Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why Move to Portal 6.1?

Samuel Sharaf, Solution Director West Coast

We recently proposed a WebSphere Portal 6.1 upgrade to one of our very important customers. Their environment is currently running on Portal 6.0.x. The customer’s first question was, “What value does Portal 6.1 provides over version 6.0? And how it would benefit us?” To answer their question, we developed a simple table which lists the features available in the latest version of Portal and a brief description of these features.

These two columns, in table 1.0 below, can be used as basis for developing an ROI model for a customer who wants to upgrade to Portal 6.1. For example, most likely, a customer has developed custom AJAX functionality to enhance the user experience. Yet with any custom code, there is cost associated with code maintenance and enhancements. With Portal 6.1’s Web 2.0 support, most of the Portlets have built in AJAX support.The customer was happy to see how these new features in Portal 6.1 can help reduce the on going code maintenance and administrative costs and help improve the overall site and user experience.

WebSphere Portal 6.1 Features and Descriptions

UI Improvements

  1. Themes and Skins Wizard
  2. Themes and skins no longer part of wps.ear. Updates are applied without restarting Portal

Web 2.0
  1. AJAX enabled Portlets
  2. Supports JSR 268 which provides for improved inter-Portlet communication
  3. Portal REST services and integration with Collaboration Services

Administering Portal/Web Content Management
  1. Portlet Resource monitoring (out of box)
  2. Simplified administration of sites
  3. Greatly improved security configuration

Web Content Management Improvements
  1. Security:
    1. Inherited security support
    2. User and contributor roles
    3. Active content filtering
  2. Performance:
    1. Changes to WCM node structure for better authoring experience/performance
  3. Presentation:
    1. Improved UI tags for content rendering
  4. Authoring/templating:
    1. In line editing, Authoring tool enhancements, EditLive RTE 5
  5. API:
    1. JSR286 Portlets to enable Web content pages and directing links to right WCM Page

Samuel Sharaf is a Solution Director at Prolifics on the West coast with real world customer expertise with Portal implementations, Dashboard, Forms and Content Management. Sam also has expertise with migrating applications from non-IBM platforms to IBM WebSphere Application and Portal Servers.