Portal Frameworks

To create more complex portlet applications, using frameworks can save a lot of development effort and assure that these portlet applications are well-designed and maintainable. WebSphere Portal supports three different frameworks: Struts, Java Server Faces, and the JSF Widget Library.


Struts is one of the oldest Web development frameworks, and it has a very large developer community and very good tools support. Struts is an open source project at Apache [Struts] and was created to provide servlet and JSP programmers with a multi-page, Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. Because Struts was developed for servlets, it does not work out-of-the-box with portlets; portlets have the MVC patterns strictly built into the interface, with an action and a render phase. In addition, the portlet and servlet request/response are different and must be adapted. WebSphere Portal provides a special version of the Struts V1.1 library that was modified to support JSR 168 portlets on WebSphere Portal.

Java Server Faces (JSF)

Java Server Faces is a UI framework for Java Web applications which was standardized through the Java Community Process. Because it is quite new, it took portlets into account and can work with portlets and servlets out-of-the-box. In addition to the UI components, JSF also provides infrastructure support for state handling, validation, and event processing for these components. It is a very powerful and flexible framework that works well with portlets.

WebSphere Portal supports JSF by including the JSF library so that themes and skins can utilize this UI framework. Rational Application Developer provides tooling support. You can create JSF-based portlets using a wizard, and you can use additional JSF UI widgets that portlets might use.

JSF Widget Library (JWL)

JWL is provided by Rational Application Developer and enables portal and portlet programmers to use an additional widgets based on JSF. A noteworthy feature of this library is that these widgets have client capabilities. The widgets can perform processing on the client in order to update their views, which saves round trips to the server, dramatically improving the user experience because the response time is shortened by orders of magnitude. You can deploy WebSphere Portal portlets which use these widgets just like any other portlets.

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1 Comment To ' Portal Frameworks '

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Spring! In their 2.0 release the Spring folks made their portal framework a part of the core framework.

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