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WebCenter 11g PS5 has been released

It's update time again... This time Oracle has released the second patch set for the new WebCenter Portal suite. It is PS5 but we all know that PS3 was a very big update and introduced completely new concepts in WebCenter. So, PS5 is the second patch set after this major update.

In this post you can find a small overview of the changes since PS4. I haven't seen or tested everything yet so I will add more when I encounter more valuable items.

Global changes

The overall impression is that it's quite a good update with some handy new features. You can also clearly see that the new naming policy has been added everywhere. You will see references to WebCenter Portal in all of the stages instead of just WebCenter or WebCenter Framework. Even WebCenter Spaces its name has been changed to WebCenter Portal: Spaces.

I also notice that most of the taskflows are more streamlined. It gives overall a better and fluent experience. The usage of popups, inline displaying is better than previous version. Some taskflows have changed layout panels so it makes more sense.

There is also a global improvement in the performance. I definitely notice a bigger improvement on my vanilla install compared to a vanilla PS4 install.

Internet Explorer 9 is now also certified with WebCenter.

Installation

The installation process seems faster. It took my under an hour to install WebLogic, WebCenter, run the RCU and create the full WebCenter domain. This seems like a big improvement over the previous version.

I do notice that the start-up of the servers take a little longer. I haven't done real benchmarks on this but it's more a feeling... I will try to time it and see if my feeling is right... Will definitely be updated later.

JDeveloper

The WebCenter extension also got an update and you can clearly see it when you want to create a new WebCenter application:

At first sight the structure of a WebCenter Portal application has not been changed.

Something that immediately caught my eye was the fact that we could add an RIDC connection:

I really don't know why Oracle has done this so I checked the help file. In the help about the RIDC connection they point to the external documentation: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E21764_01/doc.1111/e10807/c09_ridc.htm
Here you can find how you can access the connection specified in JDeveloper. This of course, improves reusability and you don't need to worry about creating and managing the RIDC connection in your application.

I also notice that the way to select a page from the navigation model has changed. In PS4 we can select the page by using /faces/id_sub_subSub where id is the ID of the element in the navigation model, sub is the ID of the child element of ID in the navigation.

In PS5 I see something like this: faces/wcnav_defaultSelection which does not make sense to me to be honest. When I look for this in the development guide, I do not get a hit so currently documentation about this change is missing.

These are the basics about JDeveloper. I will cover the rest from a WebCenter Portal Space perspective but most of the items I will discuss will also apply for WebCenter Portal unless stated otherwise.

Content Integration

At first sight, the document manager hasn't changed much until you start playing with it. When you create a new wiki document you immediately see a changed editor. There is also a tab for Rich Text and HTML which makes the switch to HTML easier:

The detail pane of the document has also got a nice revamp. In PS4 you can see your document and on the right hand side you have these panes for tagging, commenting and so on. Now these panes have moved to the bottom and are displayed with tabs. It looks not only looks better but it gives a better experience as well.

Apparently you should be able to upload documents directly from your desktop by dragging and dropping. When you press the upload button in the document manager you get the following screen:

But apparently this is still a little buggy. When I press the Select files link, I get redirected to the activity stream so I cannot show you more...

Events

The events administration has changed a little. It is now possible to create categories for events and assign colours to it so it is easy to see the different types of events:

WebCenter Portal: Spaces

WebCenter Spaces has been renamed to WebCenter Portal: Spaces. It's overall feeling give a better impression and faster response times. The initial page loads are much better than previous version.

When you create a new group space, you also see the progress and status:

Nothing special but again, some features got a new layout and the usage of popups and inline displaying of content has been changed.

Oracle is also confusing Personalization with Customization. According to the release notes, the admin should be able to remove all user customizations to business role pages and personal pages. This looks great because this would mean that you can return the pages to their defaults. Unfortunately this is not completely true. You can only remove the personalization's. This means that when a user adds taskflows to their own pages, these will not be removed when you remove personalization. It only resets the location of the taskflow, collapse state and personal parameters.
Oracle, please get your terminology right :)

These are some of the first changes I can find. There probably are more bug fixes and performance tuning as well.

My first impression is that Oracle has again made a step in the right direction. Some features improved, other new features were introduced and the overall user experience has improved a lot.

Some additional information from Oracle:
What's new in WebCenter PS5
New release of WebCenter Portal available

Comments

Thanks for the Overview Yannick..
I have some spare time today so off to download and install my copy. :D

Good review :).

I noted the comment about "removing user customizations" - does that mean that there is a replacement for using WLST commands to delete/reset metadata?

If so, that's a big, big deal...

The comment is about removing the personalizations on Personal pages, Business Role pages in webcenter pages. It has nothing to do with WLST commands.
As an admin, when you open the action menu in one of these pages you get the option "delete user personalizations". Its about that option.

Thanks for your initial impressions. I saw that the release notes also state an improvement to Portal search... "Search - improved control over what services are searched and shown in the results page".
I would like to know if this means we can control the WebCenter (or SES) search to include .jspx pages and their meta information now as "web pages" not just UCM content items.

Good question. Sounds like an interesting feature. I haven't been playing with SES a lot so I cannot answer it at the moment...

Hi Yannick, Good review. I am unable to find anything related to Webcenter PS5 and support for Exchange Server 2010. So far I can only find support for 2007. Do you know if it will support 2010? Can you try it? ;)

Thanks a bunch.

Not sure. You can always check the matrix on oracle support.
I don't really have an exchange server to test...

I experienced the same Doc Upload issue while using Microsoft IE, but it works well for Firefox and Chrome. It allows both dropping documents and selecting them individually (even prompt is different: "Drop files here or Select files" rather than just "Select files").

Your blog is my frequent entry point to the Oracle document. Thanks for the quick overview. Even though it sounds like a relief from the slow Home page load, many were complaining and we were out of options to fix that.

Great to see that Search has been touched and made it more configurable, hope the next version allow it to be more customizable.

These were our priorities but Calendar events also is showing improvements which is allowing hyper link and categorization.

Over all a good release, currently downloading.

Hello Yannick.
Can you please suggest that if it is alright to deploy webcenter extensions PS3 (11.1.1.4) from JDeveloper 11.1.1.4 to WebCenter PS5 (11.1.1.6)?
Do you know any link that would give a clear picture related to this scenario of deploying from previous version to later.
Thanks in advance.

I'm not sure if it is compatible. Both version do not differ that big but I would recommend downloading the project for PS5 and move all your files to the new project. I can't imagine it would be that much work.

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