Thursday Aug 09, 2007

JSR286 explained: The Eventing feature

EventingThe public review draft of JSR 286 was released recently.  

It includes the following major new features --

  • Events -  Enable portlets to communicate with each other through sending and receiving events.   
  • Public render parameters - Enable portlets to specify which render parameters they can share with other portlets.
  • Resource serving - Enables portlets to serve resources within the portlet context.
  • Portlet Filters - Allows on the fly transformation of the content of portlet requests and responses.

 See some commentary on the Eventing feature. The other features will be covered in a series of upcoming blog entires.

Wednesday Aug 08, 2007

Consumables from the OpenPortal Community

OpenPortal Community Some time back we had decided to open source some on the key components of the Sun Java Portal Server product in a piece-meal fashion. The idea was to enable those components to be consumed by other communities or software products (refer this article for the goals).

Since then we have open sourced the Portlet Container (based on the JSR168 standard) implementation, the WSRP implementation, the JSFPortlet bridge, and also created some new innovative projects such as Portal Pack (NetBeans and Eclipse), SAW and Mirage. And to further walk the talk, I am happy let you know that some of these components have already been consumed back by the enterprise class open source Portal Server implementation in the OpenPortal community.

A successful open source community is about adopting other communities and getting adopted by other communities, I would like to welcome other communities and software products who believe in open source to come and look at what we have to offer as part of the components mentioned above.

To go back to the article that states the goals of the OpenPortal community --

The objectives for the Portal Server open-source initiative are threefold:

- Expose Portal Server's mature and proven enterprise-class capabilities to the community and evolve it there through active participation from the community of developers, users, partners, and like-minded individuals.

- Build composable, decoupled, and lightweight components that can be used by the developer community and other projects, for example, components that serve as development or test runtimes in tools.

- Collaborate with other portal, middleware, or similar open-source efforts in the software universe for the benefit of the community.

Note: Please stay tuned for news on JSR286 and WSRP 2.0.

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

Voice-over Screencast to Demonstrate IPC StoryBoard Feature for NetBeans 5.5/5.5.1 IDE

ScreencastHere is a new voice-over screencast that demonstrates the IPC StoryBoard feature for NetBeans 5.5/5.5.1 IDE. In this screencast, I have explained the IPC StoryBoard feature with the help of a fund transfer portlet application created in NetBeans 5.5.1 IDE, following the procedure in Uma's tutorial.

Thanks to Satya, Vihang, and Deepak for providing feedback. I would also like to thank Anjana Rudra for graciously lending her voice and Manu Samuel from the IEC Media design team for the production support.

Watch the screencast and look out for more in the future.

Thursday Jul 26, 2007

JSR 286 Public review

The Java Community Process(JCP) has recently approved JSR 286: Portlet Specification 2.0 as public review draft and is available for public review. The public review starts from 24 Jul, 2007 and ends 27 Aug, 2007.


The specification document and related files are available here.

Thursday Jun 07, 2007

SPEAK OUT! Portlets and Web Services

When bringing an application into a portal, when is a Web service better than an old-school portlet? That's not a rhetorical question  - what do you think?

 The answer will probably vary, based on the type of application you want to expose. My work has been primarily with commercial ISV's (Citrix, Elluminate, Documentum, etc.), maintaining our Core Portal Ecosystem. Originally, every portlet project was 100% custom. Most ISV's had decent API's, but it was still a lot of manual work (not to mention constant business negotiations, measurement, etc.). The rapid adoption of the Java Portlet Specification (JSR 168) standard helped (by providing a container, consistent authentication mechanisms, etc.), as did WSRP's enabling of Web service consumption. Better still, many ISV's began publishing and supporting portlet sets of their own, taking over about 80% of the portlet development work.  However, even with these advances, code to support portal-specific features (e.g. single sign on and, in our portal's case, Secure Remote Access) was still done largely by hand.

This Google spellcheck portlet is actually a Web service.

This Google spellcheck portlet started with a Web Service. To learn how to build this yourself, visit the tutorial

Clearly, Web services are the future for commercial ISV portlets. Some are already phasing out portlets in favor of publishing Web services (Interwoven and Business Objects come to mind). SIDE NOTE: I've been advocating the creation of a core series of reusable infrastructure services (e.g. a single sign-on service, a secure remote access service) to glom\* together with the ISV services as our model for supporting commercial portlets going forward. Some of our gifted engineers are validating the concept as we  speak. What's your take? 

Also, almost half of the proposed features in the upcoming Portlet Specification 2.0 address WSRP alignment. So where does that leave the portlet as we once knew it? Is it strictly to be used for obscure, one-off tasks or ...?

