Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF) merits a look and more!

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on April 24, 2007

I have been pretty skeptical for a long time about RAD tools – the actual productivity gains in the short term and maintainability and componentization of code (or lack thereof) from a longer term perspective. However, I finally played with WebSphere Portlet Factory recently in a scenario where I was trying to hook up to a SAP system for basic information search and display. It was certainly a breeze with WPF to get a quick and dirty application built to achieve this goal. After this experience, I now believe that I am ready to invest some more time to evaluate WPF’s value. I will probably rely on a colleague to assist with the evaluation and piggyback off his efforts.

I can certainly see WPF being a great tool to put together some quick applications/portlets with a couple of screens but I am skeptical about doing complex multi-screen portlet development with WPF. Another potential value for some teams is that WPF also enables less-than-expert Java developers get simple portlets built and tested – provides a simpler on-ramp for developers new to Portals and/or Java development.

Joey@IBM had a blog entry on WPF and another one that is worth a read!

I hope to be back soon with more on WPF and its appropriate usage. Areas of investigation include automation of a build process for WPF portlets, WPF project artifact check-in, and possibilities for hand-editing of generated code.

4 Responses to “WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF) merits a look and more!”

  1. kris said

    Can u provide more info on this

  2. ITGuy said


    We are also planning to use WPF for our projects but not clear about the scenarios. Can it be used for creating custom framework/registration portlets or is it better to go for Struts/JSF

    Many Thanks!

  3. Stephen said

    Being an original member of bowstret prior to the IBM acquisition, I’m always very pleased to hear that people have been successful what what was “invented” – Portlet Factory!

    IBM had bionafied this tool, and its all over IBM Portal and Mashups over at Lotus these days. They showed it in the Keynote address at the IBM Portal Conference in San Diego Last week.

    Further, companies like Streebo are building on top of Portlet Factory to create prebuilt components for things like Filenet – Connections, Quicker, and IBM WCM Content Management.

    Good luck going forward with Portlet Factory.

  4. Stephen said

    Oh, of course but – you can find us at here – – Thanks – and to the question about custom registration portlets. You can build 95% of use cases with this too – and often build things that would be too manually intensive by hand.

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