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Cost center general details

Cost center activities

To install these portlets within your WP instance, you will ¬rst have to
install the JCO library for SAP. You then need to create a CV slot named
bofactory.slot associated with a resource named sap. You then need
to bring up the portlet in edit mode and enter the SAP username, password,
hostname, system number, client, language and connections per user pool.

Web Clipping
Referring back to Figure 23-2, we have dealt with the left-hand side of the
chart and have covered the patterns termed as back-end integration pat-
terns. All of these patterns have one thing in common: Under the covers
portlets use some form of adapter or connector to access the back-end sys-
tem. In this section we deal with a different kind of integration”integration
that is at a user interface level only.
When you use portlets in the context of front-end integration patterns,
the portlets do not interact with the application at an API level. Instead,
it makes use of Web screen scraping techniques: activating the application
through a set of HTTP requests (URLs) and using the responses in HTML
(or another markup language) to display information through the portal”
either by embedding the pages as is or ˜clipping™ parts of the HTML and
creating a new page from a subset of the original information. Because all
Web applications have an identical request/response interaction paradigm,
this integration method is very generic.
In Chapter 9 we showed you how Web Clipping helps you build portlets
that consume Web content and ¬lter it to present a partial page of relevant
portions of an original page. You do this by using the Web Clipping portlet,
which helps you build such Web clippers by specifying the URL of the
content to retrieve various attributes that affect how the content is clipped.
The portlets created by the Web Clipping portlet are called Web clippers
or cliplets. Web Clipping supports advanced features such as security and
cookies, to allow you to clip not only simple Internet sites but also advanced
Web-based applications.
The advanced features of WP cliplets make clipping a useful tool for
application integration within WP. Web clipper options include selecting
clipping types, modifying ¬rewall options, setting authentication options,
modifying rules for URL rewriting, and setting speci¬c security policies. Of
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464 Chapter 23

Figure 23-12 Web Clipping authentication options.

these, the ones that you use most often when integrating with a back-end
application are the authentication option and the URL rewriting option.

Web Clipping Authentication Options
In using cliplets you will still have to handle issues of single sign-on. Ap-
plication content is presented by cliplets because WP opens a connection
to the Web or application server and makes an HTTP request. The applica-
tion needs some way to authenticate this request, and you need to set up
the authentication method with which such access will be done. When you
click Modify Authentication Options for your cliplet, you can select among
various authentication options as shown in Figure 23-12.
Select the Authentication Required option and select HTTP Basic
Authentication or Form-Based Authentication. If you select Basic Authen-
tication you need only enter the realm name. Form-Based Authentication is
dependent on the form used to log into the application and requires you to
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Integrating ExternalApplications withWebSphere Portal 465

Figure 23-13 Setting the Credentials for Web Clipping authentication.

enter form-speci¬c information”including the URL for the login form and
the parameter names within that form where the username and password
are entered. You can get these by navigating to the application login form
using your browser and viewing the HTML source, looking for the login
form and the parameter names. Finally, you need to set the credentials used
to perform the login using a CV slot as shown in Figure 23-13. You can use
either a shared CV slot or a CV slot that is not shared, in which case you
should enter the username and password to be used.

Web Clipping Options for URL Rewriting
You can de¬ne the behavior of cliplets in terms of HTML links by using the
Web Clipping URL rewriting options. These options control how references
are modi¬ed when they are part of the cliplet page. Links often need to be
modi¬ed in order to preserve the portal experience, and the default behavior
of URL rewriting involves modifying the links to point at the portal server
rather than the original host and ensuring that the page you have navigated
to appears within the content area of the portlet.
If you do not want to use the default behavior, you can create a set of rules
that affect how URLs are rewritten. When logged in as an administrator,
click Administration, then Portlets, and then Web Clipping. Once you have
located your cliplet, click Advanced Options and Modify Rules for URL
Rewriting. Then check the Use Rules to Exclude URLs from Rewriting Radio
button as shown in Figure 23-14. You can then de¬ne two sets of URL
rules: URLs that will not be modi¬ed and, when clicked, will take up the
entire browser window. The second set of rules de¬ne URLs that will not be
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466 Chapter 23

Figure 23-14 Modifying URL rewriting rules.

modi¬ed and will be opened in a new window when clicked. In both cases a
rule is a Perl expression that de¬nes a pattern. When the cliplet is rendered,
the HTML is modi¬ed by inspecting each hyperlink and modifying the
HREF attribute value based on these rules. If a hyperlink matches a pattern
then the rule applies, the URL is not rewritten, and the correct windowing
behavior will apply. In Figure 23-14 for example any URL with any host on
the nasdaq.com or nyse.com domain will navigate to take up the browser
windows, and any page ending with .jsp or .do will be opened in a new

