The WebSphere Portal Blog
When talking to customers about WebSphere Portal architecture and solution design, I get this a lot: "So I have this existing Web application. How do I get it into Portal?" And the typical developer in me answers with "Well, it depends..."
In fact, it does depend. There are several application integration techniques for WebSphere Portal, ranging from low-fidelity controls like IFRAMEs all the way to the latest and greatest in web services for remote portlet (WSRP) technologies. I have cataloged almost all of the integration techniques in my Administration and Performance blog.
But isn't usually enough to know what your choices are. You also need to know how to make the right choice. There is something of a decision tree that I employ in my conversations, to help narrow down the choices. I took a stab at documenting a general purpose decision tree for application integration in my other blog as well.
I hope you find this useful. If you have other ideas or application techniques to share, let me know, and I'll happily add them to the list.
So, what did happen to the WebSphere Portal Conferences? A new name and an expanded range of WebSphere portal-related topics and sessions!
Now called the IBM Portal Excellence Conference (PEC), these series of worldwide events are still the largest annual technical conferences dedicated to WebSphere Portal products and solutions...but not just technical. The new name reflects the conference's evolving expansion of topic areas that organizations have told us are important to them from a business perspective - and how Web portal (and related) technology can, and has, effectively addressed these business challenges. All of this adds up to achieving technical and business excellence with Web portals, so hence, the new name!
The first PEC of 2009 just wrapped up in Macau, China; the next PECs scheduled are:
Here is a preview of the session topics and breadth of information that will be shared as part of the event. Of course one of the most valuable benefits of the event remains the opportunity to network and work personally with peers, business partners and IBMers all interested in and involved with WebSphere Portal....so you can learn, share, hear and be heard (and as usual, with some fun along the way!). Please take a moment to see what the PEC can offer to help you get the most out of portal - we hope to see you there!
-- Brian Chaput
jasonCornell 060001JGYY Tags:  ajax cloud portlets portlet factory ria dojo development application portal 4,463 Views
Today’s application development leaders face a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Your customers are demanding new applications that enable business growth; however, IT budgets and spend is being carefully controlled limiting your ability to increase headcount. Competitive pressures bearing down on the business amplified by globalization and reduced barriers to entry require dramatically compressed application delivery schedules. Further customers want applications that are rich, interactive and social in nature based on their personal web browsing experiences outside the confines of the corporate walls.
We understand the challenges facing today’s development leaders and the combination of WebSphere Portlet Factory and WebSphere Portal provides the ultimate platform for rapidly delivering rich, interactive and social applications that deliver exceptional web experiences and enable business growth by attracting, engaging, retaining and delighting customers.
See how the next generation of WebSphere Portlet Factory helps you create rich, interactive applications faster by reviewing exciting new features (see the presentation at http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/pfwiki.nsf/dx/08072009024448PMWEBPZ3.htm for details) including:
• Enhanced Web 2.0 support enabling creation of even richer and more interactive applications
Try the next generation of WebSphere Portlet Factory by downloading the beta from https://www.ibm.com/services/forms/preLogin.do?source=swg-wspfnob. Tells us what you think by posting feedback to the forum http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=888 and participate in shaping WebSphere Portlet Factory features and functions.
I was invited to participate in the first meeting of the WebSphere Portal Canadian and Carribean User Group session. (CC-WPUG). This community held the meeting in Toronto and simultaneously across their member locations. We always look forward to learning from our customers at these sessions, as it's a great way to understand how our customers are progressing, their common questions, and for customers to discuss their experiences and best practices.
A key area of interest for this group were deployment best practices. We spent time discussing approaches, test plans, best practices for building well performing portlets, and more. There are many resources for information that users can leverage as they finalize plans for test and deployment. A publication has just been made available on the WebSphere Portal and LotusWeb Content Management wiki, entitled: Managing WebSphere Portal 6.1 Environments This wiki provides high level information about how to set up a WebSphere Portal v. 6.1 Environment, including a development, staging, and production environment. Within the context of each of these environments, it includes direction related to how to move changes through the system and successfully manage releases of a WebSphere Portal 6.1 site. We look forward to your view of this information and input as to how more detail or clarifications could be added.
This group also learned about the latest updates in WebSphere Portlet Factory, an easy to use development tool included with WebSphere Portal. We saw an extensive demonstration of it's capabilities via Sametime Unyte, which ranged from building portlets accessing data tables, making modifications and republishing, to using the tools Web 2.0 features such as the AJAX builder to create highly responsive, interactive portlet applications. There are many good demonstrations and articles for developers new to and experienced with Portlet Factory on the WebSphere Portlet Factory wiki
Another topic of discussion across the participants was the ways organizations were incorporating search services to their Portal deployments. Some were using the Portal Search Engine, included with WebSphere Portal, others used IBM OmniFind, to expand the search reach beyond the Portal managed resources. Other customers were using additional search engines they had invested in, some were using both Portal and external third party search engines. There are useful articles related to these efforts, for customers who may want to deliver more customized search experiences, or to extend the Portal's Search Center portlet. This article, Customizing and Extending WebSphere Portal 6.1 Search Center portlet, shares how to extend the newly redesigned portlet, now leveraging Dojo and AJAX, with custom widgets, or with additonal portlet samples to manage External Search source queries or Suggested Search Links to guide user search results.
