Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Wow, what a Experience ...

Spent a worthwhile day yesterday in our London offices, working through
an IBM tool called WebSphere Portal Experience Modeler ( aka Portal
Experience Modeler aka Day In The Life Demo Builder ).

This Eclipse-based tool allows one to quickly build a walk-through
demonstration of a role-based portal, allowing pages, portlets and
navigation to be rapidly set up. This is a visualization tool; it does
NOT build real code. It is, however, a most excellent way to allow a
reasonably technical user ( not necessarily a developer ) to build a
highly visual demonstration for a customer, as part of a consultative
selling process.

The look and feel of a Portal 5 or 6 environment is preserved, with
themes, skins, portlet/people palettes, linked navigation ( an action in
one portlet invokes a change elsewhere ), presence awareness and instant
messaging etc. etc. etc. Despite knowing that it's only generating HTML
and JavaScript, it's still awesome to watch an expert ( Peter ) at work.

The end-result is a <10MB ZIP file containing all the relevant assets;
this can be shared with a client who can then run through their own
personalized demonsrtation, without needing to have a real portal server
on tap.

Looking at the existing assets, it's easy to see how this tool can help
build value around a portal solution; it's all about visualization; how
can we quickly help the client understand the value of a portal
solution, without needing to deploy servers and write code. It's one of
the first steps on the ladder, and may well lead to a real demonstration
in due course.

Nice ..........

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