Information Technology Projects Course

Professor Arthur Goldberg
Computer Science Department
Fall 2005
Project Proposal


Company Description

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to individual and institutional customers. The MetLife companies serve approximately 12 million individuals in the U.S. and provide benefits to 37 million employees and family members through their plan sponsors. Outside the U.S., the MetLife companies have insurance operations in 12 countries serving approximately 8 million customers.

We will be interning with the Corporate Systems eBusiness IT Portal Project. This team is involved in delivering the vision, strategy and implementation of a corporate portal and content management solution for the various internal businesses it serves. The group's mission also includes setting and spearheading the technical standards for the corporate systems portal architecture, implementation, development frameworks and deployment, in line with applicable industry and MetLife enterprise standards

We've worked with this group at MetLife previously. They exude a terrific spirit, and are interested in hiring NYU graduates.

Proposal: Design and prototype internationalized portal for multiple devices using WebSphere Portal Server and Vignette 7

Business objective: As MetLife expands its services to an international market, it seeks to push content to various populations that speak different languages. They want to enable their applications to effectively and efficiently support internationalized content. To clarify, web application internationalization is the process of building a framework that generalizes a web application so that it can handle multiple languages, regions, currencies, time, and cultural conventions. Web application localization is the process of taking an internationalized Web application and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate for the target locale(s) (country/region and language) where it will be used.

Detailed description: In this project, we will develop one portlet application running on top of IBM WebSphere Portal v5.1, which consumes dynamic content from the Vignette v7 content management system. Given a request's locale and originating (Browsers, WAP-enabled) devices, the portal/portlet should serve the appropriate content and markup (html, wml to name a few), respectively.

MetLife proposes that we follow the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and utilize IBM's Rational Software Architect/Reusable Asset Specification (RSA/RAS) in all phases of this project's software development life cycle. The design should address internationalization in all tiers/layers (presentation, business, and data), and use design patterns/best practices within each layer, as appropriate.

We will then cache our design in IBM RSA/RAS. During implementation, we can apply a design pattern by simply dragging the pattern and have IBM RSA generate the code for us. We can create/customize design patterns/code into IBM RAS for future development as well. Our goal is to create repeatable processes and common reusable components to establish IBM RSA/RAS as our de facto methodology.

Core requirements

  1. Design an internationalized portal which supports multiple devices

  2. Localize one portlet application to realize the design

  3. Create repeatable processes and reusable components

  4. Cache reusable components in IBM RSA/RAS

Benefits of participating in this project

Students who intern in this project will learn about the following technologies and practices:

Finally, team members will obtain a great boost in their experience and resume.


  1. What is a portal?

  1. What is a portlet? IBM Portlet API, JSR 168 API, JSF …(there might be better references)

  1. What is a content management system?,2097,1-1-1928-4149-1966-4150,00.html

  1. Portlet development best practices:

Intern Address

1 MetLife Plaza

27-01 Queens Plaza North,

Long Island City, NY 11101


All building visitors must sign in with the security guard. After-hours visitors must enter at main lobby entrance so as to be identified by the security guard.

Alternative public transportation:

Authorizing manager

Dave Ditillo, AVP - Corporate eBusiness IT, dditillo -at- metlife -dot- com, 212-578-7379

Project manager

Hsin Yu Wang, hwang3 -at- metlife -dot- com, 212-578-8629, MSCS NYU Spring 2004

Meeting hours

Regular business hours (9-6, M-F)

Resources that will be made available to students

The necessary software tools and data. By the end of the project students will need to access MetLife's computing environment, either on-site or via a VPN. [OK?]