How WebSphere Portal fits into SOA
A service oriented architecture (SOA) is simply an IT architectural style that allows applications to be built to support the flexibility and integration required for today's businesses. Flexibility enables a business to change and adapt. Integration emphasizes the communication and interaction of business processes from end to end, both internally and externally, with customers and suppliers.
Getting started with SOA is easier with the IBM SOA Foundation - an integrated, open-standards-based set of software, best practices, and patterns for SOA. The software that comprises the IBM SOA Foundation was carefully selected from the leading-edge IBM software portfolio to support each phase of the SOA life cycle, which includes four phases: model, assemble, deploy and manage.
WebSphere Portal is part of the IBM SOA Foundation and supports the deploy phase of the SOA life cycle. The deploy phase includes a combination of creating the hosting environment for your applications and the actual deployment of those applications. WebSphere Portal is a hosting environment for the user interaction logic of your SOA application.
Figure 3. IBM SOA life cycle
WebSphere Portal provides key functions to support SOA applications, as shown in Table 1 below. See Resources for more information.
Table 1. WebSphere Portal functions that support SOA applications
|Accessing Web Services from portlet||Rational Application Developer provides tools to easily create a portlet to call a Web service.|
|Web Services for Remote Portlet (WSRP)||The WSRP standard simplifies the integration of remote applications and content into portals. With WSRP, portal administrators can select from a rich choice of remote content and applications and integrate them into their portal with a few mouse clicks and no programming effort.|
|Integrating business processes||WebSphere Portal supports the integration of your existing business processes and applications into the portal. Portals are the ideal interface for the human component of business processes.|
|WebSphere Portlet Factory||WebSphere Portal supports the portlets created by the WebSphere Portlet Factory. WebSphere Portlet Factory speeds WebSphere Portal deployments by automating portlet development. It provides an SOA entry point for companies by delivering SOA-based portal applications.|
|Composite applications||WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 simplifies working with composite applications, enabling integration of information from multiple applications, and providing end users with the content they need based on their role and task.|
A portal is a logical and appropriate first step toward SOA implementation.