> I am convinced that portal servers are the key
> technology that will enable the next generation
> of killer applications for the iSeries.

Joe,

You may be introducing us to something significant!  If Web development is
ever going to move past store fronts, and similarly modern, yet isolated
applications, and finally reach the point of robust integrated systems,
something like portals will be necessary.

It was nice to see screen shots and to test Razwin's site.  IBM's
implementation is DOG SLOW, but many of the user interface elements are very
good!

One thing that I and my colleagues have really struggled with is coming up
with UI models that could be applied across a broad range of applications.
This has been my biggest bottleneck.  It would be great to have an
application container define standard styling and behavioral elements that
might be replicated across applications running within the container.  It
looks like IBM may be on the right track with "theme" and "skin"
definitions.

User interface models, in turn lead to program models, offering patterns
that other developers might use to develop applications that integrate with
the container, as well as with one another, via shared data structures and
other components.

User based "Roles" is a key component to me.  One role might define a test
environment while another role might define a production environment, for
example, with the test environment pointing to one library list while the
production environment points to another.  One role might provide access to
certain menu options and authorities, while other roles provide access to
others.  Even record level access in applications may be defined according
to role.

It seems that IBM may have missed an opportunity in their implementation to
have the container manage the state of individual portlets.  Minimizing a
portlet, for example seems to refresh the entire container, and the previous
state of the portlet seems to be lost.  It would be nice for users to be
able to swap between panels and portlets, without disrupting the state of
other portlets or panels that may be active.

Thanks for an insightful introduction to portlals.  I've been working on a
similar project, that we've been calling an Application Control Center, and
it's nice to see an IBM implementation for reference.

Nathan.




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