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Java IoT: Article

WSRP Really Works! - Part 2

WebSphere Portal as portlet consumer; WebLogic as portlet producer

You’ll notice that there’s a Registration handle text area inside the New Producer page (see Figure 1). Even though the WebSphere Portal Producer doesn’t support registration, the WebSphere Portal Consumer can accommodate other producers that do support the registration interface. However, leave the field blank. You’ll see why in a moment.

Click OK to create the producer (see Figure 1).

If WebSphere Portal connects to WebLogic Portal, get its service description and registers, a success message will be displayed at the top of the Web Service Configuration portlet.

Click on the pencil (Edit this Producer) icon to the right of BEA WebLogic Portal v9.2. Notice that the Registration handle, which we previously left blank, is now filled in with some value (e.g., 2005). The registration handle was created by WebLogic Portal and passed back to WebSphere Portal during the registration process. Going forward, WebSphere Portal has to supply the registration handle whenever it interacts with any WebLogic Portal producer offered portlet (i.e., BEA Java Portlet). One of the advantages of the registration handle is that if WebSphere Portal gets deregistered, WebLogic Portal can delete any instances of the portlets allocated to WebSphere Portal, leading to better memory management.

WebSphere Portal - Create a Remote Portlet
Now it’s time to create a remote (proxy) portlet. The process is a bit different from WebLogic’s. To do so, click the Web Modules node under Portlet Management in the navigation bar.

Click the Consume button in the Manage Web Modules administrative portlet.

In step 1, you must select which producer you want to consume a portlet from. Click the BEA WebLogic Portal v9.2 producer we just added.

In step 2, you must choose which portlet to consume. Check BEA Java Portlet.

Click OK. A message indicating that the Web module has been consumed should appear at the top of the Manage Web Modules portlet.

If you want to see the corresponding Web module that was just consumed, select File name contains in the Search by drop-down menu. Type BEA in the Search field and click the Search button. The module WSRP Producer (BEA WebLogic Portal v9.2) Web Module will be listed, which indicates that the Web module is a producer Web module associated with the BEA WebLogic Portal v9.2 producer we configured earlier.

If you want to see that a remote portlet was created, click on the Portlets node under Portlet Management in the navigation bar. Select All remote portlets from the Search by drop-down menu and click Search.

Notice that BEA Java Portlet is listed and that the Remote portlet column is checked.

WebSphere Portal - Add the Remote Portlet to a Page
Adding a remote portlet is just like adding a local portlet to a page. If you’re unfamiliar with how to do so, refer to the WebSphere Portal 6.0 Information Center (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/wpdoc/v6r0/index.jsp).

In our case, we’ve added the local portlet to the left column and the remote portlet to the right column (see Figure 2).

Test the Portlets
Navigate to the home page for the portal by clicking on the Launch button and selecting Home. Click the Page 1 tab to navigate to the page containing our two portlets.

Notice that the remote portlet, BEA Java Portlet, has the same look and feel as the local portlet, IBM Java Portlet. The look and feel for a remote portlet can be modified the same way as the look and feel for a local portlet.

Now try out the two portlets.

In the IBM Java Portlet (local portlet), notice that the address that you added earlier, using the WebLogic Portal desktop, is listed in Figure 3.

Click on the Details link next to the address to see the details (see Figure 4).

In the BEA Java Portlet (local portlet), input a message in the text box. Click the Update Message button. The message should be echoed back inside the portlet.

Notice that the remote portlet behaves as we’d expect. This is what we want. It should be transparent to the end user that the BEA Java Portlet isn’t hosted by the consumer.

In this article, we saw how to use WSRP 1.0 to create portals consisting of both local portlets and remote portlets. We examined the reverse scenario from our previous article, with WebSphere Portal serving as a consumer and WebLogic Portal serving as a producer.

We used each vendor’s portal administration console to configure a producer, create a remote portlet, and add the remote portlet to a page. In the case of WebSphere Portal, we also needed to explicitly share the portlet. WebLogic Portal shares all portlets created using WebLogic for Workshop by default. We also tested the resulting portal pages and saw that the remote portlets looked and acted like local portlets.

This article series demonstrates an important capability for many enterprises. The ability to leverage information and capabilities via portal products in a diverse, multi-vendor environment is increasingly important. With rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions, and even just collaboration between business units, there’s increasingly demand for master information management. WSRP enables enterprises to move one step closer to robust and seamless knowledge management.

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More Stories By Matt Silver

Matt Silver is a courseware developer and trainer, currently serving as a senior consultant for Web Age Solutions.

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