WPS Portal project

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Merging Websphere Portal and Quickr ?

According to IBM, there are still no plan to merge the WebSphere Portal and the Quickr product into a single software solution.
Moreover, most people say that they will remain two distinct softwares, because one main technical limitation is of course that a single JVM can hardly support both runtime.
So the roadmap is likely to manage these 2 solutions separately, but provide various facilities and option to implement a seamless integration for end-users.

For instance, integration can be based on REST services exposed by Quickr (and at the portal level, the RSS Portlet can be used).
Also the new webapp integrator tool seems to be a good way to "merge" the navigation of portal and quickr.
There are also some WP Portlet that can show the list of space the portal user is member of (simple link to access the remote Quickr server).

I found this article which describe how to integrate WCM (portal side) with Quickr:

Photo Book for IBM Lotus Quickr services for WebSphere Portal

The proposed approach is to consume the Quickr REST service from the WCM API, and to store link to Quickr data into WCM content.

Also, for those how think about running their WP Portlet directly on the Quickr server, you should know that even if your Portlet should run without any modification (assuming it is a JSR 168 Portlet), you will probably have to customize your Portlet code to transform it as a Quickr Business Component.
Basically, a Quickr Business Component is a Portlet which implements some Quickr java interfaces to manage the life cycle of the component and to ensure it will plug properly into the template application model of Quickr. For instance, by implementing these interfaces, you will ensure that the ACL applied on the composite application will be propagated also on all components (Portlets) included in the application.


  • Hi, thanks for your recent blog entry on Portal / Quickr integration.

    This is a big issue at my company and is growing in importance since Portal 6.1 retires PDM. We want tighter integration of Quickr into Portal.

    Regarding the Web Application Integrator, have you actually used it? We have begun testing it and have found a "limitation" (that's IBM Support's term) in the WAI that essentially means you can only use it in the top level of Portal page hierarchy. Otherwise, it breaks portal's navigation.

    So, let's say I want to surface Quickr, using the WAI, in Applications > Collaboration > My Quickr. Well I can't.

    If you, or anyone else, are familiar with the WAI, I'd really appreciate any advise. Thanks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 21, 2008  

  • Sorry but actually I never used this tool but just see it on IBM slides :-).
    I really do not understand why it cannot be used for lower level of navigation...this does not really make sense...

    As far as I know, with WPS 6.1 you can also expose the navigation tree as an RSS Feed atom format...maybe this could be a workaround for the WAI limit ?

    By Blogger Enguerrand SPINDLER, at November 01, 2008  

  • I think the technical limitation is really just an excuse. If they use WAS ND as the base application server infrastructure then they could run everything in a clustered environment, if needed.

    IBM are pushing WebSphere (really Lotus) Portal as the integration option for most web applications and here they have something ideally suited to Portal which can't run in Portal.

    OK. It runs on it's own version of Portal but why should it? Basically it's just enterprise applications and a collection of portlets. Why should that need it's own WAS, Portal, DB2 and then Quickr?


    By Anonymous Tony, at April 06, 2009  

  • I really do think IBM has "technical" problem to merge these 2 softwares together...
    The main technical limitation is I think due to the JVM which cannot run 2 portal application at the same time (it is sometimes difficult to run a single portal also :-)

    But the "root cause" behind that is probably that these 2 application (portal and quickr) are simply developed "independently" by 2 distinct teams which are not communicating together very well.

    Finally, I do think it could be a good improvement for customers if these 2 applications could be merged together, to offer a full collaborative portal solution (without needing to install 2 logical servers).

    By Blogger Enguerrand SPINDLER, at April 07, 2009  

  • Hi. Thanks for responding and so quickly. :-)

    Every time you go to an IBM conference they are always reinforcing to everyone their WAS ND clustering and, in the Portal realm, Portal clustering for high availablity and high load situations.
    We don't need this at this time because we're running Portal on an i5 (AS/400, iSeries, etc) with heaps of CPW (the method of working out processor speed in IBM speak) and 31GB of RAM.
    ie. We're scaling vertically.

    I agree that Quickr is probably being developed independently from Portal but yet they built it on a Portal platform (well one version anyway). It seems strange that they didn't go the extra step and make it installable on an existing Portal.

    IBM have a problem of admitting that there are different levels of "integration" with their products.

    I remember when we were first looking at Portal and IBM said that their Web Content Managaement System (WCM) was integrated with Portal, only to find out it could be added but integration was via portlets and a lot of customised coding and limitation of use. (ie. Try adding a portal page into the middle of WCM navigation. Bzzzz, nope.)

    They've given an option to migrate PDM documents to Quickr but you basically need to buy another machine to do this. I have a hard time accepting that.

    They have also said that they were coming up with a migration strategy to move documents into WCM, that has yet to appear. (I'm writing my own as I can no longer wait)

    How long has 6.1 been out?

    I don't think they're making an effort because they want to sell Quickr.

    IBM are starting to look a lot like Microsoft. Upgrade to this as it's your only option!

    OK... OK... I'm ranting... I admit it. I just feel that IBM are taking their customers for a ride. Their stuff isn't cheap yet sometimes the quality and support is.

    Anyway, thanks for responding and hopefully IBM see the error of their ways and help their community before there is any more ill feelings.

    By Anonymous Tony, at April 07, 2009  

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