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Oracle Portal 10g Release 2

Technical Overview
An Oracle White Paper
August 2005
Oracle Portal 10g Release 2
Technical Overview

Introduction ....................................................................................................... 3
Wizard-Driven Page Design and Development ........................................... 3
Creating and editing pages........................................................................... 3
Organizing and managing pages................................................................. 4
Customizing pages and Portlets.................................................................. 4
Passing page parameters and events .......................................................... 4
Self-Service Content Publishing, Management, and Access ....................... 5
Publishing content ........................................................................................ 5
Content Item Types...................................................................................... 5
Extending Content Attributes & behavior................................................ 6
Content Management API’s........................................................................ 6
Classifying and managing content .............................................................. 6
Navigating and accessing content............................................................... 7
Routing content for review and approval ................................................. 7
Subscribing to content and pages............................................................... 7
Integrating with the desktop ....................................................................... 7
Collaboration ................................................................................................. 8
Portal Development Tools and Services........................................................ 8
Standards and Platforms .............................................................................. 9
Rich Portlet Development Environment................................................ 13
Partners and Community........................................................................... 16
Application Integration.............................................................................. 17
Deployment Support ...................................................................................... 19
Grid Computing and Oracle’s Grid Computing Offering.................... 19
Oracle Application Server 10g and Its Benefits...................................... 20
Performance and Architecture.................................................................. 21
Security ......................................................................................................... 23
Hosting ......................................................................................................... 24
Portal Management..................................................................................... 25
Integration.................................................................................................... 31
Conclusion........................................................................................................ 32

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 2


Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.2)
Technical Overview

INTRODUCTION
Today's enterprises are gaining competitive advantage and realizing increased
productivity by deploying an enterprise portal within their IT infrastructure.
Enterprise portals are specifically designed to be the single source of interaction
with corporate information and the focal point for conducting day-to-day business.
The Oracle Application Server includes a complete and integrated solution for
building, deploying, and maintaining a world-class enterprise portal.
Oracle Portal combines a rich, declarative environment for creating a portal Web
interface, publishing and managing information, accessing dynamic data, and
customizing the portal experience with an extensible framework for any Web-based
technology, such as J2EE-based application access and Web Services. Using Oracle
Portal, e-businesses have the power to connect employees, partners, and customers
with the information they need, as well as the flexibility to create views tailored to
each community.
This document covers the major technical features and services that have been
implemented in Oracle Application Server Portal 10g (9.0.4) and Oracle Portal 10g
Release 2 (10.1.2).

WIZARD-DRIVEN PAGE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT


Page design and development features within Oracle Portal give administrators,
page designers, and end users a powerful environment in which to create content-
rich, secure, Portal pages; no programming is required. Page content can include
both portlets (re-usable components that expose an underlying information source)
and content items (individual pieces of content - text, image, hyperlink, etc. - that
reside on a page).

Creating and editing pages


A simple wizard walks a page designer through the steps of creating a page,
defining its geometry, and setting page-level properties (such as page-level
parameters & events). An editing dashboard provides additional controls and
multiple views to add portlets or items to the page and update page properties. An
integrated style manager allows designers to define color and font schemes that can

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be applied to a Portal page or page region. No knowledge of HTML, coding, or
editing of configuration files is required.
Once the page is created then the developer has the option of exporting it as a JSP,
editing it further in their JSP editor of choice and then re-importing it into the
framework.

Organizing and managing pages


Features for grouping pages into page groups and defining page templates give
administrators the control they need to manage pages and page properties. Settings
at the page group level control the templates, page and item types, content properties
and classifications, and language translations that may be used by the pages
contained within that page group. Page templates provide a powerful way to include
default portal content (portlets and items) and enforce pre-defined page style,
layout, and security settings.

Customizing pages and Portlets


Page designers and administrators can control the level of page and portlet
customization available to users: from simple hide/show/rearrange portlet
privileges to full page building privileges. In addition, portlet developers can
implement a customization mode that allows users to personalize portlet content
and format, including the ability to collapse infrequently used portlets.

Passing page parameters and events


Portlets can be connected to produce integrated Web-based applications, even
when the portlets publish data from different systems. By defining portlet
parameters and associating them with page-level parameters and events, the page
developer can wire portlets together. A page parameter or selections in one portlet
can actually drive the content and display of other portlets and pages.
Oracle Portal also gives you the ability to formally map portlet events that, when
fired from the rendered page, can force the invocation of the same page or another
page and pass parameters. Events are fired when a user clicks on a link, button or
other control on the page. The key benefits to this functionality affect many user
roles:
• As a page designer, you can reuse the same portlets many times and
control the navigation between pages.
• As a portlet developer, you build fewer portlets because they can be
reused and you do not have to hard code hyperlinks.
• As a portal or page user, you can customize parameters in one central
location (such as the Portal Home page) simplifying your efforts, and
end users are offered a more consistent interface through the reuse of
portlets. Thus, your application learning curve is minimized.

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For example, you can build a Helpdesk Trouble Ticket portlet that requests a ticket
number from the user. Upon entry, the portlet passes the ticket number to a
different page depending on the initial page’s intended purpose. So, upon entry of
the ticket number in page one, the Show Ticket Details page might be displayed.
Or, upon entry of the ticket number on page two, the Trouble Ticket Escalation
page could be displayed.

SELF-SERVICE CONTENT PUBLISHING, MANAGEMENT, AND ACCESS


Browser-based wizards and integrated editing dialog boxes make it easy for page
designers to publish and manage the content that appears on their pages. Business
users can also use this publishing environment to easily define collaborative work
areas and to publish their business documents.

Publishing content
A simple wizard guides a publisher through the steps of defining content, adding
attributes, and publishing to a page. No knowledge of HTML is required. Virtually
any type of content can be published, including files, simple text, hypertext links,
and server-side scripting. Page and page region properties set by the page designer
automatically format and display the content on the page with the proper color,
font, location, alignment, and so on. The pages themselves are organized within a
page group, which can be used to create ad hoc or carefully controlled content
taxonomies.

Content Item Types


Content Items are one of the basic components of a Portal page. Items in Oracle
Portal are based on item types. Item types define the contents of an item and the
information that is stored about an item. Users with the appropriate privileges can
create an item type. The information stored about an item is determined by the
attributes of the item type.
The following lists sample item types that may appear in Oracle Portal. Users may
or may not see any of the item types listed below. The page group administrator
controls the item types that display to a user for a particular page group.
The default content item types include:
• File: Uploads a file and stores it in the page group.
• URL: Adds a link to another Web page, Web site, or document URL
either internal or external to the page group.
• Text: Adds text (up to 32KB) to display in the page.
• Image: Uploads an image item.
• PL/SQL: PL/SQL code that executes a PL/SQL procedure and displays
the results.
• Page Link: Adds a link to display another page in the page group.

