Sunday, March 16, 2008

Web service client/SOA/BPEL portlets - Portal Design Pattern

These comes in several flavors.

Lets say you have a web service that you want to expose on the portal. You can than create a web service client portlet - lot of IDEs may let you drop the service WSDL and auto-general all the code letting you place the input to the service as HTML UI elements as well as custom layed output. It will auto-generate the html code and all the backend plumbing code. Just package as the war file and deploy. An example of this can be "Package Tracking Portlet" which simply takes a tracking number and returns the results in the portlet.

A variation of the above is when you just want to display the results and there is no input which is based on users profile that is passed to the service - this can be custom coded or auto-configured depending on the sophistication of the IDE. In custom code you would have to do quite a bit of tweaking where you have to make the results page as the home page of the portlet and behind the scenes submit the 1st/input page to the service.

SOA portlets are basically giving UI interface via portal to your SOA solutions. The portlet can be calling one service that choreographs multiple services or you can have a portlet that calls multiple services.

BPEL portlets are the ones generated as implementation of human task in a business process flow.

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