The WebSphere Portal Blog
Welcome to the WebSphere Portal Blog. We're the team responsible for the strategy and planning of WebSphere Portal. Let me introduce the team (they should be putting all this into their profiles, but those will be filled in over time. ;)
Rob Will is the chief architect of WebSphere Portal. He's an IBM Distinguished Engineer. That's a fancy title that means he's a technical expert and has made substantial technical and leadership contributions in IBM over a long time. It is an executive title equivalent to Director. He's never been a manager in IBM. One great thing about IBM is that there is a robust career track for technical professionals that doesn't lead to management. I first worked with Rob almost 10 years ago when I was working with another product he led, WebSphere Personalization.
Stefan Liesche is another architect for WebSphere Portal. (We have lots of architects!) He lives in Germany and works out of the Boeblingen lab which is near Stuttgart, Germany. The Boeblingen lab houses the core portal development team. They were the team that built the first version of WebSphere Portal, version 1.1, way back in 2001. Today, WebSphere Portal is built by teams all over the world. In addition to Germany, we have developers working on WebSphere Portal in Dublin, Ireland, Sydney, Australia, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Westford, Massachusetts (near Boston), and, like most companies these days, we have developers in India and China as well. These days Stefan spends most of his time working on Portal Accelerators. Portal Accelerators are products that are complementary to and plug into WebSphere Portal.
Marshall Lamb is the third architect on this blog team. He works out of the Research Triangle Park lab. (He also just works out--if you haven't met him in person, he's like 6'3" tall and very fit). Marshall is responsible for the management and deployment aspects of WebSphere Portal. Some people think that stuff is just boring technical infrastructure--like plumbing, but Marshall doesn't! ;) But our customers love Marshall because he's the guy that makes WebSphere Portal easier to roll out and manage.
The last development person on our team is Doug Gieger. He's the Director of Portal Development. He's in Research Triangle Park with Marshall. Besides WebSphere Portal, he also is responsible for Lotus Web Content Management, Mobile Portal, Lotus Forms, Lotus Active Insight, Portlet Factory, Portal Accelerators, and other products too. That's a log of stuff to keep track of and he does a great job. He's relatively new to the Portal team, but has been in IBM a long time.
Lauren Wendel is the product manager for WebSphere Portal. She is responsible for Portal requirements and product marketing activities. She's the keeper of the product roadmap schedule. If you want to know when the next fixpack is coming out, she's the one to ask. She's very involved with our Portal-related education events like Lotusphere and Portal Excellence conferences. She works in the Westford office or from home. That's another great thing about IBM. Many IBMrs work from home. A phone line and an internet connection are the only office requirements. With the Lotus collaboration tools for mail, calendar, instant messaging, team rooms and web conferences, all the things you need to do your job are provided. Sometimes we'll work with someone for years and never meet them in person. (ok, enough of that. I'm starting to sound like a recruiter!)
Brian Chaput is the offering manager for WebSphere Portal. That means that he is responsible for directing the activiites that bring the product to market. He creates the text for the brochures and announcement letters, builds the portal presentations our executives use, does market research, trains the sales team and plans the business strategy. Sometimes he gets to do other stuff that is more fun. ;) He's another work-from-home IBMer and lives in New Hampshire.
And then there's me. I'm Bill Swatling and I lead the product management team for WebSphere Portal. I've been involved with WebSphere Portal since the first release in 2001, first as the Product Manager and then managing various parts of the WebSphere and Lotus portfolio before coming back to being responsible for Portal about a year ago. Before coming to IBM Software Group, I worked an consultant, architect, and developer in IBM Global Services where I built web applications using WebSphere and other technologies. A big part of my job is to go around and talk about how great IBM technology can be applied to solve business challenges. Lately we at IBM have been talking a lot about how social software is changing the world and how it can help businesses and organizations better communicate and foster communities that build value. But I've only been a spectator in that Web 2.0 revolution until now. Sure I have posted a few videos to YouTube and occasionally I have posted to forums, but I haven't really made a contribution to any online community. So I got together some of the best minds in IBM on Portal and we agreed to start this blog.