We also reviewed some of the recent enhancements to the WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management Version 6.1 offerings, including the new JSR 286 Web Content Viewer portlets, PHP Extension and WebDav extension, available from IBM on the WebSphere Portal Business Solutions Catalog. These new offerings make it easier for portal site designers and content authors to expand sources, tools and associated user skills to easily contribute to and update portal paes and content.
This was a very productive event for attendees at the customer host facility in Toronto and participants from remote member locations.
Another venue we look forward to each year as a way to share information, best practices, strategy and experiences across our portal community as it the IBM Portal Excellence Conference 2009. We've renamed this event from the WebSphere Portal Technical Conference this year, to provide an expanded agenda which will cover industry and business topics across the IBM software portfolio. During the week, these events provide many programs and sessions to interact with our customers, IBM Business partners, IBM architects, services and business leaders to share information that helps to shape the future direction of our products and solutions. We are building the session directories now for events we'll offer at four worldwide locations this year. You can visit the event site to receive the latest updates. We look forward to you input on the topics and agenda in plan, and to your participation this year.
- - Lauren
WebSphere Portal is #1 in portal market share. The data comes from a new report from Gartner, Inc, that shows IBM has maintained its #1 market share position. What makes this even more impressive is that IBM has held the #1 portal market share title for 7 years in a row now. Given the market consolidation and intense competition in this space, that makes this accomplishment even more significant. A #1 ranking by market share is a good measure of actual value for customers since it is measured in dollars, not seats or servers which can be given away in bundles or other packaging. It is value customers are willing to pay for.
The report also lists some of our customer success stories. These are great. Our customers are using WebSphere Portal in very innovative ways. But in the press release, these are cut way down because of space. IBM has posted some great WebSphere Portal case studies here.
The other great news in the press release is our industry success. This is more than just rounding up our best customers and listing them together in a press release for good marketing. It is a focused effort to expand the horizontal value proposition of WebSphere Portal into industry verticals by introducing industry-specific product capability. Let me explain what I mean...
Portals are a horizontal product in that they can be used by companies in any industry. An intranet portal in a financial company really isn't all that different from an intranet portal in a technology company. Even when a customer uses a portal for their public, external web sites, many of these sites are not all that different in what they contain. It is when companies start implementing applications on their web sites that there begins to be a significant difference between industries.
For example, Duke Medicine implemented WebSphere Portal for their patient self-care portal called HealthView. This site enables patients throughout the Duke Medical system to make appointments, check and pay their bills, and even get lab results through the portal. Because of HIPAA and other privacy and regulatory concerns, the process of doing those things is substantially different from the way people make appointments and pay bills for other things. IBM and Duke Medicine partnered to build the Healthview portal with the thought of reusing this for Healthcare-focused portal customers. This is where the Websphere Portal vertical or industry-specific portal strategy began to evolve from just an industry-focused marketing and sales approach to have a vertical/industry product focus as well.
The code that we wrote for Healthview has been enhanced and expanded and is now available as the IBM Healthcare Accelerator. We are now expanding this strategy to include new Industry Toolboxes. Toolboxes have both collateral and code that enable companies in that industry to get a head-start on implementing portal solutions to their industry-specific challenges. The first two toolboxes for Healthcare and Government are posted already. We have plans for more industry toolboxes. On the product team we are now discussing what industries to go after next and what the toolboxes should contain. Do you have any suggestions?
Two Conferences in One! See the sessions in plan for the Exceptional Web Experience Conference 2011 Europe!
We're very excited about all of the content, hands-on labs, demonstrations, certifications and networking activities with leading business and engineering experts in plan for the Exceptional Web Experience Conference - Europe 2011, at the ICC Congress, Berlin Germany October 10 - 14, 2011.
Better still - attendees can leverage the offerings of two events through their event registration.
Attend sessions from both the Exceptional Web Experience and WebSphere Technical Conferences. Choose from over 275 unique sessions across 12 conference tracks: Design your individual conference agenda to make the most of this one-stop education opportunity!
Expert speakers provide deep insights into business value assessment approaches, technologies, IT strategies and best practices. Learn how software innovations can increase your company's efficiency and accelerate better business outcomes!
