Farewell

 

After spending over a decade at Oracle I decided to move on to new adventures.

I feel exceptionally fortunate having worked with so many great colleagues and outstanding products. A very special “thank you” goes to you, dear reader, the WebCenter/Portal community – this blog could never have worked without you all. Thank you for all your comments and feedback along the way, I enjoyed learning from you all just as much as I liked sharing the latest and greatest from the product team.

I’ll be working for Kaazing, a web communications platform provider in Mountain View, CA – focusing on HTML5 and specifically WebSockets.

Wishing you all the best with the Oracle WebCenter product family; and who knows – our paths may well cross again.

Book Review: Oracle WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook

Yannick Ongena’s Oracle WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook is hands down the best practical WebCenter book out there covering the radically new features introduced by the 11g R1 Patch Set 3 version of the product. In 14 chapters it provides 100+ step-by-step recipes that help the reader through a wide variety of tasks, ranging from portal and portlet creation through content integration, all the way to security. The book covers many of the collaboration services of WebCenter as well, including discussions, wikis, polls, tagging, and search. If you’re interested in WebCenter Spaces, the book offers a dozen or so recipes including space creation, sub-space management, lists, as well as spaces life cycle.

As the most active and one of the most knowledgable members of the WebCenter community, Yannick writes in an accurate and easy to follow language. While the title of the book suggests that it was written more of as a cookbook that you turn to when you’re about to prepare a new “WebCenter dish”, it is an ideal reading for newcomers to learn the product. The book comes with the source code of the samples.

While overall very impressed by the book, one minor complaint: I find the word “Administration” somewhat confusing in the title. The book covers many-many aspects of the product, from the IDE-based development through runtime evolution of the portal, to administration. Let the title not mislead you: if you’re a WebCenter Portal developer, power user, or even business user, you’ll definitely enjoy the book too.

Thank you, Yannick, for putting this nice book together. And as far as the dishes are concerned, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make up for it… ;-)

WebCenter WSRP Producer for .NET – Video Series

The PS3 version of the WSRP Producer for .NET (install guide) is available for download.

The Oracle WebCenter WSRP Producer for .NET provides a means for developers and administrators to service-enable new and existing ASP.NET applications through the Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) standard. It also unlocks Web Parts to standards based portals by exposing them directly as WSRP components. Now enterprises can take advantage of departmental resources directly.

Product manager, Bob Fraser posted a 2-minute overview of the WSRP Producer for .NET. In addition to Bob’s intro, here are a few more demos as well.

Developer Overview

SharePoint Document Library

SharePoint Wiki Library

WebCenter Spaces PS3 VirtualBox Appliance

With the lead of WebCenter product manager, Rich Nessel, we just released a new VirtualBox Appliance. Here is a high level overview of the VM:

This Oracle VirtualBox appliance contains a fully configured, ready-to-use WebCenter Spaces installation.  It has been tested on Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit, Linux, and Mac OS.

All you need to do to try out WebCenter Spaces is to install Oracle VirtualBox on your desktop/laptop and import the WebCenter appliance — no installation and configuration required!  It is also REQUIRED to install the VirtualBox Extension Pack to get this VM working.

The following software is installed in this VirtualBox image:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 5
  • Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Enterprise Edition (11.2.0.1)
  • Oracle WebLogic Server (10.3.4.0)
  • Oracle Enterprise Content Management 11g R1 (11.1.1.4.0) – Content Server and Inbound Refinery
  • Oracle WebCenter Spaces 11gR1 (11.1.1.4.0) and the following services: Discussions, Personalization, Analytics, Pagelet Producer

Additionally, there are two demonstrations installed, both featuring a fictitious bank, AviTrust – one is the bank’s internet site, the other is its employee portal.  Please review the README on the oracle user’s desktop for details about these two applications.

New, Radically Enhanced iPhone App for WebCenter Spaces

The newly updated iPhone app for Oracle WebCenter Spaces is available in the App Store. The app enables business end-users, managers, and executives to manage and participate professional connections, group projects, and dynamic online communities via iPhone.