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• Image Map: Uploads an image map item. An image map is an image with
separate areas that users can click to go to different URLs.
• Zip File: Lets users upload a set of files to the page group in a single
operation. For example, users can replicate a Web site or file system so
that it is contained in a page group.

Extending Content Attributes & behavior


To extend the default item and page types, page group administrators and Portal
administrators can create new attributes for use within these custom types.
Attributes are custom fields that capture additional data about an item or page. One
or many custom item or page types may use them. Custom attributes may be
unique to a particular page group or applied across multiple page groups. For
example, a search on a “due date” custom attribute will examine all items that have
a due date attribute.
Oracle Portal provides eight datatypes for the creation of custom attributes. These
datatypes include:
• Boolean (value of TRUE or FALSE)
• Date
• File
• Number
• Text
• PL/SQL
• URL
• Application component
Custom attributes support multiple translations (attribute is permitted to have a
different value for each translation) and can be displayed in several formats,
including single-line, multi-line, and as a list of values.

Content Management API’s


Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for performing many common content
management operations (add or modify items, pages, categories, perspectives, etc.)
are supported. These APIs are backwards compatible with the Oracle9iAS Portal
Release 1 (3.0.9) APIs and include new functions and parameters to support
OracleAS Portal 10g (9.0.4) functionality.

Classifying and managing content


Portal administrators set the policies for content types, their attributes, and how
both are managed for the pages within a page group. These policies provide precise
control over content item attribution, attribution values, and how attributes are

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presented in the Add Item wizard and Edit Item dialog box. Pre-defined item
categories and perspectives provide a powerful classification mechanism to group
similar or related items. Additional features such as item version control, check-in
and check-out, automated publish and expiration dates, and automatic indexing
support collaborative document creation, ease content management tasks, and
make it easy to find published items.

Navigating and accessing content


Built-in capabilities assist page designers in creating Portal navigation and in
managing access to Portal content. Flexible navigation pages and smart links make
it easy to build standard user interface features, such as navigation bars and
banners. The advanced searching capabilities of Oracle Text are directly integrated,
thus allowing documents to be grouped by theme, as well as being summarized.
External data sources such as remote Oracle databases, IMAP mail servers, Web
sites, and file systems are accessible via integration with Oracle Ultra
Search. Options for specifying search submission and results allow an administrator
to pre-define searching parameters, set specific behavior, and customize how results
are displayed.

Routing content for review and approval


In cases where content must be reviewed or approved before it is published on the
page, the page designer can easily set up a review and approval process. Simple or
multi-step processes can be defined with single or multiple reviewers at each step.
Notifications are sent to each approver in the approval chain indicating that action
is required, while the Status portlet tracks the item's progression from the
submitter's point of view.

Subscribing to content and pages


Any user with View privileges on a page can subscribe to a page or an item on a
page. The Notifications portlet tells the subscriber when the page or item has been
changed or deleted.

Integrating with the desktop


File type item content can also be published to the OracleAS Metadata Repository
via the Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
protocol. Using a WebDAV client such as Windows Explorer, a Portal page group
can be mapped as a Web Folder. Users can then simply drag and drop content,
files, and folders between Portal pages and the desktop. File-type items can also be
opened, edited, and saved directly from WebDAV desktop applications like MS
Office 2000.

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Collaboration
The Survey Wizard can be used to create and administer surveys, polls, and tests.
The Survey Wizard is comprised of four components: the Survey Builder, the
Survey Form, the Survey Report, and the Survey Chart. (Comment: Is this correct?)
The Survey Builder is used to:
• Create, edit, delete, and purge surveys, polls, and tests
• Create, copy, and edit questions
• Create welcome message and closing comments
• Formulate answer choices as pull-downs, radio buttons, check boxes, or
text fields
• Add pre-built triggers, directing users to different sections according to
their response to a given question
• Indicate whether to score tests
• Add an image to questions
The Survey Form is used to:
• Place instances of the survey, test, or poll on pages
• Show one or all questions at a time
• Choose to hide the portlet after the survey has been taken, or display the
results in a report or chart
The Survey Report is used to view cumulative result details.
The Survey Chart is used to view cumulative result details as a bar chart.

PORTAL DEVELOPMENT TOOLS AND SERVICES


A successful Portal will match ease of development with adherence to open
standards, as well as providing integration with 3rd party applications, and utilizing
partner technologies and services. Oracle Portal was built from the ground up to
support integration of remotely hosted applications by building into the
architecture Open Internet standards such as HTTP, XML and SOAP.
Additionally, you can incorporate Web Services and J2EE-based components like
JavaServer Pages (JSPs), Java Servlets, and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) into the
Portal as portlets without writing additional code.
Oracle Portal has leveraged this open architecture to integrate proprietary
technologies such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, as well as 3270 and
client/server applications. You can also easily include existing secured and public
URL-accessible content.
If you need higher-level data access to third party applications such as SAP,
PeopleSoft or Siebel, you can use Oracle Integration, which includes EAI

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(Enterprise Application Integration), BPM, B2B, BAM and more. Oracle
Application Server Integration also provide a BPEL Process Manager that
interoperates seamlessly with all of the integration tools, such as Oracle Application
Server Interconnect, Oracle Application Server ProcessConnect, Oracle Workflow
and OracleAS JCA Adapters to expose and transform data into a portlet-ready
format. Successful also means fostering a growing community of developers and
partners who contribute to the success of Oracle Portal.

Standards and Platforms


Oracle Portal fully embraces Internet Standards such as J2EE, Web Services,
JavaScript, XML, and other languages. It also incorporates capabilities that support
a standards-based IT infrastructure, including support for the WebDAV, HTTP,
and Wireless protocols.

Portlets and Providers

All major portal vendors today display snippets of information in discrete amounts
on their pages. The standard term for referring to these areas of data on the Portal
page is “portlet,” and in this matter Oracle Portal has always been one of the
leaders.

