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Portal server Bea vs IBM

Rohan Sathye
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 30, 2004
Posts: 61
Hi Guys

I am currently working on enterprise content management project. So we are setting up this hugh company wide content repository as well as collabartive workspace environment with complex workflow logic built into it. My company's vision is to have this (along with bunch of other enterprise systems such as peoplesoft, IT support systems etc) exposed to all the employees and also business partners through an enterprise portal platform. So for this I have to evaluate couple of portal products. The choices are Bea and IBM . In this regard, I have few questions to all the portal gurus here ( I am total newbie to portals)

1. Which one is better (:-) ) and why.
2. How do they compare with each other.
3. Which one is more popular ?
4. Which one is easy to manage ( I have this impression that IBM is more tough to install, configure and deploy. Have seen few posts here about probles with IBM installation and also heard from collegues that its very tough to build the environment. I didn't try it myself though. where as BEA I could install and deploy a basic portal in couple of hours)
5. How do I get my hands on IBM's portal platform. I browsed through their site but didn't get link for evaluation. Where as BEA, I downloaded and installed 9.2.0
6. Your experiences with both these products.


Naseem Khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2005
Posts: 809
Well I have not worked on IBM portal server. Though I have used Weblogic Portal server 8.1 SP3. You can download bea portal server from bea website. Its documentation is very good.
You can find complete documentation of portal along with on weblogic workshop here...

Bea Weblogic Portal Help



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Rohan Sathye
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 30, 2004
Posts: 61
Thanks Naseem but I already have downloaded and installed BEA Portal. I want to know if IBM portal is available for download and also answers to above question.


Jignesh Patel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 03, 2001
Posts: 626

IBM has currently purchse bowstreet portal software and integrated with websphere.

You can see it here
U Kvistborg

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 29
Setting it all up should from my point of view not be what you chooses from.
I have not worked with the IBM portal (Working with the BEA portal :-) ). But if you can not find where to download it I would suggest that you try to contact IBM regarding to get it and test it out, and that you contact BEA regarding the same, they will though most likly comeup with a lot of sales stuff, but reading the white papers and such I often find very usefull when suggesting products the customer i'm working with. (I where not in on the suggestion regarding the portal platform, they had external company to do this.)
The main thing if you need to interact with an external repository it is properly how the portal can interact with this repository.
As development environment they with WebLogic 9.2.0 both uses eclipse based development environment, IBM have used this for several years while BEA just started.
One more thing all the drag and drop some might show you, do not belive that anything is that simpel, I remember that there where alot of this during the WebLogic portal course I attended about two years back,but it's really not worth it.
Further you should properly lookinto what kind of security system that you uses in the company, perhaps some might not be permitted to view some content, and then look into how the portal interfaces with it.

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Arun Prasad

Joined: May 13, 2006
Posts: 12
Hi Roshan....
You can use BEA aqualogic portal server (Previously Plumtree Portal) . IT is having good ..content management as well as Collabration functionality portlets , studio management lots others . And you can integrate java as well as .net remote portlets with the server . I dont think apart from ALUI any other server is providing all these functionality .

Gobiraj Vadivelrajan

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 29
This news can help

IBM Ranks Number One in Worldwide Enterprise Portal Software Market Share
Ron Weasley

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 1
I don't have the largest market share necessarily makes it the best product. In fact I'd be very surprised if it was.

U Kvistborg

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 29
Even though BEA have a content management system, BEA would not recommend to use their CMS system for any large enterprise portal, it is mainly there to have some content to start with and can be used with versioning. And I think they have improved it over the time, we initially had several issues that we had to raise with BEA, with the content, and it where in the beginning that one of the BEA consultants said buy a real content management system.
Dmitry Bryazgin

Joined: Jan 22, 2006
Posts: 2
As that has been already mentioned BEA has 2 portals: BEA WebLogic Portal and BEA Aqualogic Portal (Plumtree).
I am not that experience with BEA Weblogic but I do with Aqualogic. The fundamental difference of Aqualogic
Portal is that Aqualogic based on SOA architecure. It means that aqualogic portlets may hosted on remote servers pretty
much as Web Services and still access Portal functionality throuth http protocol. Because there is no need to host
these portlets on portal server they may run in different environment and they can be written in .Net and Java.
It's important to note that these portlets are not SOAP web services, they are still portlets and may even
run in JSR-168 Containet if you want to.

One of the main benifits that I can see here from corporate point of view is that you don't stuck with Java. You
can also use .NET if you want to. Also there is much more easy to convert current applications into portlet
because you don't need convert them into JSR-168 compatible portlets. By the way JSR-168 is 4 years old and
doesn't cover too much that we need in development. You can not use AJAX (specification clear state that rest of
the portlets have to be rendered), security based on Servlet spec (from my point of view portlets have to trust
portal, and in Servlet spec all depend on application server), there is no client-side inter portlet
communication in JSR168 (yes, there is server side based on application scope and I don't think it's really good).
So I don't really see why somebody want to develop JSR168 compatible portlet. If this portlet a little bit
more complex then "Hello World" then even being JSR168 will not garantie it will work the some way on different Portal
platform and some adjustment may be needed.

Aqualogic also provides all this nice features for cross portlet communication based on client side (Javascipt)
inter portlet communication as soon as server side (sharing data in session scope if your portlets belong the some
war). And because there is no restiction to use only JSR168, you got integrated AJAX functionality, inline refresh,
broadcast messaging with master and details portlet. Yes that will not work on different Portal platform, but
does that really important in corporate world? I don't think so (I can say this based on my 6 years experience
in portal/portlet corporate development over the world).
[ April 03, 2007: Message edited by: Dmitry Bryazgin ]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Portal server Bea vs IBM
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