The Java Portlet Specification V1.0 introduces the basic portlet programming model with:
- two phases of action processing and rendering in order to support the Model-View-Controller pattern.
- portlet modes, enabling the portal to advise the portlet what task it should perform and what content it should generate
- window states, indicating the amount of portal page space that will be assigned to the content generated by the portlet
- portlet data model, allowing the portlet to store view information in the render parameters, session related information in the portlet session and per user persistent data in the portlet preferences
- a packaging format in order to group different portlets and other Java EE artifacts needed by these portlets into one portlet application which can be deployed on the portal server.
- Portal development as a way to integrate the different web-based applications for supporting deliveries of information and services.
JSR-286 is the Java Portlet specification v2.0 as developed under the JCP and created in alignment with the updated version 2.0 of WSRP. It was released in June 2008. It was developed to improve on the short-comings on version 1.0 of the specification, JSR-168. Some of its major features include:
- Inter-Portlet Communication through events and public render parameters
- Serving dynamically generated resources directly through portlets
- Serving AJAX or JSON data directly through portlets
- Introduction of portlet filters and listeners
JSR-362 is the Java Portlet specification v3.0. Currently it is in early draft status. 
- "JSR 168". JCP.
- "JSR 286: Portlet Specification 2.0".
- Hepper, Stefan (18 March 2008). "What's new in the Java Portlet Specification V2.0 (JSR 286)?". IBM.
- "JSR 362: Portlet Specification 3.0".
- JSR 168
- JSR 286 (version 2.0 of the Java portlet specification)
- JSR 168 Open Source Reference Implementation at Apache
- Open source JSR 168/WSRP community at https://web.archive.org/web/20100613131851/http://www.java.net/
- Rapid Portlet Generator for generating JSR 168-compliant portlets
- Dynamic SOAP Portlet, for dynamic integration of SOAP services in JSR-168 portals
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