Portlets strive to play at the front end the same role that Web services currently enjoy at the back end, namely, enablers of application assembly through reusable services. However, it is well-known in the component community that, the larger the component, the more reduced the reuse. Hence, the coarse-grained nature of portlets (they encapsulate also the presentation layer) can jeopardize this vision of portlets as reusable services. To avoid this situation, this work proposes a perspective shift in portlet development by introducing the notion of Consumer Profile. While the user profile characterizes the end user (e.g., age, name, etc), the Consumer Profile captures the idiosyncrasies of the organization through which the portlet is being delivered (e.g., the portal owner) as far as the portlet functionality is concerned. The user profile can be dynamic and hence, requires the portlet to be customized at runtime. By contrast, the Consumer Profile is known at registration time, and it is not always appropriate/possible to consider it at runtime. Rather, it is better to customize the code at development time, and produce an organization-specific portlet which built-in, custom functionality. In this scenario, we no longer have a portlet but a family of portlets, and the portlet provider becomes the "assembly line" of this family. This work promotes this vision by introducing an organization-aware, WSRP-compliant architecture that let portlet consumers registry and handle "family portlets" in the same way that "traditional portlets". In so doing, portlets are nearer to become truly reusable services.
Proceedings of the 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW'07), Banff, Alberta (Canada)
ONEKIN, UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY