Archive for the ‘Portals’ Category

Bundled CMS with Portal: Are they an option?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Most of the well known Portal products in market comes with some form or shape of web content management systems. The supplied WCM tools are very basic while other are funcionality rich. For example:

IBM’s Web content Manager (previously called Lotus WWCM) is very tightly integrated with WebSphere Portal. The product was originally was acquired by IBM and over the period of few releases it has move forward from just being a simple WCM product to more rich functionality. The support for personalize content and integation with portal’s personalization engine adds new dimension.

Liferay has built in product called Liferay CMS (previously known as Journal) which is tightly integrated within Portal and let you perform basic CMS functionalities though it is not as rich as IBM’s WCM. It does provides integration with jBPM to manage complex workflows. No personalization of content that I am aware of.

Oracle’s UCM is a true WCM product and could stand on its own (not the once mentioned above). It is far more complex and provides a wide range of capabilities – document management, versioning, document collaboration etc. The newest version provides a tag based architecture, allows you to embed services in content regions, runs and scales on WebLogic Server, and has some interesting web app functionality to create content driven web applications without a lot of coding. However, it is not as tightly integrated with any portal in the WebCenter Suite.

Lots of time people have an opinion that bundled CMS are not capable to handle requirements and they start buying bigger CMS products and start integration work. In my experience, it is worth to evaluate bundled option first before even looking out for CMS. Evaluate how much of the requirements are met with the current bundled version and if the percerntage is significantly high stick with it. Integration with other CMS will not only create inegration nightmares but will also add high cost to licences with the gain not in proportion to spending.

Non–Latin Character Domain Names

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved the introduction of the complete Internet domain names in non-latin specific languages (Non-latin characters in domain names)

Extract from one of the Press release:

“Up to now, domain names had to use the 26 Latin letters in the English alphabet as well as 10 numerals and the hyphen.Technical efforts have enabled display of parts of Internet addresses in other scripts, but the two-letter suffixes had to be made up of those 37 characters.The approval for non-Latin characters applies for now only to domain names connected with the two-letter country codes, like .ru for Russia and .cn for China.Languages that could become available in 2010 for Internet-site names include Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Hindi and Korean.he so-called generic top-level-domain suffixes, like .com, .net and .gov, will remain Latin-characters-only for now.”

Tha above announcement could bring in number of changes in current industry. Here are few of them:

  • Web Content Managment: With new non-latin domains getting registered everyday, WCM demand will increase than ever before with the focus on multilingual support. In my experience with WCM, I have not come across many implementations that support multilingual. So, its going to be a challenge for both the product vedors as well as System Integrators. It is important to test the current implementations for non-latin languages and becoming a Must Have feature for any implementations going forward. The same will hold good for e-commerce .
  • Translators: The market for translators will increase and will become more prominent. The content will start becoming more localized to regions and translators will come to rescue to retrieve any such localized information to outside world. And there is a good chance that translators becoming one of the offerings of WCM products.
  • Search: Local/regional seach will start occupying the search space. This might lead to emergence of lot of localized search engines and will provide stiff challenge to some of the bigger players today in the industry
  • Social Networking: With Web 2.0 and social networking the key in todays world, I can imagine local facebook, twitter etc. versions emerging in the market. Localized social search is other area to watch out.
  • Migration tools: Emergence of tools which could help to migrate your existing site to localized version

The announcement will:

  • Bring in new business opportunities and whole new dimension for non-latin countries
  • Internet users will increase exponentially
  • Internet will start becoming the preferred source of communication for non-latin countries through localized email and social networking sites
  • System Integrators local market in non-latin countires will increase many folds
  • Add more challenge to the big brands as they will be pressured to register their current domain names in any number of non-Latin-script languages to prevent fake sites
  • Another potential issue highlighted is that some characters in non-Latin scripts appear similar to those of Latin-alphabet characters. So, if we substitutea non-Latin character for the similar Latin character, it will createa unique URL — and the potential for site-spoofing

What are your thoughts about it?