There's a lot of stuff that we do that we think the community of WebSphere Portal customers and the people who work with them would be interested to know. All of us spend time talking to customers. We're all involved in planning the future of portal. We are actively involved in Portal-related events and activities. So in this blog, we'll try to share some of our experiences with the WebSphere Portal community on IBM developerWorks.
We often get asked what is the difference between a portlet and a widget and so I thought it would be a good idea to provide a post that explains some of this. Portlets and Widgets both provide a UI component model and as such have a lot of similarities. They also have some differences. Lets start with the similarities.
Both Portlets and Widgets are mostly concerned with the applications UI vs. the applications logic. So they both assume that there is some useful service on some 'back end' system and they provide a user interaction with that service. We say they are 'mostly concernced with UI' because it isn't always clear what is UI and what is logic, and there are certainly cases where some logic is performed in the Portlet or Widget.
Both Portlets and Widgets can pass information/context to other Portlets or Widgets, and they can also both consume context from other components on the page. There are a number of techniques for doing this context sharing and they have pros and cons, but those pros and cons will rarely enter into the decision of which component model to choose.
End users and administrators can put portlets or Widgets onto a page and re-arrange them on the page, and customize their behaviors based on global settings that impact all users in the case of administrators as well as personal settings that only impact that one user.
So does that matter and what does it mean?
The second consideration is how much augmentation of the back end services is likely needed? If there is a lot of logic or data manipulation required, then using a language like Java, or doing that processing on a server vs. on a client is probably a good idea. Or alternatively, you might want to deploy some server logic on a Java server or PHP server or sMash server to do the necessary processing and then use an Widget for the display. Purists can argue whether or not this is an 'Widget' scenario, but that isn't important. We'll just refer to it as a Widget hybrid scenario. The important consideration is to determine whether or not your back end services are ready to use or need additional server side logic. If they need additional logic, portlets are a good model for that if you are comfortable with Java and the portlet spec. Otherwise, you should consider what language you do want to write these services in and look at Widgets to create the UI components.
The fourth consideration is responsiveness. This is a tricky one. In the purest sense, Widgets are independent browser calls to server side services and will be, or will feel, more responsive than the standard portal pattern of rendering all the portlets before returning the page. Where this is a bit tricky now is because you have more options for rendering individual portlets as well as the portlets using AJAX for improved responsiveness. There are also cases where it is best not to independently render parts of the page. So you want to consider your bandwidth, the 'chattiness' of the user interactions, what the right kind of page(s) make the most sense.
The fifth consideration is standards and investment protection. Portlets are the most mature of the choices and is covered by second versions of widely adopted Java and Oasis standards. Widgets are relatively new and you should expect some amount of evolution and possible churn as the industry moves to standardization.
The sixth consideration is that you probably will have some additional testing against different browser types based on how much logic you put into the browser. For intranets, you can often minimize this by specifying one or two supported browsers. This is not really just and Widget vs. Portlet consideration however. As already mentioned, you can put a lot of client side logic into portlets as well, and so it is a general consideration as you put logic into the browser.
And finally, client side aggregation (whether portlet based or Widget based) causes issues with most search engines and so you should consider having an alternate rendering for search engines. For public facing web sites with external crawlers, that is probably most easily accomplished in the near term via Portal and Portlets. For intranets, there are more options for indexing sites and search.
