Jun 24

In some views SOA is represented as a series of 4 layers: Presentation Layer (SOA 1), Business Process Layer (SOA 2), Business Service Layer (SOA 3) and Technical Layer (SOA 4). Typically each layer higher up in the hierarchy consumes services exposed by the layer under it. So the Presentation Layer would consume services provided by the Business Process or Business Service Layers. Service interfaces are described using Web Services Description Language (WSDL), sheltering service consumers from details of service implementation. Web Services are seen as the technical means to implement the decoupled functional layers in a SOA development. Decoupling allows implementations of business functionality at different layers to be swapped in and out without disturbing other layers in the stack. The SOA 1, Presentation Layer, is often implemented as JSR-168-compliant or JSR-286-complaint Portlets, exposed through a standards-based Portal.

The business idea is that patients are looked after in various healthcare facilities. Applications need to allow selection of a facility and to access facility details for display to human operators. A relational holds details of facilities which are a part of the healthcare enterprise. Facility list and details are available through a web service. This web service will be used to construct the JSR-286-comliant Portlet that provides a user view into the facilities and facility details. This Portlet will be deployed to the Sun FOSS Web Space Server 10 Portal.

Previous documents in this series, “GlassFish ESB v 2.1   Creating a Healthcare Facility Web Service Provider” and “NetBeans 6.5.1 and GlassFish v 2.1 – Creating a Healthcare Facility Visual Web Application”, walked the reader through the process of implementing a GlassFish ESB v2.1-based web service which returns facility list and facility details, and a Visual Web JSF Web Application which used that Web Service to display facility list and details.
In this document I will walk through the process of developing a JSR-286-compliant Visual Web JSF Portlet, deployed to the Sun Web Space Server 10 Portal, which will use the Web Service as a data provider. We will use the NetBeans 6.5.1 IDE, which comes as part of the GlassFish ESB v2.1 installation, the Portal Pack 3.0.1 NetBeans Plugin and the JSF Portal Bridge infrastructure provided by the Web Space Server 10. The Portlet will be implemented as a Visual Web JavaServer Faces Portlet using JSF components provided by Project Woodstock. The Portlet will introduce the technology in a practical manner and will show how a web service can be used as a data provider, decoupling the web application from the data stores and specifics of data provision.

Note that this document is not a tutorial on JavaServer Faces, Visual Web JSF, Project Woodstock components or Portlet development. Note also that all the components and technologies used are either distributed as part of the NetBeans 6.5, as part of the GalssFish ESB v2.1, as part of the Web Space Server 10 or are readily pluggable into the NetBeans IDE. All are free and open source.

Here is the document: 01_FacilityService_WebSpacePortlet.pdf

Jun 20

It is likely that, at some point or another, a SOA-based solution will require a graphical user interface. In a typical 4 layer SOA stack SOA 1, the Presentation Layer, is delivered as a series of Web Applications, by preferences through a Portal-based solution. Sun Web Space Server 10 is a Free and Open Source Portal solution that can be readily integrated into a SOA infrastructure, for example one based on the GlassFish ESB v2.1 – the Free and Open Source ESB. How Web Space Server can be added to the GlassFosh ESB v2.1 infrastructure is discussed in the blog entry “Adding Sun WebSpace Server 10 Portal Server functionality to the GlassFish ESB v2.1 Installation”.
Web Space Server takes over the web container, in a manner of speaking, causing all web references to be redirected through to the portal infrastructure. This makes it impossible to interact with web services deployed to the instance of GlassFish. Web Services and Web Space Server do not play nicely together when installed in the manner discussed in the Blog.

This document provides instructions which will allow Web Services and Web Space Server to play nicely in the same instance of GlassFish by changing the servlet context which the Web Space Server manages from / to a different one. This will allow all other servlet contexts to be treated qas though the Web Space Server was not installed and will allow the two sets of functionality to coexist.

The credit for this solution goes to users@webspace.dev.java.net, in particular Srikanth Konjarla, Deepak Gothe and Allan Foster.

Here is the document, MakingWebSpaceServerAndWebServicesPlayNicely.pdf.

Jun 14

The GlassFish ESB Suite can be used to develop and deploy Composite Applications, a cornerstone of SOA. It has the integration, connectivity and management functionality necessary to develop artifacts in the lower 3 of the 4 SOA Layers. To complete the stack, and provide artifacts in the SOA 1 (Presentation Layer) requires additional technologies. One assumes that a web-based user interface is what one would choose to develop a presentation layer of the composite application. One assumes further that the Composite Applications with the Web-based User Interface will be exposed through a standards-compliant Portal infrastructure as standards-compliant portlets, rather then stand-alone web applications.

This document walks through the process of installing the Sun WebSpace Server 10 Portal to the GlassFish ESB v2.1 installation and addition of Portal Pack tooling to the NetBeans 6.5 tooling packaged with the GalssFish ESB v2.1.


Note (April 2010): This also works for Java CAPS 6.2
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