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Easier J2EE portals ahead

In the early Java days, the platform lagged others in terms of page spawning and ease of portal integration, but that is changing. Advances in portal development are an important aspect of the overall move to make J2EE easier.

A player early to stake out the fast portal development space was Bowstreet. The company recently updated its offerings with Bowstreet Portlet Factory for WebSphere Version 5.7, a release that also features an extension that allows SAP customers to rapidly create customized portlets that expose SAP data and business processes to IBM WebSphere Portal.

“We absolutely are part of this trend to make J2EE easier to use,” said Joe Lichtenberg, vice president, marketing, Bowstreet. “These tools allow you to build [portals] essentially through wizards.” Lichtenberg said Bowstreet takes special care to fashion its tools so that the portal applications generated can be subsequently redone without too much effort.

Too often, rapid development tools fail when there is a change, Lichtenberg noted. “What we do is build dynamic apps that we expect to change. We try to make it trivial to allow you to iterate [through new portal versions],” he indicated.

The Java portal ferment is changing, and the JSR-168 standard is important to this change. It could be especially helpful to best-of-breed players like Bowstreet, as their offerings become more obviously portable. “Our support of JSR-168 allows a portlet built in Factory to be used with any JSR-168-compatible portal,” noted Lichtenberg.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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