Syndicating Portlets to iGoogle

With the advent of portals such as iGoogle, Netvibes, and MS Live, syndication of gadgets/widgets/portlets has become quite the rage. Even enterprise portals such as Websphere and Weblogic have jumped on the bandwagon and now allow running iGoogle gadgets from within their portals. Similarly they also claim to support syndication of their JSR 168 portlets to other portals such as iGoogle.

With the Sun Portal Server we are not far behind. You can easily use a Google gadget portlet wrapper to run Google gadgets in your portal. More about it in a future post. I'll focus on syndication in this post.

Of course we support WSRP that allows syndication of portlets between two WSRP-compliant portals. But portals such as iGoogle and Netvibes don't comply with standards such as JSR 168 or WSRP. They have their own mechanisms for doing things. But no reason to worry. Sun Portal Server by design provides a REST-like interface (please note the usage of "-like" to avoid any confusion) to access the portal components. This interface can be used to create a quick and dirty script to achieve syndication of portlets from the Sun Portal Server to iGoogle or another portal.

Here's a screenshot of the Developer sample of the Sun Portal as it looks in anonymous user mode. Now look at this screenshot of iGoogle with the same portlets running within iGoogle. This was done with a DHTML/Javascript/Ajax combination and is very easy to do. There are however limitations to this approach. The script does not support portlets with multiple page views, and also does not support editing of portlet preferences from iGoogle. There are better ways to achieve syndication and overcome these limitations. I'll cover those in a future post.

Because of the above mentioned limitations I'm reluctant to post the script I used on this blog. But if you are interested then leave a comment or ping me at jai dot suri at sun. I'll send you the script and information about how to use it. 

Comments:

Cool Stuff Jai :) I tried Pal portlet wrapper. It nicely maps the google gadget's view with the portlet view. I was wondering if it can be modified to show the google gadget's edit page also. The second part of your blog "Syndicating Portlets to iGoogle" is very interesting . Can you send me the script to run portlet inside igoogle page ? Thanks !!!

Posted by Satya Ranjan on June 21, 2007 at 05:34 PM PDT #

Hi Jai, The script which allows portlets to run in iGoogle seems to be interesting.I would love to have a look at it so can you please mail it to me. -Murali

Posted by murali on July 02, 2007 at 11:06 PM PDT #

Google gadget portlet wrapper: all i'm getting for all the portlets is the following! Help!
Error parsing module spec: Not a properly formatted file missing xml header

Posted by lkj on July 11, 2007 at 07:42 AM PDT #

I am having so many portlets in a page.
I configured my portlet.xml for iGoogle calculator but after rendering that calculator is displaying in a new window.
Can you please help me to display it in the same window?
Thanks in advance.

Posted by kirti on November 30, 2007 at 06:23 PM PST #

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