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Why Portal?

Glen Cai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2002
Posts: 121
Comparing to Struts, JSF, and other frameworks, what does portal
provide better than others? What portal has, but other do not have?
What is the trend in web application framework?


"I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe." - Richard Feynman
Dave Minter
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 17
Originally posted by Glen Cai:
Comparing to Struts, JSF, and other frameworks, what does portal
provide better than others? What portal has, but other do not have?
What is the trend in web application framework?


A portal isn't a framework. You can build a portal using Struts, JSF or any other framework you care to shake a stick at.

A JSR168 portal is no exception, but provides a very specific set of services to portlets, which are in some respects more limited (they don't have "ownership" of the page), but provide services to allow them to co-exist with other inhabitants of the portal.

Dave.
[ November 15, 2004: Message edited by: Dave Minter ]
Glen Cai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2002
Posts: 121
Why should I use Portal if I have built a web app with Struts or JSF?
What do I get from Portal
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Glen Cai:
Why should I use Portal if I have built a web app with Struts or JSF?
What do I get from Portal
Portals let you develop reusable little web applications named portlets that you can deploy together with any other portlets -- without knowing or caring that there are those other portlets. This is next to impossible to do with two Struts applications, for example, because there's an assumption that the developer has total control over the user's session, all request parameters, etc.


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Glen Cai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2002
Posts: 121
Are you saying that you can integrate cnn.com and yahoo.com using portal
without any code changes on cnn and yahoo?
Nicholas Cheung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
[QB]Are you saying that you can integrate cnn.com and yahoo.com using portal without any code changes on cnn and yahoo?

It depends on what you mean by code changes.

You dont need to make any code changes if you agreed with what data (info) that yahoo.com gives you to display via Portal. For example, you just wanna to get the latest world news, then if yahoo.com has already provided this service, you just simply invoke it by remote methods or WSRP.

However, if you wanna get latest world news together with sports news, then if yahoo.com wanna cater for this request, then they need to have a code change.

Nick


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Nicholas Cheung
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Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
In fact, I guess the major problem is not the code change due to the content, as I have asked Dave yesterday, what we wonder is, if cnn.com using WAS portal server, while yahoo.com using SunONE, does the portal application really compatable?

Since we might need to use some special features provided by WAS, which is NOT specified in JSR 168, such as Global context, IBM's own WSRP, SSO, etc, such features might not be supported (or not the same degree of support) by SunONE, thus, does the 2 portlets realy can interact with each other. I guess you also need to think of these side-issues when considering portal applications.

Nick
Dave Minter
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 17
Originally posted by Glen Cai:
Are you saying that you can integrate cnn.com and yahoo.com using portal
without any code changes on cnn and yahoo?


There is a big difference between a "Portal" and a "JSR 168 Compliant Portal".

The latter guarantees support for JSR 168 compilant Portlets. If CNN and Yahoo were JSR168 Compliant Portals composed entirely of JSR168 Compliant Portlets, then yes, you would be able to integrate them without any code changes.

In practice, of course, they ain't so it ain't that simple.

Dave.
Nicholas Cheung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
Dave,

So, will there any further specifications on how the portlets be communicated even they are developed by different vendors?

Nick
Dave Minter
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 17
Originally posted by Nicholas Cheung:
So, will there any further specifications on how the portlets be communicated even they are developed by different vendors?


I don't entirely follow what you're asking - what are you looking for here above and beyond what one could already do with two servlet applications?

Dave.
Mike Farnham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2001
Posts: 76
The vendors will undoubtedly provide "added-value" for their portals above and beyond the JSR-168 specification. If they don't they can't separate themselves from the others. They wouldn't be able to list any extra bells and whistles on their box.

But developers will still be able to develop portlets according to the JSR-168 specification that should run in every portal claiming JSR-168 compliance. JSR-168 is now at version 1.0. The future considerations section did list stuff like inter-portlet communication. So, eventually, the committe(aka the vendors) will come together and codify a standard for inter-portlet communication and other stuff. Don't know when that will happen.

Cheers,
Mike
Glen Cai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2002
Posts: 121
If I had three web app that were based on portlets according to the
JSR-168 specification and I were asked to develop a new web app
that would need a little bit from the three existing apps,
could the portlets from different web apps be easily integrated
within the new app? The three portlet apps were developed independently,
but may share some common data.
Dave Minter
Author
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 17
Originally posted by Glen Cai:
If I had three web app that were based on portlets according to the
JSR-168 specification and I were asked to develop a new web app
that would need a little bit from the three existing apps,
could the portlets from different web apps be easily integrated
within the new app? The three portlet apps were developed independently,
but may share some common data.


If you want them to merely exist as functionality available to the user of the portal - no problem. If you want them to communicate with the new app, then no more or less so than a conventional servlet.

Dave.
 
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