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In This Article We Will First List Some of The

In This Article We Will First List Some of The

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Published by: vasulax on Sep 25, 2009
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12/07/2009

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In this article we will first list some of the offered services and then have a deeper look at an important aspect of thecurrent internal architecture.
The Components
JBoss Portal comes with components and services ready to use. Here is a list of the main ones.
Portlet Container 
The portlet container is an implementation of the JSR-286 specification. This component is part of JBoss Portal 2.7(And the Enterprise Portal Platform 4.3) and is also available as a separate project without the other services. Theseparate project comes with a basic tag library for themes and can be used for prototyping or development. Thiscomponent enables portlets to run on a portal. Portlets are mostly designed to provide a modular approach to portalswhere components of a page can't collide but still communicate on top of which web application frameworks can bebuilt.
Identity (authentication/SSO)
Most portals are partially restricted to some users and require authentication. The portal framework makes sure youcan integrate with an existing identity server that is already in place or let you configure a new one withoutnecessarily forcing a specific scheme.JBoss Portal will be able to store or retrieve users from databases supported by Hibernate, Red Hat Directory Server,OpenDS, OpenLDAP, Microsoft Active Directory... But provides an SPI to implement to be able to support proprietaryidentity servers.The authentication mechanism is based on JAAS and existing JBoss Application Server identity modules can beused, this gives a whole range of out of the box solutions for various scenarios. One major benefit is that portalauthentication benefits from modules based against JBoss AS security mechanism. (Such as Windows Desktop or Kerberos authentication through JBoss Negotiation that still need testing though).As far as SSO is concerned, not only all applications integrated within the portal must not require additionalauthentication but the portal itself must be able to be part of an SSO infrastructure and JBoss Portal has been testedagainst CAS, OpenSSO, JOSSO but again an SPI is available to plug into any solution.
CMS (And GUI)
A basic CMS/ECM/WCM/DMS (whatever we call those today) is available as part of JBoss Portal, the implementationis based on the command pattern and can directly be used through the provided services. A GUI is also available withworkflow support and Wysiwyg editor. Integration with ECM vendors is also possible (but requires some work) toreplace the basic CMS with a full-blown ECM such as Alfresco.
WSRP (And GUI)
The Web Services for Remote Portlet implementation of the 1.0 version is embedded in JBoss Portal. It lets the portalbeing able to produce content to be aggregated in other portal framework or solutions such as IBM WebspherePortal, BEA/Oracle Portals, Microsoft Sharepoint... The other way is also possible, content provided by thoseproducts can find its place within JBoss Portal. A relaxed mode is available to loose on the specification for better interoperability with other providers.
 
Portal Object Management
An administrator of a portal or a company providing a portal solution will have to manipulate portal objects. Portalobjects are windows (that may contain a portlet), pages (composed of windows) and portals instances (composed of pages). Those objects have properties that will define how a page should be rendered to the end user. Out of the boxJBoss Portal offers a way to populate those objects by the usage of XML files, it also provides a way through anadministration portal to create/delete/modify objects during runtime.Depending on requirements it's possible to define pages in a a controlled way or let the users build their own pageswith the available components. Out of the box, users can drag on drop windows on the page's layout used by their dashboard.
Security
By declaring security rules, portal objects can be secured to be available only to some users, this is a way tocustomize the user experience on the portal. The error handling framework let you customize the type of answer youwant to give to the user on a security restricted object (hide the window ? Display an error message ? ...)
Theme and Layout
JBoss Portal helps organizing content on a page and also delegate the visual aspect to a different team by addingskins to the pages. Themes and layout can be deployed separately from the portal itself and hot-(re)deployed for faster development turnaround.
Aggregation engine
A page is built from a set of properties and a context. The Portlet specification makes sure that no part of the pagewould collide with any other part so that the application in charge of producing a fragment of the page can behave likeit was the only component of a page.
Internal architecture for advanced customization
When possible, JBoss Portal doesn't enforce any behavior, there is a default behavior that can be easily replaced for specific needs. The architecture has proved during support to handle many scenarios that haven't been thoughtabout during the initial design.There are three different pipelines of commands with interceptors on those commands, the magic of customizationhappens on the flexibility of those interceptors than can be easily added or removed and are usually targeted to asimple concern.
 
 The HTTP request sent by the client reaches the Controller through Server interceptors, this is the best place todetermine things based on the type of request itself such as what to do next, determine which locale to use or content-type for example.Following is a simplified version of the default interceptor to determine the locale, by default the out of the box portaldetermines the locale to use for the user based on his user preferences (set in the portal itself) and falls back to theweb browser preference.
01.package
 
org.jboss.portal.core.aspects.server;02.[import
 
...]03.public
 
class
 
LocaleInterceptor extends
 
ServerInterceptor04.{05. protected
 
void
 
invoke(ServerInvocation invocation) throws
 
Exception,InvocationException06. {07. // Get the user profile08. Map profile =(Map)invocation.getAttribute(ServerInvocation.PRINCIPAL_SCOPE,UserInterceptor.PROFILE_KEY);09. // Get the locale preference from the user profile10. Locale preferredLocale = (Locale) profile.get(User.INFO_USER_LOCALE);11. // Get the locale from the web browser preference12. Locale browserPreferredLocale =invocation.getServerContext().getClientRequest().getLocale();13. // Default locale

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