Vignette, Plumtree Back WSRP

Portal apps support web services spec.

Vignette Corp. and Plumtree Software Inc. are leading the charge to ease the use of remote Web services in their respective portal software.

Both vendors have announced portal software that supports Version 1.0 of the WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets) standard, which was ratified this month by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.

WSRP 1.0 provides a standard set of Web services interfaces to simplify the integration of remote content and application logic into a portal. It can be used for interoperability between .Net and Java-based portal elements.

Vignette plans to deliver beta-level support for WSRP consumption in its Vignette Application Portal later this year, company officials said early this month. In the first half of next year, the Austin, Texas, company expects to build on that with support for WSRP consumption and 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, 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.

Separately, Plumtree this month released WSRP Portlet Consumer, a software component that acts as the intermediary between Plumtrees namesake portal and the raw WSRP portlet, or WSRP producer. 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 its own portlets, said Plumtree officials, in San Francisco.

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

Cullen McClure, global IS manager at management consultancy Kurt Salmon Associates Inc., which uses Plumtrees Collaboration Server product, said hes not yet dealing with WSRP 1.0 but sees its emergence as a positive. "Anything that will allow companies to develop portlets that work across platforms I see as beneficial for portal customers as a whole," said McClure, in Atlanta.

"We rely daily on our portal to interact with one another and to consume information from a multitude of different resources," he said.