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

Scrolling Twitter Gadget in Oracle WebCenter in Less than 2 Minutes

In a previous post we saw how to build a twitter portlet using the Fusion Middleware stack in a few minutes. If you’re more on a quick prototyping or proof of concept project, you can do something similar or even more visual without any coding whatsoever. Twitter has a set of gadgets that you can integrate into your Web site. Here are the more-or-less trivial steps:

  1. Find the gadget you want to use: http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets
    For example, if it’s the search widget, you can customize it by specifying the Search Query, the Title, and the Caption. 


    When done, click the Finish and Grab Code button and copy the source provided.

  2. Create a WebCenter page.
  3. Drop an HTML Markup component on the page and specify the Value field by pasting the code you copied to the clipboard above. The parameters are self-explanatory, modifying them is very straight-forward.
  4. Save your changes, and return to your page. Here is what my scrolling Twitter gadget looks like.

iPhone App for WebCenter Spaces

If you have a WebCenter Spaces deployment (or are thinking about getting one), you should definitely check out the free WebCenter Spaces iPhone App, that allows you to access your activity stream, your contacts, all  your Spaces along with the documents, discussion forums, lists, space members, and more.

And from now on – call me Carlo…

Tip for Spaces: Disable Last Accessed Page

In WebCenter Spaces 11g R1 Patch Set 1 we introduced a new JVM property that allows administrators to disable the default functionality which takes users to the last accessed page in WebCenter Spaces. When you make the following change, the user will be taken to the first page in their Personal Space (when in personal space context) or to the first page in the Group Space (when in a group space context).

The nice thing about this is that now you can create a business role page, make it the first page in personal space, and that way push information to your users.

All you need to do is edit the setDomainEnv.sh script and add the following entry:

oracle.webcenter.spaces.disableLastAccessPageBehavior=true

When done, remember to restart the managed server in order for the new parameter to take effect.

This functionality will be included in the next revision of the documentation.

New WebCenter Skin by Bluestudios

John Sim from Bluestudios built yet another beautiful skin for WebCenter Spaces. The screen shot below takes you to his post for more details – and a personal touch…

Step-by-step Instructions to Install and Configure WebCenter Spaces

There’s a new Oracle By Example (OBE) available on OTN that covers the end-to-end installation and configuration steps for WebCenter Spaces. Following the “OBE traditions”, every step is illustrated with a screen shot.

Updated White Paper on Extending WebCenter Spaces

Most of our customers deploying WebCenter Spaces are interested in changing various aspects of their deployment. We have just released on OTN the updated Extending WebCenter Spaces (11.1.1.2.0) white paper (supporting files 25MB). The executive overview of the paper gives a good summary of what it’s all about:

Oracle WebCenter Spaces is a pre-built, pre-integrated, and highly customizable enterprise application that provides new facilities to enable social communities within the enterprise. As you begin using WebCenter Spaces, you may find that you want to customize the navigational controls, look and feel, and other aspects of this application. For example, you might want to provide a customized resource catalog with content that better reflects your organization or a departmental requirement.

And here is the list of capabilities covered in the paper:

  • Deploy your own skins – Build and deploy your own skins to brand your WebCenter Spaces environment with the look and feel you choose.
  • Customize the resource catalog – Add new task flows to the WebCenter Spaces resource catalog, filter out content, and reorganize the folder structure to make it easy for your users to find the content they need.
  • Add custom task flows – Develop specialized task flows in JDeveloper and make them available to your WebCenter Spaces users.
  • Deploy new page styles – Use WebCenter Spaces’ own pre-built page styles, such as three-column or navigation, or create your own. You decide which page styles to make available to users.
  • Change the public welcome page (and login area) – Modify the default content, or replace the entire page with content specific to your installation, or change the default login form to a login link.
  • Create and deploy new site templates – Create and deploy new site templates for WebCenter Spaces page. Alternatively, customize the out-of-box site templates to suite your installation.
  • Rename the Personal Space tab – Choose a different name for Personal Spaces, the private work areas in WebCenter Spaces.
  • Filter Languages – Reduce the range of locales/languages available in your application.

Free Webcasts for Developers on OTN

A nice collection of podcasts has been posted on OTN under the OTN Developer Webcast Series, two of which cover WebCenter-related topics: Oracle WebCenter Spaces: Enterprise 2.0 in Action (View Online | Download), presented by Christian Hauser, and Introduction to the Oracle WebCenter Framework and Services (View Online | Download), recorded by myself.

Here is the list of all the topics covered:

  • Oracle WebCenter Spaces: Enterprise 2.0 in Action: Christian Hauser, Principal Product Manager – Oracle Enterprise 2.0 & Portal Products
    Bring Web 2.0 into your enterprise with Oracle WebCenter Spaces, a pre-built and customizable application that brings together the latest technology around social computing, communities, personal productivity, and ad-hoc team interactions to enable users from multiple geographies to work more effectively by eliminating or reducing duplication of efforts and content inconsistencies, sharing valuable team resources to solve business problems and tapping into new ideas.
  • Introduction to the WebCenter Framework and Services: Peter Moskovits, Senior Principal Product Manager- Oracle Enterprise 2.0 & Portal Products
    Discover how to break the boundaries between web-based portals and enterprise applications with Oracle WebCenter Framework, a development framework that allows you to add the different components to the portal or application when necessary thereby improving the overall application delivery and maintenance.
  • Oracle Security Solutions: Amitpal Dhillon, Senior Sales Consultant, Identity Management & Security Specialist
    Gain insight on how to simplify application development and focus on solving business problems with Oracle’s security solutions which provide developers with a standards-based, portable, enterprise-grade security platform across Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware platform
  • High Performance Computing: Arthur Tyde, Senior Manager – High Performance Computing
    Understand how you can leverage on Oracle’s portfolio of High Performance Computing solutions to create a secure, scalable and high-performing environment with centralized enterprise management framework, intelligent storage strategy, data synchronization and high transaction throughput.
  • Manageability for Developers and DBAs: Shahid Nizami, Senior Manager – Enterprise Management Solutions
    Deliver enhanced manageability and automation across both your Oracle and non-Oracle technologies while simultaneously controlling the cost of managing the systems and applications in your organization with Oracle’s application management solutions. Learn how you can thoroughly test your applications before deployment, proactively monitor end-user performance, and quickly trace the cause of the performance problems.
  • New Oracle Features for .NET Developers: Alex Keh & Christian Shay, Principal Product Managers – .Net Technologies
    Simplify your .Net development and improve your application performance with the latest Oracle database features which includes the ability to tune your application within Visual Studio (Oracle Performance Analyzer & SQL Tuning Advisor); create, modify and administer your queues and queue tables (Advanced Queuing); and promote local transactions to distributed during run time (Promotable Transactions).
  • Building a BI Application with Oracle Business Intelligence: James Nguyen, Sales Consultant – Business Intelligence
    Learn how to build your own business intelligence application with Oracle Business Intelligence from our step-by-step demonstration as we walk through how to build a business intelligence repository, add a measure and calculations and create the reports and dashboards.

WebCenter Spaces 11g Test Drive

We’re about to make a hosted version of WebCenter Spaces 11g available to our partners and customers. If you are interested in being among the first ones testing WebCenter 11g in our hosted environment, watch Tom Quigley’s brief announcement and request an invitation.

SpacesTestDrive

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