Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Enterprise Portal and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the talk of the enterprise fraternity. Not only the business is getting benefited but the potential of SOA is affecting the speed of application development process.

This buzzword strikes Portal technology as well. These days organizations are in the process of migrating from traditional client/server, monolithic or disparate n-tier architecture to a more loosely coupled and interoperable environment, this process is then better termed as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).Most of us are aware of SOA and its benefits, I wont be repeating those here but will discuss that how Portal can be used to leverage SOA.

When we talk about the underlying components of SOA i.e. Interoperability, Scalability, and
Integration, the best suite that does and support all these is an Enterprise Portal Implementation.

A Portal based on standard like JSR168 and WSRP can be the most eligible candidate for SOA. When we look at the Portal’s Infrastructure, we find that it comprises of nuts and bolts of Service Oriented Architecture.

So the next thought that comes to mind is how Portal fits in SOA?

Portlets are reusable web components which forms the core of a Portal Desktop, providing relevant and customized information.SOA’s Interoperability is achieved by deploying JSR 168 Portlet to any JSR 168 compliant Portal server. Also, a portlet can be reused in different Portal pages as well as in different containers which proves reusability aspect of SOA.

Web Services, one of the main building blocks of SOA, fits nicely with Portal as WSRP based portlets. WSRP enabled portlets, which adhere to Web services standard such as SOAP and WSDL, enables portal to easily include services from a third party into a portal page. This eases and reduces the development process and makes use of already available enabled services. WSRP provides much support for the basic pillars of SOA like SSO, Reusability, Access management, service integration with loose coupling (here I mean to say that different processes should be integrated but without the processes being dependent on each other ).

Lastly, Role based content delivery model in Collaborative Portals makes a value addition for role based SOA Implementation.

The above information perfectly fits with the Gartner’s conclusion that

The portal can be a logical and appropriate first step toward SOA implementation because its fundamental nature lends itself to SOA approaches”