Wednesday Aug 01, 2007

Google commands and Sun Portal internet-facing deployments

Sun Portal welcome pageRajesh has an interesting observation on using Google commands to discover some external/internet-facing deployments of Sun Java System Portal Server. So essentially a peek at the power and simplicity of Google search, as well as some insight into the adoption of Sun's Portal in a particular category (i.e. external-facing), if you will.

Basically, you can type -- inurl:"/portal/dt" -- in the Google search text box to get a sub-set [1] of the external/internet-facing [2] Sun Portal deployments on the web. The results show diversity of deployments; traction in the commercial/enterprise, government, education, etc spaces..

[1] sub-set since this may only capture the deployments that have not modified the default, out-of-the-box URL ("/portal/dt"), as well as largely picking non-localized deployments (Sun Portal is localized in many languages), etc. Also, the search results presumably reflect the extent of what Google picks up at any given moment. Other caveats may apply.

[2] internet-facing since obviously the search results do not capture intranet URLs; a large proportion of deployments are inside company firewalls (e.g. B2E, etc).

Friday Jul 06, 2007

Screencast: Syndication of Portlets and iGoogle Gadgets

Here's a new screencast that demonstrates the syndication of Google gadgets from iGoogle to the Sun Portal Server, and also syndication of portlets/channels from the Sun Portal Server to iGoogle. The gadgets are syndicated with the help of the open source Google gadgets wrapper portlet from PALAB. The content from Sun Portal Server is syndicated to iGoogle using a Javascript/AJAX script as discussed in a previous post

Thursday Jun 21, 2007

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. 

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atul

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