Has somebody found a lightweight alternative to portal containers like liferay? One that pushes features like quick startup times, not limiting the developer, and flexible configuration?


GWT is a good alternative

GWT is a compiler/widget framework. Portals like liferay are containers in which other applications run inside. We need a base platform in which we can run web applications (perhaps that even use GWT themselves) and have a single login and single security model.
+1  A: 

You could take a look at Pluto:

It's as much a portal framework as it is a portal container. It's standard-compliant and lightweight. If you need something more full-featured, you could look at Pluto-based Jetspeed 2.

Jean-François Ménard
The mission of Pluto is to be the reference implementation of the portlet specs, not to be a portal.
+2  A: 

These are the ones I heard about:

  • Liferay Portal is Liferay (independent)
  • Sun glassfish webspace server has been built on top of Liferay Portal and is now discontinued by Oracle.
  • GateIn / eXo / JBoss is JBoss
  • Jetspeed 2 is Apache, but I don't feel it gained momentum
  • Pluto is I think the reference implementation, so not really a portal, but just the portlet container
  • Then comes the big ones like WebSphere & co.

We chose to go with Liferay two years ago, because JBoss portal wasn't that good. But if I had to choose a portal now, I would also give a try to GateIn.

+1  A: 

To clarify, Liferay is not Oracle and Liferay never was owned by Sun.



Liferay now has Alloy UI which can be used without the portal or with the portal if you need the built in web CMS, portal features. Check it at


Liferay 6.0 is quicker then its earlier versions, Yes Liferay needs atleast 2GB of RAM and good CPU to be productive as developer,

Intesar Mohammed
+1  A: 

Apache Shindig might be a viable lightweight alternative to portal containers. It's an OpenSocial container and allows you to hosts Gadgets. Gadgets are in some ways similar to JSR-168/286 portlets.

R. Kettelerij