Portal suppliers are stitching in standards-compliant APIs for delivering content and applications into the portal framework as two key specifications approach final status.
Both Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 and Web Services for Remote Portals (WSRP) are on pace for final release between mid-August and early September.
JSR 168, shepherded by the Java Community Process, was created to establish a standard portlet programming API.
The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards' (Oasis) WSRP specification, meanwhile, uses Web-services standards to integrate remote content and applications into portals.
Sun Microsystems, IBM, Vignette, Plumtree Software and BEA Systems are outfitting support into their portals.
"If you are creating a software application and want to convert it to a portlet to make the app available through a portal, these standards let you do that in a way that is portable across different vendors' portals," said Forresser Research analyst Laura Ramos. "It increases the content and applications you can get in your portal."
Last month Sun released the beta of its Sun One Portal Server 6.2, which includes support for JSR 168 via an early-access version of the Sun One Portlet Builder 2.0.
The final release of the portal, due in September, will include the full JSR 168 implementation, and support for WSRP will be added in the first quarter of 2004.
IBM will roll out Version 5.0 of its WebSphere Portal this month, which features an open-source implementation of JSR 168. After the JSR 168 and WSRP specs are finalised, IBM will furnish support for both via an incremental update.
With its Epicentric acquisition digested, Vignette will support JSR 168 and WSRP in the next release of its Vignette Application Portal due in the fourth quarter. Vignette will also add the standards to its Vignette Application Builder product in the fourth quarter and to its V7 content management suite in early 2004.
Plumtree implemented a future 2.0 version of JSR 168 that taps WSRP as a transport mechanism to provide JSR portlets remotely, and will support both specs when they are finalised.
BEA, meanwhile, has posted a development kit on its website to provide support for JSR 168 with WebLogic Portal 8.1.
Cathleen Moore writes for InfoWorld