Friday Sep 14, 2007

JSR 286 Eventing Portlet Example and XML Portlet Available in Portlet Repository

touripc portlet

Check out these portlets that were recently added to the Portlet Repository!

The Tour IPC Portlets showcase an example of using JSR 268 Eventing for interportlet communication.  There is a tour list portlet that contains a listing of tour locations and the date of the next tour.  When the user selects a tour from the list the tour detail, tour map, and tour weather portlets are updated with information about that tour.

The XML Portlet is a simple portlet that performs an XSL translation on an XML file. The XML and XSL files are specified in the portlet preferences

You'll find the binary, source code, and documentation for all of these portlets and several others at the Portlet Repository Downloads page.  If you didn't find the portlet you were looking for or you'd like to contribute a portlet, then drop us a line and let us know.

Friday Aug 03, 2007

OpenPortal at University Day in Bangalore!

I had been to University day at Acharya institutes in Bangalore to showcase OpenPortal
technologies. I have covered Portlets basics, OpenPortal Portlet Container ,
Netbeans Portal Pack.

 I had a wonderful time and got good response from students. For details of trip read here.

Monday Jun 18, 2007

Hands-on lab and tutorial on building Ajax Portlets

Sang Shin, from, and also a Sun technology evangelist has released a brilliant new tutorial on Building Portlets with Ajax behavior. This tutorial comes with a hands-on lab and covers everything from installing the right plugins in your Netbeans IDE to deploying your portlets in the OpenPortal Portlet Container. A couple of portlets he uses in the lab are from the OpenPortal Portlet Repository.

If you have been waiting for some good information to get your hands dirty with Ajax and Portlets, then it won't get any better than this. And if you happen to build any exciting portlets, be sure to contribute them to the OpenPortal Portlet Repository for others to use!

Friday Jun 15, 2007

Elluminate, Weather, and Photo Show AJAX Portlets Available

Weather Portlet

Check out these cool portlets available now in the Portlet Repository!

  • The Elluminate Portlet allows users of Elluminate Live! server 7.0 to create, join, delete, and schedule meetings. A user simply needs to provide their login name, password, and Elluminate Server location and then they are up and running and able to communicate with an Elluminate Live Manager.   Here's more on Portals and Live Collaboration.
  •   The Weather Portlet uses the Yahoo weather service for a weather report based on a zipcode.  The zipcode is a portlet preference set by the user. This portlet also uses the Scriptaculous javascript library  for cool rendering effects..

You'll find the binary, source code, and documentation for all of these portlets and several others at the Portlet Repository Downloads page.

Didn't find the portlet you were looking for or you'd like to contribute a portlet, then drop us a line and let us know.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007

New SDN Article: Authoring Community Services With Portal Server

writerThe Communities/Collaboration feature set in Portal Server 7 has been evolving at a good pace.

One of the key requirements in that area was the need to provide the ability for developers to write their own collaborative applications that could plug right into the community infrastructure and be used alongside the ones that are provided out-of-the-box.

Jeff has written a new article on SDN that explains how to do just that, i.e. create collaborative applications that are community aware. The article goes into great detail and uses the Shared Bookmarks Portlet from the OpenPortal Portlet Repository Project for illustration purposes.

You can get the article here (PDF) -- Authoring Community Services with Portal Server

Friday Jun 01, 2007

Portals and Live Collaboration

Portals are a service delivery platform. The page real estate can consist of content, business integration interfaces, business alert windows, simplified application composites and collaborative applications interfaces. 

At a customer meeting this last week for a very large state govement portal, the customer focused on the aspects above and how various software could improve their overall services to their end customer.  As part of live collaboration, I showed the customer a new portlet Venkata Yella from Sun had recently finished which provides an interface to Elluminate Live.   Elluminate provides desktop sharing, distance learning, co-editing documents, VOIP, etc. - and the Elluminate portlet allows individuals to schedule, track, launch meetings on a portal page along with other collaborative services and business integrations for better human productivity - e.g., perhaps I see in a mashup portlet, alerts on a specific factory from our inventory control system and then schedule or launch a live meeting with managers at the factory.  Integrating portals with business integrations and collaborative services can vastly improve corporate or "Enterprise Productivity".

What I found also noteworthy about this Portlet from Yella, was that it was built by Sun ISV Engineers and Elluminate together, and then contributed into the Portlet Repository Project.  The portlet, docs and portlet source are there now for the world to use with OpenPortal or others.  Everyone has their portlet or gadgets or widget libraries; google, yahoo, IBM, BEA, JBOSS, Yahoo groups, etc. and each wants to keep them proprietary.  This example meets a great goal, to provide to end administrators, SI's and eventually end users (once end users are allowed to add portlets and widgets from a shareable repository to their community pages) a vast non-proprietary array of functions to just click and run in their pages.

If your company builds a service like Elluminate - build an opensource portlet. We'll help. 

If your company is building portals and enterprise services - leverage opensource portlets - and contribute back.


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


Tuesday Feb 27, 2007

Portal Project binaries now available

The binaries for some of the sub-projects comprising the Portal Project (the ones that were missing binaries) are now available for download. This addresses some of the concerns that users have had, especially having to deal with development tools like subversion, maven, etc when the objective was to get the project artifacts up and running for evaluation and so on.

