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This project implements Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) for GateIn. It builds mainly on top of the gatein/gatein-pc and gatein/gatein-common projects. This document provides a technical overview of the project.

Architecture overview


The core principle of GateIn's WSRP implementation is that, from the portal's perspective, there should be no difference between a local and a remote portlet. This is achieved using the concept of PortletInvoker that is defined by GateIn's portlet container (gatein/gatein-pc project). PortletInvoker is an interface that defines all the methods a client of the portlet container needs to interact with its portlets. GateIn's portlet container also introduces the idea of FederatingPortletInvoker which is a Composite implementation of PortletInvoker, meaning that it presents itself as a regular PortletInvoker but in reality, aggregates several PortletInvokers and contains logic to dispatch portlet invocations to the proper PortletInvoker based, usually, on the target portlet.

PortletInvoker architecture

Conceptually, WSRP portlets are portlets that live in a portlet container that happens to live and run in a distant server. Coding the portal in terms of the PortletInvoker interface allows us to abstract over the fact that some portlets are local, running in the embedded portlet container, and some others are distant, running on remote WSRP producers. A portal can access portlets from several, different remote producers. This is accomplished by creating a consumer for each accessed producer and registering it with the FederatingPortletInvoker which will then be able to dispatch a portlet invocation to the proper consumer (or the local portlet container) based on the identifier of the portlet being interacted with.

From the producer's side of things, i.e. the remote side of things when WSRP consumers interact with it, we again use the PortletInvoker interface, this time as a client to the portlet container running in the GateIn instance the producer is fronting over WSRP. The producer is, thus, a mini portal that interacts with the local PortletInvoker and acts as a proxy for the remote consumer, translating WSRP messages into PortletInvoker method calls in such way that the portlet container needn't be aware that calls to it actually originates from remote consumers.

The WSRP implementation, for a GateIn-to-GateIn interaction, is, in essence, a means to identify the proper portlet container able to respond to the portlet invocation triggered by the consumer portal and convert it into a portlet invocation that can be processed by the producer's portlet container after having transported it over the network using SOAP messages.

End to end WSRP invocation

WSRP 1 vs. WSRP 2

WSRP 2 can be seen (more or less) as a super-set of WSRP 1. For this reason, we chose to implement only WSRP 2 and convert WSRP 1 calls into WSRP 2 using a thin conversion layer. This allows for less code duplication and allows us to focus on the quality of the WSRP 2 implementation as this would trickle down to WSRP 1 functionality automatically.


GateIn WSRP implementation is organized by modules roughly corresponding to functional parts:

  1. admin-gui provides a GUI interface to configure many aspects of both consumers and producer. This is a JSF 2 application, bundled as a portlet using JBoss' PortletBridge
  2. api provides an API helpful to integrate this WSRP implementation in the context of a portal, i.e. it defines classes which require an implementation at the portal level for many WSRP services to work properly or extension points for WSRP users to provide customized behavior
  3. common, as its name implies, provides a set of classes reused across the different modules, in particular a set of utilities to create WSRP types, convert between the portlet world and the WSRP one, deal with converting between versions 1 and 2 of WSRP types, payloads, etc.
  4. consumer provides the implementation of the consumer-side of WSRP
  5. cxf-integration implements support classes to integrate WSRP with Apache CXF features
  6. examples provides sample code showing how to implement custom behaviors that can be plugged in our WSRP implementation to adapt it to users' needs
  7. hibernate-impl is currently an unused, outdated and incomplete version of the persistence services required by the implementation
  8. jcr-impl, in turn, provides a complete and currently used implementation of the persistence services that WSRP uses to save its data
  9. producer provides the code for the WSRP producer side of things
  10. ws-security provides classes to integrate WS-Security with WSRP and provides a JBoss AS 7 specific implementation
  11. wsrp1-ws and wsrp2-ws provide the WSRP classes as generated, for reference, by the provided scripts from the official WSRP WSDL files
  12. wsrp-catalog is a module dedicated to providing JAX-WS catalog support to facilitate the resolution of WSRP artifacts by web services implementations. This is mainly needed to provide such resolution across all the different AS-level modules in JBoss AS 7
  13. wsrp-producer-war bundles all the code and artifacts required to provide a WSRP producer as a web application


More detailed documentation is available in javadoc format in classes of particular interest. We provide, below, a brief overview of the most important modules along with their more important classes which should be looked at first. Tests also provide valuable information as to expected behavior of classes and therefore can be useful to understand the code and its purpose.

