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. - 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> - 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] -  Projects delivering major functionality, consumed by both Sun Portal Server 7.x and WebSynergy.  No changes planned.
  4. - 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!

Sunday May 11, 2008

Creating communities in Project WebSynergy


 This blog describes the steps to create a community in Project WebSynergy.

  1. Login as into Project WebSynergy
    Move your mouse over the "Welcome Admin User" message and click on Add Application
  2. In the Add Application window that shows up, select the Communities under Community Section. You can also type "communities" in the search content text box. Click on "Add" or drag and drop the portlet into one of your tabs. The communitiy portlet is now added to your tab.
  3. Click on Add Community button.
  4. Enter name (say Synergy) and click on Save. The community is created with the name that you specified.
    Click on "Available Communities" sub-tab.
  5. For the community that you just created, click on the "Actions" button and select "Manage Pages".
    Enter name for the community page (say MySynergyPage ) and click on "Add Page".
  6. Click on View Pages.
    To this community page, you can add the any  portlets. For eg.
        Blog Portlet
        Blogs Aggregator Portlet
        Wiki Portlet
        Message Boards Portlet
  7. All these portlets are available under the Colloboration section in Add Application window
The "MySynergyPage"that you have created, allows user to add / view blogs, wiki and message boards. 

Monday Jul 23, 2007

How about a Semantic Community Portal?

A lot of research currently is going on in the space of the currently evolving Semantic Web. Also a good deal of work has gone in the recent past in building social networking web portals. There seemingly is a synergy between the social networking community portals and the semantic web. For a more detailed view on these thoughts view my blog entry here.

Thursday Jul 19, 2007

Command-Line Utilities to Administer Communities

Portal Server community administration can be done from either the Portal Server Management Console or through command-line interface (CLI). 

For the Portal Server 7.1u1 release, the command-line utilities for community administration was consolidated into a technical note.

 Each entry has the command (long and short formats), description, syntax, and options.

Instructions to administer communities from the Portal Server Management Console is available in the online help.

Sunday Jul 01, 2007

New Contributor to JSF Portlet Bridge Project

The JSF Portlet Bridge Project is making steady progress. Late last year the project released JSF Portlet Bridge 1.2 which enables running JSF 1.2 applications as portlets in the OpenPortal Portlet Container. The project team is currently improving on that implementation.

   I would also like to welcome a new member to the project -- A. Alonso Dominguez, from Social Labs NetSolutions.  He is actively contributing to the implementation of JSR 301 in the project. JSR 301 is the Portlet Bridge Specification for JavaServer Faces Technology. It standardizes the behaviour of bridge implementations to ensure true interoperability for JSF artifacts. See the JSF Portlet Bridge Project for more details.

Friday Jun 29, 2007

Portal Server 7.1 Update1 Documents Published

Portal Server 7.1 Update1 documents were recently published. Click the image to go to the document collection.


New Look, Same Great Content

You've probably noticed we gave this blog a fresh, new look today.  The motivation was to inspire our great content writers, as well as our readers, to touch it.

We'd love to hear what you think.  Please feel free to comment on what improvements you'd like to see. As always, we're open to them.

Monday Jun 25, 2007

Portal Server 7 Samples Screencast

There are 4 portal samples available with Portal Server 7.  Here's a quick overview of each sample and pointers to the screencasts available for the samples.

Portal Welcome page

  • The Enterprise Sample is a business portal based on a fictitious company named Adventure Sports Café and showcases key features of the Sun Java™ System Portal Server.  Checkout the screencast
  • The Developer Sample highlights content that would be helpful to a developer trying to understand the inner workings of the Sun Java™ System Portal Server. Checkout the screencast

The fourth sample is the Welcome Sample which is a welcome page that provides a single point of access to the portal samples and pointers to the product documentation and support.

Thursday Jun 07, 2007

OpenPortal Community Wiki has Moved!


The OpenPortal Community Wiki has moved. Please make sure you update your bookmarks.  You'll find the new OpenPortal Community Wiki page here.

Friday May 04, 2007

What's new on the OpenPortal project site


Check out two cool enhancements to the OpenPortal community landing page:

  1. Roadmap – now that the complete production portal server source code is available to the community, we wanted to ensure the community also has visibility to features expected in future source and binary versions e.g. upcoming features like the new Visual Desktop Design Tool, Delegated Administration, etc. We will update the roadmap as new features are added or removed from a specific future release.

  2. Centralized and Categorized Downloads – since the OpenPortal community site is intended to be the main landing page for all related subprojects, we centralized the navigation to all the downloads that are available on,,, etc. Additionally, we have structured the page to make it easy to find relevant information for the download you are interested in.

We hope you like the changes.


Tuesday May 01, 2007

Sun Java System Portal Server 7.1 Source Available in the OpenPortal Community

OpenPortal  Sun announces the creation of the OpenPortal community which will focus on the development of standards-based enterprise-class portal technologies. You can access the OpenPortal community on

Sun recently contributed the Sun Java System Portal Server 7.1 source into the OpenPortal community.  The source code is a read-only, non-buildable version that you can download from the OpenPortal Downloads page.  A buildable version of the source code will be available later this month, the Roadmap page has more details.

The Sun Java System Portal Server 7.1 includes features such as

  • identity-based content delivery,
  • community framework (including wiki and blog),
  • plugins for portlet development in Eclipse and NetBeans,
  • and much more. 
Developers can now use, reproduce, modify, sublicense and redistribute the portal source code under the terms of the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).  You will also find several Developer Resources available on the OpenPortal Downloads page.

Moving forward, all Sun Java System Portal Server development, including buildable source and binaries, will be available in the OpenPortal community.

Friday Aug 04, 2006

Open Skies, Open Source and Open Portals..

Back at the JavaOne 2006 Conference, Sun announced that it was furthering it's commitment to Open Source by stating that the Sun Java System Portal Server will be among the next set of products that will transition from Closed Source to Open Source. This is part of the overall plan to do so for all of Sun's Software products portfolio, including middleware.

So today is a big step that shows commitment to delivering on that promise; the first core infrastructure component of the Sun Portal is now out there on --
The Enterprise-class Portlet Container Open Source Project

Check out Deepak's blog articulating exactly what is available today, what are the future plans for the project, and how folks can join and participate in the community.

This is an incremental first step in opening up the entire Sun Portal Platform and moving it to a truly "open development" model. Please stay tuned as the team diligently works on getting the other components out there. We look forward to your participation. And to the sharing and learning..

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