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Open Mic Webcast: What's New in WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V8 - 6 November 2012 [presentation, audio replay link and Q&A transcript attached]



IBM hosted an Open Mic webcast with IBM Development and Support Engineers on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The topic was "What's New in WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V8."


For more information about our Open Mic webcasts, visit the IBM Collaboration Solutions Support Open Mics page.

The first half of the presentation was presented by Stefan Liesche and Stefan Koch and covered the new features of version 8. The second half of the presentation was presented by Bhava Mada and Navneet Goyal, on how to integrate Web Application Bridge (WAB) with Portal 8.0.

Date and time

Date: 6 November 2012

Time: 11:00 AM EST (16:00 UTC, or GMT -5) for 60 minutes



Audio Replay (7.8 MB, 45:9 mins long )

Link to download the audio file new_in_v8_OpenMic_Nov6.mp3 via FTP

Q&A Transcript

Q : How can we up-sell IBM Connections to IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 prospect or existing customers?

A: Sell the social business value proposition.

So depending on the scenario it can likely be in these areas. B2C: The integration allows customers to move from delivery of information from within to outside to transition into an dialog where the site owner as well as the site suer contribute value and share. B2E: Employees are very interested in getting their work seen and understand what their peers and other teams do. Linking people and allow them to collaborate is a great tool to unlock this power, combined with a top down approach where social information mavens drive discussions can help greatly enhance workforce productivity.

Or consider people joining the company from universities and schools, in the open web the move from email to social collaboration has already happened, To unlock the value behind this new way of openness and dialog for the company requires a platform alongside with the central information through Intranets,

Q: How about WAI on Connections? Is that a supported option from IBM now?

A: See below

Q: Where can I find documentation on integrating Connections with Portal using WAI?

A: Here you can find documentation and the shipment:

Q: Is the long URLs addressed when using WCM sites in Portal 8?

A: Per default we are still creating the rich URLs, but we have documented how to achieve friendly URLs only.

Here more information about only the friendly part of URLs:

    Q: Are we going to talk about Sametime integration too?

    A: Sametime integration is not covered in this session.

    Q: Should navigational structure be managed using Portal pages or WCM site areas?

    A: The navigation structure should be modeled in portal with Portal pages, that is what portal is good at, the content structure should be modeled in WCM. Take a look at the patterns in CTC 3.1 that have landing/index/detail pages and then lot of content items re-using the same detail page.

    I think this is an interesting question and the right technical answer has been provided. When you use templating in WebSphere Portal (either with custom templates or the ones we ship with CTC) Portal/WCM will take care to create both side areas as well as portal pages consistently, Actually, technically a Portal page is also a site area, so there is no longer a true difference needed in Wp 8.0 and beyond. In earlier versions you would define this mapping yourself, now you do not need to do so.

    Q: What about Quickr?

    A: WAI and Quickr is supported as well.

    Q: Is there a way to convert pages to mobile pages? Or do we have to build two different sites?

    A: In version 8 we do have support to filter pages based on their device class support , so you do not have to maintain two different sites.

    Q: I still feel that integrating other IBM products like iNotes, Sametime, Connections must be more simpler configurations.

    A: We did not talk about this on the call, but the integration with a Sametime proxy server in WP 8.0 is now an out of the box feature and does not require adding a component from the catalog, So it can be activated by a configuration step in Portal. For the social Portlets we have combined the server configuration in one central place now in WP 8.0 and we are looking into ways to bundle the parts that get deployed within the catalog into a common deployable bundle (PAA) like we do with other components. We expect these steps will help simplify the process but we are also very interested in specific feedback and what you would like to see as enhancements to simplify this process if you have a great idea.

    Q: What is the advantage of WBI over WAI?

    A: On WAB vs WAI, the integration with WAB should not require any modification on the application you are trying to integrate.