Application-Speci¬c Web Embedding
Application-speci¬c Web embedding is another type of integration pattern
that makes use of HTTP/HTML screen scraping and allows you to de-
ploy existing Web screens directly on your portal without integrating to the
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Integrating ExternalApplications withWebSphere Portal 467

back-end system at an API level. What is special about application-speci¬c
Web embedding is that because the portlets that perform the integration
task know that they only need to interact with a certain application they
can make all sorts of assumptions on the application architecture and the
way it behaves. Because these portlets do not need to be completely generic,
they can do a better job in integrating with the speci¬c application suite in-
volved and they can contain parameters that are speci¬c to the application
suite, allowing for better integration with the application.
Two examples of application-speci¬c Web embedding involve the
SAPGUI for HTML portlet and the SAP Business Warehouse (BW) integra-
tion portlets, both available through the portlet catalog. The SAPGUI for
HTML portlet allows you to embed any HTML page created by SAP™s Inter-
net Transaction Server (ITS) either as an iframe or as a pop-up window. The
SAP BW portlet allows you to embed views from existing SAP BW systems
and expose them within your portlet”including functions from opportu-
nity management, personnel administration, and controlling activity-based
costing. In this section we focus on SAPGUI for HTML because it is a good
example of application-speci¬c Web embedding.
The SAPGUI for HTML portlet is built to use SAP™s ITS architecture. As
Figure 23-15 shows, a mySAP.com system includes the SAP R/3 application
and the SAP workplace middleware. Within SAP workplace, the ITS com-
ponent serves to create and deliver HTML pages to the browser and serves
as the broker between an R/3 system and the Internet. The ITS is placed
between the Web server and the R/3 system and comprises two main com-
ponents: the WGate and the AGate. The WGate resides on the Web server
and is the plugin connecting to the application server”the AGate. The
AGate controls the communication with the R/3 system and is responsi-
ble for session management, mapping R/3 screens or function modules to
HTML, connection management, and most importantly the generation of
HTML pages.
The SAPGUI for HTML portlet only supports Internet Explorer and has
been tested with SAP R/2 version 4.6C. Setting up the portlet merely in-
volves downloading it from the portlet catalog and adding it to your WP
environment. You then need to set the following parameters:
SAPGUIBrowserHost. Host name of the SAP ITS Server. If you do
not use port 80 for the connection, you must also specify the port
SAPGUIBrowserPathExtension. URL path where the application is
provided by the SAP ITS Server.
SAPGUIBrowserClient. Client number for the SAP system.
APGUIBrowserLang. Language settings for SAP ITS server.
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468 Chapter 23

Figure 23-15 Using the SAPGUI for HTML portlet to connect to a SAP ITS system.

SAPGUIBrowserTxCode. Transaction code for SAP ITS Server.
SAPGUIBrowserIFrameWidth. Width of the iframe where the HTML
page will be shown.
SAPGUIBrowserIFrameHeight. Height of the iframe where the
HTML page will be shown.
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Integrating ExternalApplications withWebSphere Portal 469

SAPGUIBrowserDetach. Set to false if you want to view the SAP ITS
server™s content within a portlet iframe or set to true if you want to
pop up a separate window.

Embedding Functional Portals
Functional portals are portals that focus on a certain business domain, set
of functions used within the organization, or both. These portals are very
common in many organizations and can be managed by a certain business
function (for example, an HR portal or a ¬nance portal) or by another orga-
nizational entity (for example, a business unit or a geographical unit within
the organization). Functional portals can often be deployed quickly, some-
times due to the fact that they are limited in terms of the functions that need
to be implemented and sometimes because a single organization is often
more effective in making decisions quickly and moving the project further.
In addition, many application suite vendors provide a portal that is already
integrated with the back-end business function with the intent of making a
functional portal very quick to deploy. Examples include SAP portals and
the PeopleSoft portal.
Functional portals are popular because they allow an organization to
put up their portal quickly. Unfortunately, functional portals often work
against the main goal of having an enterprise portal. Referring back to
Figure 23-1, many functional portals can create a reality that is not too
dissimilar from the left-hand side of that ¬gure. A common enterprise portal
(the right-hand side of Figure 23-1) is where most enterprises want to get
The last integration pattern addresses a scenario in which an enterprise
wants to integrate a number of already existing functional portals. In such
a case it is often not desirable to build additional integration directly to
the back-end application (that is, circumventing the functional portal). In-
stead, you can expose the functional portal and the functions deployed on
it directly from within your WebSphere Portal.
Embedding functional portals is relatively simple when it comes to
integration”and we only mention this pattern here for completeness. The
functional portal is accessed by pointing directly to starting-point URLs that
reside on the functional portal. In addition, there are two main issues you
need to deal with in order to use this integration pattern. The ¬rst and most
important issue is single sign-on. By this we don™t mean using the CV”we
mean SSO as presented and described in Chapter 21. In fact, the SSO tool
used is really the tool performing the integration. The second issue you will
need to deal with involves consistency of the user interface. Because each
functional portal may have its own set of styles, skins, and themes (not to
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470 Chapter 23

mention navigation methods and operational standards), you may need to
do quite a bit of look-and-feel standardization.


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