I am a little confused on the different portlet types supported by Weblogic. I chiefly am trying to know the advantages of Java Page Flow Portlets over Java JSR 168 Portlets [if there are any advantages at all]. The edocs at BEA mention that the Java JSR 168 Portlets 'Lack Advanced Portlet Features'. [Trying to find out what do they mean by that!! ]
Will really appreciate any help.
I am new to the Weblogic platform having worked on Portlet development on WPS using RAD. I have used the IBM Portlet API and JSR 168 on WPS so am a little biased towards JSR 168.
Page Flow Portlets are not JSR 168 compliant - as far as I know (do correct me if I am wrong) - so if you are being told to create portlets that comply JSR 168 specification then you don't have any choice but to go with Java Portlet (weblogic term for JSR 168 Portlet).
Workshop has pretty good support for Page Flow Portlets and usually anyone would go for Weblogic Portal Server only if he creates or wants to create Page Flow Portlets. I'd like to hear from someone who is creating Java portlets in Weblogic Portal.
The real problem with pageflow portlets is that they are not JSR-168 compliant. What does that really mean? In this case, it means that you cannot take the portlet logic, as is, and put it into another portal and expect it to work. It would require the additional libraries to be added in the lib to have the capability (I think coined as beehive) to work. What JSR-168 fails to address is web 2.0 type technologies like AJAX. Oracle (formerly BEA) tries to address this by the ability to make the portlet an AJAX portlet, but it is a poor implementation and I would suggest is develop your own servlets to handle ajax call. JSR 286 is suppose to address this, but I haven't worked with an impletation of this as of yet.
a portlet shows in a restricted area a web application. Nowdays when you develop a Java Web Application you usually want to use web framework like struts, jsf, seam, and others maybe. But what happen when you try to expose a portlet develop with a web framework?
The portal management of URL interfer with the URL managament of the web framework, hence with just jsr-168 or 286 portlet spec you only have a standard in managing the lifecycle of portlets and deployment descriptor but no other.
JSF is a jee spec and Java community is working on jsr-301 for a JSF portlet bridge that let you expose transparently a jsf app into a portlet. There also Struts Portlet bridge, some open some propietary (oracle for its oracle portal server).
WebLogic Portal PageFlow is simply an extension of the Struts Framework that che be used in a portlet, PageFlow technology is available since WebLogic Portal 8.1: if i'm not wrong WLP 8.1 GA was released in year 2003 nearly at the same time when jsr 168 was released.