Portlet Providers

Applications or information sources, represented as portlets, communicate with the


portal through an entity called a provider. Each portlet must have one and only one
provider. A provider may have one or more portlets that expose an underlying
application or information source. Once a provider is registered with a Portal
instance, its portlets are available for placement on a Portal page on that Portal
instance.
A Portal page may be constructed of portlets from providers defined within the
page’s portal instance as well as providers located on one or more remote Web
servers.
Providers may be used to arrange portlets into meaningful groups. For example,
portlets that access marketing collateral may be grouped under a marketing
provider. Similarly, components created to access financial data from an accounts
payable application may be grouped under an accounts payable provider.
Provider groups may be used to group providers and ease multiple provider
registration. You typically use provider groups to organize providers into logical
groups regardless of their physical location. This also simplifies the provider
registration process by allowing you to publish provider groups to portals and
register providers in a provider group using a single click. Like a provider, you
access it from a URL.
Providers may be developed in a number of ways using various different
technologies, from programmatic to declarative, depending upon the

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implementation of the source application that the portlet is exposing. Providers
may be installed and hosted on either local or remote Web servers. If you are using
a remote Web server, it does not have to be the Oracle Application Server; it can be
any certified application server, such as WebSphere, Weblogic, or Tomcat.
Portlets exposed via a Web provider may be coded in any language (Java, C, C++,
etc.) or exposed in a declarative manner by merely referencing and optionally
applying an XSL transformation to an available URL (or in the case of Web
Services, a WSDL document). In addition, these portlets may access any database
via JDBC (or native drivers for Oracle Database 10g). The PDK-Java may even be
used to take a legacy information source and expose it as HTML or even
MobileXML for wireless devices. Long-term Oracle customers may also easily
leverage existing Oracle PL/SQL skills to create PL/SQL providers for both local
and remote Oracle databases. However, PL/SQL providers may only be exposed
via the Oracle Application Server.
Communication between the Portal Engine and the provider is via SOAP over
HTTP, which allows for firewalls to be used to separate remote providers from the
Portal middle tier. In the case of a PL/SQL provider, a PL/SQL Adapter receives
the SOAP call and then calls the relevant PL/SQL API.

Portlets

Portlets summarize, promote, or provide basic access to an information resource.


The information resources themselves can take on many forms and be used for
many purposes. A growing library of portlets gives portal developers a variety of
development options and the ability to select the most appropriate approach. This
library consists of pre-built and integrated portlets that are bundled with Oracle
Portal, portlets made available by Oracle partners, and portlets created to access
customer-specific information.

JSR-168 and WSRP

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards


(OASIS) Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) and the Java Community
Process (JCP) Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 standards both enable the
interoperability of portlets across different portal platforms. Oracle Portal’s current
architecture already adheres to the design principles of OASIS WSRP and JSR168;
as a result, Oracle has been able to contribute significantly to the WSRP
specification. Oracle is also a member of the expert group for JSR168 and one of
the primary advocates in the JSR168 process for ensuring compatibility with WSRP.
Oracle’s leadership and support for these standards will allow customers and
partners to integrate standards-based portals and portlets into Oracle Portal with
minimal development effort.

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Portal Verification Service

Oracle is offering a hosted Portal verification service. This service allows vendors
building WSRP producers to test that their implementations run in Oracle's
environment. It provides an environment for registering your WSRP producer and
adding its portlets to a Portal page. The service also contains an Oracle WSRP
producer containing sample portlets implemented using Oracle's standards based
Portal Developer Kit. This PDK allows you to build and deploy JSR 168 portlets in
a remote environment based on WSRP.
This service is available at http://portalstandards.oracle.com.

Deploying J2EE applications

The Oracle Application Server provides the most complete J2EE implementation
in the application server market. Any J2EE feature can be used to declaratively
construct portlets, including JSP’s, servlets, EJB, JCA, Java Struts, JAAS and others.

Accessing & Deploying JSP Pages

Organizations that have existing Web interfaces built with HTML or Java Server
Pages (JSP), or who prefer to develop and maintain their code using industry
standard Java, can access portlets and even build entire Portal pages using the JSP
model. Portal developers using JSP’s can make full use of the portal infrastructure
for functionality such as Single Sign-On and object access privileges.
There are two ways to use a JSP to include portlet instances, one is as a JSP held
external to the Oracle Application Server Metadata Repository, and the other is as a
JSP managed inside the OracleAS Metadata Repository. In either case, the JSP may
have either been built entirely external to Oracle Portal or may have been exported
from an existing Portal page definition and subsequently edited.
For those developers who want to use their own Java editors to build their Portal
Pages, Oracle Portal provides a tag library of hooks needed to access portlets in the
portal and to use the portal infrastructure such as object privileges. As a developer
you therefore have complete control over the layout and behavior of the Portal
page.
Developers may also generate a JSP file from an existing Portal page that they can
edit using their own Java editors. The first step is to copy a Portal page to a JSP,
which causes a JSP generator to traverse through the page for the user interface and
metadata elements and generate a file with the appropriate JSP tags. The metadata
elements of the page are represented in an XML structure and include the details of
externally published portlets, page parameters, portlet parameters, events, and so
forth. The user interface elements of the page are represented via a URL referring
to the CSS used in the portlets.
To enable this functionality you do the following:
• Enable JSP access to a page group

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• Create externally published portlets that are instances of portlets that
will be part of the JSP
• In the JSP, include tags from the tag library that reference the page
group and externally published portlets
The following JSP example runs a portlet and passes a parameter:

<%@ page contentType="text/html; charset=UTF-8" %>


<%@ taglib prefix="portal" uri="/WEBINF/lib/wwjpstag.jar"%>

<portal:usePortal pagegroup="MyPageGroup"/>
<portal:showPortlet name="StockQuote">
<portal:parameter name="ticker" value="ORCL"/>
</portal:showPortlet>

Notice that the usePortal tag names a page group but not a portal. In this case, a
default portal parameter is being read from the wwjps.xml configuration file. You
must configure this file to run external JSPs that access portal content.
You may also load the JSP file created using the above methods into Oracle Portal
and create an internally managed Portal page based on the JSP. To do this, you
specify either the JSP or JAR or WAR file and indicate the initial JSP (a WAR file
may contain multiple JSPs). Once the file is created, you can set security, enable
caching, and add parameters.

Exchanging and accessing data

Open Internet standards, such as HTTP, XML and SOAP, are built into Oracle
Portal's architecture and utilized for exchanging data among Portal instances and
remote applications. Standards-based applications and services (including Web
Services) are easily incorporated into the Portal environment using the framework
in the Oracle Portal Developer Kit (PDK).

Servicing HTTP requests

At the heart of the Oracle HTTP server component is the Apache Web server, the
world's most popular Internet Web server.

Servicing Wireless Requests - Get Information from Anywhere

Desktop or Mobile Browser

Besides standard Web browsers, you can access Oracle Portal pages from wireless
clients. Working in conjunction with Oracle Application Server Wireless, the Portal
automatically transforms the Portal page structure to a form appropriate for the
smaller screen devices common for wireless clients. Portlets on this page are
limited to those that are additionally capable of generating Oracle's MobileXML

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content type. MobileXML is a markup language that hides the differences in
markup syntax used by differing wireless clients.

