Only 150 virtual portals?

I’ve been doing a bit of work with a customer who’s interested in providing their own clients with a space on their extranet to share documents, collaborate, find contacts and so on. We were looking at virtual portals as a method of doing this, so that there’s little risk of an admin accidentally granting access rights to the wrong client (ie using realms to segregate the clients so that it’s not possible for one client to be given access to another’s space). Alas the supported maximum number of virtual portals is …. 150. Not enough for this use case, alas.

On the one hand, I’m not particularly surprised by this because I’m not sure that this is what Virtual Portals were intended for. On the other hand, I’m a little disappointed because I’ve two customers for whom Virtual Portals would solve an important business problem.

Portal 6.1 on WAS 7

IBM have released a beta of WebSphere Portal, running on WAS 7.0. Thanks to Dave Hay for pointing this out.

This is really interesting for two reasons. Firstly, WAS 7 is the first version of WAS to officially support JEE 5, which a lot of customers are asking for. There are also lots of performance and manageability enhancement in WAS 7, which will be especially useful for larger deployments. That version of WAS was only released 10 days or so ago so IBM really aren’t hanging around bringing in support for this.

Secondly, IBM are distributing the beta as a virtual machine with some configuration scripts. As an architect this is brilliant – I don’t really care too much about the installation process and so I can spend less time on infrastructure and more time figuring the product out.

Luckily it’s a quiet day in the office, so I can set a 6GB download going 🙂 Here’s where to get it – there’s a portlet factory 6.1 VM too.

First impressions next week some time…

Technical conference session

Yesterday I gave a talk at the WebSphere Portal Technical Conference about the portal that we’ve built for the University of London. The talk was really well attended with about 30 people present – including some people from the lab, which was pretty flattering. The room was full and there were some great questions.

We talked about the reasons that University of London decided to build a portal, what they’re going to deliver there and some of the challenges that we faced along the way. It’s been a really interesting project and I’ve got to grips with some of the Tivoli products that go with portal. The biggest technical lessons have been that an Identity Management solution is absolutely crucial, and that Tivoli Access Manager is about the most useful addition to portal out there…

Here are the slides:

s05 – Global learning portal at the University of London

And here’s a link to the University of London site.

WebSphere Portal Technical Conference

Off to Berlin today for next week’s WebSphere Portal Technical Conference. I’m giving a presentation there about the solution we’ve built for the University of London (on Tuesday morning I think). Until then, a little relaxation and tourism over the weekend here in Germany.

Hopefully I’ll get the time to attend some of the sessions and post here about them…