IBM formally posted WebSphere Portal v8 information on their website: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/portal/. With this new version, IBM is expanding their portal-based suites to address both customer experiences and employee experiences. IBM Web Experience V8.0 is targeted toward your extranet audience, while IBM Intranet Experience Suite V8.0 is targeted toward employees. In addition to these suites, IBM continues to offer the standalone WebSphere Portal Server product.
IBM has put a lot of time and money into improving WebSphere Portal over the past 10 years and v8 continues that trend. The following updates are major enhancements to the new version:
- Better integration with IBM Web Content Management: WCM is truly becoming a integrated part of WebSphere Portal. New features include Managed Pages where Portal Pages are tied directly to WCM site areas. The new version creates WCM site areas and content when a new portal page is created. Portal pages can be included with WCM projects so they can go through approval workflows and get published through the syndication process.
- A new optimized theme. Portal themes have been undergoing constant changes in the past versions. I’m hoping that this latest version is really optimized.
- New Community Pages that integrate IBM Connections more closely into WebSphere Portal. When creating a community page, you can specify which Connections community is associated with that page and both Connections and WCM will understand that context.
- OpenID authentication which lets you use external systems like Facebook to authenticate users.
- Web analytics overlays allow you to see usage analytics right on your pages without having to generate reports.
- New installation process using IBM’s Installation Manager. This feature promises easier and faster installs of the portal servers.
You can see all the new features on this page: What’s new in IBM WebSphere Portal V8. Thanks to Kenio Carvalho for pointing me to the official IBM Announcement Letter which tells us that you will be able to download the new version starting May 4.