LaurenW 2000005B31 Tags:  phones accelerator devices smart mobile portal 5 Comments 10,403 Views
Many of our customers and partners are interested in extending key portal-based applications to mobile devices. Most are prioritizing this effort as a set of services that is becoming mandatory (no longer optional) to deploy, to support the information access preferences of their customers, partners and end users. A wide variety of market research and information publications cite the rapid growth of the mobile application market. For example, a recent IBM study managed by the Institute of Business Value interviewed over 600 consumers across international locations and found over 50 percent would prefer to receive their information via mobile device instead of the PC today. Further, the study predicts that the world's population of mobile-phone users expected to increase from the current 50 percent to 80 percent in 2013.
IBM software offerings are architected to deliver information, collaboration, application and transaction services on the platform of choice; whether server-based, rich client or via mobile devices. Many of our Portal customers are already extending their portal based solutions to mobile audiences. Examples include online mobile banking, managing in-store task lists, customer service, accounts management, alerts, and subscriptions, application purchases, and more.
Using WebSphere Portal and the Mobile Portal Accelerator offering, our customers have leveraged the scalable, secure WebSphere Portal foundation services, including centralized administration and personalization services to seamlessly deliver applications targeted towards the information needs of their users; customers, prospects, business partners and internal employees. The Mobile Portal Accelerator software delivers content to mobile devices that 'fits' or suits the unqiue display characteristics of the mobile device; whether it is an iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia or older phone with fewer display options. In fact, the Mobile Portal Accelerator device repository enables the software to support over 6500 devices worldwide, with new devices added as the are updated or introduced to the market. Our customers have rapidly increased their ability to introduce new products and services to their connected and mobile audineces, using the combination of WebSphere Portal and Mobile Portal Accelerator, both managed via Portal administration. Their end user audiences are able to seamlessly complete tasks, collaborate with others, contribute new and updated information using their preferred device and work style, greatly improving overall organizational productivity and competitiveness. This solution also lets administrators, or site designers, make the right choices about which portal applications and pages they want to make available to their mobile portal audiences. In addition, from an end user point of view, the mobile end user is presented with a productive mobile experience; as the mobile display (including navigation, text and images) are optimized for the display characteristics of their mobile device. This reduces the frustration mobile users can experience when accessing mobile content designed for delivery to the "lowest common denominator" web mobile experience, which can often involve scrolling or missed information via an incomplete display. The Mobile Portal Accelerator multi-channel server and mobile device repository connect the device specific characteristics (and there can be as many as 800 defined per mobile device) through the multi-channel server which optimizes the portal content appropriately to the specific mobile device that invoked the portal page.
Last month we introduced a new version, the Mobile Portal Accelerator 6.1. This release introduces several useful new features, including support for the WebSphere Portal 6.1 platform. The Mobile Portal Accelerator (MPA) 6.1 release provides closer integration with the Lotus Web Content Management (LWCM) author and presentation environment. This means that LWCM content authors can create content, approve it for publication to the portal, and seamlessly also publish that content out to their mobile audiences. You can see a good demonstration of this in a demo posted to the Mobile Portal Accelerator wiki. Notice that the LWCM content authored presents differently (and is perfectly tailored to ) the device display characteristics of the iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia mobile phones used in the demonstration. Doesn't get much easier than that...
The new MPA 6.1 release also includes new out of box mobile enabled portlets, including an updated RSS mobile portlet, stock reporting portlet, and new client framework widget sample portlets (see details below).
Many of our customers are asking about support for 'Smartphones' with the ability to render Web 2.0 capabilities such as AJAX client side rendering. The Mobile Portal Accelerator offers support for such devices, and the ability to develop applications that can take advantage of the presentation power of those devices, via new Framework Client widgets and sample mobile portlets provided with the release. The sample widgets provide over fifty rich, client side interfaces that can be used to deliver an enhanced, more interactive experience to client capable mobile devices. Examples of these widgets include styling, transition, AJAX table, autocomplete, popup, ticker tape, and more. You can see a demonstration of some of these capabilities displayed to mobile devices, and other mobile portal application demonstrations on the Mobile Portal Accelerator wiki. This release also introduced several features and priorities that were planned jointly as we worked with our customers and partners to understand their current and future plans for mobile portal applications.
