Friday, 22 May 2009

WebSphere Portlet Factory - View from the Field

An interesting take on the WebSphere Portlet Factory vs. The Rest of the World debate from Dave Jacob at Davalen: -

Recently, I received a call from a potential client looking for WebSphere Portal development advice. He was particularly interested in my thoughts on WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF). This client had been told by his staff of Java developers that Portlet Factory was just a toy and that it would have performance issues in production. Their test Portlet Factory application actually crashed the server every time it was deployed. Unfortunately, this was not the first time I have heard such skepticism. The good news is that the solution to the problem is usually not related to the software but to the development techniques used.

The reason I generally prefer WebSphere Portlet Factory to traditional RAD portlet development is because skilled WPF developers can create WebSphere Portal applications three to six times faster than similarly skilled RAD developers. Both methods create standard SOA compliant portlets. This saves time and resources for the client, so all things being equal, I'll recommend Portlet Factory as the development tool everytime. But are all things equal? How hard is it to become a skilled WPF developer versus becoming skilled at developing portlets in RAD? How do the resulting WebSphere Portal applications perform in production?


Anonymous said...

I'm not a Java developer, I've always been a Domino developer. I've been using WPF for about a year now, mostly to display statistics for the management and staff. I've been on two courses for the WPF and even though I've only used some of the builders, I find time and time again I run into limitations. Next month I'm gong on a two week RAD course with the aim to provide more flexible applications through our Portal system. I wouldn't say WPF is a toy, it has its uses as designer to produce quick apps. However its on the low end when it comes to flexibility.

Dave Hay said...

Hi Paul

Thanks for your comments - it's been my experience that WPF is appropriate for some, but not all, requirements. As with most situations, you pick the tool that most closely suits the requirements.

I have customers who just use WPF, and others who use WPF *AND* RAD, as required.

Again, let the requirement choose the solution.

Thanks again, Dave

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