Wireless Enable any Technology

Oracle Portal’s built-in database provider components generate MobileXML in


response to mobile requests. Additionally, the Oracle PDK allows coded portlets
to detect and respond to mobile requests. To enable this you do not have to change
your existing code in any way, you merely need to add an extra module to your
portlet that contains the appropriate rendering logic for the intended device. This
allows any technology (Web Services, J2EE, .NET, etc) to be deployed on a
wireless device as a portlet.

Full Development Control

For fine-grained control of the page structure displayed on mobile clients, Oracle
Portal provides a complimentary set of page design tools oriented towards the
wireless (small device) experience. Thus, you can build a distinct portal structure
for wireless users. Portlet instances can be shared between a mobile portal and its
standard desktop counterpart allowing you to present a common set of portlets
whose customizations are identical. This provides a more natural feel as a user who
customizes a portlet in their standard portal will see the effect in the portlet in the
mobile portal.

Deploying on a variety of platforms

The Oracle Application Server is available on Windows NT/2000/XP and all of


the most popular UNIX platforms, including Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, and
Compaq Tru64.

Rich Portlet Development Environment


Oracle Portal includes a declarative environment and extensibility features that
makes it easy for developers to expose enterprise data as portlets.

OmniPortlet

OmniPortlet is a component of Oracle Portal that helps the page designer to


quickly publish data from different data sources (CSV, XML, Web Services, JCA,
SQL, and Web Page) and render them in any layout (tabular, chart, form, list,
News).

Web Clipping

The Web Clipping Portlet assists with extracting specific portions or "clippings"
(for example, data in an HTML table) of Web page content; the page developer can
browse to the desired Web page, deconstruct the page into "clippings” and preview
the selected clipping in the portlet itself.

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Portlet Builder

Portlet developers can choose from thirteen data-driven components to create


portlets that interact with enterprise data in an Oracle database or other data
sources. Components include JavaScript-enhanced data entry forms, customizable
HTML bar charts, and column-style reports that produce results in HTML, plain
text, or MS Excel format. A wizard-based, declarative design environment guides
developers through the steps of building the portlet. No scripting or in-depth
knowledge of SQL syntax is required. Experienced users can insert their own SQL
statements to drive their portlets with customized logic.
You may use the build wizards accessible from the Navigator to create components
or they may be developed in-place on a Portal page. The build wizard produces a
PL/SQL stored procedure that is stored in the database. When executed, the stored
procedure dynamically renders the HTML and JavaScript code that displays the
component.
The Oracle Portal components you can build are:
• Form - Displays a customized form that can be used as an interface for
updating tables, executing stored procedures, and generating other
customized forms. You can build three types of forms:
o A form based on a table or view enables end users to insert,
update, and delete data in a database table or view.
o A master-detail form displays a master row and multiple detail
rows within a single HTML page. The form contains fields for
updating values in two database tables or views.
o A form based on a procedure enables end users to insert,
update, and delete data in a database stored procedure.
• Report - Displays data you select from the database table or view in a
report. The report can have tabular, form or custom layout.
• Chart - Displays data you select from a database table or view as a bar
chart.
• Data Component - Displays data in spreadsheet format.
• Calendar - Displays data you select from a database table or view as a
calendar.
• Dynamic Page - Displays dynamically generated HTML content on a Web
page.
• Hierarchy - Displays data you select from a database table or view as a
graphical hierarchy of items containing up to three levels.
• Menu - Displays an HTML-based menu containing hyperlinked options to
other menus, Oracle Portal components, or URLs.

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• Frame Driver - Displays a Web page with two frames. End user queries in
one frame control the contents of the other frame.
• Link - Displays a clickable link that provides a hypertext jump between
Oracle Portal components and other components, component
customization forms, or any HTML page.
• List of Values - Enables end users to choose entry field values in a form or
component customization form. You can use LOVs when creating
components to pre-select the possible values in an entry field. The end
user clicks the mouse to select a value rather than type it. You can also
build LOVs based on other LOVs.
• URL - Displays the contents of a URL.
• XML - Displays an XML page as well as optionally applying an XSL
stylesheet.
The component publishing service also includes five shared components that are
leveraged to extend the functionality of the thirteen components described above.
These shared components are JavaScript, User Interface Template, Color
Definition, Image Definition, and Font Definition.

Oracle Portal Developer Kit (PDK)

Using the Oracle PDK, developers can build custom portlets that interact with
customer-specific content or applications. At a high level the Oracle PDK offers
several feature sets including the ability to incorporate off-the-shelf Web Services,
additional J2EE services and any Web-accessible content. In addition developers
may also implement portlets as extensions of their existing Web development
environment using Java technologies (servlets, Java Server Pages), CGI
technologies (C, C++, etc.), scripting languages (Perl, PHP), Active Server Pages,
or as stored procedures (PL/SQL or Java). The Oracle PDK provides a gentle
slope that allows developers to quickly integrate their existing applications and
gradually add portal functionality. This minimizes the upfront investment required
to build portlets and allows developers to better reuse existing components.
Portlet providers may enforce security on their portlet by leveraging the single sign-
on features within the portlet architecture. In addition, developers can take
advantage of a set of API-level services in their provider and portlet code. The
services are provided as a convenience to the developer, and their use is optional.
For more information on the Oracle PDK, visit http://portalcenter.oracle.com/.

Customizing Portlets

Per user and per instance-level portlet personalization offer significant productivity
gains to both the Portal developer and the Portal user. After a developer creates a
portlet definition with a default display, a page designer can customize that
definition to meet the needs of a particular community. Individual users within that

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community can then apply their own customizations to the very same definition.
Multiple instances of the same portlet can be added to a single page, each with its
own, independent personalization settings. Users with appropriate privileges can
also publish their portlet customizations for other users to use.

Managing portlet components

Portlet components are easily managed through the use of an integrated navigator
tool that allows developers to access, perform actions on (browsing, granting
privileges, exporting and deleting), and keep track of related components and
database objects.

Partners and Community


Partners
Oracle PartnerNetwork is a community, a portal, an interaction center, and a
worldwide business platform for companies who build their business around
Oracle's products and solutions. By joining Oracle PartnerNetwork, you have new
opportunities to align Oracle's technologies with your solutions and customers
needs, and increase revenue and profit. We offer more than just products and
solutions. We offer our partners confidence in knowing they selected a stable and
innovative company that takes partnership excellence seriously.
Learn how to accelerate success by becoming a member.
Once a member of OPN, you may register an interest in specific product focus
areas to obtain the specific tools you need and to access program benefits. You'll
also have the opportunity to go to market with Oracle through business
development initiatives.
The Oracle Application Server Product Focus is open to all partners who share
Oracle's vision for an integrated, enterprise wide application server solution and
who want to develop solutions using Oracle's framework. The Oracle framework is
used for developing and managing applications, enterprise portals and mobile
solutions. Industry leaders are joining the Oracle Application Server Product Focus
to provide scalable, reliable, and integrated solutions to their customers.