Persistence overview

While the code is structured to be indedependent of the persistence layer, we provide a complete implementation of all persistence services backed by a JCR repository. This implementation is found in the jcr-impl module. We rely on the Chromattic JCR to Object model mapper via the ChromatticPersister interface and its BaseChromatticPersister implementation. For each persisted subsystem, a ChromatticPersister is defined and initialized with a set of mapping classes it can deal with. These mapping classes perform the conversion between JCR data and object model and so reflect the data organization structure. We also provide a set of mixins which allow to dynamically add "fields" to persited object without needing a schema migration, which is quite helpful to seamlessly augment functionality without forcing users to perform a database upgrade. Base JCR functionality is found in the org.gatein.wsrp.jcr package. The rest of the module is organized by persistent subsystems, as follows:

  • JCRMigrationService persists data exported from the producer resulting from the consumer calling the WSRP export operation to be able to perform an import operation later
  • JCRConsumerRegistry persists consumers configuration, i.e. all metadata required by consumers to connect and interact with remote producers
  • JCRProducerConfigurationService persists the local producer configuration
  • JCRPortletStatePersistenceManager persists the portlet state information that results from consumers interacting with the portlets exposed remotely by the local producer
  • JCRRegistrationPersistenceManager persists registration information resulting of remote consumers interacting with the local producer

Each service is bundled in its own package with a mapping sub-package gathering Chromattic mapping classes for this particular service.

Consumer Overview

The core of the module is, of course, the WSRPConsumer interface which inherits from the gatein/gatein-pc PortletInvoker interface. It also extends the SessionEventListener interface from the api module to allow it to react to session events the portal the consumer runs into might send and trigger the appropriate WSRP calls. Classes of particular interest are WSRPConsumerImpl, ProducerInfo, InvocationDispatcher, InvocationHandler and SessionHandler. The session information associated with a given producer and its portlets is recorded using the ProducerSessionInformation class.

WSRP consumers are registered and managed by a ConsumerRegistry that takes care of configuring, persisting and dealing with consumers lifecycle. AbstractConsumerRegistry provides the common behavior for ConsumerRegistry implementations. Below is a UML class diagram showing the organization of the registry-related classes.

ConsumerRegistry class diagram

Producer overview

The core class of the producer module is WSRPProducer and its WSRPProducerImpl implementation. The producer is configured using a ProducerConfigurationService implementation and delegates WSRP calls to a PortletInvoker, which can access the portlets that have been deployed and made remotable. The producer manages consumers' registrations using a RegistrationManager implementation, while import/export operations are handled by an ExportManager implementation. For more flexibility, the producer can learn about the context it runs in using a ProducerContext implementation, though this aspect is currently underdeveloped.

Going into more details, the actual producer implementation uses several handlers, each handling a specific aspect of the WSRP protocol: MarkupHandler deals with the WSRP Markup interface, ServiceDescriptionHandler deals with ServiceDescription interface calls, RegistrationHandler deals with the Registration interface while PortletManagementHandler deals with the PortletManagement interface. MarkupHandler implements the main interface that deals with the core PortletInvoker functionality and therefore is a little more complex than the other handlers. In particular, it delegates request processing to specific RequestProcessor instances. These, in turn, create WSRP-specific implementations of invocation contextual information with WSRPPortletInvocationContext and its related classes. The following diagram sums up this organization:

Producer handler hierarchy

The producer is configured using a ProducerConfigurationService managing a ProducerConfiguration instance and its associated ProducerRegistrationRequirements instance. The configuration can be loaded from XML, in particular via SimpleXMLProducerConfigurationService, and then persisted in a JCR store using JCRProducerConfigurationService and its associated mapping classes, as summed up in the following diagram:

Producer configuration

The producer manages consumer registrations via its RegistrationManager. The RegistrationManager, in turns, delegates several key decisions to a RegistrationPolicy instance which might be implemented by WSRP users and dynamically added via a plugin mechanism. This allows users of the WSRP producer to customize its behavior without having to touch the actual implementation. Of particular interest, we provide a DefaultRegistrationPolicy implementation with useful behavior, delegating validation of registration properties provided by consumers to a RegistrationPropertyValidator instance that users can implement if they are satisfied with the behavior provided by the DefaultRegistrationPolicy. Persistence operations are delegated to a RegistrationPersistenceManager instance. This is summed up in the following diagram:

Producer registration

Admin UI overview

The WSRP administration user interface allows users to configure and perform maintenance operations on both consumers (which access remote producers) and producer. It is currently implemented using JSF and uses the JBoss PortletBridge to work as a portlet as well. The functionality is implemented via a set of beans which provide the interface to WSRP services;

  • ConsumerManagerBean deals with consumers creation, activation/deactivation, registration/deregistration, basically interacts with the portal's ConsumerRegistry
  • ConsumerBean deals with the particulars of a specific consumer's configuration, in particular specifying the URL of the WSDL published by the remote producer and dealing with the potential registration requirements specified by the producer but also deals with import/export interacting with the portal's MigrationService
  • ProducerBean deals with the producer configuration interacting with the ProducerConfigurationService

Base functionality is provided via WSRPManagedBean in particular with respect to value validations and access to the running context via BeanContext.

The view technology uses Facelets with a fairly straightforward organization.

The diagram below sums up the previous information.

Administration UI beans

Integration in GateIn

WSRP is integrated in GateIn via GateIn's extension mechanism and is documented in the context of the GateIn project. In essence, the integration provides implementations of WSRP API interfaces and wires all the services together so that WSRP can access the proper portal information whether on the consumer or producer side.


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