Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Developing a Service Information Portal on the WebLogic Platform

Moving to Java Portlets on WebLogic Portal

Moving to Java Portlets and BEA's Portal Server
With a promising portal server, the team was ready to exit the portal server market and enter the portlet content market. Issues the team needed to resolve included:

  • Moving modules to portlets
  • Translating portal views
  • How data filtering would be supported
  • Coupling more loosely with authentication and authorization requirements
Moving Modules to Portlets
The first part of the project involved migrating a SIP module to a Java Portlet. Luckily, the Portlet API and Servlet API are very similar in their use of request and response objects. This simplified the move, since all of the modules were Servlets. Much of the code could remain, with minimal refactoring.

One of the major differences the team encountered was the use of the PortletURLs and render parameters. By using servlets, SIP 3 could get the entire HTTP request and response, and send any parameters back and forth through Web pages. SIP 3 uses a common coding practice, which involves passing a module ID parameter to help identify a request for a certain module configuration. When a module ID is encountered during a drill down, the SIP portal server displays only the requested module in a maximized window. The SIP portal server had no support for drilling down into two modules at the same time within the same browser. The following JSP snippet is similar to what is found in SIP 3:

<a href="portal?service=<%=serviceID%>&moduleID=<%=moduleID%>">
naviagation link</a>

In the world of portlets for SIP 4, PortletURLs help pass the correct parameters to the correct portlet. A portal server must be able to determine which portlet should receive which parameters and ensure that the portlets retrieve the correct parameters. Using the aforementioned technique would not work; parameter passing needed to be redone. This problem is especially evident when testing in other portal servers, which are free to encode portlet parameters in any way they wish. Changes were made in the SIP portlet code, the display, or both. The following technique corrects this problem of parameter passing:

PortletURL drillDownURL = response.createRenderURL();
drillDownURL.setParameter("service", serviceID);

In addition, the following is updated in the JSP:

<a href="<%= drillDownURL.toString()%>">naviagation link</a>

The SIP product predated some of the Web development tools and technologies used today, and the work described above to correct URL parameter passing was a common task during migration. However, by transferring URL handling into the Portlet API, some additional options were made available. Previously, a drill down in modules would only display the content of a single module. Using the Portlet APIs, the team can drill down and navigate in multiple portlets simultaneously. This can be especially handy when SIP is used to diagnose IT issues, which commonly requires access to a few different spots to obtain the full picture.

Translating Portal Views
The portal view functionality is an easy migration to BEA's terms and technologies. In fact, BEA's concept of books, pages, and nested books provides a significant improvement to SIP users. SIP 3 only supports one level of sheets, which is equivalent to a single BEA portal book with as many pages as needed. There are no possibilities of hierarchical navigation and portal layout within SIP 3. Figure 1 shows the "sheets" provided in SIP 3, and Figure 3 shows SIP content with a nested book and the multiple-level navigation. SIP 3 stored its view files in XML as shown in Listing 1, so an XSL transform can migrate a SIP 3 view file to a BEA portal template file.

Supporting Data Filtering
The data filtering tools within SIP did not change in their capability, but their application was modified. Data filtering can be a key piece of functionality for users, and it's very dependant upon the currently selected role of the SIP 3 user. For SIP 4, a portlet preference is used. When a user accesses a portlet that employs data filtering, SIP 4 obtains the user's filter preference. The filters within SIP 4 contain a new security specification, which details whether a filter is to be available to a list of roles, to all authenticated users, or to all users (including anonymous access). See Figure 4 for the updated relationship between organization filters and SIP portlets.

Moving data filtering into portlet preferences allows far fewer portlets to serve a larger audience of users. In fact, this is true with all portlet preferences. SIP 3 uses module configurations within a view file as shown in Listing 1. If one user prefers a different module view, SIP 3 requires a different role, portal view, and set of module configurations. In contrast, portlet preferences allow any number of users to customize their own personal preferences from a single portlet configuration. Therefore, hundreds or thousands of module configurations used in SIP 3 can now equal a handful of portlet configurations.

Authentication and Authorization
Authentication and authorization concepts were also an easy item to migrate in BEA. All of the BEA tools and integration options to manage users, roles, and groups can now be used for SIP. For existing SIP users, a WebLogic weblogic.Admin batch file can be created to convert all of the SIP users and roles into BEA users, roles, and groups. The following is a weblogic.Admin batch file snippet created during migration.

More Stories By Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson works within HP?s OpenView organization as a software engineer on the Service Information Portal product. He has worked on J2EE Web applications and Web site development for the past eight years, for companies that range from small local ISPs to international enterprises. www.managementsoftware.hp.com/products/sip/

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.