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WebCenter video tutorial: Using group spaces and sub spaces

After my previous video tutorials i thought it was a good idea to make some more tutorials. The plan is to release more video's on a weekly base. You can subscribe to my youtube channel This time I will talkabout the use of group spaces and how subspaces can be used to extend the functionality

Oracle Open World Wrap up

While I am waiting for my plane back home I couldn't find a better way to spend my time then to write an overview of how I experienced Oracle Open World.

It's my very first Oracle Open World and I must say, really like it. I met lots of new people, saw some very interesting presentations and got a few ideas to write blog post about.

WebCenter and Fusion Application: The next big thing in Enterprise 2.0

Fusion Application have been around for quite a while. Oracle has got some issues with it but they are coming. Meanwhile, WebCenter and ADF has been evolved a lot. Especially WebCenter has improved quite a lot since PS3.

Fusion Applications and the current applications like E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and so on are all about doing your day to day job while WebCenter is all about creating an integrated environment so people can work efficiently.

Using multiple navigation models in a template in WebCenter 11g PS3

As a comment on the tutorial about the navigation model i got the question if it's possible to use multiple navigation models in a custom template.
WebCenter only supports a single default navigation model but you can access any navigation model from your template.

This post gives a short example how you can use multiple navigation models in WebCenter 11g PS3.

Using the username in a JSR 286 portlet with ADF business components in WebCenter

In my previous post i have explained how we can get the current username in JSR 286 portlet. In this post we will take it to the next level and use the username to power a view criteria in our model project.

So this post is more an example portlet that shows you how to use business components, taskflows and the username in a JSR 286 portlet.

Getting the username in a JSR 286 portlet in WebCenter PS3

There are some questions on the forums on OTN regarding *portlets* and getting the username from the portal.
It appears that since WebCenter PS3, you need to configure your container before the user principal is passed to your portlet. This is because WebCenter uses WSRP to consume portlets. WSRP allows us to configure security between the portlet and producer. By default WebCenter does not use this security and we need to tell the container that we want to pass the username over the SOAP call which is not secure.

Before WebCenter PS3 this was configured automicly because we used JSR 168 portlets. Now with JSR 286, our portlets are fully JSR 286 and WSRP compliant.

So, what do we need to do. It's very simple. Just add to the Container Runtime Options in your portlet.xml. That's all you need to do. After this, you can use following code to retreive the username in your portlet.

Using WebCenter to its full potential

I have to admit, I'm a technical guy so these kinds of post are scares for me. I just felt like writing this because sometimes I have the feeling that people are not using WebCenter to its full potential. Let me elaborate about that. In the past I have done both projects for Oracle Portal and WebCenter. I most cases, the portal software was used as a framework to build applications. In just a few cases they were building composite applications. The only additional features used from the portal were features like creating pages at runtime, security. When WebCenter 11g was released I thought this would be better. Oracle puts quite some effort into explaining the added value of the Enterprise 2.0 services and how to use them properly in your business. It's a shame to see that a product of WebCenter not being used as it should be. It's not always a business problem but we, who know the product should tell the business what WebCenter can do and how it can help their business. In this post i share some more thought about how you can convince the business to use real features of WebCenter.

Inter Portlet Communication with JSR 286 and WebCenter 11g PS3

Inter Portlet Communication (IPC) always seems quite tricky if you take a look at the forums. I have to admit, before WebCenter PS3 setting up IPC was quite a hassle.

Since the release of PS3 IPC has been made simple. No longer are we required to configure page parameters. Portlets are wired automatically when they have a parameter with the same name. The same goes for events.

I already made an overview of the new features of the portlets in PS3 so I will not repeat myself.

In this post I will show these features by using a simple example so you know how to apply them.
In my WebCenter 11g PS3 Tutorial I will also dedicate some sections on portlets and IPC so you will also be able to use these example to learn more about IPC.

WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook has been released

After months of hard work I am pleased to announce that my WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook has been released. It contains 14 chapters with over 90 recipes that can help you manage your WebCenter Portal in a professional way. It is currently the only up to date book about WebCenter that explains the new features of the latest version of WebCenter Oracle WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook starts by creating an enterprise portal with WebCenter, enhancing it with the new features from the latest 11g version. It not only teaches readers how to build complex navigation models and page hierarchies in detail but also dives into building wikis and integrating content with document services. This cookbook also covers highly essential administrative concepts of WebCenter Spaces, security, and managing WebCenter applications.

Movable box in WebCenter Spaces does not move

When you edit a page in WebCenter Spaces or WebCenter Portal, you can add a movable box to your page. By adding this box, you define a region that can be dragged and dropped to other regions on the page. Now it seems that some page styles in WebCenter Spaces set the Allow Action property to a default so you can only move components in edit mode, even if you have personalization rights to that page. Those components are static once you go back to view mode and nobody can move them. In this post I will show you how you reset this setting so people can rearrange the components if they wish.

Summer of technology: Jumpstart your WebCenter Development

This summer, Contribute is presenting the Summer of technology. Every week we have a one day crash course for a specific technology. From PL/SQL to Coherence and WebCenter.

Thuesday 23 August is my turn to present a hands on session about WebCenter. In this one day course you will learn how to build rich Enterprise 2.0 portals with the latest version of WebCenter.

