At IBM’s Exceptional Web Experience Conference, Rob Will, Chief Architect for WebSphere Portal and WCM, delivered his usual outstanding presentation on What’s New in WebSphere Portal and WCM. His presentation was 117 slides long, so it was packed with lots of information. He conveyed some of IBM goals with respect to Portal and WCM and recapped what has been delivered in the past.
Below I’ve tried to capture all the highlights of the new features in V8. We’ve blogged about many of these features in the past while looking at beta versions.
Managed Pages – This is probably the biggest change in V8 as it ties Portal and WCM together more closely than ever before. See Michael Porter’s blog post from the conference about Managed Pages. Rob went through the demo of managed pages and you can see some of those features in my recent post Creating Managed Pages in WebSphere Portal 8: First Look.
The base WCM system is now included in all versions of WebSphere Portal. In the base Portal Server version, you can’t use WCM directly, but you have access to an Article portlet, a List of Articles portlet, a Rich Text portlet and an Image Portlet. These portlets let you add content to your portal without the full WCM interface. To add the full set of WCM features you must upgrade to Portal Express, Enable, Extend, or the WCM versions.
Core WCM Enhancements: Includes many REST services; Federated Documents which provides integration with CMIS systems, FileNet, DB2 Content Manager, Lotus Quickr, and Atom feeds.
Mobile updates: In V7, IBM added a Device Class concept that can map a User Agent to a Device Class. There were 4 classes defined: smartphone, tablet, bot, and desktop. These classes can be used to by portlets or the theme to tailor the experience for the user. Web Experience Factory and Rational Application Developer also include specific tooling for the mobile experience.
WCM Mobile: includes the ability to use CSS3 media queries, feed generation instructions, or a rendering plugin to tailor content to mobile devices.
Community Pages: This feature ties portal pages to IBM Connections Communities. You can include a community at a portal page level and all the Connections and WCM portlets will use that community as its context. This feature came out in V7, but required setting advanced properties using a community ID. In V8, you have a nice interface to pick the community.
SharePoint integration: V7 included several features that enhanced the integration between WebSphere Portal and SharePoint. In V8, the CMIS support in Portal allows direct access to SharePoint 2010 content.
Process Integration: V8 now includes Business Process Express, which allows you to deploy business process applications. Integration with IBM Business Process Manager has always been a feature of Portal, but now you get the express software when you purchase Portal.
SAP Integration: Portal provides nice access to SAP NetWeaver Portal Services. Here is a link to an SAP whitepaper on this capability.
JSF Support: Portal 8 supports JSF 2.0 and MyFaces
Web Experience Factory (WEF): Includes Native Smart Phone Builders and samples. It also supports Dojo Mobile and the IBM Mobile Platform.
Module Theme Framework: Started in V188.8.131.52, the new theme is very modular and can dramatically improve page load times. The new theme has dropped support for the Client Side Aggregation model, but IBM is planning to reintroduce this in the future. You can see my writeup on the new theme here: WebSphere Portal 8: New Modular Theme Framework.
Accessibility: The new theme framework promises to be compliant with WAI-ARIA, WCAG 2.0, and Sec 508.
JCR Database: JCR has been rewritten and is now more DB friendly. In the past, IBM’s JCR implementation created over 1,000 tables and 4,000 indices. That has been reduced to under 100 tables and under 100 indices. Portal side BLOB caching has been added. They have also clearly separated the runtime user privileges from the configuration user privileges which should make DBAs happier. All this has led to improved performance for the database.
New installation program: V8 is now installed using IBM Installation Manager that speeds up the installation process.
Supports WebSphere Application Server V8.
I’m sure there are new features that I missed, but as we find them, we’ll let you know about them. If there are any that you particular liked, post a comment here to share with everyone.
Anemic IT Growth or Budgeting Shift?
Mon, Nov 17th 2014 3:18p Michael Porter ZDNet reports on a recent Gartner report of 2015 IT budgets. They call it, “IT Spending for 2015 Anemic amid Digital Shift.” Here’s the breakdown on who creates vs who approves the IT budget.
I don’t interpret it quite this way. Yes, IT budget growth is anemic but there’s on telling piece of information in the ZDnet article
The upshot: Spending on digital innovation will be funded outside of the IT budget.
So yes, spending is anemic within [read] Keywords:
Digital Transformation is All Around Us…Again.
Tue, Nov 11th 2014 8:19a Mark Polly The phrase “Digital Transformation” has re-emerged as a new phenomenon. Google tells me there are 49 million (49,000,000) search results for the words Digital Transformation.
First, why do I say it is a phenomenon? It seems that many of our leading think-tanks are talking about digital transformation. Here are some examples:
Earlier this year, MIT Sloan Management Review posted this article: The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation
Forrester is predicting that in 2015 [read] Keywords: collaboration
Drug or Drug Device Portals
Thu, Oct 23rd 2014 10:12a Michael Porter Eugene Sefanov has a nice post on the value of a patient portal for those who use a specialty drug or drug device. He goes into some detail on the possible use cases with that kind of portal. I like the approach he takes. Just being prescribed a drug doesn’t mean you are going to get the right outcome. Anything you can do to ensure the patient has all the support he or she needs will improve that outcome.
An effective way to provide patient support is through a portal that is sp [read] Keywords: collaboration
Dreamforce: Community Cloud for Healthcare
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 10:15p Mark Polly All this week I’m at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference. Salesforce has come a long way with their platform and they’ve recently introduced Community Cloud. Community Cloud is an evolution of their portal product and includes many features that we see in other enterprise-class, horizontal portals.
We are seeing a lot of interest in portals from our healthcare clients. At Dreamforce, I attended a session on using Salesforce Community Cloud in healthcare. I blogged [read] Keywords: community
Successful Partner Communities with Salesforce
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 12:18p Mark Polly Zero Motorcycles needed a way to consolidate multiple partner facing systems into a simplified user interface, track sales and monitor participation programs and automate workflows. As we’ve seen from other customers, partners had to login to multiple systems. Using Community Cloud, Zero was able to provide one interface for the partners to login into and get information and process leads and improve sales.
Zero’s original model was B2C, thinking that consumers would order electri [read] Keywords: collaboration
Creating Customer Happiness with Salesforce Communities
Mon, Oct 13th 2014 3:12p Mark Polly Community Cloud is Salesforce’s newest and fastest growing cloud (until tomorrow). IDC has seen a huge jump in using social media to communicate with customers and respond to customer inquiries. The top 3 technologies that are planned to be used include discussion forums, public social networks, and online communities, which is where Community Cloud comes in.
Constant Contact, an all-in-one marketing platform, has over 600,000 small business customers. Constant Contact us [read] Keywords: administration
Content Marketing is Inherently Flawed?
Fri, Oct 10th 2014 11:12a Michael Porter In the past week I’ve either read or listened to two heads of global marketing for two well known brands. Both had a similar story with different sides of the same coin. Both had a message that dealt with Marketers having to forget about telling their brand story and go with what customers want to hear. The first was a session about leveraging social data with Michelle Lapierre who is the Sr. Director of Customer Experience at Marriott Rewards. The second is an article at cmo.com dis [read] Keywords: facebook
Why Do Contextual Ads Fail
Tue, Oct 7th 2014 3:12p Michael Porter I’ve blogged about the personalization failure before. Now it looks like others are catching on to the ultimate failure on their part………… even as they harvest huge amounts of private information about us. This article in ComputerWorld outlines the issues. The author Mike Elgan hits the topic of privacy quickly and never lets it go:
Companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon violate our privacy in order to show us relevant ads. So why do their ads miss the mar [read] Keywords: facebook