It's a great time to be involved with this technology - it's a very active space and our team is quite responsive to the needs of our customers as they deploy mobile portal solutions - worldwide.
For those seeking more technical detail on the Mobile Portal Accelerator, the Information Center is another useful online resource. If you are to attend one of the IBM Portal Excellence Conference 2009 events this fall, you'll find several Mobile Accelerator technical, business value and hands-on lab sessions are offered.
We look forward to hearing your questions, comments and plans to extend your portal applications to mobile audiences.
- - Lauren
TNunes 100000GJQH Tags:  analytics exceptional northstar experience management content rich experiences media ibm web marketing project 4 Comments 11,487 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.
Hopefully by now you've seen the announcements about WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management joining the ranks of several other IBM software products with offerings out on Amazon Web Services. Here's the IBM press release: http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03001c/press/us/en/pressrelease/26673.wss.
In February of this year, we released free for use, "development only" versions of our product as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that you can use free of charge from an IBM licensing perspective. You only pay Amazon for the time and space used. These images are small in size and are meant for use in eduction, trials, development and test of portal and content management solutions. Later, in June, we released production AMIs that are larger (64-bit, giving access to larger machine instance types) and are licensed for use in production environments in the cloud. See the complete AWS IBM AMI catalog for more details.
We are very excited about the benefits cloud computing, and particular Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud, brings to the portal and content management platform. In about 20 minutes, you have a fully-functional WebSphere Portal and Web Content Management instance running, with several features preconfigured out of the box:
Leveraging a product like WebSphere Portal and WCM in the cloud allows the user to get past those initial setup and configuration costs and down to business much faster than using traditional bare-metal installations. You can either use our AMIs as a starting point (see the catalog link above), or build your own AMIs based on product licenses you've already purchased.
I can think of several ways to leverage Portal/WCM in a cloud:
Additionally, we've started posting Portal/WCM Beta AMIs on EC2. You can now run our beta programs from within the cloud. Go to our Portal.Next beta page for more details.
With the introduction of our AWS support, we have started on the cloud computing journey, rich with exciting technical advancements and total cost of ownership savings. Look for new announcements coming that expand on our cloud computing support and commitments.
When it comes to open source software there are usually two main perspectives (among several other opinions!) on its value. One is that the software is “free” (that is, there is typically not a license cost) and that is good for the consumer. The other perspective also notes that the software is “free”, but warns – as the old adage states – that “you get what you pay for!”
Understandably so – especially in this economy – open source
software can be tempting for organizations of all sizes. However, as my grandfather used to say, “there
is no free lunch”…so be sure to understand what “free” software really
costs you, and investigate and question how it can grow and evolve to support
what undoubtedly will be changes to your organization’s requirements. For some projects, open source might make
sense, and recognizing this, even IBM prides itself on being an active open
source software supporter,
as well as a provider of free software such as Lotus Symphony.
Where the Web is concerned, however, we think it’s a
different story (OK, call me biased!).
Web technology, uses and interaction has changed, is changing, and
undoubtedly will continue to change…rapidly.
Compared to other technologies, the Web is still in its formative
stage…not quite an infant, but not yet even a toddler. Here in the WebSphere Portal product team, we
strive to ensure that an investment in WebSphere Portal provides you with
assurance that as new and better Web technology emerges, we will provide it as
part of the portal so you can keep up with the demands of the ever increasing
Web-savvy user. In addition, we’ll
continue to invite
you to help us shape the future of the portal and provide you insight into
trends, such as the convergence of portal and social networking (something I
will be blogging about soon), to help you derive more value from your portal.
portal software has the initial appeal of being a low-cost alternative to
commercial portal technology, like WebSphere Portal; but not every (and I would
dare say most) Web portal application use case is a good fit for open source. Web users, whether for external or internal
uses, have a high expectation level for their Web experience; they want it to
be visually appealing, secure, fast and of course, available. These are just some of the factors to
consider when evaluating open source and commercial portal offerings.