Not a Member? Oracle PartnerNetwork members gain access to exclusive benefits,


tools and resources. Learn how to accelerate your success by becoming a member.

Already an OPN Member? Have your OPN Administrator declare your interest in
Oracle Application Server. If you are an Oracle partner, declare your interest now
in the Application Server Product Focus by contacting your company’s OPN
Primary Administrator to ensure the Application Server Product Focus is selected
in your profile.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 16


OPN Administrators - Declare your Product Focus. If your company would like to
participate with Oracle in the Application Server Product Focus, please ensure it is
selected in your profile.

Portal Developer Services

Oracle Portal Developer Services on OTN provides the Portal developer with all of
the latest technology and content related to Oracle Portal, making it the quickest
way for developers to build and test portals and portlets.
By subscribing to Oracle Portal Developer Services, you can access a number of
services and resources available exclusively to the Portal developer community. Not
only is it possible to access the development team within Oracle, but also to tap
into the greater community of Portal developers who have developed expertise in
working with portlets. Subscribers can also publish their own Portal development
knowledge and experience.
Subscribers to Portal Developer Services can:
• Build portlets using the Oracle Portal Developer Kit (PDK). As a
subscriber, you can download pre-release versions of the Oracle PDK.
You also get exclusive access to the latest how-to articles and development
tools to help you build your own portlets.
• Register and test portlets on Oracle Portal Verification Service. You can
host and test your own portlets on the Oracle Portal Verification Service
without having to install and manage your own Portal instance.
• Exchange knowledge with fellow community subscribers. Take advantage
of all that the Oracle Portal community has to offer. As a subscriber, you
can share Portal development knowledge with fellow community
subscribers. Upon registration, subscribers receive a community folder on
Portal Center where they can upload portlet code and portal development
insights (up to 4 MB).
• Participate in subscriber surveys. Subscribers may participate in quick polls
and detailed surveys, published specifically to gather feedback on
important topics. In particular, there is an opportunity to rate articles,
samples, and other content based on their effectiveness.
• Receive newsletter updates. Subscribers receive an Oracle Portal
Developer newsletter that provides information on the latest content and
software related to Portal development.

Application Integration

Portal Integration Solutions

Portal Integration (POINT) offers portlets that allow Oracle Portal users to
integrate various applications to their portal. The following portlets are released as

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 17


production portlets and are supported by Oracle Support for customers who have
appropriate support contracts:
• Lotus Notes Portlet
• Microsoft Exchange 2000 Portlet
Any other portlets including the following are samples released for test, evaluation,
and education purposes. They are not supported through formal Oracle Support
mechanisms:
• SAP Generic Portlet
• SAP Specific Portlets for finance, human resources, sales, and inventory
• IMAP Portlet
• SMTP Portlet
• SMS Portlet
• IBM Tn3270 Portlet
• Telnet Portlet
• Unified Messaging System Portlet
• Discussion Forum Portlet
• Site Indexing Portlet
All these portlets are available as free download to Developer Services subscribers.
Oracle Portal Developer Services is a free subscription, to access visit
http://portalcenter.oracle.com .

Integrating with the Oracle E-Business Suite

Pre-built portlets that enable direct access to applications data from the portal are
available as part of Oracle Applications 11i. All of these portlets are integrated to
take advantage of single sign-on as a partner application. These portlets are role
based and ship in three major categories:
• Daily Business Intelligence Portlets: Portlets included with the Daily
Business Intelligence product family.
• End-User Portlets: Portlets that are useful for Oracle E-Business Suite
Release 11i end-users. Portlets in this category may be added to default
Portal pages for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i users or made
available to users to add to their own custom pages.
• Applications System Administrator Portlets: Portlets that are primarily
useful for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i system administrators and
other non-production purposes. Portlets in this category are neither
generally useful nor appropriate for end users.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 18


Integrating with Oracle Collaboration Suite

Pre-built portlets that enable direct access to Oracle Collaboration Suite


components and data from the portal are available as part of Oracle Collaboration
Suite. All of these portlets are integrated to take advantage of single sign-on as a
partner application.

Integrating enterprise applications

Oracle Application Server Integration is a component comprised of Workflow,


Oracle Application Server Interconnect, Oracle Application Server
ProcessConnect, Oracle Workflow, and the OracleAS JCA Adapters which provide
connectivity to a host of existing applications and services such as SAP, PeopleSoft,
Siebel, MQ Series, FTP, JMS and others. Oracle Portal can use Oracle Integration
as the interface to 3rd party enterprise applications. This greatly simplifies the
integration from the portal perspective by giving you a single mechanism to get at
the data from any application.

Automating business processes

Portal implementations frequently want to integrate their business processes into


their enterprise portal. Using the capabilities of Oracle Workflow, portal
implementations can route information of any type according to user-defined
business rules to model, automate, and continuously improve business practices.
Both traditional, applications-based workflows as well as e-business integration
workflows are supported.

DEPLOYMENT SUPPORT
A complete Oracle Portal installation provides a deployment platform that provides
the essential underlying services that a portal needs in a pre-integrated framework.
As a fundamental service of the Oracle Application Server, Oracle Portal leverages
the key underlying grid computing capabilities it provides.

Grid Computing and Oracle’s Grid Computing Offering


Grid computing is a new software architecture designed to effectively pool together
large amounts of low cost modular storage and servers to create a virtual
computing resource across which work can be transparently distributed to use
capacity very efficiently, at low cost, and with very high availability. The resources
in a grid can include storage, servers, databases, application servers, and
applications. By pooling resources together, Grid Computing can offer dependable,
consistent, pervasive, and inexpensive access to these resources regardless of their
location and when needed, thereby fulfilling the need for computing capacity on-
demand.
Oracle offers a comprehensive solution to manage information and run Enterprise
Applications on Grids using Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Application Server
10G. Both Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Application Server 10g can be managed

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 19


in a Grid Computing environment using Oracle Grid Control. Together, these
products address the challenges faced by IT organizations today:
• Radically Reduce or Eliminate Excess Computing Capacity by automatically load
balancing workloads to use spare capacity efficiently eliminating “islands
of computation”
• Modular, Inexpensive Capacity Growth by adding capacity on-demand in low
cost modular units
• Radically Lower Cost of Management by centralizing administration of the
resources in a Grid and automating provisioning and administration tasks
across these resources

