Sun Java System Reference Configuration Series: Portal Service on Application Server Cluster

Interactions Between Reference Configuration Components

To design a logical architecture, you must understand the software dependencies and interactions between the various components that are listed in Table 2–2. These interactions can be somewhat complicated and difficult to illustrate in a single diagram such as Figure 2–1. The main interactions between components in the reference configuration are therefore described briefly in the table below, in the context of typical portal service operations.

Two access scenarios are incorporated into the following table:

Table 2–3 Interactions Between Reference Configuration Components


What Happens 

The user starts a browser and opens the portal service or SRA Gateway service URL, depending on the access scenario being used. 

If portal services are accessed directly, Portal Server returns the anonymous desktop, which includes the login channel. If portal services are accessed through the SRA Gateway, the Gateway redirects the user request to Access Manager. Access Manager returns the login page (by way of the Gateway). 

The user logs in by typing a user ID and password in the appropriate form and clicking Login. 

Access Manager interacts with Directory Server to retrieve the user's profile, which contains authentication, authorization, and application-specific information. 

Access Manager authenticates the user's ID and password against the LDAP directory information and creates a session object.  

When the user has been authenticated, Access Manager returns a session cookie to the user's browser and redirects the browser to Portal Server. 


Portal Server uses the session cookie to interact with Access Manager to access information in the user's profile (cached by Access Manager). Portal Server uses the information to build the user's personalized portal desktop. Portal Server returns the desktop to the user's browser (by way of the Gateway). 

The user reviews his or her portal desktop, and clicks a portal channel. 

Portal Server interacts with Access Manager to validate the status of the user session. Access Manager authorizes the channel content that is being requested by the user.  

When appropriate, Portal Server creates a portlet session and returns channel content to the user's browser. 


The user logs out or the session times out. 


Portal Server closes the portlet session, if any, and Access Manager deletes the user's session object. 

The understanding of component interactions represented in the logical architecture can be used later in the design process when you estimate the load on different components for sizing purposes and when you create a network connectivity specification.