Oracle sees portlets behind corporate portals

Oracle Corp. is encouraging companies to reuse software through a new initiative called portlets.

Introduced in Stockholm, portlets will simplify the design of corporate Web portals. A central part of what the company calls its “Portal Framework” strategy, portlets are software components in which companies house reusable information or applications that can be used to quickly assemble electronic business portals, the database and tools vendor said in a statement.

Portals are Web sites that typically aggregate a variety of on-line services and links to related sites.

Oracle’s move comes as rival software vendor Microsoft Corp. aggressively promotes its “Digital Dashboard” concept for simplifying the design of corporate Web portals. Microsoft also released new tools for building portals.

Oracle also plans to make available “packaged portals,” which will deliver a single integrated view of enterprise and customer relationship management applications. The packaged portals can be further customized with portlets to meet the needs of individual businesses, the company said.

A portlet software-development kit will be made available later this year, Oracle said. The Oracle Portal Framework and portlet assembly capabilities also will be integrated into WebDB 3.0, which is scheduled for beta release in November. WebDB is a tool set for designing and deploying portals.

Oracle meanwhile introduced WebDB 2.2, which offers site templates that can be customized for use in instant, out-of-the-box portals, Oracle said. In addition, WebDB 2.2 also can handle more than 20 languages, and is capable of offering a customized view of content based on individual users’ interests and access privileges.

As part of its forthcoming Oracle Applications 11i release, the company said that it also plans to deliver pre-built, packaged portals for generic use inside organizations.