Beta 3 of WebSphere Portal 7 Now Available

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I just saw that IBM released beta 3 of Portal 7 this week. I didn’t see it on my #ls10 radar on twitter, so I guess I’m not following enough Portal geeks out there.

New features in Beta 3 include:

  • Tagging allows users (and entire user communities) to classify, organize and structure content autonomously. It can add valuable meta-information and even lightweight semantics and allows non-expert users to develop folksonomies that categorize content available in the system.
  • Rating allows users to vote for the popularity of portal content and helps other users to quickly identify hot items
  • Virtual resources based security concepts to control which and how users and groups can tag and rate
  • Full xmlaccess support for tagging and rating
  • Powerful APIs to create, delete, update and query tags and ratings
  • Lotus Web Content Management enhancements including: content model simplified by merging Sites and Site Areas, enhanced workflow model providing support for Bi-directional workflow traversal, and taxonomy driven option selection element
  • Extend and integrate Lotus Web Content Management with external applications via Java Messaging (JMS)

Also IBM is announcing a Portal Hypervisor edition for use with WebSphere Cloudburst. This is a preconfigured image that can be deployed onto VMware ESX/ESXi and VSphere. I don’t see in the documentation that it is available for PowerVM, but you can bet that is in the works as there are a LOT of AIX installs out there.

Then they have a new beta for WebSphere Portlet factory. Portlet Factory beta’s new features include:

  • New visual application development features with palette based drag and drop design capabilities
  • Enhanced Web 2.0 support enabling creation of even richer and more interactive applications
  • Expanded theme support for generating visually compelling user interfaces out-of-the-box including page tabs, paging button and links
  • New transformation capabilities providing the ability to easily manipulate, filter and merge data from multiple back-end systems
  • New remote deployment feature for hassle-free application deployment to remote systems
  • Improved Web service and improved application and memory performance enabling creation of faster and more scalable applications

Now Portlet factory, is a tool that you can use to build not only portlets, but also plain old java web apps. Its name is a bit of a disguise for some of its hidden gems. I’ve deployed web apps to tomcat with this tool before. Now, its no substitute for a pure ground-up high performance app, but if you need an application with lots of features and you need it quick, this is a real productivity tool. Of course, it shines in developing portlets because doing a portlet has quite a bit more complexity that a Java EE web app.

I’m dowloading the latest beta now. I still have not had a time to review the last beta, so I guess this is good timing!

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