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Sun Java System Portal Server 6 2005Q4 Deployment Planning Guide 

Appendix C  
Portal Server and Application Servers

This appendix provides an overview of the Sun Java™ System Portal Server product and its support for application servers.

This appendix contains the following sections:

Introduction to Application Server Support in Portal Server

The Sun Java System Portal Server product provides support for the following application servers to be used as the web application container, in addition to the Java™ Web Server software:

Running Portal Server on an application server enables you to:

Portal Server on an Application Server Cluster

This section describes how Application Server Enterprise Edition software, BEA WebLogic Server™, and IBM WebSphereŽ Application Server manage application server clustering. Application server clustering is a loosely coupled group of application servers that collaborate to provide shared access to the services that each server hosts. The cluster aims to balance resource requests, high availability of resources, and failover of application logic to provide scalability. Portal Server and Access Manager are not pure web applications. Instead, these applications are composed of local files residing on a machine and three web applications: portal, amserver, and amconsole. These three web applications run in a web application container, which runs in an application server web application container.

The Java Enterprise System installs and configures the local files, configures the local application server, then deploys the three WAR files on the local web application container. The WAR files themselves are not self-contained. The WAR files depend on the local files and directories on the machine to provide their service.

An application server cluster is a logical entity that groups many application server instances, potentially hosted on different machines. Pure web applications are deployed on a cluster using application server specific deployment tools. Once deployed on the cluster, the web applications are deployed to all the server instances that the cluster is made of, and managed in a central way.

Because of Portal Server’s dual nature, as a local application as well as a web application, install Portal Server on an application server using the following steps:

  1. Install Portal Server on all machines using the same configuration settings.
  2. Deploy the three web applications (portal, amserver, and amconsole) to the cluster.

The following sections explain what it means to enable Portal Server to run on an application server cluster.

Overview of Application Server Enterprise Edition

The Sun Java System Application Server Enterprise Edition 8 provides a robust J2EE platform for the development, deployment, and management of enterprise applications. Key features include transaction management, performance, scalability, security, and integration. The Application Server supports services from Web publishing to enterprise-scale transaction processing.

The Application Server is available in the Platform and Enterprise editions. The Platform edition is free and is intended for software development and department-level production environments. Designed for mission-critical services and large-scale production environments, the Enterprise edition supports horizontal scalability and service continuity via a load balancer plug-in and cluster management. The Enterprise edition also supports session continuity via the Highly Available Database (HADB). See the following Application Server Enterprise Edition documentation for more information:

Overview of BEA WebLogic Server Clusters

The BEA WebLogic Server™ product uses the following definitions:

See the following documentation for more information:

You start the Administration Server with the following command:


The local server takes its configuration from the install_dir/config/domain_name/config.xml file. To start a Managed Server, use the following command:

install_dir/config/domain_name/ servername admin_server_url

Instead of taking its configuration from the install_dir/config/domain_name/config.xml local file, the Managed Server takes it from the Administration Server, using HTTP.


The default configuration supported for installing Portal Server on BEA WebLogic Server™ is a single server that is also the Administration Server for the domain.

A BEA cluster is a set of managed servers in the same domain, that are declared in the WebLogic console as a cluster. When deploying a web application, you use the name of the cluster, not the name of the individual servers. After the deployment, the web application is identically deployed to all machines in the cluster.

Session failover in BEA is described in the following document:

Using in-memory replication for HTTP session states requires the following prerequisites:

To install a BEA cluster, your BEA license for each machine participating in the cluster must be a special BEA cluster license. See the BEA documentation for the procedure to get the license and set up a BEA cluster with HttpClusterServlet.

Overview of IBM WebSphere Application Server

The IBM WebSphere Application Server product uses the following definitions:

See the IBM WebSphere Application Server documentation for more information: /welcome.html

WebSphere Advanced Server provides a more robust approach to clustering because it includes a database. In Advanced Server, all servers use the database for the configuration information. You can use the WebSphere administration console, a Swing Java application, or the command-line utilities XMLConfig and wscpthen to manage the servers.

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Part No: 819-4155.   Copyright 2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.