Which method do you prefer in which circumstances? Please share your ideas and experiences.

Kim Buck


PS - If you're interested in portals, you're probably interested in SOA. For a glimpse into Sun's SOA ISV community, feel free to visit my SOA Solar System blog. Most of the content is business oriented vs. technical, but it's a good place to learn about  how SOA vendors - from established platform players to innovative startups - are shaking up that space.


\*glom - to mash, to moosh, to adjoin with reckless abandon (trademark pending) ; )

Tuesday Jun 05, 2007

Portlet Coordination made easy via NetBeans Portal Pack

Coordination remains one of the most talked about topics with respect to portlets. And one of the popular means of enabling portlet coordination is via the event model.

CoordinationThe Eventing (also referred to as Inter-Portlet Communication) feature in the Sun Java System Portal Server as well as the decoupled Portlet Container component built out of the OpenPortal community now has tools support in the form of an IPC Story Board feature in the NetBeans Portal Pack.

Check out Satya's blog entry introducing this feature, and especially the screencast that illustrates usage via a sample Shopping Cart application.  

Also note that the upcoming new versions of the Portal Standards, Portlet 2.0 (JSR286) and WSRP 2.0, will provide support for  portlet coordination through more than one mechanism including events. Support for those will also similarly make it's way into the Portal Pack.

Sunday Jun 03, 2007

Portal Pack 2.0 preview for NetBeans 6 M9

Portal Pack 2.0 preview is now available for download here.

Portlet Support FrameworkAlthough this version has not introduced any functional changes in the serverplugin modules, there are few changes with respect to the portlet builder (Generic Portlets) module. Unlike the earlier version, in this version of the Portal Pack, there is no separate "Portlet Application" project type. This version of Portal Pack supports Portlet applications through the web framework. Hence, "Portlet Support" can be added to a new/existing web application through the web framework. In other words, one can say that an existing/new web application can be extended to support Portlets inside it.

To learn how to create a portlet application using Portal Pack 2.0 preview click here

Thursday May 03, 2007

JavaOne BOF: "Dynamic Portals and AJAX in Portlets"

JavaOne 2007 is only a week away.  This year, members of the portal team will be presenting the Birds Of a Feather (BOF) talk "Dynamic Portals and AJAX in Portlets". If you are interested in learning more and want to meet others with similar interests, please consider attending. We will be discussing:
  • the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on portals
  • AJAX and JSR-168
  • jMaki
  • JSR-286
  • dynamic inter-portlet communication
  • microformats, COMET, mashups, and more...
Hope to see you there.

Sunday Mar 25, 2007

New Article: Intro to Enterprise-class Portlet Container Open Source Project

Deepak and Marina have put together an article on the Enterprise-Class Portlet Container Open Source Project titled --

Part 3 : Open-Source Portal Initiative at Sun : Portlet Container

This article describes the Enterprise-class Portlet Container Open Source Project and Portlet Container 1.0 release milestone recently developed in the project. Also explained are the procedures for installing and deploying Portlet Container 1.0 release milestone and how to test portlets.  Finally, it also explains the motivation behind the project and how other projects, tools and environments can benefit from it.

Here are the links to other articles in the same series

Thursday Mar 22, 2007

Portlet Challenge Contest Submission Deadline Next Week

Portlet ChallengeJust a quick reminder to everyone that the submission deadline for the Portlet Challenge Contest is fast approaching - it's EOD PST March 27th, 2007.

So get those entries in and have a chance to win among the several iPods up for grabs.

Good luck and may the best and most interesting Portlets win!

Wednesday Mar 21, 2007

Introducing Portlet Specifications - Redux Article

Wesley and Marina have done a complete refresh of the popular "Introducing Java Portlet Specifications.." article. It now not only covers the Java Portlet Specification 1.0 (JSR 168), but also takes a peek at the ongoing work on the upcoming Java Portlet Specification 2.0 (JSR 286).

In addition, it walks through a sample Weather Portlet tying together leverage of the Portlet Repository Project, the Portlet Container Project, and the NetBeans Portal Pack Project.

So check it out -- Introducing Java Portlet Specifications: JSR 168 and JSR 286


Friday Aug 04, 2006

Early Draft of JSR286 (Portlet 2.0 Spec) Available

Wesley reports that an Early Draft of the Portlet 2.0 Specification has been made available by the JSR286 EG.  As he states, this is indeed great news for all the Java Portal/Portlet vendors. Version 2.0 of both the Portlet and Remote Portlet (WSRP; more on this in a subsequent post) Standards will go a long way in further expanding the Portlet ecosystem in the marketplace.

Check out his blog for more details.

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