To help understand all the factors, IBM is hosting a live Web seminar called: "Free" Open Source Portals: Myth, Hype, or Reality? on July 7, 2009, with Forrester's Matt Brown as the featured speaker. In this one hour session, we’ll go beyond the obvious licensing cost topic and take a broad look at how to perform an effective evaluation of the portal approaches. If you would like to participate or listen in, you can register here…bring your questions!
-- Brian Chaput
During Lotusphere, we announced several updates and additions to our Portal cloud strategy.
First of all, we updated our Amazon EC2 Development AMI to be at the WP 6.1.5 level, as well as updated our Open Beta image to be on the Beta 2 level of WP.Next (http://aws.amazon.com).
We also introduced a WP/WCM 6.1.5 image on the IBM Smart Business Development and Test Cloud Beta (http://www.ibm.com/cloud/developer). This cloud sports several images from each of our software divisions. The plan is over time to help customers build out complex test and development topologies with a few clicks of the mouse, integrating the best of our application platforms with the best of our development and test automation tooling.
Lastly, we have introduced a Beta of a WebSphere Portal/Lotus Web Content Management V6.1.5 Hypervisor Edition, for use with the WebSphere CloudBurst private cloud management appliance (https://www14.software.ibm.com/iwm/web/cc/earlyprograms/lotus/portalopenbeta/). For more information on WebSphere CloudBurst, visit their site (http://www.ibm.com/software/webservers/cloudburst/).
WebSphere Portal's popularity on Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud is growing in popularity. These new offerings are helping bridge from single machine provisioning into complex topology management and private cloud computing, a particularly strong play for Portal I think.
IBM Customer Experience Suite, IBM WebSphere Portal, and IBM Web Content Manager V8.0 Beta 2 is Now Available
Take a look at the latest updates available with the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Beta Two release.
This beta release operates on WebSphere Application Server Version 8, and includes updates that can provide your users with a more social, mobile and integrated experience.
Version 8.0 Beta two highlights include
Access the details, Beta software, documentation and support forum here: http://tinyurl.com/ybmsqkzWe look forward to your impressions and experiences with the latest updates.
Now Available! Version 8.0 Beta for IBM Customer Experience Suite, IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager
As with previous versions of IBM WebSphere Portal and Content Manager released over the past several years, we offer an open beta program to enable our customer, partner and IBM community to evaluate future platform directions.
We are pleased to announce "Beta One" availabilty of our next major release; IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8, operating on WebSphere Application Server 8.
Version 8.0 Beta offers users a more seamless and rich user experience. Features includes enhanced integration of web analytics, social services , rich content management and search optimization, operating on WebSphere Application Server Version 8.
1) The ability to track effectiveness of web properties through new user-friendly overlay statistics, also new flexible options to tag pages, portlets or web content and measure their usefulness through Campaign and Custom tags. 2) An integrated, seamless and in context experience of Community pages in Websphere Portal placing IBM Connections resources in the right Portal and Web Content Manager context, and an integrated and consistent tagging and rating experience 3) The ability to integrate Facebook, Google and Yahoo ID's with WebSphere Portal. 4) Integrate with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and other systems through Web Content Manager support for CMIS standard. In addition, the Beta introduces the the ability to create Web Content with point-and-click simplicity using the new Content Templating user interface. 5) Optimize external search for Web content rendered through WebSphere Portal.
2) An integrated, seamless and in context experience of Community pages in Websphere Portal placing IBM Connections resources in the right Portal and Web Content Manager context, and an integrated and consistent tagging and rating experience
3) The ability to integrate Facebook, Google and Yahoo ID's with WebSphere Portal.
4) Integrate with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and other systems through Web Content Manager support for CMIS standard. In addition, the Beta introduces the the ability to create Web Content with point-and-click simplicity using the new Content Templating user interface.