Field reports and success stories from customers and partners, along with the demo points of the conference exhibition, offer you a direct practical approach. Numerous hands-on labs give you the opportunity to explore and evaluate the latest technologies. Network and exchange ideas with worldwide experts, top executives, architects and peers. Deep technical education enables you to bring efficiency and the latest innovations to your company. You can see the offerings for the Exceptional Web Experience event, including over 15 customer case study sessions, at the event page, (See Conference Sessions):
We look forward to meeting and working with you there! - - Lauren Wendel
bchaput 060001JFPJ 3,903 Views
Just itching to evaluate the latest releases of WebSphere Portal or IBM Web Content Manager, but not ready or prepared to migrate? Want to see what's new in the latest releases firsthand?
Well, now you can -- at no cost -- with a download trial of WebSphere Portal Server and IBM Web Content Manager Hypervisor Editions V7.0, available for use for 60 days. These are complete offerings (all of the product features are enabled), available as Hypervisor Editions for an environment that is highly available, dynamically scalable, and easily managed. Learn more and get the download here.
-- Brian Chaput
That's right, only a few weeks until the annual IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference Americas event (this time in Orlando)...are you registered yet? This is a terrific opportunity to hear how organizations from across industries - including healthcare, banking, insurance, and retail - are designing, delivering and deploying their internal and external web experiences. Of course, you'll also have access to the IBM experts, both in their sessions and socially, as well as knowledgeable IBM Business Partners skilled in all things related to exceptional web experiences.
If you still haven't made up your mind, please take a few minutes and check out the directory of sessions. Need to understand how to better deliver web experiences effectively to mobile devices? What about adding social capabilities to your portal site? Is a cloud deployment right for you? That is all covered at the conference, along with much, much more. We hope you can make it!
-- Brian Chaput
Our team is often asked how to approach developing the mobile versions of web content pages. How to begin and what needs to be considered and prioritized as you go? Once you determine which mobile devices you will need to support (if you need to support one or two devices that your organization has standardized on, developing a mobile portal page using a development tool such as Rational Application Developer or Portlet Factory may be a great option for your organization). Several useful mobile application examples are available from the engineering team, located in the WebSphere Portlet Factory wiki, http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/pfwiki.nsf/xpViewRecent.xsp?searchValue=mobile. Other organizations realize they will need to support more than three mobile devices (and their updates) and may choose a multi-channel server option, such as Mobile Portal Accelerator, to help automate mobile portal development and display optimization for thousands of in-market devices, and their updates in the future. We've worked with a number of organizations worldwide that have saved development and code maintenance costs using this approach. A demonstration of the power of Mobile Portal Accelerator to optimize content for virtually all mobile devices in -market can be viewed here on an IBM "Demonet" server: http://mpademo.net:10040/wps/portal (you can check this out with your own mobile device)!
You'll find other useful articles providing best practice guidance in the Developing Exceptional Web Experiences redwiki http://wiki1.swg.usma.ibm.com/ldd/portalwiki.nsf/dx/Table_of_Contents, and other tips and techniques in the Mobile Portal Accelerator wiki:http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/portalwiki.nsf/xpViewCategories.xsp?lookupName=IBM%20Mobile%20Portal%20Accelerator.
We look forward to helping further as you deliver your Exceptional (mobile) Web Experiences. - -Lauren
TNunes 100000GJQH Tags:  analytics exceptional northstar content management experience rich media experiences ibm marketing web project 4 Comments 9,075 Views
IBM Project Northstar was introduced today at the Portal Excellence Conference in Chicago. Conference attendees were given the opportunity to hear about IBM's vision and multi-year roadmap for how organizations can create next-generation online experiences. The focus of IBM Project Northstar is to bring together the capabilities organizations need to create and deploy exceptional Web experiences that attract and retain the best customers, improve brand loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and lower operational costs.
Realizing the full potential of an organization's Web presence can mean any number of things... Increased customer satisfaction, heightened profitability, enhanced organizational efficiency, customer retention and acquisition. In addition, how customer's interact via one channel impacts other channels as well, requiring solutions that address multi-channel needs. Finally, creating exceptional Web experiences that are competitvely differentiated enough to dazzle, retain, and acquire new customers requires a Web platform that's both agile and insightful, combining an open and extensible foundation with additional cabilities including social and real-time communication, search, personalization, marketing tools, integration capabilities, mobile device support, real-time analytics, rich media management and more.
Read more about IBM Project Northstar at www.ibm.com/northstar.
jasonCornell 060001JGYY Tags:  2.0 dojo interactive exceptional web ajax rich experience 1 Comment 7,701 Views
Download WebSphere Portlet Factory Next Beta now to supercharge delivery of applications that deliver exceptional Web experiences with the most advanced, rich and highly interactive user interfaces from https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/preLogin.do?source=swg-wspfnob. WebSphere Portlet Factory Next Beta provides new features and enhancements enabling faster and simpler creation of richer, more interactive and scalable applications including:
• Expanded support for the latest, advanced Dojo toolkit User Interface widgets and controls enabling delivery of exceptional web experiences
IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder is a browser-based tool enabling business users to simply and quickly create custom IBM WebSphere Portal applications without involving the IT organization.
