WebCenter spaces has come a long way if we compare this version to the previous release. It really has matured a lot. It’s got a lot of new features, is faster, more stable,…
In this post I will try to give a brief overview of some new features.
Look and feel
One of the first things that immediately jumps into view is the brand new look and feel of WebCenter Spaces. This layout is based upon a new component set specially build for portal. They have the same names as some other ADF Faces component but they are stripped down to the minimum. This results in better performance and lower bandwidth usage for the portal pages.
The way spaces are created also got a facelift. When you create a space you first need to provide its name, description and some keywords:
After this you need to provide the URL of the space (Only A-Z, a-z and _ can be used in the URL). You also need to configure if the space is public, hidden or private:
The last screen lets you choose from some predefined space templates. These are pre build with enabled services, pages, navigations and so on. You can create an out-of-the-box blog portal, discussion portal, collaboration portal and more:
After this your space will be created and you can do whatever you want with it.
A very nice and powerful new feature is the use of sub spaces. Each space can have lots of sub spaces and each sub space can also have their own sub space. This way you can create a very deep hierarchy of different spaces. Each space has their own configuration, resource manager, security and so on. This is very handy to delegate the managing of spaces.
Only one downside to this… When you create a space, you need to provide the URL of the space. When you create a sub space, you can’t create the sub space in a URL that contains the parent space.
For example you create a space for Projects with the URL spaces/projects and you want to create sub space ProjectA, you can’t configure to be on spaces/projects/projectA. It needs to be spaces/projectA so it is on the same level as its parent.
Let’s be honest, everybody who has worked with WebCenter Spaces 22.214.171.124 and needed to deploy custom templates, taskflows or other things knows that this wasn’t easy… You had one big project in JDeveloper for creating those resources and by using an ant script it SHOULD get deployed on your WebCenter spaces instance.
I’m very glad to see they worked around the problem! With the resource manager you can easily create all those resources at runtime. Pages, navigation models, templates, skins, taskflows,… They are only a few mouse clicks away. And if that’s not enough, you can also upload and download resources . This is very nice because now you can easily create your template in JDeveloper, export it and upload it in a space. Or just copy/paste the code from JDeveloper to the source of the template in runtime.
Each WebCenter space has their own resource manager so you can easily organize the needed resource per space.
Some examples of the resources that can be created during runtime:
With the cool Add From Library button
If we are talking about personalization in PS3, we are talking about something completely else than when we talk about personalization in PS2.
WebCenter 11g PS3 provides a complete Personalization Server. Together with the activity server this becomes a very powerful tool.
I haven’t got the time to dig deep into the personalization server but if I am correct it allows you to create scenario’s. based upon those, the server can decide what content to show, provide an alternative user experience completely personalized to the user. Together with the activity server it can combine the behavior of other users to have a more accurate result.
It seems nice a very nice feature an worth finding out more… Definitely to be continued!
Have I already told you that it is a lot faster than the previous release. When starting the Spaces managed server I could get a coffee and chat a while at the coffee machine (because I don’t drink coffee). Maybe when I am back, the server finally is started.
WebCenter 11g PS3 starts in a few moments.
It also consumes less memory.
There are a lot of new services added in this release and some have been completely changed. For example the Wiki service. In PS2 it was a standalone service. Now the wiki is just a part of UCM. Instead of having a separate product, all the wiki documents are stored as HTML files into the content server.
A downside to this is that you can’t use the wiki formats available on other wiki’s. It is just plain text with an inline editor to create some format. The advantage is that everything is stored in the UCM so you can make use of all of UCM’s features. This way you can easily create approval workflows for wiki documents.
Analytics is a rather new service. I say rather because it was available in the previous release but not as prominent and now. You had to install it separately and the integration with WebCenter was also not that good. Now it integrated perfect with WebCenter Spaces. You can track almost everything. It also is a part of the Enterprise Manager so you can easily configure the analytics.
Activity graph is another new service. It provides a service to track the usage of users. Based upon that information the activity graph can do some suggestions to the users like what pages he might be interested in or what users he should connect to.
I bet there are lots of more cool new features in WebCenter Spaces but it is a brief overview. In the future i definitly will make some more post about this!