5) Optimize external search for Web content rendered through WebSphere Portal.
jasonCornell 060001JGYY Tags:  2.0 interactive dojo exceptional web ajax rich experience 1 Comment 9,840 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
TNunes 100000GJQH Tags:  portal business now web bps partners content portals issl management ibm websphere 1 Comment 9,340 Views
Web portals provide a number of valuable and well recognized features, including seamless application integration, single sign-on, personalization, integrated collaboration and more. Such features help organizations large and small deliver exceptional Web experiences that set them apart from their competition.
So why isn't everyone using portal software? Well, some organizations may be unfamiliar with Web portals and others may have IT resource concerns. In fact, a number of concerns or perceptions have delayed portal deployments in the past... Until now.
The IBM WebSphere® Portal NOW business application is a proven approach to deploying an enterprise-class portal business solution in just 16 days. A comprehensive set of application templates, combined with a defined project plan, all help deliver exceptional results and provide companies with an exponentially greater ROI.
Listen to how IBM Business Partners are leveraging WebSphere Portal NOW to deliver exceptional Web experiences to their customers...
Want to learn more about WebSphere Portal NOW? Simply contact an IBM Business Partner or IBM to learn how your organization can deploy a fully working portal and content solution faster than you ever thought possible.
~ Tim Nunes
bchaput 060001JFPJ Tags:  blogs wiki portal social_networking social profiles bookmarks 1 Comment 6,657 Views
Is there a social networking "perfect storm" brewing for organizations? Consider these facts, and it sure seems like it:
So, what this shows is that the use of social networking tools is not limited to just a few demographics, and that the use is growing...rapidly. I just returned from a few days at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, and the overriding theme was social networking tools and technology (I estimate that 95% of the exhibitors were hawking some sort of social networking software). IBM had a display featuring most of the Lotus offerings, including Lotus Connections, our own social networking solution (which was well received), as well as WebSphere Portal. A lot of the discussion on the show floor was centered on the question of how social networking can be effectively implemented by an organization for business gain - with a lot of opinions!
Perhaps the most interesting part of the event, however, was an interactive session called "Socializing Enterprise Portals". It featured Larry Bowden, IBM's VP Portal & Mashups, along with a speaker from Oracle and an analyst from the Burton Group. The session focused on the topic of the convergence of Web portals, a predominant enterprise technology, with social networking, currently most often an external destination site. Based on the fact that many enterprises leverage a portal to deliver a controlled Web experience to all types of users - and that these same users are (or soon will) participate in one or more social networks outside of the portal (be it for personal or professional reasons) - the reality is that it is a not a question of "if" portal and social networks will converge, but "when"?
Of course here at IBM we absolutely think that a "collaborative portal" has tremendous value, especially when it goes beyond simply allowing real-time chats, and incorporates social software capabilities (to become a "social portal" ). This blog for example is delivered through the My developerWorks portal so we can share our collective portal-related knowledge, insights, ideas and questions directly to, and among, people of common interests...easily and we hope effectively! For another good example, maybe you saw this demo at Lotusphere that showed the combination of IBM's social & collaborative capabilities seamlessly within WebSphere Portal. But what about social services, like Facebook and Twitter, that are outside an enterprise's boundaries? Here is a new video of an actual demonstration of WebSphere Portal bringing those external social services into a portal application to show how that concept might work. (TIP: click the "HD" icon on the video player toolbar to view the video in high def!)
It should get very interesting over the next year or so to see how enterprises go about bringing social networking into their portals; keep an eye on this space as we will work to keep you informed on the approaches, trends and successes related to this hot topic...and of course, we welcome your thoughts!