Oracle Application Server 10g and Its Benefits


Oracle Application Server 10g, the next generation of Oracle’s Integrated Software
Infrastructure for Enterprise Applications has been designed to enable Grid
Computing. It has been designed to effectively pool together large numbers of low
cost servers to create a virtual computing resource across which Enterprise
Applications can be transparently distributed to use capacity very efficiently, at low
cost, and with very high availability. Any existing application that runs on Oracle
Application Server can transparently take advantage of Grid Computing without
any changes. Service-Oriented Applications will find additional benefits when
deployed in a Grid. Oracle Application Server 10g provides a number of Grid
Computing features, most importantly:
• Radically Reduce or Eliminate Excess Computing Capacity through Policy-Based
Resource Management; Metrics-based Workload Management; and a
variety of advanced back-up, disaster recovery, and clustered fail-over
solutions to provide maximum availability in a Grid.
• Modular, Inexpensive Capacity Growth through Automated Installation,
Configuration, and Software Provisioning (including both software cloning
and patch management) across hundreds of nodes in a Grid.
• Radically Lower Cost of Management and eliminate human errors in
management through Centralized Systems Monitoring, Unified
Application Server Cluster Management (including Cluster Monitoring,
Cluster Optimization, and Cluster-wide Application Deployment), and
centralized Identity Management across a Grid.
Out of the box, Oracle Portal is integrated with the directory server, Web cache,
J2EE server, and other services to provide a complete platform that is critical for a
successful portal deployment. The following sections describe the architecture and
deployment services leveraged by Oracle Portal.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 20


Performance and Architecture
Oracle Portal is an integral component of the Oracle Application Server. The
Oracle Application Server has a flexible deployment model that supports a variety
of configurations on a broad set of hardware and operating systems for highly
scalable performance.

Figure 3. My.Oracle.Com architecture

Assembling pages and portlets

The portal architecture includes a highly tuned, multi-threaded servlet engine to


retrieve portlet content, manage caching, assemble Portal pages, and deliver
completed pages: all in parallel. Because the engine is deployed on OracleAS
Containers for J2EE (OC4J), Oracle's highly scalable, award winning J2EE
framework, performance is truly maximized. The architecture minimizes hardware
costs by enabling the use of commodity hardware deployed within a server farm.

Pre-built portlets

Oracle Portal itself is fully portlet enabled. All major administration, development,
and end user functions within the portal are accessed via a portlet (see Figure 3).
Oracle Portal ships with a set of pre-built portlets installed and configured for
portal development, portal administration, and general use by portal users:
• Portlet Development—Access developer information from
http://portalcenter.oracle.com; create and manage Portal page groups and

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 21


providers; find a portal object; display objects most recently created/edited;
and create a portlet from HTML source.
• Portal Administration—Create and manage users and user accounts and
profiles, create and manage user groups, administer global settings and
defaults, register/manage local portlet providers, set Portal language, enable
portlet login, navigate among Portal objects, search for users, and add and
manage local and remote Portal nodes.
• Database Administration—Create and manage database schemas, create and
manage database roles, import database objects that have been exported, and
access reports about the Portal database.
• End User—Store and retrieve frequently accessed URLs, search for content
within a page group, store and retrieve searches, access external applications,
and login/logout.

Figure 3. Oracle Portal is pre-configured with pages and portlets for portal development and
administration

Caching page and page content

A fully integrated, intelligent cache enables the highest level of performance by


minimizing unnecessary re-generation of Portal pages and portlet content. Oracle
Portal takes full advantage of Oracle Application Server Web Cache, Oracle's
patented, in-memory caching technology. OracleAS Web Cache combines caching,
compression, and assembly technologies to accelerate the delivery of both static
and dynamically generated portal content. It also provides back-end Web server

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 22


load balancing, failover, and surge protection features for improved performance
and availability.

Distributing user and content loads

Because the underlying architecture is cross-platform, Oracle Portal can capitalize


on the full range of available hardware resources. Portal administrators can choose
the best platform for each portal component, thus optimizing both performance
and total cost of ownership. The architecture supports load distribution and parallel
execution of portal components across multiple servers.

High-Availability

The Oracle Portal Metadata Repository supports the following high availability
options out-of-the-box:
• Oracle Database 10g RAC deployment
• Cold Failover Clustering - The OracleAS Metadata Repository install can
detect and install the OracleAS Metadata Repository on nodes in a
hardware cluster for cold failover. The option to install the OracleAS
Metadata Repository on the current node as if the node is not in a
hardware cluster is also available.
• Oracle Data Guard deployment

Security
Oracle Portal leverages the complete security infrastructure of Oracle Identity
Management to authenticate users, support single sign on (SSO), and manage users
and user group information.

Authenticating users

Oracle Portal takes advantage of Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On


architecture for user authentication. Through OracleAS Single Sign-On, users login
to Oracle Application Server and gain access to any OracleAS Single Sign-On-
enabled application for which they are authorized, without having to re-enter the
user name and password. OracleAS Single Sign-On is fully integrated with Oracle
Internet Directory while also supporting integration with 3rd party security
management products such as Netegrity SiteMinder®.

Managing users and groups

Oracle Internet Directory (OID) is Oracle Portal's repository for user and group
definitions. Users can be provisioned through user management screens in Oracle
Portal, or with the administration tools and APIs provided with OID. Third party
LDAP directories can be synchronized with OID using built-in metadirectory
capabilities.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 23


Seamless integration with Windows domain logon

Integration with Windows is enabled via a feature of Oracle Identity Management,


which allows for seamless integration with and sign-on from the Windows Domain
environment into Oracle Portal, as well as Web applications that are hosted within
Oracle Portal.

Applying and managing access controls

Access control lists (ACL’s) are used throughout to manage user and group
privileges on portal objects (pages, styles, items, portlets, etc.). Administrators can
delegate ACL responsibility to object owners, who can specify the users and user
groups, as well as their privileges to access, customize, or modify the object.
Administrators can also grant global privileges on all objects of a given type.

Deploying over secure networks

Oracle Portal is easily configured to support communication with users and remote
portlet providers over an SSL connection.

Hosting
Oracle Portal provides hosting support as both a platform for Application Service
Providers (ASPs) and as a more manageable way for large Enterprise IT
departments to host departmental intranet or Extranet portal sites.
Traditionally, implementing a fully isolated portal environment for a company or
department has required setting up a dedicated database instance for each
organization. This can quickly prove costly in terms of both hardware and
manpower resources, especially if the number of organizations is large. A single
shared instance is obviously more manageable but typically will not provide the
level of isolation required to host multiple organizations securely.
Oracle Portal provides a more cost effective and manageable solution for hosting
multiple organizations that provides all the benefits of a shared instance model but
without compromising organization security. At the heart of our hosting solution is
the Oracle Database 10g Virtual Private Database (VPD).

