A provider (or producer) is an entity that is used as a container of portlets.
The provider serves as the communication link between OracleAS Portal and the provider’s portlets. Portal communicates with the provider and, in turn, the provider communicates with its portlets. OracleAS Portal never talks to a portlet directly. This communication is always done through the provider in which it is contained. Providers abstract the actual implementation of portlets from the portal, allowing for a simpler portal architecture.
Note: A producer for WSRP portlets is analagous to a provider for PDK-Java portlets.
There are three main types of provider interfaces: Web, WSRP, and database.