>> 1.  Do portals render portlets in iFrames, or do they suck in the HTML 
and
>> display it inline?  Do you have a choice (I can see situations that 
might
>> merit either)?

> Yes <grin>.  Actually, the standard is to render the information inline,
> but there is a capability in WebSphere Portal Server to also use
> IFrames.  There are pluses and minuses to the IFrame approach, and I'll
> try to have more on that as time goes on.

There are definitely plusses and minuses to IFrames.  The ability to have 
a scrolling window is nice at times, but having both methods available 
will be nice.


>> 2.  Can I use old web apps (CGI, Net.Data, etc.) as portlets?

> Not without work.  You'll need a way to force the CGI or Net.Data
> program to generate the HTML it would normally generate, and then return
> that to the portal server.  JSPs and servlets are inherently easier to
> use because they can be redirected to a PortletResponse object.  At
> least I hope this is the case <grin>.

This might be something IBM should look into.  We have 3rd party apps that 
generate HTML and serve it up with CGI, and it would be nice to make these 
into portlets.


>> 3.  If the answer to #3 is yes, do you think this would be a way to
>> quickly migrate old (but still functioning) apps to Websphere?  Or is
>> there a way in Java to send an HTTP request and get the HTML back and
>> render it?

> The pseudo-HTTP request would be another technique.  You can certainly
> do this, although it's not exactly the crème de la crème of
> architectural choices.

No it's not.  But I'm sure I'm not the only one out there for whom a 
wholesale migration from their current web development platform to J2EE is 
not feasible.  I don't have time to rewrite stuff that works.  If I 
proposed to my bosses that my team stop all new web development for a year 
while we rewrite all of our stuff in J2EE, I'd be out on the street.  They 
don't care what we develop new stuff in, as long as we're developing new 
stuff.

On the other hand, I'm sure there will be parts of J2EE that I'll want to 
take advantage of (like the security model) that will require all of our 
apps to be in J2EE.  So if I can "front-end" our Net.Data apps with J2EE, 
I can get the best of both worlds.

>> 4.  How long until we see WPE for the iSeries?

> It's available now, I'm pretty sure.  I'm getting lots of information
> about the whole thing and hopefully I can return more information in
> upcoming articles.  Please vote in the poll to let me know what else
> you'd like to hear about.

Already did that, and I'm looking forward to hearing more!

Mike E.


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