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Why there is no information on the net about the bad parts of Webshpere Portal? February 25, 2008

Posted by Tomas in IBM Webspehere.
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If you search the net trying to decide if you (most likely the company you work for) want to use Websphere portal, but you can not find anything negative about it. Can it be that this piece of software has no flaws? Or just nobody in the world is using it? How can it be that there are no accounts of developer experience on the net about this product……

We about to change all this. I have been coding in this piece of crap product and its development environment for about 6 months now. And plainly put this is the biggest piece of crap I have ever used so far.

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1. Andrew - March 2, 2008

Interesting theme, I had just such a dilemma some five or so years ago. In the face of a recommended portal implementation (read as aggressive on site consultant/sales droids representing the vendor), a brief search on the inter-web revealed absolutely nothing related to the use/development on a portal platform. For me, it was a different vendor, but it all sounds too familiar along with that sickly feeling I had when I realized what we had let ourselves in for, as we desperately tried to meet some form of a deadline in the face of such an adversary.

As part of my retrospection, I found myself asking why, with talented developers could the project have been such a failure, and while the portal was not entirely to blame, it was definitely the prime contributor. Some may say skills training was required – but all developers attended three weeks of very expensive training – and don’t forget, we also had very highly paid consultants on site to make it happen – and of course they couldn’t.

Speaking with other developers, it seemed that we all held the same beliefs in that it was just a complete pain to achieve anything. There was a binary decision that developers had to make –
1. Deliver something with the products as intended, which broke all the existing rules about loose coupling, don’t repeat yourself, etc. and would have made the software impossible to maintain.

2. Deliver using existing knowledge about development and totally bypass all the reasons for buying the product.

A number of issues stood in the way of using approach (1), not least of which being that many of the mechanisms didn’t work and if they did, it was more time consuming than using option (2).

Needless to say, option 2 fast became the option of choice. Onward to the crux of the matter – even bypassing as much pain as possible – the products still failed to word correctly, and to your point, try using conventional mechanisms and you’ll find out fast that a number of problems stand in the way.

Now I could put this all down to lack of maturity of the products and to be fair, that was a factor. But now I find myself using Websphere AS/Portal stack and many of the same problems are there! After six versions of a very expensive product, the maturity argument starts to wain and I just ended up asking myself – why use a portal anyway?


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