Enterprises need more than just basic services; they need value-creating entities, which are crucial for running a successful business. Portals offer tremendous value to enterprises, and JBoss Portal Server is a popular, feature-rich open-source server that provides a standards-compliant platform for hosting functionality that serves the diverse portal needs of an enterprise. Its primary strength lies in its ability to provide robust support for custom implementation of functionality using the JSR-168 portlet API.
This book is a practical guide to installing, configuring, and using JBoss Portal Server. It explains, with examples, how to easily build feature-rich portals using JBoss. As you move further on, you will learn to personalize your portals and add new features to them.
This book will equip you with everything you need to know about JBoss Portal Server to build a fully-functional portal. It will help you to quickly understand and build enterprise portals with rich features, such as personalization, AJAX, single sign-on, Google widget integration, remote portlet integration, content management, and more. Along with feature implementation, the book will also provide developers with enough detail to be able to tune and customize the portal environment to best suit the platform needs.
What This Book Covers
Chapter 1 reviews portals, their functions, and their values. It talks about portal servers and the specifications that govern the creation and management of portals on the J2EE platform. Portal servers go beyond serving custom content and provide a feature-rich set of robust pre-built functions that take away the need to create certain fundamental sets of features from scratch each time. This chapter shows that, by removing the development efforts behind creating such features, portal developers can now spend their time and money on developing business functions.
Chapter 2 talks in detail about the installation process of JBoss portal, with an emphasis on the differences and caveats for the various installation types offered, depending on the usage scenarios. A simplified installation and deployment process facilitates faster implementation and fewer problems, as demonstrated by almost immediate creation and management of pages on the platform.
Chapter 3 goes a bit deeper into JBoss portal server and explains portlets better by creating a simple portlet application. It goes through the complete life cycle from code creation to deployment. This overview tour gives you a good idea of the major components that are required to create a functional portlet.
Chapter 4 reviews the various options that are available to effectively manage the presentation of portlets using technologies such as JSP, JSF, and so on. It shows a few examples of each one of them. To understand the concepts better, a portal application is created from scratch and a custom portlet, created with JSP-based view is added to this new application.
Chapter 5 reviews how the power of portals can be extended by facilitating features such as customization and personalization. It further extendeds our example portal to include custom layouts, themes, and other personalization features. It also shows how we can personalize a page and offer the users options for controlling the contents on the page.
Chapter 6 shows how JBoss portal blends the dynamism and rich functionality offered by AJAX with its strong portal architecture, to provide users with choices for developing highly-functional portal applications. It also discusses the limitations of the current specification and walks through an example that shows how easy it is to develop and deploy AJAX-based portlets.
Chapter 7 talks about how Hibernate, a very popular ORM tool, is used internally by JBoss applications, and how applications can integrate database support into portlet applications by using Hibernate.
Chapter 8 elaborates upon a simple but robust content management system provided by the JBoss portal that is sufficient for most of the needs for a portal application. Using interceptors, CMSAdmin, and CMS Portlets, the user can develop a functionality that helps to effectively manage and deliver content. This chapter extends our example further, to add some new content, and then edit it. It also shows how easy it is to add, edit, and manage content in the portal.
Chapter 9 discusses the various aspects of security as they relate to JBoss portal server and its functional components—the portal objects. JBoss portal allows a fine-grained level of control over portal objects such as portal instances, pages, and portlets. Security is an important function of an application. JBoss portal offers a varied set of options that allow the building of highly secure enterprise applications on the portal server.
Chapter 10 discusses the basics of remoting portlets before it goes into a few implementations using some real-world examples. It talks about how easily the portlets can be exposed as remotely available services, and how remote services can be consumed relatively effortlessly.
Chapter 11 talks about some of the features specified by the new portlet specification, such as portlet co-ordination, and filters introduction. It tells us how Portlet 2.0 provides a comprehensive set of options for performing robust portlet coordination by using events, as well as public parameters that tremendously increases the capabilities of portals and portlets by opening up possibilities for integrating not only within the application, but also with other applications within the enterprise.