-- Brian Chaput
A few weeks ago when I was up in Cincinatti, Ohio at a Lotusphere Comes to you event, I met Ken Freedlund, the portal architect for NewPage, a paper company. Ken had come to the event to hear about WebSphere Portal since he is a portal customer running WebSphere Portal 6.0 for their public web presence as well as their intranet. Ken is planning their migration to WebSphere Portal 6.1 and the seminar had a migration session in addition to the portal keynote and Web 2.0 sessions. After the morning portal sessions I had a good discussion with Ken.
The unique thing about NewPage's portal implementation is that NewPage is running both their internet site and their intranet from a single portal installation. They use a reverse proxy firewall to secure the traffic coming into the portal from the internet. Their intranet site is a virtual portal on that same portal installation. Although there are many customers that use WebSphere Portal for both internet and intranet portal sites, this is the first customer that I have talked to that did both one portal installation, using the virtual portal feature of WebSphere Portal.
When we introduced virtual portals back in WebSphere Portal 5.0, the goal was to enable customers to quickly roll out new portals. A virtual portal is a "portal within a portal". It is a way to create a portal that looks like a separate, independent portal to the end user, but it runs on the same portal installation and can utilize delegated administration to allow a different portal administrator to manage the portal creation and management of the virtual portal. The key design points are:
1. A graphical user interface for the portal administrator to create and manage multiple virtual portals.
2. Virtual portals are created from a template which defines the pages and portlets that are pre-populated when the virtual portal is created.
3. Administration of virtual portals can be delegated to a different portal administrator or a business user.
4. Virtual Portals share the resources (themes, portlets, etc) of the existing portal installation.
5. Portal Access control is used to ensure security so that users of a virtual portal only have access to that portal or can be optionally allowed to access other virtual portals.
By not having to install the software again and providing the administration benefits, virtual portals can drastically reduce the amount of time expense it takes to roll out new portals. We have many customers that run virtual portals for both internal and external web sites. Some of those customers allow their business users to create virtual portals when a business need arises. This it is also a great way to empower business users to solve their business needs themselves--self-service IT. Care must be taken to prevent unwanted proliferation of virtual portals through policies, governance or monitoring.
Virtual Portals have gotten even more attractive with the addition of WSRP. By using WSRP to run portlets in a remote portlet container, virtual portals can now be more robust. If a poorly written portlet causes an out of memory error, only that one virtual portal would be affected. So virtual portals can achieve a greater measure of isolation to ensure that the main portal site doesn't go down because of an inadvertant error by a virtual portal administrator. WebSphere Portal 5.1 and later versions support WSRP 1.0 and WebSphere Portal 6.1 and later versions support WSRP 2.0.
In the case of NewPage, an acquisition of a new company force the quick integration of the acquired company's intranet. Since Ken already had WebSphere Portal running NewPage's company internet site, he decided to run the merged companies intranet as a virtual portal on WebSphere Portal 6.0. They moved the existing intranet content from Vignette into Lotus Web Content Management to be displayed through the portal. The spare capacity on their existing AIX servers was more than enough to handle the combined load of the two portals. The business results of the project were impressive. They eliminated the extra planned hardware cost of servers for the intranet portal. They didn't have to pay for additional software licenses to run the newly moved intranet portal. And the project was done more quickly and for less money than anyone expected. (Except Ken).
How are you saving money with WebSphere Portal?
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?
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Each year the independent Web Marketing Association names the Best web sites in 96 industry categories as part of the annual WebAward Competition.
IBM Customers each year are delivering some amazing (we call them "exceptional"!) web experiences, and often with the assistance of one of our outstanding business partners. Why not seek the recognition and competitive advantage you can derive from being an award winner, along with valuable independent feedback on your development efforts? Entering is easy - the benefits many!
-- Brian Chaput
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"The flexibility and openness of SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3 and IBM WebSphere Portal enable companies to increase the benefit of their investment in SAP and IBM software, increase their utilization, and improve user experience and productivity."
