Build the Coolest WebCenter Application Ever – in 60 Minutes

Before Oracle OpenWorld 2008 kicks off in a week’s time in San Francisco, I plan to post a couple of highlights from the WebCenter space. This is the first one in the series.

At a conference of this size, one of the toughest challenges is how to best spend your time, what is really worth attending. My number 1 pick is hands down the WebCenter hands-on session. You get a chance to see and touch the product, experience it first hand, and last but not least get a chance to talk to people who build it: you can meet the WebCenter curriculum team.

When and Where?

Sunday, September 21, 2:30pm-3:30pm, Marriott, Golden Gate C1
Tuesday, September 23, 11:30am-12:30pm, Marriott, Golden Gate C1
Tuesday, September 23, 5:30pm-6:30pm, Marriott, Golden Gate C1

So – what is this year’s hands-on all about? It’s a brand new application built especially for the OOW WebCenter hands-on session that has one key objective: to impress you in less than an hour. The scenario is very original, quote from the hands-on document:

El Piju – Company Profile: Natural building is all about achieving sustainability through the use of minimally-processed, plentiful, and renewable resources as well as recycled or salvaged materials that produce healthy living environments. El Piju is your company for environmentally sensitive design and expert guidance on locating the resources you need to construct your sustainable home for the 21st century. What is your vision for your home or office? Let our team of ecologists, architects, and engineers help you make that vision a reality.
The El Piju application provides you with information about the company’s use of natural building materials and related projects. Once authenticated, you can select any of the construction materials used by El Piju, specifically, adobe, cob, cordwood, rammed earth, or straw bale, and access information about it. Search for articles, photographs, and other resources for that natural building material. Do you have a technical question or simply want to read what others have to say? El Piju’s site includes a discussion forum for each construction type. The application also includes a portlet that displays pictures with captions to provide visual examples of each building material. Browse through the pictures in the portlet by clicking the thumbnails.

How cool is this!

From a technical perspective, here are the topics covered in the hands-on session:

  • Documents
  • Discussions
  • Tags
  • Links
  • Search
  • Oracle Composer
  • Portlets
  • Inter-component communication

And last, but not least, the screen shot of the application.

And if you’re looking for a special mission, try to find out the story behind the company’s name.

I Have Oracle Portal – What Can I Do with It?

The simple answer is: enjoy it!

The all new, upcoming release of Oracle Portal will be part of Fusion Middleware 11g. One of our key focus areas in the WebCenter development team is making sure that the investment you made into Oracle Portal (and other portal products in the offering) is safe and can be leveraged by WebCenter, if/when you decide to give WebCenter a try.

So what are the interoperability corner stones:

  • Portlets: WebCenter can consume all your remote portlets deployed to Oracle Portal. This includes standards-based portlets (JSR 168/WSRP), as well as PDK-Java portlets, including OmniPortlet and WebClipping. On top of this, you can also consume local PL/SQL portlets that are remoted through the Federated Portal Adapter (FPA).
  • Content: WebCenter supports a wide variety of back-end content management systems, one of them being Oracle Portal. The WebCenter Developer’s Guide provides detailed information about how you can expose content in your WebCenter applications from Oracle Portal’s lightweight content managemet system.
  • Pages: You can also expose Oracle Portal pages in your WebCenter applications. The key is that you have to turn the pages into portlets (page portlets), and use the aforementioned Federated Portal Adapter (see Portlets).
  • JSF Portlet Bridge: We’ve seen many customers using the above techniques successfully in environments where Oracle Portal and Oracle WebCenter live side-by-side. For those of you interested in enhancing the Oracle Portal environment  and inject some new technology into your pages, you can use the JSF Portlet Bridge to build JSF/ADF portlets or “portletize” JSF/ADF applications. The ultimate promise of the JSF Portlet Bridge is to leverage the WebCenter Enterprise 2.0 services, such as Discussion or Document Library task flows (coming in R11) in Oracle Portal.

Oracle Portal is unique in the market place by giving a lot of power in the hands of techy and not that techy business users. Have fun with it with or without WebCenter!