Key Value Propositions
· Improves business agility for exploiting and countering emerging threats and opportunities · Helps resolve technology organization resource constraints by extending application creation capabilities to business users · Minimizes technology organization application conversion costs when transitioning from departmental to enterprise usage Key Features · Enables simple and fast, browser-based custom application construction using intuitive wizards · Creates applications from common data sources including Microsoft Excel and relational databases with list, view, update and create capabilities and provides application templates with contact or task list functionality · Tightly integrates with IBM WebSphere Portal UI providing a seamless, in-line application authoring experience · Delivers exceptional web experiences by creating rich, interactive applications with the latest Dojo UI widgets, dynamic validation, eventing and person card support · Enables the IT organization to customize applications with IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Integrated Development Environment (IDE) · Provides extensibility for creation of custom wizards or templates to automate application creation for any customer requirement View the pdf file here to review all the IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder features in detail. Download and Learn More Customers, partners and IBM personnel can download and experience IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder today from here. Provide Feedback Tell us what you think and provide product feedback by adding comments to the IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder wiki page here. Disclaimer IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder functionality is not currently part of a committed product plan. The technology preview is intended to gauge market demand and gather feedback on capabilities.
· Improves business agility for exploiting and countering emerging threats and opportunities
· Helps resolve technology organization resource constraints by extending application creation capabilities to business users
· Minimizes technology organization application conversion costs when transitioning from departmental to enterprise usage
· Enables simple and fast, browser-based custom application construction using intuitive wizards
· Creates applications from common data sources including Microsoft Excel and relational databases with list, view, update and create capabilities and provides application templates with contact or task list functionality
· Tightly integrates with IBM WebSphere Portal UI providing a seamless, in-line application authoring experience
· Delivers exceptional web experiences by creating rich, interactive applications with the latest Dojo UI widgets, dynamic validation, eventing and person card support
· Enables the IT organization to customize applications with IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
· Provides extensibility for creation of custom wizards or templates to automate application creation for any customer requirement
View the pdf file here to review all the IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder features in detail.
Download and Learn More
Customers, partners and IBM personnel can download and experience IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder today from here.
Tell us what you think and provide product feedback by adding comments to the IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder wiki page here.
IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Application Builder functionality is not currently part of a committed product plan. The technology preview is intended to gauge market demand and gather feedback on capabilities.
Looking for a way to convey the power of Portal to business users? Or how a Portal can add value for personalized Web apps within specific industries? How about a visual example of WebSphere Portal (and related software) capabilities and features in real examples? To help with all those, check out the "WebSphere Portal channel" on YouTube. There you will find a range of concise, informative, demo examples, which you can also subscribe to for notification of future demo examples. Click here to check it out!
-- Brian Chaput
bchaput 060001JFPJ 3,641 Views
As July draws closer, the buzz is growing about IBM's upcoming Exceptional Web Experience Americas conference being held in Chicago. Just announced was the addition of a guest speaker - Jim Murphy, Research Director, Gartner - who will be joining Larry Bowden (IBM VP, Portal & Web Experience Software) as part of the conference keynote.
Mr. Murphy will present the topic "Portals Unbound: The Next-Generation Web and the Future of the Portal", exploring the portal concept and its evolving role in light of drastic shifts in the technology, business, and social landscape. The next generation portal is evolving into a pervasive and engaging User Experience Platform (UXP). He'll discuss UXP technologies like context awareness, rich internet applications, and enterprise mashups, and how they’ll help organizations better serve their employees, partners, and customers.
The keynote will kick off a jam packed agenda featuring both business and technology focused tracks/sessions centered around the value and benefits from - and best practices for the delivery of - exceptional Web experiences. There is still time register - we hope to see you there!
-- Brian Chaput
If you missed the recent live Webinar with Floyd Memorial Hospital, you missed a terrific case study, but no worries, there is a free replay available. Take 30 minuites and hear Floyd's IT Director as he shares their journey and the best practices that worked for them, in defining the Portal for maximum value, and then explains the specific areas of savings that improve their bottom line, while at the same time increasing overall efficiency and quality of care.
It is also a great example of the combined capabilities of WebSphere Portal, Portlet Factory, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Web Content Management, Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes. Some highlights include portlets developed/deployed in under an hour; paper being eliminated through personalized online document management (and don't forget about paper disposal costs being reduced!); staff efficiency improved by eliminating manual document searches; and empowering the staff to focus more on care and less on data management. All good stuff...
We invite you take a listen...and if you have a story you'd like to share, we'd all love to hear about it!
-- Brian Chaput