Research ∕ Learning

Of portals and portlets

Lorcan 1 min read

cree.pngGeneral purpose portal frameworks are becoming widely deployed. uPortal and Oracle Portal are examples. This is turn has driven interest in portlets, and in the portlet technologies WSRP and JSR 168. A portlet is a ‘pluggable’ user interface to a remote service. Portlets are a means by which several ‘channels’ may be embedded in a portal.
Several resources which bring together discussion of portlets and library applications have come across my desk recently, which prompts this portmanteau post:

  • The CampusEAI Consortium provides a depository of supported portlets/channels for for members. You have to be a member to see what is in the depository, but the community source approach to sharing the burden of application development is interesting. The website suggests that portlets are available which “already allow students, staff, faculty and alumni to see their email, calendars, many learning management systems, news sources, library systems, and scores of other tools, all available to them in one central location.”
  • UKOLN has published a feasibility study [pdf] on the use of portlets within the Grouplog project. There is some material specific to the project, but also a range of background material and pointers to further information. Included in the report is an exploration of re-implementing the RDN-I service as a portlet. RDN-I is service which allows the Resource Discovery Network search service to be embedded in a remote website.
  • The CREE project is looking at integrating a trial selection of information services into portal frameworks using portlet technology. The project deliverables include some technical reports. A couple of presentations are available which show screenshots of portlets for search applications embedded in a container portal application.
  • Sakai is a high profile initiative to build a community source suite of collaboration and learning environment applications. It is envisaged that these will be integrated into portal frameworks using portlet technologies.
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