    WAB and WAI both help with integration of external web based applications. The difference is the way the integration works. On WAB, you wrap an application into a Portlat and can use it on combined composite application pages etc alongside with other applications. WAI on the other hand injects the navigation and footer of Portal to another site, so there is only one app at a given time (the other app). So the page is mostly controlled by the other app and not Portal. The same is true for access control. WAB enforces permission's on the portal side while WAI relies on access control of the other application since it is directly exposed to the browser.

    Q: Does this functionality works with the mobile theme that we download from greenhouse catalog, or do we have to buy another product to do this?

    A: There are basically two trains of thought for mobile and WebSphere Portal supports both. You can have specific themes and site structures for mobile devices, or you can use a responsive web design that dynamically adapts the page to the device. The mobile theme on the catalog should be able to serve both devices.

    Q : Is the WAB Engine part of Portal or an extra purchase?

    A: WAB engine is part of the product .

    Q: How is WAB different then Ajax proxy?

    A: WAB is a component that can wrap complete applications and provide them as a portlet. The AJAX proxy proxies individual requests that AAJX apps or resources would do

    Q: Did not catch the need for the port number on the portal URL for WAB, would not want to open another port on the portal web server beyond 80 & 443

    A: Yes, the port number is not required if web server is being used.

    Q: So would you suggest putting our Content Items under the managed Pages in WCM? Before we would recreate the page structure as site areas in WCM.

    A: Yes, that makes the whole management easier, when you move or rename a page it will be automatically reflected on the WCM side.

    For content that logically belongs to a page storing it in the page is a good idea. For content which does not have a direct ownership with a page but is used across the site in multiple places etc, you would more likely use a site area which is not the portal page. So there is no simple wrong/right answer here it depends on the information architecture and aim of the site. Technically with Portal 8.0 both is possible. CTCv3.1 uses the extra site area approach currently.

    We also have a config task documented in the portal wiki that will copy the content from you additional library into the new portal site library under the portal pages if you are migrating to version 8 and want to move from the web content mapping to the new portal site mapping .

    Q: Is WAB a replacement for Web Clipping?

    A: Well the integration is a little deeper, as WAB allows you to interact with other portlets on the page using wires.

    Q: We use very basic web clipping. Would you recommend using WAB in place of it?

    A: Yes, wanted to say web clipping is going away sooner or later, but so far no one forces to get away from that.

    When clipping works for you there is no reason to move away immediately. We are not removing it currently. But when looking into the options for integration we think WAB is a pretty strong component and is the first approach to use when true Portlets are not available or can't be created.

    Q: Can we pass parameters from the Portal page to the web dock portlet, for example if the iframe URL needs a user name can that be passed to the web dock URL?

    A: The user context should be transported by the authentication token of the user.

    Q: I saw height & width as well as dynamic size, can WAB dynamically size the iframe based on content size?

    A: Yes it has dynamic sizing capability.

    Q: What if you want to pass some other url parameter like a field on another portlet on the same page as web dock?

    A: In that case, you can have a filter to extend URLs or rewrite markup, but nothing there out of the box, so custom coding is needed.

    WAB Portlets can receive events and there is ways to custom influence the URL construction by using filters. So depending on if the source can send the right event it might be the simplest to go with everything.

    Q: So the iframe talks to WP as a proxy to the back-end. What about cookie collisions from the back-end app?

    A: WAB has its own cookie manager. The Reverse Proxy Servlet component of WAB maintains this cookie manager.

    Q: The example showed the rewritten URLs with a port number, is that required?

    A: The webdocks iframe just needs the URL part and not the hostname.

    Q: In the WAB Portlet communication by events, do you mean client side events or server side events?

    A: Both client side and server side.


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    Cross reference information
    Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
    Enterprise Content Management IBM Web Content Manager Not Applicable AIX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows 8.0

    Document information

    More support for: WebSphere Portal

    Software version: 8.0

    Operating system(s): AIX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows

    Reference #: 7036112

    Modified date: 07 November 2012