JBoss Portal 2.6

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

JBoss releases much awaited Portal 2.6 version. The new release bring in significant improvements in personalization, security, workflow, usability aspects along with integration with Google Gadgets. The new features of JBoss 2.6 portal includes (from Red Hat’s JBoss Releases Portal 2.6):

  • “Usability Improvements: These include portal and user administration as well as content management. Portlets may be managed overall or for individual instances including default definition. User administration simplifies user creation, provides a list-based view, and includes user search. Basic content management provided out-of-the-box now includes action-based management within a familiar directory view.
  • Advanced Personalization: Now users can personalize individual portlets, including themes, layouts, and portlet content, to increase the productivity of specific roles and people within a business process or collaboration effort. Further enhancements include user created user interfaces, drag-and-drop portlets, personalized dashboards and more granular controlled access at the portlet level.
  • Content Management System (CMS) Workflow: JBoss jBPM provides content management approval workflow in a configurable process that enables or disables this role-based approval capability.
  • Additional Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) Support: WSRP support offers expanded functionality beyond the basic producer and consumer profiles. Version 2.6 adds implicit cloning capability to both the producer and consumer and supports advanced WSRP profiles.
  • Identity: With JBoss 2.6, developers have pre-built LDAP integration with LDAP server. Supported servers include Red Hat Directory Server, OpenDS, and OpenLDAP.
  • Google Gadget Integration: Now, developers have a simplified way to drop any Google Gadget as portlets. Google Gadgets are mini-applications that work with the Google homepage, Google Desktop, or any page on the web and can range from simple HTML to complex applications. Examples include a calendar,a weather globe, or a media player.”

 Here is my take on new release: There has been a significant change in the product usability but I still feel it lags in front of its competitor open source product, Liferay. Though the drag and drop feature is implemented but its no where near what Liferay provides. Google Gadget integration has added much life to the portal which lags the number portlets available out-of-the-box. Pre-built LDAP integration is nice and JBoss jBPM is really capable to handle pretty complex workflows. Above all one thing that remains same from many versions is that it works only on JBoss Application server and this totally defeat Liferay’s SOA point of view (Service Oriented Liferay). 

JAX India 2007: Day 4: SOA and ESB for Enterprise Architecture

Friday, June 1st, 2007

The day 4 was a surprise for me, as the number of attendees reduced many
folds. Well I went to attend the session “Leveraging SOA and ESB for
an Enterprisse Architecture – Bryan Cheung
“. Looks like Bryan is a
big fan of coffee specially from Startbucks and he all the way of his
presentation used Startbucks as the example. He basically used the topic well
to showcase Liferay’s capabilities and even coined a new term called SOL
(Service Oriented Liferay) :). According to him, from SOA point of view
there are 3 important things with respect to service offered:

Specialization  –  Specialized in Coffee. Need not worry what is
happening inside to make worth coffee cup

Interface – Always the same interface, ask for a coffee at counter, pay the
amount and get the coffee

Reliability – Whether in US, Europe, India the taste is the same

And Liferay too does in the similar fashion, same services with almost any
Operating System, Application server and database combination.

Few other sessions are covered by Binil on his blog post JAX India 2007:
Day 4 report

Well in all JAX India, though looked promising with the
Buzzy catchy title, the overall feeling was that it didn’t meet what
was expected out if it. I was really surprised at the Oracle counter,
where I asked info about their new Web Center suite and the answer I got back
is to fill a feedback form and get the CDs which has all the information.
If that is the case, I am better of searching over Internet :)

Also, in terms of arrangement, there was a lot of confusion about which
session happening in which Hall. It was a complete mess and people were just
running around to catch up with the sessions. I was in Hall B for a session
and the next which I wanted to attend was in Hall A. So after session I sent
to Hall A to get a surprise that the session I want to attend has been shifted
to Hall B. The time I reached there, all the seats were full and there was
hardly any space to stand. A better organization is required.

Anyways Thanks SDA India for hosting such event and looking forward to a
better organized and more targeted sessions next time. A Big thanks to all the
speakers who cam all the way to share their experience and knowledge.

More reading at  Hits and Misses: JAX India 2007

What each Product Name Means?

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Just wondering how much a name of a product make sense? This strike me when I was reading about Search Engine Optimization and came across how domain name plays a vital role in optimization (will cover SEO in my next posts). Lets have a look at few products from each space and try to understand what they really mean.

