WebCenter 11g Patch Set 3 Launch – Overview and Demo

If you missed the live launch of WebCenter PS3 or had difficulty with the streaming, it’s now available for playback

Andy MacMillan, VP of product management for Enterprise 2.0 reviews Oracle’s Portal evolution, gives an overview of the Oracle WebCenter Suite, touching on topics such as application integration, social computing, content management, and development experience.

Sachin Agarwal, Director of product management gives a demonstration of the public facing and intranet portal an imaginary financial institution, AviTrust. Sachin walks you through the end user experience and highlights many of the social, content integration, and portal capabilities of AviTrust.

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Configuring WebCenter Applications with Portal Features

When creating a new application in JDeveloper using the WebCenter Portal Application template, in Step 4 of the application creation wizard you find a checkbox hiding in the middle of the page, controlling the style of your application: “Configure the application with standard Portal Features”.

If you have it checked, which it is by default, the wizard generates all the WebCenter Portal artifacts for you, including the navigation model, the page hierarchy, preconfigured security, administration console, and more.

If you don’t need any of these capabilities and would like to use WebCenter Portal Framework the way it worked in Patch Set 2, you can simply uncheck it.

WebCenter PS3 Portal Framework VirtualBox Appliance

The brand new (and very first) WebCenter PS3 VirtualBox appliance is available for download. This VM image targets WebCenter developers and includes the most important features needed to evaluate and test the WebCenter Portal Framework:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 5
  • Oracle XE Universal Database 10.2.0.1
  • Oracle Universal Content Management PS3 (11.1.1.4.0)
  • Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.4.0
  • Oracle WebCenter Portal Framework 11gR1 PS3 (11.1.1.4.0)
  • Oracle JDeveloper 11.1.1.4
  • Oracle WebCenter Extenstion for JDeveloper (11.1.1.4.0)

Additionally, the AviTrust Demonstration (web site of a fictitious bank), and the Tutorial for Oracle WebCenter Developers have been included in the appliance.  To get started, you’ll need to review the README file  on the oracle user’s desktop.

Requirements

  • At least 3GB of RAM (recommended 6GB)
  • At least 30GB of free disk space
  • 2GHz processor

VirtualBox is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms as well. For additional information on installation and setup steps, review this page on OTN.

Is JSR 168 Not Supported by WebCenter Patch Set 3?

This question may came up when you try to build a JSR 168 portlet or attempt to open one in JDeveloper 11g R1 PS3. In the latter case what happens is that your portlet gets automatically upgraded to a JSR 286 portlet. Given that JSR 286 supersedes JSR 168, most of the time this doesn’t cause problems. However, if for some reason you HAVE to create or edit a JSR 168 portlet without upgrading it, you’ll need to use a Patch Set 2 or earlier JDeveloper for it (or any other tool supporting JSR 168 portlets).

Despite the fact that JDeveloper automatically upgrades your portlets, deploying JSR 168 portlets to the Fusion Middleware 11g Patch Set 3 is fully supported.

This topic is covered by the Oracle Fusion Middleware Upgrade Guide for Oracle SOA Suite, WebCenter, and ADF:

15.4.2.1 About Upgrading JSR168 Portlet Producers to JSR286

Oracle WebCenter 10g supports Java portlets based on the Java Portlet Specification, JSR 168; Oracle WebCenter 11g supports Java portlets based on Java Portlet Specification version 2, or JSR 286. JSR 286 is an extension of JSR 168, and is backward compatible with JSR 168.

In Oracle WebCenter 10g, Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge is based on and conforms to JSR 301, whereas in Oracle WebCenter 11g, Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge conforms to JSR 329.

In JDeveloper 11g, when you open for the first time an existing portlet producer application containing JSR 168 portlets, portlets are automatically upgraded to be JSR 286 compliant. If the application is a portlet bridge application, it is further automatically upgraded to be JSR 329-compliant.

In most cases, the upgraded portlets continue to work exactly as they did before. However, there are a few cases in which JSR 168 portlets function differently when upgraded to JSR 286; these portlets must invoke a JSR 168 compatibility mode to run under JSR 286.

In Oracle WebCenter 10g, a portlet producer application contains the portlet.xml and oracle-portlet.xml files. When you upgrade a portlet producer application, the oracle.portlet.xml file is deleted, and all its details are moved to portlet.xml. The navigation parameters stored in oracle.portlet.xml are converted into public render parameters and are added to portlet.xml. For information about how JSR 168 parameters are handled in an upgraded JSR 286-compliant portlet producer application, see Section 16.4, “Migration of JSR 168 Portlet Producers to JSR 286: Handling of Portlet Elements.”

What is the PortalWebAssets Project?

When creating an application based on the WebCenter Portal Application template, you end up with two projects: Portal and PortalWebAssets. You’ll spend most of your time in the Portal project, but you should understand what the PortalWebAssets project is good for. The Understanding the PortalWebAssets Project section of the WebCenter Developer’s Guide gives a good summary:

Static resources for a web application, like HTML and image files, are typically bundled and deployed with the application. Requests for both dynamic and static resources are generally handled by the host application server. One way to optimize server performance is to separate the static resources from the application and deploy them on a different (possibly less expensive and more scalable) server. WebCenter Portal applications support this scenario with a static application resources project, which can include static resources like HTML and images. By default, this project is called PortalWebAssets, but you can rename the project if you wish.

WebCenter PS3 Launch Demo Preview

If you have visited oracle.com lately, you may have noticed the banner ad about our web cast, officially launching WebCenter 11g Patch Set 3. To whet your appetite, here is a screen shot of the portal we built for the launch. The demo walks you through some of the key aspects of this portal, including personalization, analytics, social services, content integration, business user editing experience, as well as the developer’s view.

If you want to find out how you can get a hold of this sample, tune in on Wednesday, February 2nd, at 10:00am pst.

Patch Set 3 New Features for Portlet Developers

If you’re a portlet developer, WebCenter 11g R1 Patch Set 3 has a handful of new features for you as well.

Most importantly, WebCenter now supports the development of JSR 286 portlets, thus eliminating the need for the Oracle-specific portlet descriptor, oracle-portlet.xml. You can build, test, and deploy JSR 286 portlets. First, you have to walk through the portlet creation wizard by creating an application based on the Portlet Producer Application template.

Then, you need to create a new portlet in your “Portlets” project.

On the JDeveloper design time experience side, the biggest change is the Design view for the portlet.xml portlet descriptor. After you have created the skeleton of your portlet code, you can easily go back and edit the generated code in a very easy to use, declarative manner.

As you can probably see in these screen shots, the editing experience of previously generated portlet meta data became very straight-forward.

Defining portlet events, parameters, security settings are all available to you.

And as always, you can switch to the source view to take a look at the generated code or make changes there manually.