New Features

  • Support for PS3 (Patch Set 3 11.1.1.4.0) as well as PS2 (Patch Set 2 11.1.1.3.0) versions of Oracle WebCenter Spaces
  • Revamped user interface including a new springboard launcher interface
  • Search has been added for People Connections, files on your iOS device and (PS3 only) WebCenter resources on the server
  • Recent Items are tracked for People, Documents, Document Folders, Group Spaces, Discussions, Topics, Lists, and visited web links
  • Links in Activity Streams are now clickable
  • Easily post to your activity stream, including attachments and camera support
  • Improved status update interface in your user profile
  • Improved support for adding/updating your Connections with the native iOS Contacts app
  • Links to each person’s Manager and Reports, if available
  • People Connection Lists to view your Connections more efficiently
  • Recommended People Connections via Activity Graph (PS3 only)
  • Local file system support and “Open In…” (can save documents to your iOS device, open them in other apps, and have this app open docs from other apps)
  • Personal Documents support, both public and private, including the ability to upload, download, and delete
  • Printing of documents and web sites via AirPrint
  • Documents can be emailed as an attachment, or you can email a link instead
  • Playback of video and audio files
  • Easily post to a Group Space’s activity stream
  • Message Board support in each Space
  • Discussions has an improved user interface, including forward and back buttons for navigating messages
  • Bookmark your favorite items as icons on the main launcher screens and re-position them (for Group Spaces, People, Documents, Document Folders, Discussion Forums, Discussion Topics, and Lists)
  • “Quick Note” feature allows you to write text notes or record audio notes and save them in your Personal Documents on the server
  • Support for multiple servers through the new Accounts feature switch quickly between different servers or user credentials
  • Support for higher resolution “Retina” screen graphics and other iOS4.2+ features like printing and backgrounding

Bunny Inc. – Episode 1. Mr. CIO meets Mr. Executive Manager

To make accurate and timely business decisions, executive managers are constantly in need of valuable information that is often hidden in old-style traditional systems. What can Mr. CIO come up with to help make Mr. Executive Manager’s job easier at Bunny Inc.? Take a look and discover how you too can make informed business decisions by combining back-office systems with social media.

Mastering WebCenter Portal Templates – Part 1

One of the best ways to get started with the WebCenter Portal Framework is taking a close look at what the source code of out-of-the-box page templates. When you create a new WebCenter Portal Application, two similar templates are generated for you:pageTemplate_globe.jspx and pageTemplate_swooshy.jspx.

The context root

Sometimes it comes handy to get a hold of the context root. In this snippet you see the context root (requestContextPath) used to render the logo in the banner. Also, you see an EL on the rendered attribute of the component, indicating that the logo doesn’t render when the page or the template is being edited.

<af:panelBorderLayout id="pt_pgl1"
 rendered="#{!composerContext.inEditMode or attrs.isEditingTemplate}"
 inlineStyle='background-image:url(#{facesContext.externalContext.requestContextPath}/images/globe.png);'>

Template attributes

The template attributes provide a convenient way for the page to pass some contextual information to the template. For instance in the example below the page width is passed to the template by the page.

<af:panelGroupLayout id="pt_pgl2" layout="vertical"
 inlineStyle="width:#{attrs.contentWidth};margin: 0 auto;">

The attribute is defined on the bottom of the template. Notice the default value, in case the page doesn’t specify the value of the attribute.

<attribute>
 <attribute-name>contentWidth</attribute-name>
 <attribute-class>java.lang.String</attribute-class>
 <default-value>960px</default-value>
 </attribute>

In this example it’s not the page passing information to the template, it’s a shorthand: if the user is authenticated, the greeting will be displayed, otherwise it won’t.

<af:outputText id="pt_ot1"
 value="Welcome #{securityContext.userName}"
 inlineStyle="color:White; font-size:small;"
 rendered="#{attrs.showGreetings}"/>

The definition of the showGreetings attribute is again, defined in the bottom of the page template.

<attribute>
 <attribute-name>showGreetings</attribute-name>
 <attribute-class>java.lang.Boolean</attribute-class>
 <default-value>#{securityContext.authenticated}</default-value>
</attribute>
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