Oracle Introduces Web Portal Tool

Oracle wants to give more business users the power to generate, modify and deploy portal-style Web sites, and yesterday introduced an upgraded tool to help them do so.WebDB 2.

Oracle wants to give more business users the power to generate, modify and deploy portal-style Web sites, and yesterday introduced an upgraded tool to help them do so.

WebDB 2.2 is designed to allow business end users to circumvent the information technology department and build elements for a portal site using the tool and associated Oracle Portal Framework out-of-the-box, said Dom Lindars, director of the Internet platform marketing group at Oracle.

Oracle Portal Framework is a common set of portal services - such as search, single sign on and workflow - that can be built into a site using preconfigured templates that add the service to the site, Lindars said. In addition, site templates found in Portal Framework can be used to add stock feeds or travel services to a site.

WebDB 2.2. allows a developer to serve requested pages to browser users in 20 different languages, making it easier to develop sites for international visitors.

In addition, Oracle introduced the notion of "portlets," or pieces of portal functionality captured from applications by wrapping a segment of the application code with Java. The "wrapper" allows the code to be called by a Java Web application and run as a function of the portal. Having created a portlet, the Web site developer may then "register it with Portal Framework" and add it to any future application, Lindars said. The combination of portlets and Framework allows the usefulness of existing Oracle applications to be extended to the Web site, he added.

WebDB 2.2 is priced at $195 per developer, and can be downloaded from technet.oracle.com, the Oracle Technology Network site; the tool is free to developers who already have a WebDB license. Version 3.0 of WebDB will be available in beta form in November, with the software development kit for portlets available at that time through Oracle Technology Network.

"We deliver a portal infrastructure," Lindars said. The tool and templates make it possible for a company to standardize Web site style and function across many enterprise sites, even though more users are contributing to them, he claimed.

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