[thelist] Anyone have experience with JBoss Portal? (Client side POV especially)

Tom Dell'Aringa pixelmech at gmail.com
Thu May 18 14:25:36 CDT 2006

Hi folks,

We've been searching for a good portal for an internal project for over a
year. We used BEA Portal for a project last year and it was extremely
painful to use, both from a back end and front end POV. I'm the front end
guy so my concern lies there.

Having just gone over the docs for JBoss Portal[1] and played around with
it, I'm fairly annoyed from a client side perspective. Layout is abstracted
to the moon, meaning in order to control layout you deal with tag libraries
and xml docs, and yes, java classes. Getting at the actual HTML for portlets
and windows and the like is nigh impossible, seemingly.

Their own documentation goes so far as to identify a "layout developer"
(seemingly a person in between back end engineers and client side devs) who
would handle such duties.

In the sense of the user experience, I seem doomed to kind of skinning the
default layout and just be done with it. It seems incredibly restrictive.

There are definite benefits to the portal on the back end, don't get me
wrong. Since it is open source all the source code is available to the
engineers, it links up with Active Directory which we need, can be extended,
blah blah blah. But it seems a real dog from the client side of things.

Anyone use this portal and have any other perspectives to share? If not,
what portal have you had success with?

We had brought up Joomla[2] as one idea, but too many people have the java
bug here and php is looked down upon as a secondary language. Frankly Joomla
looked really cool to me, although I'm sure it would have some challenges to
meet our reqs.

It really seems JBoss Portal is a portal written by java people for java
people - particularly back end peeps, from that kind of perspective. I'm
sure there are advantages to this but it is killing me at the moment. Any
comments are appreciated!


[1] http://labs.jboss.com/portal/jbossportal/index.html
[2] http://www.joomla.org/

More information about the thelist mailing list