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

Logical Architecture Diagram

The various components that are needed to meet the reference configuration requirements depend on their functions as distributed infrastructure services or their roles within a tiered application framework. In other words, the various components represent two views or dimensions that define a logical architecture: the logical tier dimension and the distributed infrastructure services dimension. These dimensions are described in the Sun Java Enterprise System 5 Update 1 Technical Overview.

The positioning of reference configuration components in such a two-dimensional framework is shown in the following logical architecture diagram. Components are placed within a horizontal dimension that represents standard logical tiers and within a vertical dimension that represents infrastructure service dependency levels. The positioning of a component in this matrix helps describe the role that the component plays in the logical architecture.

For example, Access Manager is a component that is used by presentation and business service tier components to provide security and policy infrastructure services. However, Application Server is a component that is used by presentation and business service tier components to provide distributed runtime services.

Figure 2–1 Logical Architecture of the Reference Configuration

Graphic representation of the logical architecture described
in the text.

A description of the tiers shown in Figure 2–1 is provided in the following table.

Table 2–1 Logical Tiers in the Architecture Diagram




In the Client tier are applications that are used by users to access portal services. In this reference configuration, the only client applications that are used are a browser and a stand-alone Java client.  


This tier enables remote users to securely access their organization's network and its services over the Internet. The Access tier acts as a communication relay between the Client tier and the Presentation tier, and includes the Portal Server Secure Remote Access components needed to securely access portal services from the Internet.


This tier provides aggregation and presentation capabilities that enable users to access relevant information and personalize their desktop to best meet their needs. In addition, this tier provides community, collaboration, content, and knowledge management capabilities. This tier is implemented using Portal Server software. 

Business Service 

This tier contains the back-end services that are aggregated and presented to users by services in the Presentation tier. Examples of applications that might reside in this tier include: email systems, calendar servers, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications (SAP, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and so forth.). Also, this tier contains portlets and application components that are deployed in a web container or application server. 


This tier provides a permanent repository that business services can use to store persistent information. This tier includes Directory Server (used by Access Manager and Portal Server to store user profiles) and Java DB (used to store application data). High Availability Session Store (HADB), which is used to store portlet session state, is placed in the Presentation tier to indicate its functional relationship to Portal Server.