenue A | Razorfish  has published a model for how a corporate intranet portal matures.  Some of these will likely be familiar to you


  • Stage 1: Homegrown set of  HTML pages that allow for easy sharing of information, often at the departmental or group level.
  • Stage 2: The intranet portal in this stage has evolved into a company wide entity and uses technologies like ERP to enable self service of HR and Finance systems
  • Stage 3: While they include the information sharing and self service aspects of the first two stages, these third stage portals highlight collaboration tools. Companies with a large proportion of knowledge workers are most likley to invest in collaboration or stage three intranets
  • Stage 4: These intranets meet the needs of all users by deftly aggregating and prioritizing information based on the role, group, location etc. of the employee
  • Stage 5: These portals improve on the enterprise portals in stage 4 by including highly visual and graphical display formats that update in real time and allow for creation of dashboards
  • Stage 6: This final stage of intranet portal sites includes application that actually allow for employees to get their work done from applications embedded in the portal page. This stage is called the Consolidated Workplace.

If you found this article interesting, you may be interested in
- http://intranetmaturity.com/

Happy Reading.  




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