Saturday, May 1, 2010

An approach to integrate applications in to a portal engine


Displaying existing web interface of an application

Creating a portlet with a more granular level without relying on JSR 168 portlet API is done by embedding the web interface of an application to an IFrame (Inline Frame) portlet.

An IFrame portlet invokes an URL inside an IFrame within the portlet window. It gets content referenced by an URL and displays it in a portlet. IFrame portlets can be downloaded freely or else they can be found already integrated in many web portals. Thus a user can use a portlet integrated to a portal or either create a custom IFrame portlet. Basically these portlets contain following jsp pages:

--configuration.jsp (for edit mode) -This is for adding configuration values such as source URL of directing web page, look and feel attributes and authenticating attributes.

--view.jsp (for view mode) - This makes possible to view the embedded web page inside the current portal page with the help of the functions in the portlet namespace.

--proxy.jsp- This facilitates passing timeout values and authentication values.

Following custom configurations can be done to a default IFrame portlet.

--It is possible to configure the embedded URL by limiting the ‘iframeSrc’ portlet preferences attribute to a custom URL instead of adding the URL of embedded web page several times at each time the IFrame portlet is added to a portal page.

--It can be changed the portlet name by changing the parameter ‘portlet-name.value’ in the portlet.xml file.

--It is possible to manage session timeouts of an IFrame with Ajax using a XMLHttpRequest call to refresh the content inside the portlet without having to refresh the entire portal page[6].

--It can be configured to retrieve the user name and password of the current user, who is viewing the page using the ‘getUser’ method of the ‘PortalUtil’ class and that will be used to authenticate against the embedded web page.

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