Portal Vendors Rallying Around Standards

Vignette becomes the latest portal software developer to announce new products built on the Web Services for Remote Portlets standard 1.0.

Vignette Corp. became the latest portal software developer to announce new products built on the Web Services for Remote Portlets standard 1.0, which was ratified this week by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

WSRP 1.0 can be used for interoperability between .Net and Java-based portal elements. Plumtree Software Inc. announced earlier this week new products that support WSRP 1.0, as well as Java Specifications Requirements (JSR) 168.

Vignette plans to deliver beta-level support for WSRP consumption in its Vignette Application Portal during the second half of 2003, company officials said. In the first half of 2004, Vignette expects to continue with support for WSRP consumption and add support for WSRP publishing in Vignette Application Portal and Vignette Application Builder.

This support will allow the software to publish, consume and manage remote Web services as portlets within the Vignette portal administration framework, officials said.

In Vignette Application Portal, this means organizations will be able to subscribe to compliant Web services, provision those services for any number of portals and deliver visual, user-facing portlets to end users. Vignette Application Builder support for WSRP will allow organizations to produce customized portal applications that take advantage of existing enterprise application data and can be consumed by any compliant portal server, Vignette officials said.

Plumtree earlier this week released the WSRP Portlet Consumer, a software component that acts as the intermediary between the portal and the raw WSRP portlet, or WSRP producer. The Plumtree WSRP Portlet Consumer can run on the same platform as the producer, on the portal, or on a middle tier between the portal and the WSRP producer, so that customers can scale the portal deployment to many business units, each with their own portlets, Plumtree officials in San Francisco said.

A Web services architecture using Internet protocols for communication ties the components together, officials said.

Both Plumtree and Vignette are also supporting JSR 168, which is nearing completion by the Java Community Process. The proposed standard is designed to establish a common interface for portlets to enhance efficiency of application delivery through portals. Plumtree has developed a JSR 168 Portlet Container, which is what communicates with the actual portal, based on the current spec.

Vignette officials said the company is also contributing to JSR 168 as well as JSR 170, which supports bidirectional content access.

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