Off the shelf JSR-168 Portlets

One of the promises of standards like JSR-168 is that one can get portlets off the shelf and directly use them for their applications. There have been quite a few initiatives that encourage people to submit and share JSR-168 portlets. Sourceforge has a project called Portlet Open Source Trading site (POST). This project was started by Plumtree, Documentum, BEA, and Sun Microsystems. More recently, JBOSS started portletswap. I am sure other vendors also have similar sites. However, I donot think any of these initiatives ever took off. All you get at these sites are simple portlets – iframe, RSS and others of this variety. I haven’t found many portlets that do any real work.

Now Yash Technologies has announced the release of SyncEx portlet suite, containing portlets for collaboration. These include those for integration with MS Exchange based emails among other things.
Many analysts have predicted emergence of collaborative portals
and this release by Yash Technologies is a good step towards making it easier for people to include collaboration features in their portals.

OpenCMS Revisited

I’ve spent some time *again* playing around with OpenCMS 6.0. As far as I am concerned, the best addition has been the ability to create new content types. In earlier versions, if one needed a custom content type, one had to create content definitions using java. This meant lot of coding and time. In the latest version, this has been greatly simplified. Just create an XML Content definition using your favourite text editor and you are done. However, it takes some time to figure out the configuration part so that the content thus created is finally visible. This is primarily because documentation is not of too much help and one has to go thru mail archives to know. Here’s the link to the right post just in case you want to know the steps.

The Templateone demos demonstrate how good and flexible OpenCMS is. However, in order to understand these demos and to be able to use any of it in your development, one has to do a lot of trial and error.

People on the mailing list are generally very helpful. But a good and complete documentation will go a long way in helping people who want to adopt this excellent open source product.

Earlier review of OpenCMS