I will teach you the inns and outs about navigation models, resource catalogs and content integration.
If you are interested in following this session, please register now. It's free and the spots are limited!

Location of the course is in Kontich, near Antwerp in Belgium. This is not a virtual course!

Video tutorial: Overview of WebCenter Spaces

After starting writing a tutorial for a WebCenter Portal project, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for WebCenter Spaces. Because WebCenter Spaces is a runtime environment, I had the idea of creating some video tutorials. It's the first time I create video tutorials so be gentle with the comments :) In these first video's, I give a small overview of WebCenter Spaces and the administration section. Following topics are addresses in the video:
  • Part 1:
    • Using the Home Space
    • Creating a group space
    • Enabling pages on the group space
    • Managing the group space
  • Part 2:
    • Managing the group spaces of the environment
    • Creating a group space template
    • Adding users and groups to WebCenter Spaces
    • Changing the login behavior
    • Configuring basic settings

Coming soon: WebCenter 11g PS3 tutorial

Now that my book is finally finished I have some time for a new project. I came up with this idea while i was working on my book and i thought it would be a great project for when i had some time... Being now! My book is all about administration recipes. It is not developer centric so it lacks a lot of information when it comes to developing your custom portal. We all know that most of the time we will be writing code instead of configuring the portal. That's why I came up with this idea. The idea is thati write a step by step guide to develop a complete portal. In every post I will talk about a specific part of the portal. In the beginning we will create a basic portal with basic functionality but later on, some advanced topics will be covered. I am currently preparing the tutorial and making a small table of contents. I also want your input so I can adapt the content of the tutorial so it fits all your needs. If you want some specific topics covered in the tutorial, please leave a comment explaining what you want and i might include it in the guide.

WebCenter PS4 has been released

Just a few months after the big update for WebCenter, Oracle has released another patchset. This will bring your WebCenter up to version
This update does not seem to be that significant compared to patchset 3. The release notes do not offer a lot of new features but here are some changes in this patchset:

  • Overall performance and stress tolerance improvements
  • Activity Stream performance enhancements
  • Document approval work flow fixes
  • JSF Portlet Bridge bug fixes
  • Accessibility bug fixes

As you can see, most of the effort went into fixing bugs and performance issues. A good thing because performance is always very important for a product like WebCenter.

Creating an image gallery using the Navigation Model and the Content Presenter

Often you see that a portal has an image gallery of some sort. WebCenter unfortunately does not have an out of the box image gallery. Luckily there is some god news because it is not hard to create your own custom image gallery by just using the navigation model and the content presenter and a few lines of code. Navigation models tend to be used to create navigation models... Hence the name. With some creativity we also can use the navigation model for other cool stuff like an image gallery. The advantage of this is that we can easily modify the content of the image gallery by just editing the navigation model. All the content that we will be using is stored in UCM so we can just keep on using the features of UCM to have a good lifecycle of your images. You also can make use of the security of UCM so people can only see the images they should see.

Making Data Controls work in WebCenter

A few days ago while I was helping some guy on the WebCenter forum I noticed something odd about data controls in WebCenter. It was a data control created from an UCM connection. In that data control you have some methods to query the content server and show the results in a table. I dragged the parameters as a parameter form on the page and added the result as a table. When I executed the method, it just didn't work. It seems like the parameters aren't passed to the method so I don't get the results I wanted.

WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook is available

I am proud to announce that Packt Publishing has just released the WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook. It has been released under the Read As we Write (RAW) format. This format allows the publisher to publish the book before it has been completed. Currently only the first three chapters are available but every month, now chapters will be available. The final release of the book is planned for September. If you buy it know, you get a nice discount on the hard copy as well.

Startup script for a WebCenter domain

Always when I want to work with the complete WebCenter domain, it takes me a while before the complete domain has been started. I did not have a script that would start the domain in a correct order and I didn't know how to do it so I started looking. I stumbled upon a post from René Van Wijk who explained how to setup a SOA domain. He also explained how to create a startup script so the SOA cluster can be started from a single command. Basically you use the node manager to start the different server. You can set the order in which the managed server needs to be start so when one managed server is depended on the other, you can easily startup one server after the other so it will not generate errors. This is important if you work with WebCenter Spaces because you will need UCM, discussions and maybe analytics. You want these servers to be up and running first, before you start the WebCenter Space server.

Enable UCM Check-In profiles in WebCenter PS3

One of the features in WebCenter PS2 that I thought weren't that good was the integration with UCM. I had a few projects were we definitely could use the integration of the Check-in profiles. Check-in profiles allow you to hide and/or preset metadata fields from UCM. This way when you check in a document, the user does not see all the fields and some fields can be preset for him.

Using CMIS query in Content Query navigation model

One of the new features in WebCenter PS3 is the new navigation model. It allows you build dynamic models . You can add all kinds of resources in the navigation model like external links, pages from your portal, taskflows, portals, content from a content server and so on. When your portal is content driven, you definitly want the ability to add links to different items based upon some criteria instead of adding all the content manually. This can be achieved by adding a content query to your navigation model. A content query is based upon the CMIS standard. CMIS stands for Content Management Interoperability Services which is a standard for improving the interoperability between different content management servers. For example Alfresco, IBM, Microsoft, SAP,... support this standard.


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