Thursday, July 01, 2004

Which Portal? Apache Jetspeed, of course!

Punit asked Which Open Source Portal Server?, and here is my answer:

He lists the top contenders in the open source portal market as:
Apache Jakarta Jetspeed 2

I would mod it to change Jetspeed to version 1 and add Jahia.

About 5 months ago I did a fairly extensive evaluation of the portal market. I chose Apache Jetspeed 1. We are running 1.4 now, but are migrating to 1.5 soon and 2.0 when it is finally released. We are so happy with Jetspeed! At the time of my evaluation it was miles ahead of Liferay, eXo, and uPortal for our purposes.

eXo looks promising, but is/was still in its infancy. uPortal is great for universities, but we need an application portal not an enterprise/university portal. We don't need email/calendar/todo lists. What we need is a framework so our applications can utilize portlets for extensibility and customization. Liferay looked like it needed a new architecture regarding JSR 168.

For us it came down to Jahia and Jetspeed. Jahia is a very nicely done portal that runs on the Jetspeed platform. However I had problems running it in Weblogic. Also Jetspeed was more customizable for our purposes. It handles customization of data and user views. It is very easy to get running and very easy to program for. We use a blend of Jetspeed MVC and Struts for our architecture components. We have been able to extend sections of the Jetspeed code for our purposes too! The Apache Jakarta name is a huge seller in our government environment, and this went a long way in helping me sell the portal above Weblogic's Portal, TIBCO, Plumtree, and Vignette.

Jetspeed 2 looks to be great when it is stable and released. Until then, Jetspeed 1 is all we need. I should do another entry on JSR 168 and why that is not important to us, yet. Jetspeed essentially shelters us from the current hype.

[Update: 12/21/2004] I would now upgrade this to say, pick Jetspeed 1.6 Fusion if you want JSR-168 portlets when migrating from the original Jetspeed. In this way, we can still support our original Jetspeed portlets until they are fully migrated to JSR-168 versions. I would also choose Jetspeed 1.6 Fusion for a new project, but only develop JSR-168 Portlets for it. This way you can easily migrate to Jetspeed 2 when it is final and stable. Take a look at the struts portal bridge, that can be deployed on any portal to use struts in developing your portal apps.

[Update: 2/20/2006] Wow, I'm impressed that people are still hitting this page quite regularly! Some of you may also be interested in my thread related directly to deploying Jetspeed on Weblogic: Jetspeed on Weblogic FAQ


Anonymous said...

First know that I am Benjamin Mestrallet one of the eXo Platform co leader.

Well, if you look at the points Punit asked for you will see in first line that the first requirement was :

Support of JSR 168 and WSRP standard

So none of Jetspeed 1 nor Jahia has it. That is why they are not in the list.

In fact I 100% agree with punit list. And I would even narrow it for enterprise context to eXo, Jetspeed 2 and Liferay. Not that the other are bad but they are mainly for university purposes and may not fit enterprise needs so easily.

From those 3, Liferay is the older but it comes with an older design which makes it not flexible enough. eXo Platform and Jetspeed are new products but J2 is still in alpha stage.

You said, eXo looks promising 5 months ago, have a look now : as we are about to release 1.0 RC1 version.



Anonymous said...

Jahia ( is currently not based on the Jetspeed 1.x technology but uses its own mechanism in order to be able to reuse standard servlets as portlets. This technology was developed before the release of the JSR 168 in order to stay as much as possible compliant with existing web applications standards.

As Jahia aims to package in one easy to install and to use distribution most of the Apache CMS and portal related frameworks, we are now heavily working on integrating Pluto/Jetspeed 2 into Jahia. Of course as Jetspeed 2 is even not still in Beta release right now, next version of Jahia will have to wait at least a RC of J2 in order to be launched. However for test purpose you may already find the full J2 code integrated with Jahia in our public dev CVS.

Please also note that J2 is a complete refactoring of Jetspeed 1.x code and has notthing to see any more with its previous edition.

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

Liferay 3.0 supports JSR 168 today and has been used by many Fortune 500 enterprises for real world production systems. said...


I am looking around to find some developers that would be interested in building a portal for doctor - patient communication over a portal. I help you with the medicine stuff, you help me with the technology. Anyone who knows the money in healthcare realizes that this is a solid business opportunity.

Oh, BTW, I am not sure how to determine what is the best platform for developing a medical office portal. All suggestions appreciated.

:) DrMurdoch
email : drjmurdoch at yah()().ca

Anonymous said...

I recently started to evaluate the open source JSR 168 compliant portals and are also blogging along the way. In general my favorites now is also JetSpeed 2. However I do run into lots of quirks while trying JetSpeed 2. LifeRay is a very close runner-up I must say. It has become JSR 168 compliant since your evaluation, and it's way more polished than the other portals I have evaluated so far. The reason it didn't make to the top of my list is its architecture seems to be a bit intrusive.

I briefly looked at eXo and felt a lot of potential. But one thing from eXo that basically turned me off was the GPL. I can hardly imagine building my portal without modifying whichever product I will pick.

--Jing xue

Jeff Sheets said...

If I had to start over on a new project with a portal today, I would look at Jetspeed 2, eXo, and JBoss Portal. eXo looks great, but my experience is solely with Jetspeed 1 and 2. They have worked great for me, and the community is very responsive to all of my inquiries. I don't know as much about JBoss Portal, but they are new on the scene and worth investigating.

I agree with your opinion about Liferay, as I came to the same conclusion.

Anonymous said...

dear friends.

im a j2ee developers and hope to know more about portal,

im looking for a simple and active portal, jetspeed is better for me ?

does portal app related to presentation framework ? i mean that
if i wann use struts or tapestry in my presentation, can i use jetspeed too ?

thanks, and sorry for my poor english