Lets start with Portals space:

Art Technology Group – A group who created art for Internet world by providing common face to all the applications within the organization/

Broad-vision = enterprise wide vision? Nicely framed but their vision is really going hey-ward :(

A decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter. A decorative design for your information capturing from beginning to end, from all systems across the organization.

JBoss Portal:
Java Boss?

Liferay Portal:
Life – ray : a ray of life for all the vendors who can not afford commercial portal products.

Anyone out there help me. I have no clue about it :(


Sun Portal is now Open Source

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

As mentioned by Navneeth in his post, Sun Portal has been open sourced. The news came in after Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz promised to make Java open-source code at JavaOne. Check out the press release Sun Advances Open Source Strategy at JavaOne.

Sun has launched Portal Open Source Project under which it will be releasing all components and technologies in Sun Java System Portal Server 7. The beginning is done by creating an open source portlet repository which list down portlets like RSS, Bookmark, notepad, showtime.

Ajax – Looking back at year’s old journey

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Ajax has come a long way in a year’s time. Last year around this time, we first heard about it. Ajax had brought about the a big difference in web applications which largely changed usability arena. Web Applications started looking like rich desktop applications. Let’s look at its journey from rebirth.


Portal ‘Themes’ Contest

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

There have been quite a few inititatives like POST, portletswap etc. to encourage people to submit their work in Portlets/Portal world but none really took off. More recently Liferay, a leading opensource Portal, started with “portal themes” contest which ended last month end. The idea was to build the graphic user interface “skins” which helps developers to change the look and feel of the portal without actually changing any code. There are around 20+ themes that can be downloaded from Liferay site. (more…)

Welcome 2006

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Year 2005 had been a happening year in Portals and Content Management domain.

Google emerging and standing out from rest of the world growing many folds and exploring in different domains. We saw products like Google Talk, Google Desktop and side bar, Google earth etc. It has really picked up itself from now just being a search player but growing in portal space.

AJAX buzz word that took the world by storm, though its not something new in the market. Google has been pioneer in this as well with the products like Google mail and Google home customization. There have been lot of talk about security aspect and drawbacks but AJAX has come a long way.

Blogging is another area that really gained popularity across the world. There has been many more blogging sites then previous times. Its becoming more of a habit for people to blog and put forth the ideas.

This year there has been a tremendous growth in area of Usability. This has always been on chart for a pretty long time but this year saw a drastic change in the approach towards it.

Year also marked with lots of mergers with companies like Oracle , BEA , IBM etc buying the emerging smaller players which might emerge as a potential threat in future. These merger did lead to lot of overlapping with their existing products. So lets wait and see how these mergers really help companies. Example: IBM acquiring BowStreet though it has RAD which is on the lines of Bowstreet.

Open source products also proving their point with Liferay, OpenCms, Alfresco standing out in front. Also bigger players are moving towards open source trend like Websphere Application server with community edition etc.

Collaboration is another buzz word for the year where many products aimed to become a “whole” product. For example, Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g, has Instant Messaging, Content Services and Workspaces for collaboration. Also Web Clippings/URL scraper has gained popularity for faster and better intergration.

Portlet world has seen a lot of stretch on standards with JSR 168 being incorporated by most of the vendors moving out from proprietors stuff. Also JSR 286 has been submitted which will align portlets specification with J2EE 1.4 . JSR 170 Content Repository has laid standards for content repository access.

Indian markets are making tremendous progress with government itself promoting portals market. Nabh’s String Bean 3.0 is another example in that direction. Many financing institutions like IDBI have already launched portals.

WebSphere Application Server: Community Edition

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

IBM announced new open source version of its Websphere Application Server, the WebSphere application Server Community Edition (WAS CE). WAS CE is based on the Apache Software Foundation’s Geronimo open source application server and is the outcome of the IBM’s acquisition of Gluecode Software last May. WAS CE is a lightweight Java Enterprise Edition-certified application server that is a 60MB download with no cost for customers to download and use WAS CE. WAS CE provides midsize businesses and enterprise departments with access to open source-based technologies with no cost. IBM also provides fee-based support for the new version. With open source there has always been problems of support but with IBM’s idea of providing support I think it is already riding above many other open source products in the same space.

With WAS CE IBM provides an introduction into the WebSphere application server family and enable users to get a taste which will help users transition to more feature-rich versions of WebSphere as their needs evolve.

Announcing IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition