What is JSR 168 portlet specification and its advantages?

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The Java Standardization Request 168 (JSR 168) defines a portlet specification, including a contract between the portlet container and the portlet. JSR 168 is defined by the Java Community Process (JCP). The JSR 168 was co-led by IBM and Sun and had a large Expert Group that helped to create the final version which is now available. This Expert Group consisted of Apache Software Foundation, Art Technology Group Inc.(ATG), BEA, Boeing, Borland, Citrix Systems, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Novell, Oracle, SAP, SAS Institute, Sun, Sybase, Tibco, Vignette. More details about this JSR can be found at http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=168 .

The basic objective to adhere such specification is
"Any portlet developed for one portal server will be able to run on another portal server"
Basic challenge in Portlet World

A portlet developed for IBM WebSphere Portal Server can not be deployed in Weblogic portal server just due to lack of standard. JSR168 helps to achieve this.

Advantages of Portlet Specification
  • Enables interoperability among portlets and portals.
  • Defines a set of APIs for Portlets.
  • Addresses standardization for preferences, user information, portlet request and responses, security, deployment packaging. 
Here is a very nice article on Comparing JSR 168 specification with the IBM Portlet API.

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