It’s amazing to see how drastically the Portlet API has evolved over the years. JSR-168 often felt like a step backwards from the older, non-standard JetSpeed API that provided features like messaging and simplified inter-portlet communication, to the newer JSR-286 specification that not only brings back the old inter-portlet communication features of old, but also simplifies common and often complex tasks such as AJAX interactions non-trivial state management tasks. However, when asked about how portlet development has changed over the past five or six years, Richard Sezov, Liferay’s Knowledge Manager and author of Liferay in Action, says that the most compelling changes involve the tooling, not the APIs.
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The evolution of portal tooling
“The tools are a lot better,” says Richard. “Back in the day we had to do a lot of manual development. Nowadays there are great tools out there including Liferay IDE, with service builder to generate your web services for you automatically, and with AlloyUI tags to help you design your front end, it’s much more streamlined and much more smooth now.”
Technologies for modern portlet development
Liferay Portal Systems Development By Jonas X. Yua
Liferay in Action By Richard Sezov
OSGi in Action By Richard Hall
Enterprise OSGi in Action By Holly Cummins
The Well-Grounded Java Developer By Martijn Verburg