Virtual Private Database

Oracle Database 10g Virtual Private Database (VPD) is made up of two


components; fine grained access control and application context. With Oracle
Database 10g VPD, you can define access policies for individuals or groups within
the context of the organization they belong to. In other words, you can host
multiple organizations (subscribers) in the same database with full isolation. For
users to access their portal they provide a username, password and organization
name, either directly or indirectly through a Branded URL.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 24


Branded URLs

The hosted portal environment enables the allocation of unique branded URLs to
the different subscribers. For example, Company A and Company B can be hosted
in the same instance. Company A accesses their portal through the URL
http://www.companyA.com/ and similarly company B uses
http://www.companyB.com/. The branded URL switches the context to the
appropriate subscriber so that users need only provide their username and
password to login. Branded URLs also provide the capability for subscribers to
include public pages and content on their portals.

Customer Provisioning

To simplify the creation and management of subscribers, Oracle Portal provides a


simple to use one-step setup script. The entire process for creating a new subscriber
takes a matter of minutes – a huge time saving when compared to setting up a
whole new portal instance. The scripts will automatically setup the new subscriber’s
environment, users, privileges, and even default page and content. The script takes
care of all the necessary entries for Oracle Internet Directory, OracleAS Single
Sign-On and Oracle Portal. Similar scripts are also provided to remove subscribers.

Administering a Hosted Environment

To further simplify administration, Oracle Portal supports the creation of


administrative users that have visibility across subscriber environments. For
example, a Support user could be configured with a degree of privileges that can
access and perform maintenance tasks on any subscriber account. Any number of
administrative accounts can be set up with varying degrees of privileges to suit the
specific needs of the hosting provider.

Portal Management
In Oracle Portal, there are two related management interfaces: the Oracle
Enterprise Manager Application Server Control (Application Server Control) and
the Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. The Application Server Control is
installed with every instance of Oracle Application Server and provides the
management tools needed to monitor and administer a single OracleAS instance.
The Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control is installed separately from your
Oracle AS installations. Typically, there will be only one Enterprise Manager Grid
Control installation per Enterprise. The Grid Control provides a wider view of the
network to manage multiple instances of OracleAS. In addition, the Grid Control
provides a robust feature set designed to help manage all aspects of the enterprise,
including Oracle databases, hosts, listeners, and other components. When used
together, the Application Server Control and the Grid Control provide a complete
set of efficient tools to reduce the cost and complexity of managing an enterprise.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 25


Installation

Out of the box, the Oracle Portal Metadata Repository supports NFS installations
and Installation onto machines with either DHCP or Fixed IP address. Oracle
Portal can also be installed on a computer that is not connected to a network, and
add that computer to a network later.
When installing an Oracle Portal middle tier on a computer that already has other
middle tiers, it is possible to select to which farm the middle tier should belong.
The Repository Creation Assistant may be used to install the Oracle Portal Product
Metadata schema into a separate customer database rather than in the default
OracleAS Metadata Repository.

Port Management

If the requirement is to avoid using the default port numbers usually assigned by
the installer, you can set up a file with component names and desired port numbers
(for example, if you want access to Portal to be on HTTP port 80 and not the
default HTTP port 7777). The installer then uses the values from the file instead of
the default port numbers.
After installation, the ports in use may be viewed and/or modified via the
Application Server Control UI.

Application Server Control

Each Oracle Portal Oracle home contains its own Application Server Control
installation. You can use the Application Server Control to manage your Oracle
Portal middle tier in the three fundamental ways of Real Time Monitoring,
Administration and Detailed Log File Diagnostics.

Real Time Monitoring

In addition to containing its own Application Server Control installation, each


Oracle Portal Oracle home also contains its own Oracle Management Agent
installation. Starting the Application Server Control for a given Oracle Home
also starts the associated Management Agent as the Application Server Control
relies on the Management Agent for its supply of real time metrics.
In the case of the Portal Target Page, the Application Server Control provides a
rich display of metrics. To view this information, click Portal:<portal DAD
name> in the list of system components. The default schema name is portal.
(Alternatively you can access this page directly from within Oracle Portal. Click the
Administer tab on the Portal Builder page, click the Portal sub-tab, and then click
Portal Service Monitoring.)

Administration

The previously mentioned Portal Target Page also allows you to easily access
several administration tasks, including:

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 26


• Creating, Editing and Deleting DADs via the DAD wizard (by drilling
through to the DAD Wizard from the mod_plsql Services link)
• Changing the Portal Web Cache Settings that this Portal middle tier uses
• Editing the OC4J_Portal Web.xml configuration file (by drilling through
to the OC4J_Portal Target Page from the Parallel Page Engine Services
link)
In addition you can perform the following tasks from the Application Server Target
page:
• Reassociating an Oracle Portal middle tier with a new Oracle Identity
Management Server
• Reassociating an Oracle Portal middle tier installation with a new,
different, or relocated OracleAS Metadata Repository

Detailed Log File Diagnostics

One important step in troubleshooting an Oracle Portal installation is examining


the log files of the various OracleAS components that Oracle Portal uses. You can
do this from the Application Server Control UI by clicking the Logs link in the top
right hand corner of every page.
Because Oracle Portal can satisfy a large number of requests simultaneously, tracing
a single request through the various Oracle Portal components can be difficult, as
information relating to these requests is intermingled.
Oracle Portal makes use of an Execution Context Identifier (ECID), a unique
number that is assigned to a request and attached to information recorded for that
request. As a request is passed from one component to another, the ECID is
incremented to form a sequence. This means that an individual request can be
tracked through any number of components by following this ECID sequence.
An ECID is generated by the first OracleAS component to receive a request
without an ECID. The Application Server Control Log Viewer allows the
Administrator to visually correlate a number of log file entries together, based on
the ECID, to expose the request flow from one component to another.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control is installed into its own, separate
Oracle home from the Oracle Portal Oracle home it is managing. In the majority of
cases the Grid Control is actually installed on a completely separate node to your
OracleAS installation. The Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control installation
consists of the Management Agent, Management Service and Management
Repository.
The Management Service uploads the monitoring data it received from the
Management Agent to the Management Repository. The Management Repository

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 27


then organizes the data so that the data can be retrieved by the Management
Service and displayed on the Grid Control. Because data is stored in the
Management Repository, it can be shared between any number of administrators
accessing the Grid Control.

Historical Metric Reports

Whereas the Application Server Control displays real time metrics, the Grid
Control shows metrics that have been collected over a period of time. The range of
Oracle Portal metrics that are to be collected are configured (by default) at install
time.
You can use these collected metrics to monitor historical trends. For any of the
collected metrics, you can graph their performance over a period of time of up to
31 days. In addition you can also graph this same metric side by side with the same
metric from a different Oracle Portal installation that is also being monitored.

