JBoss.orgCommunity Documentation

JBoss Portlet Bridge

Reference Guide

Release 1.0.0.CR1

JBoss Portlet Bridge Overview
1. Getting started with JBoss Portlet Bridge
1.1. Bridge Frameworks and Extensions
1.2. Before you start
1.3. Maven Archetypes
1.3.1. Running the Archetypes
2. Bridge Configuration
2.1. Core Setup and Configuration
2.1.1. portlet.xml
2.1.2. faces-config.xml
2.1.3. Facelets Configuration
2.1.4. JSP Only Configuration
2.1.5. JSR-301
2.2. RichFaces Setup and Configuration Options
2.2.1. web.xml
2.2.2. jboss-portlet.xml
2.3. Seam Setup and Configuration Options
2.3.1. Configuration
3. Developing Portlets with the Bridge
3.1. Excluding Attributes from the Bridge Request Scope
3.2. Supporting PortletMode Changes
3.3. Navigating to a mode's last viewId
3.4. General Error Handling
3.5. Custom Ajax Error Handling

To get an idea of the JBoss Portlet Bridge community, the developers, and for wiki information, checkout the project page.

What is the JBoss Portlet Bridge?

The JBoss Portlet Bridge (or JBPB for short) is a non-final draft implementation of the JSR-301 specification which supports JSF within a portlet and with added enhancements to support other web frameworks (such as Seam and RichFaces). It basically allows any Java developer to get started quickly with their JSF web application running in a portal environment. The developer no longer needs to worry about the underlying portlet development, portlet concepts, or the API.

Understanding how JSF works with Portal

The portlet bridge isn't a portlet. It's the mediator between the two environments and allows JSF and Portal to be completely unaware of each other. The bridge is used to execute Faces requests on behalf of the portlet. During each request, the Faces environment is setup and handled by the bridge. Part of this implementation acts as a Faces controller much as the FacesServlet does in the direct client request world. The other part of this implementation is provided by implementating a variety of (standard) Faces extensions.


This draft specification for the JSR 301 specification is not final. Any final specification that may be published will likely contain differences, some of which may be substantial. Publication of this draft specification is not intended to provide the basis for implementations of the specification. This draft specification is provided AS IS, with all faults. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF CONDITION OF TITLE OR NONINFRINGEMENT. You may copy and display this draft specification provided that you include this notice and any existing copyright notice. Except for the limited copyright license granted above, there are no other licenses granted to any intellectual property owned or controlled by any of the authors or developers of this material. No other rights are granted by implication, estoppel or otherwise.

JBoss Portlet Bridge not only gives you the ability to run JSF web applications in a portlet, but also gives you the benefit of running supported JBoss frameworks like Seam and RichFaces.

The JBoss Portlet Bridge currently supports JBoss Portal, JSF 1.2, JBoss Seam, and JBoss Richfaces. There are configurations that apply to supporting each framework. See section Chapter 2, Bridge Configuration for instructions.

The JBoss Portlet Bridge project is also actively developing extensions, or Bridgelets, that enhance or bring together features of JBoss Portal, Seam, and Richfaces. For example, the PortalIdentity seam component allows you to drop the jar in your classpath and you instantly have SSO between Seam and Portal. This extension can also be configured with additional attributes in your Seam application's components.xml file.


Don't forget that the bridge is still in Beta and so are any extensions. If you would like to contribute to any part of this project, we encourage you to be active on the user forum and bring issues/enhancements to attention.

Current version and compatibilty information can be easily located on the JBPB wiki. Ensure you are using compatible versions of all integrated frameworks before you begin.

JBoss Portal provides it's latest distribution included in JBoss Application Server. All of the guesswork has been eliminated so that you can unzip and run Portal with a few clicks. Get the latest here (ensure you choose the JBoss Portal + JBoss AS link)

Next, all that's left is to download the JBoss Portlet Bridge distribution and cofigure your portlet to use the bridge. Or, you can run a provided archetype Section 1.3, “Maven Archetypes” and deploy the generated war in a few easy steps. This will also give you an empty project to play around with or start from scratch.

For system requirements and setting up your JBoss Portal environment see the reference guide.

The JBPB project utilizes Maven archetypes which allow you get up and running with different flavors of the bridge quickly.

JSF 1.2 Basic, RichFaces Basic, Seam Basic, and other demos

Each example application is configured to download the latest versions of JBoss Portal bundled with JBoss Application Server. After running the archetype Section 1.3, “Maven Archetypes” or downloading the source code for the example application that you're interested in, you can run one of the following Maven profiles to save time and get everything up and running with only 2 commands. You have 2 options for deploying the generated project using Maven. You can let the project download, run, and deploy JBoss AS and Portal automatically with the first option . Or you can use your own local install of JBoss AS and Portal to deploy this project with the second option.

JBoss Portal 2.7.2.GA + JBoss AS 4.2.3 (Bundled download)

            1. mvn install -Plocal-portal cargo:start
            2. mvn cargo:deploy -Plocal-portal
            3. visit http://localhost:8080/portal
For more commands, view the README.txt in each project. If you plan on using the cargo profiles to do active development, you can save alot of time by not downloading the bundle each time you do a clean install. To use a locally configured server bundled with portal, use the following command line parameters. The variable for JBOSS_HOME_DIR is related to how you zip the server directory. If you zip the files under JBOSS_HOME/* then it will only be the name of your archive. But if you zip the actual folder JBOSS_HOME then JBOSS_HOME_DIR must be defined as 'zip file name/JBOSS_HOME folder name'. So basically, just zip up your local install of JBoss AS and portal (or download the bundle from sourceforge) if you want to use this option.


JBoss Portal 2.7.2.GA + JBoss AS 4.2.3 (Downloaded and stored locally)

            1. mvn install cargo:start -Dlocal -Plocal-portal -DJBOSS_ZIP_HOME=/{path to zipped portal + JBoss AS}/jboss-portal-2.7.2-bundled.zip -DJBOSS_HOME_DIR=jboss-portal-2.7.2-bundled/jboss-portal-2.7.2
            2. mvn cargo:deploy -Plocal-portal
            3. visit http://localhost:8080/portal

The 301 specification is aimed at making the developers life as easy as possible with JSF+Portlet development. You will see below that there are minimal settings to getting any JSF web application up and running in the Portal environment.

The following web.xml setting is only for Facelets based applications

        <web-app xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/j2ee"
                 xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/j2ee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/j2ee/web-app_2_4.xsd"
            <!-- This is optional parameters for a facelets based application -->


The following configuration is designated for portlets using the RichFaces library. These settings will vary based on your individual needs. See this section of the RichFaces documentation for more details.


The org.ajax4jsf.RESOURCE_URI_PREFIX configuration cross references a setting in your jboss-portlet.xml file (see below). These settings are required for RichFaces.


                <display-name>Ajax4jsf Filter</display-name>


This chapter demonstrates common development tasks described by the 301 specification.

By default a mode change will start in the mode's default view without any (prior) existing state. One common portlet pattern when returning to the mode one left after entering another mode (e.g.. view -> edit -> view) is to return to the last view (and state) of this origin mode. The bridge will explicitly encode the necessary information so that when returning to a prior mode it can target the appropriate view and restore the appropriate state. The session attributes maintained by the bridge are intended to be used by developers to navigate back from a mode to the last location and state of a prior mode. As such a developer needs to describe a dynamic navigation: "from view X return to the last view of mode y". This is most easily expressed via an EL expression. E.g.