Portals are becoming more popular as companies are looking for a single web-based entry point into their various applications. Java provides a standard portal model with JSR 168. This book is a thorough introduction into JSR 168 that will help get portal developers up to speed into this relatively new specification.
The book starts with an excellent introduction into developing portlets. The first seven chapters cover all the details of developing portlets. Response and request objects are covered in detail. The portlet life cycle is clearly explained. Deployment descriptors are discussed. Integrating with Servlets and JSPs is described. The remainder of the book covers more advanced topics. Anyone working with a portal knows the problems with providing single sign-on to multiple applications. The authors discuss this issue giving several examples. The authors cover syndication, searching, personalization, web services, content management, and more.
My only complaint with the book is that it uses the Apache Pluto portal, which is not in final release yet. Pluto is an open source portal but it is complicated to distribute content to it (you are forced to use Maven). When the book explains how to distribute portlets to Pluto it gets a little confusing because the authors need to explain multiple configuration files, some of which are exclusive to Pluto. Other than this one problem, the book gives a solid introduction to developing a portal providing detailed information of both the basics and many advanced concepts. Clearly the authors understand portal development and know how to pass that information on to their readers.
This earned 4 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Apress.
The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.