Thresholds and Automatic Notifications

In the Grid Control, you can define and adjust the thresholds for Oracle Portal
metrics. Thresholds are boundary values against which monitored metric values are
compared. You can specify a warning threshold such that, when a monitored metric
value crosses that threshold, a warning alert is generated. Alerts can notify you of
impending problems that you can address in a timely manner. Alerts specific to
Oracle Portal can be viewed from the Portal Target page in the Grid Control.
Editing metric thresholds is useful because you can add or change the thresholds to
fit the monitoring needs of your organization. When defining a threshold, you
should choose a value that avoids too many unnecessary alerts.
Once you have tailored your thresholds to your organization you can set up
notification alerts to execute when certain metrics exceed the pre-set thresholds.
To set up a notification in the Grid Control you first establish at least one
Notification Method for either an Outgoing Mail Server, a Script (OS Command or
PL/SQL) or an SNMP Trap. Once you have a Notification Method defined then
you can link it to a Notification Rule through which you can choose the targets and
conditions for which you want to receive notifications in the Grid Control.

Application Modeling

In the Grid Control, you can create a Web Application to perform application
performance monitoring against Oracle Portal sites by monitoring end-user
response times or the performance of representative transactions. Using this
feature, multiple sites can be monitored separately on their own page even when
they all belong to the same Oracle Portal installation. For example,
portalcenter.oracle.com and portalcatalog.oracle.com are part of the same Oracle
Portal installation, even though they are accessed via different home pages.
Two main types of monitoring are performed on the Web Applications page:

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 28


• End-User Response Time monitoring - All URLs based on the application
homepage (specified in the Web Application properties) are monitored.
URLs of particular importance can be identified in a URL Watchlist.
• Representative Transaction monitoring - Recorded application activity
(transactions) is played back at regular intervals through client robots
(Beacons). The availability of the application is defined as the availability
of a selected subset of representative transactions, replayed through
selected Beacons.

Portal Navigation

Oracle Portal includes several features to aid users, developers, and administrators
in navigating to Portal pages, objects created within the portal, and external URLs.
The Portal navigator, and several navigation portlets assist users in finding the
objects they seek within the portal.

Portal Navigator

The navigator, accessible by default from the page banner, allows users, developers,
and administrators to quickly locate an Oracle Portal page, provider, or database
object and take action on these objects (see Figure 4). The navigator provides an
Explorer-like view of objects that are accessible to a logged-in user. The objects
that a user can access and the actions they can take are defined by user privileges.
Figure 4. The navigator provides an easy-to-use navigation model to access and take action on pages

groups, providers and database objects.

The navigator is organized into three tabbed page regions:


• Page Groups: Page Groups are organized into pages, templates, categories,
navigation pages, perspectives, styles and custom types. The user may

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 29


create new objects within one of these groups or perform actions (such as
edit, delete, move, copy, etc) on an existing object.
• Providers: Providers are logical groupings of portlets. The user may create,
edit or manage internal providers, Web providers, Portal DB providers,
provider groups as well as shared components.
• Database Objects: Simple controls allow database administrators to access
and take action on (open, edit, drop, grant access, export) individual
database schemas. Accessing a schema displays all the objects that make
up the schema, including tables, views, procedures, functions, packages,
sequences, synonyms, indexes, triggers, database links, and Java objects,
and reveals actions that can be performed (manage, run, edit, delete, grant
access, and additional actions specific to the object). Clicking on an action
link takes the administrator to the dialog box that performs the function.

Navigation Portlets

• Recent Objects Portlet: Provides rapid access to objects (page groups,


providers, etc.) recently created or edited by a developer. As the user
creates or edits objects, the object appears at the top of the list. The user
may customize the portlet content by specifying the number of objects
displayed, the name that appears in the banner, and the display of the
object (text or image).
• Favorites Portlet: Enables users to bookmark frequently accessed Web
sites. Users can create, edit, or delete their favorite URL addresses; create
descriptive labels; and organize them into folders (up to two levels).
Clicking on the favorite link takes the user to the referenced URL. The
user may further customize the portlet by specifying an image to appear in
the banner.
• Find Portlet: Allows developers and administrators to locate a page group,
application, or database object via a search of the object attributes. The
user specifies the object type they wish to search (provider, database, and
page group) and enters a keyword.

Deploying to a multi-lingual community

All text appearing in wizards, dialog boxes, messages, and help topics has been
translated into 27 languages. Users who access the portal with a browser language
setting preference see administration, editing, and all other non-user defined
features in their preferred language. In addition, Oracle Portal’s self-service
publishing features allow information owners to load multiple translations of their
content items. Users viewing these items see the translation corresponding to their
language setting.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 30


Export/Import

Integrated portal export/import features support the staging and exporting of


portal content, including the page definition, security settings and all item and
portlet content, from one or more development sites to a production site.
The export/import Dependency Manager ensures that all dependencies of objects
in the transport set are correctly extracted. Based on how each object is extracted,
the Dependency Manager classifies it as explicit, external, reference, or child, then
displays that information in a manifest. This information can be used to control
import mode at a granular level.

Upgrade

Utilities are available to upgrade from Oracle9iAS Release 2 and Oracle Application
Server 10g (9.0.4) to Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2). The Oracle
Application Server Upgrade and Compatibility Guide 10g (10.1.2) describes the full
process of upgrading Oracle Portal and other Oracle Application Server
components to Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2 (10.1.2).

Integration
The Oracle Application Server includes a complete set of services, all of which may
be deployed via the portal environment to create a complete application server
solution.

Business Intelligence

Many portal implementations require tools to create detailed analyses and reports
on enterprise data. Pre-integrated business intelligence components within Oracle
Application Server, including Oracle Application Server Discoverer, Oracle
Application Server Reports Services, and Oracle Business Intelligence Beans,
provide these capabilities and more. Advanced features within these components
support ad-hoc query, reporting, and analysis of enterprise data, and provide the
ability to publish high-quality, end-user reports in HTML, PDF, or XML.

Transactional Applications

The Oracle Application Server allows developers to develop and deploy world-class
transactional applications, both OLTP style applications as well as Self-Service style
applications. These applications may be deployed via Oracle Portal using Oracle
Application Server Forms Services and Oracle Application Server Containers for
J2EE (OC4J).

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 31


CONCLUSION
Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.2) provides the most powerful platform for
successful enterprise portal implementations. It enables enterprises to build, deploy,
and maintain self-service, integrated enterprise portals using an easy to use,
browser-based, wizard-driven, declarative interface. It also enables J2EE
Developers to extend these declarative interfaces with new functionality to
implement the business needs. Using Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.2), e-
businesses have the power to connect employees, partners, and suppliers with the
information they need, as well as the flexibility to create views tailored to each
community.

Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview Page 32


Oracle Portal 10g Release 2 Technical Overview, August 2005
Author: Portal Product Management
Contributing Authors: Curriculum Development, Development, Marketing and Documentation

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