That statement is the focus of a new whitepaper from SAP that defines how SAP customers can extend - and get more value from - it's SAP investment by leveraging WebSphere Portal for broader web experience requirements. These broader requirements can benefit from bringing valuable SAP application access into context with other user application functions in a single personalized user experience. The key features of the approach are simplified navigation with one UI, with a single look & feel, and single sign-on...all for a seamless web experience that deliver these business benefits:
IBM makes this interoperability easy with the IBM WebSphere Portal Integration for SAP feature. Again, get all the detail in the paper here.
-- Brian Chaput
LaurenW 2000005B31 5,725 Views
We've been very pleased to host collaborative education sessions that provide our Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal, Web Content Manager and IBM Forms Beta audiences an advance look at specific upcoming release features, designs and strategy. The next Feature Focus session will be offered April 17 for Beta participants - details below. Don't miss this opportunity to take a look at the latest release of the Beta software and a view to the improvements in the platform upgrade processes.
Version 8 Feature Focus Session: Upgrading to WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8
Successfully upgrading WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager solutions to the latest release requires careful planning to understand the scope of the effort that is required and an awareness of the tasks involved. Join this Feature Focus session to understand the migration processes in plan to support upgrades from WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 6.1.5 and Version 7 (last two CF/fixpack releases), to WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8. In this session, the IBM configuration architect for Version 8 will present the 'basics' behind upgrading to WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8.0 as well as the overall architecture, planning, and best practices when planning for release migration activities. The session will also present detail outlining the difference between migrating from a 6.1 environment vs. a 7.0 environment (covering both standalone and managed node cases), and custom code considerations
Barry Pellas, WebSphere Portal Configuration Architect, IBM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST
Background: General program information:
Announcing the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V8 Beta Strategy and Feature Focus sessions
Beginning in September 2011, new education sessions will be available to the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 Beta Test community. The IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 Beta "Strategy and Feature Focus" series will present offering market and technical strategy and in-depth reviews of new and enhanced platform features. Participation is limited to active participants of the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 Beta program. The education sessions offer new opportunities for Beta participants to provide direct input to product engineering and market team leaders. We look forward to your contributions through these interactive discussions of Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 platform strategy and feature development directions. Pre-requisite: All attendees are required to download and install the Version 8 Beta software: https://www14.software.ibm.com/iwm/web/cc/earlyprograms/lotus/portalopenbeta/
Participation is limited to active participants of the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 Beta program. The education sessions offer new opportunities for Beta participants to provide direct input to product engineering and market team leaders. We look forward to your contributions through these interactive discussions of Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Version 8 platform strategy and feature development directions.
Pre-requisite: All attendees are required to download and install the Version 8 Beta software: https://www14.software.ibm.com/iwm/web/cc/earlyprograms/lotus/portalopenbeta/
Session recordings and presentations/demonstrations will be made available to registered participants on the shared community on Lotus Greenhouse:https://greenhouse.lotus.com/communities/service/html/communityview?communityUuid=db315c42-8135-4d93-9e3c-3785dba30ec8#fullpageWidgetId=Wf60b8157fb56_4ab0_8cbd_3025f07ee2b4
Announcing the IBM Customer Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V8 Beta Strategy and Feature Focus sessions
LaurenW 2000005B31 Tags:  manager experience ibm suite websphere customer connections portal content web mobile portals 8,538 Views
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
As we shared at the recent IBM Exceptional Web Experience Americas event, several new web experience features are now available via the IBM Web Experience Fast Track program. The pace of change is accelerating, so we know you may need to add new web experience capabilities fast, preferably without having to manage an entire software release update. This program allows you to do that - features you can implement when the time is right for you. Want to authenticate users via Facebook or Google login? It's there (with new OpenID Authentication). Have investments in existing web applications you want to use in a new web experience? You can do that now, too (with the IBM Web Application Bridge).
Check out these and other new no charge (yes, no charge!) features now...with more to come.
-- Brian Chaput