Liferay Inc, an open source Java portal company, has just released a new version of its offering that adds new Ajax mashup capabilities, plus links to workflow engines and enterprise service buses.
Version 4.2 adds a new Google Maps portlet which can be used as the basis for mashups. It has also improved links with Alfresco, an open source federated content management system designed by the much of the team that first developed Documentum. With the link, you can publish content in Alfresco through the Liferay portal. That’s possible because both tools support JSR 168, the Java standard for portlets.
Another key new feature is support for ServiceMix JBI container. ServiceMix is a JBI-compliant implementation of a container that can be transported through an ESB. The idea of including support of ServiceMix is to enable portlets to tie into a distributed SOA environment. For instance, with the link into an ESB, a portlet could call on a business process that is represented using the JBPM Java standard.
According to CEO Bryan Cheung, the support of ServiceMix is just a first step towards greater ESB support down the road.
Another new feature is support of the Jabber open source IM client, meaning that all logged on users of a specific instance (the company calls it a “community”) of the Liferay portal can conduct instant messaging through the portal.
The company, which has been in business since 2000, offers a Java, JSR 168-compliant open source portal that currently draws 40,000 downloads each month. (By contrast, the numbers for JBoss server are 8000, and Spring, an open source container, draws 100,000 downloads each month.)
In coming months, they hope to ties into the Novell community, given that Novell itself has dropped support of its own portal product. Liferay is basing its bid for penetrating the Novell community on its existing support for Novell e-Directory. And the next release, 4.3, which should be out in mid-year, will focus on scalability and performance enhancements.