Sun Goes Public With JSR 168, Beta Of New Portlet Builder


Spec, tool aimed at standardizing how developers pull content into portals


Sun Microsystems Thursday will go public with a Java Specification Request and Sun ONE Studio Portlet Builder beta aimed at standardizing how content is sent to Java-based portal servers, a company executive said.

Sun and the JSR 168 Expert Group within the Java Community Process (JCP) will publish JSR 168 for public review Thursday, with the final version of the spec slated to be finalized by the JCP in late August or early September, said Adam Abramski, Sun's product line manager for Sun ONE Portal Server. The JCP is the group of vendors that creates and approves future Java standards.

JSR 168, co-led by JCP members Sun and IBM, offers developers a common industry method for pulling information and content into a Java-based portal, Abramski said.

Sun also will make available on its Web site Thursday a beta of the Sun ONE Portlet Builder that implements JSR 168, as well as four portlets and their source code that use the spec. Portlet Builder is a plug-in to the Sun ONE Studio IDE, and the update will be included in a new release of the product slated for fall, the company said.

Sun ONE Portal Server 6.2, which Sun plans to release in early to mid-September, also will support JSR 168, Abramski said. He said this version of Sun's portal will be a part of the initial release of Project Orion, also slated for the fall.

Sun plans to make available on July 21 a controlled early access release version of Sun ONE Portal Server 6.2, Abramski added.

Abramski said Sun wanted to give developers a preview not only of a tool that leverages the new technology spec, but also real-world examples of how a portal behaves when using the spec. The company also is providing a white paper on the new technology and its implementation.

Solution providers currently do not have a standard way to pull content and information from other applications into Java-based portals, but Abramski said JSR 168 was developed to change that. Eventually, JSR 168 will become a part of J2EE, the collection of Java specifications that together make up the industry standard for building and deploying enterprise-scale Java applications, he said.

As first reported by CRN in May, Sun, Santa Clara, Calif., had already released the Portlet Builder beta implementing JSR 168 to select partners. Abramski said Thursday marks the public beta of the updated tool.

Portals are one component of a Java software infrastructure stack--comprised also of application servers and integration servers--that is becoming a de facto part of deploying Java-based, enterprise-scale applications.