Here are links to the list of binaries that are currently available for download. Please refer to the respective sub-project pages for install instructions.

1. Portlet Container


3. Portlet Repository

4. JSF Portlet Bridge

Tuesday Feb 20, 2007

Win an iPod in the Portlet Challenge Contest


Developers start your IDE's!

Take the Sun Portlet Challenge. Win an Apple 30 GB U2 Special Edition iPod or 1 GB iPod Shuffle. Ends March 27, 2007. ยป More

The Portlet Challenge is a contest for the best portlet submitted to the Open Source Portlet Repository on Goto to the Portlet Challenge Contest Rules for more information.

Here's some developer resources to help you get started:

Thursday Feb 01, 2007

Portal Community Wiki

The enterprise-class Portal open source project is a community of Users, Developers, Partners, and Evangelists creating an industry leading enterprise-class Portal. This community is part of a collection of Open Source Middleware Communities.

The Portal Wiki is a valuable informational resource addressing the requirements of this broad Portal Community. The wiki is open for reading to all. Contributors to existing or new wiki topics need to have a registered user id.

The Portal Wiki is hosted in the following URL
Here are the links to Wiki of each Portal Component

Wednesday Nov 15, 2006

JaasPortlet available in the Portlet Repository

The JaasPortlet has been added to the Portlet Repository,  This sample portlet authenticates the user against a plain text password file using the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) set of APIs.

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Tuesday Oct 31, 2006

Portlet Repository Explained

Following on the heels of part I of the Portal Open Source series of articles, here is part II --

Open-Source Portal Initiative at Sun, Part 2: Portlet Repository

The article focuses on what the portlet repository is, why it will benefit everyone, and how you can participate.

The authors encourage the community to join hands together and build a rich and vibrant ecosystem of free and opensource portlets.

Thursday Jul 27, 2006

The Best Opensource Portlets

With Sun Portal's entrance (NOT foray!) into the Opensource community, [whose goal is deeply focused on the betterment of the world community of users and developers (see my posts)]- our developers have started two distinct efforts each with their own benefits. 

1.) Opensource Portlet Repositories: 
My new four wheel beast came with a very large engine, navigation, super-wide low profile-rims, satellite radio ... and an iPod integration.  That's ~400hp and ~10,000 songs - all controlled at the steering wheel.  Sweet.  But, where'd I get those 10,000 songs? iTunes is free  but the songs are not.  What good is a luxury sports car without an iPod integration and what good is iTunes without songs?  

desciTunes allows you to purchase songs from their store, and allows you to rip CD's you already own, but wouldn't it be great if you could go to independent sites and download songs, ones that are cheaper (50 cents) or have other catalogs (has Steve Jobs ever heard of the Beetles) or frees songs from new artists?  Maybe then I'd have 20,000 songs for that saturday afternoon drive to Julian for apple pie.

It's the same for a portal server.  A portal doesn't do anything without portlets.  Sort of like a web server.  Who cares what web server you use, as soon as you finish the install, it does nothing until you build some web pages and put them in doc root.  But a portal allows three categories for content, not just web pages,  1.) content (like the web server) 2.) portal-specific applications and 3.) portal independent applications.    So wouldn't it be great if you could get portlets for free?

desc A portal's unique capability is that it allows you to easily build a page or set of pages consisting of each of these elements.   A portal should be designed to simplify #1, and #2 should come with a portal (for free because it has something to do with the function of the portal - example, delegated administration of users or portal pages).  But for #3 today, most portal customers have to either develop each portlet themselves or purchase them from their vendor's proprietary library - making the customer even more tied to the vendor from whom they thought they purchased a capital expenditure (visualize the fat cat smoking a cigar laughing and counting his piles of money with smoke stacks in the background...).  Can you imagine only being able to buy gas from the same auto dealer and only at one location?

Sun's vision for the opensource portlet repository is to end this dependency on proprietary portlet repositories.  As the repository grows, the portal installer will install the portal of their choice, then add to that installation functions from an opensource repository.  Customers can download and own the code and migrate it through their own lifecycle or contribute back to the community.  ISV's will be able to provide tot the community their integrations - reducing their costs required today to support multiple portal vendors.  Governments may and should provide all their integrations back to the community that funded their projects.  Over time with thousands of customers our community should develop thousands of portlets - but first we must start with a set of core portlets.  Those portlets which provide the greatest value.

descSo what are the 10 core portlets we need?  What should the community be looking to develop?  A few categories are (I will provide deeper detail on these to community members over time):


  1. Collaboration
    • Project / Task Mgmt
    • Surveys  / Polls / Decision Making
    • File sharing, document routing
    • Workgroup Networking (blog post coming soon)
  2. Communication Suite Integration
    • individual email -no
    • individual calendar - maybe
    • individual summary - maybe
    • individual address book - maybe
    • community email - maybe
    • community calendar - yes
    • community addressbook - yes
    • enterprise wide address book - yes
  3. Enterprise Applications Integrations
    • standard applications  (alerts, quick data entry, human workflow, repetitive function interface)
  4. Business Intelligence and Analysis
  5. Desktop Integration
    • Windows Sharepoint Services (tasks, events, photos)
    • Citrix, Sun SGD (Tarantella)

2.) Next time, I'll discuss the benefits of the Portal repository to CIO's, Division VP's and even SI's and ISV's.

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