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What is a provider?

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A provider (or producer) is an entity that is used as a container of portlets.

The provider serves as the communication link between OracleAS Portal and the provider's portlets. Portal communicates with the provider and, in turn, the provider communicates with its portlets. OracleAS Portal never talks to a portlet directly. This communication is always done through the provider in which it is contained. Providers abstract the actual implementation of portlets from the portal, allowing for a simpler portal architecture.

Note: A producer for WSRP portlets is analagous to a provider for PDK-Java portlets.

There are three main types of provider interfaces: Web, WSRP, and database.

Web providers

A Web provider is one that is written as a Web application. It is installed and hosted on a Web server and is remote from the portal. A portlet exposed as a Web provider can be developed in any Web language. The portal communicates to the Web provider using the HTTP protocol. There are several benefits when developing portlets and exposing them as Web providers:

To expose your portlets as a Web provider, you must create a provider that manages your portlets and also can communicate with OracleAS Portal using SOAP (XML). To learn how to expose your portlets as a Web provider, see the Oracle Portal Developer Kit (PDK) or refer to the Oracle Application Server Portal Developer's Guide available from the Oracle Portal documentation page on the Oracle Technology Network.

WSRP producers

Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP). Web services standard that allows the plug-and-play of visual, user-facing Web services with portals or other intermediary Web applications. Being a standard, WSRP enables interoperability between a standards-enabled container based on a particular language (such as JSR 168, .NET, Perl) and any WSRP portal. So, a portlet (regardless of language) deployed to a WSRP-enabled container can be rendered on any portal that supports this standard.

To expose your portlets as a WSRP producer, you must create a producer that manages your portlets. To learn more about WSRP, see the WSRP and JSR 168 Standards page on the Oracle Technology Network. To learn how to expose your portlets as a WSRP producer, see the Oracle Application Server Portal Developer's Guide available from the Oracle Portal documentation page on the Oracle Technology Network. You can also test your WSRP producers online using the OracleAS Portal Verification Service.

Database providers

A database provider is one that is written as a PL/SQL package. Use database providers for creating PL/SQL portlets that reside in the database. PL/SQL portlets are implemented as stored procedures and executed in the database. They can be written in PL/SQL or Java Stored Procedures wrapped in PL/SQL. Use PL/SQL portlets whenever your portlets require significant database interaction or when the development team has Oracle experience.

To learn how to expose your portlets as a database provider, see the Oracle Portal Developer Kit (PDK) on the Oracle Technology Network.

If you want to access database providers on remote servers, you can use the Federated Portal Adapter, which allows database providers to be accessed as though they were Web providers.

Note: If you are registering a provider that uses the Federated Portal Adapter, you must register that provider as a Web provider.

In addition to database providers created using the PDK, there are two special kinds of database providers:

 

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For more information, go to the Oracle Portal documentation page on the Oracle Technology Network.