These pages provide a structural design overview of the Plumtree Corporate Portal (5.0.x) focused on the areas of the portal used for development. For a more general overview, see the Plumtree Corporate Portal Deployment Guide.
The following diagram summarizes the portal architecture. Click on an area in the image or scroll down for more information on each component.
Note: This information represents a logical architecture and does not necessarily reflect a physical architecture. For example, the Portal Server may actually be load-balanced across several machines, or an Image Server and a Remote Server might simply be different virtual directories on the same machine. In a large implementation, separate machines are used to run specific components of the portal.
The Portal Server hosts the User Interface (UI), part of the core implementation of the portal. The UI handles incoming HTTP requests, builds HTML responses, and returns the appropriate portal pages to each client. The Portal Server also hosts Enterprise Web Applications that integrate functionality from remote Web Services.
The following servers are part of every portal configuration:
The Plumtree Database (PT DB) is used to store metadata about portal objects and content in the portal Knowledge Directory. For details on types of metadata, see Plumtree Settings Model.
The Plumtree Automation Server manages portal job scheduling and implementation. The Automation Server also accesses remote crawlers and profile and authentication services that store and retrieve information in the Plumtree database.
The Plumtree Image Server hosts images and other static content used by the portal and remote Web services. This configuration allows large static files to be sent directly to the client browser without impacting the Portal Server. For details on the Image Server, see Adding Custom Images.
Plumtree provides additional server products to support content management and collaboration. The following servers appear in most portal configurations:
The Plumtree Search Server indexes and searches all the documents, information, applications, communities, discussions, Web sites and other content accessible through the portal. Using the EDK's PRC search API, you can query document (card), folder, user and Community objects from remote Web services using a standard request-response model.
Plumtree Collaboration Server supports collaboration from the Web, the desktop, applications and projects. Collaboration Server functionality can be accessed from remote Web Services through the EDK.
Plumtree Content Server allows publication & management of Web content for portals and Web applications, with forms-based publishing, branding, templates, workflow, approvals, and content expiration.
Authentication Servers handle user authentication for the portal, and can be accessed by remote services through the EDK.
Remote Servers host Web Services written using the Enterprise Web Development Kit (EDK). These servers can be in different domains, on different platforms, even running in different countries. Web Services can include portlets, crawlers, search services, authentication and profile services. Web Services integrate functionality from a range back-end applications, including databases, business applications, content repositories and search engines. For details on the Web Services architecture, see Portal Server to Remote Server Communication and the Portal Gateway.
The pages that follow provide more detail on key components and concepts used in Plumtree development.
Portal UI Layers: This page describes the major Plumtree UI projects and how they depend on each other.
MVC Architecture: This page provides an introduction to the Model-View-Control (MVC) design pattern used throughout the portal UI.
Activity Spaces: This page shows how Activity Spaces group multiple task-specific actions into a logical set and provide base functionality.
Session Management: This page introduces the Sandbox Session Manager, where UI developers can store data on the session.
Request-Control Flow: These pages summarize what happens when a request is made by taking a look inside the Interpreter to see some of the common checks that are processed for each request, exploring the relationship between the Interpreter and Activity Spaces, and illustrating how control flows from one to another.
Portal Server to Remote Server Communication and the Portal Gateway: Services on remote servers communicate with the Portal Server via HTTP and SOAP. This page explains the basics of communication between the Portal Server and remote servers, and introduces the portal gateway.
Related Protocols: Services on remote servers communicate with the Portal Server via HTTP and SOAP. This page provides detailed information on these standard protocols.
Extensibility and Composite Applications: (This page is under construction.) This page summarizes the range of options available for extending portal functionality and building integrated applications.
For instructions on how to get started, see the next section, The Plumtree Development Environment. For a full list of topics, see the table of contents.
Next: Portal UI Layers