I want to first get a feel for portlet development using the online video tutorials on Cameron's website. I believe he is using the websphere server. Is that all I need? to deploy I mean. To compile portlet code do I need some kind of a plugin in with eclipse.?
Yes, all you need is WebSphere, and the million dollar license that goes with it.
On my website, I do a tutorial that creates, compiles and packages a portlet using nothing more than the JDK, Microsoft Notepad, and the freely downloadable JetSpeed 2.1. In that tutorial, you need to add the portlet.jar file (I think it's called portlet.jar..it's been a while) to the classpath of the JDK in order to compile the portlet. Then, you package the portlet application in a war file, and deploy to JetSpeed.
So, really, all you need is the JDK, a text editor, and JetSpeed, with the Portlet API jar files on the classpath of the compiler. Likewise, with Eclipse, you need the portlet API jar file on the classpath of eclipse to get portlet code to compile.
Good luck! And thanks for enjoying my free online portled development tutorials.
You shouldn't panic when you see WebSphere. It's a solid portal that runs on some of the most reliable hardware around. My banking clients feel great when they see how reliable a WebSphere Portal implementation on AIX will be.
But for initial learning, yes, JetSpeed and Pluto are a bit easier to work with, if only because they only consume about 50 megs of memory at runtime, as opposed to WebSphere Portal's 500.
If you're running WebSphere Portal, I would recommend at least 1.5 GB of RAM memory.
Also, it's not "WebSphere". It's "WebSphere Portal". If all you have is WebSphere Application Server, or WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, it won't work.
Lastly, look into the 30-day free trial version of Rational Application Developer on IBM's website. RAD is well integrated with WebSphere Portal, and includes JSF portlet libraries. You can basically just say, right-click, New-->Portlet Project. Then right-click New-->Portlet. (Make sure you specify "standard portlets" or "JSR 168 portlets"). And basically, you get a skeleton portlet that will probably compile and run with minimal work.
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