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Mark Liedtke
Liferay Social Office Questions
October 16, 2008 11:20 AM
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Mark Liedtke

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Hi All,
I recently noticed that Liferay will soon release the Liferay Social Office product. After looking through the page http://www.liferay.com/web/guest/products/social_office, I have the itch to find out more. I'm not sure if this is the proper place for this question, but figure it's worth a shot. I'm just going to rattle off a bunch of questions.

1. How does social office sit in relation to Liferay portal? Is it a separate product, or is it a grouping of add on portlets?
2. If it's a separate product, how will it integrate with the portal? Sub-question...will it be a different user repository?
3. Is social office meant to compete with MS Share Point? If so...Kudos!
4. Bunch of Document Library questions
a. Is it a JSR 170 content repository?
b. Does it support inline editing? Web-Dav, CIFS, etc
c. Does it have version control and check in check out
5. How do the Wiki and Blogs compare to those in Liferay Portal
6. Has a date been set for when it will be ready for download?

Waiting in anticipation,
Mark
Bryan Cheung
Moving thread to new Social Office category
November 29, 2008 3:16 AM
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Bryan Cheung

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1. How does social office sit in relation to Liferay portal? Is it a separate product, or is it a grouping of add on portlets?


SO is designed in such a way that at present, it's not recommended to try to install SO on an existing Liferay Portal installation (unless it's a purely development environment where the existing data is not needed).

2. If it's a separate product, how will it integrate with the portal? Sub-question...will it be a different user repository?


At present we are recommending SO to be used as a separate webapp instance. In the future we may look at how to create a migration path or co-existence scheme for Portal and SO.

3. Is social office meant to compete with MS Share Point? If so...Kudos!


Yes, and thank you. But we think it can go beyond SharePoint, really. There are a number of compelling social collaboration products out there, but I don't think any single one of them has fully "gotten it."

With respect to SP specifically, I think the question I would have for you and the community is, for those who have used SharePoint, what are the most compelling capabilities and what are the biggest frustrations? I suspect a lot of it is around integration with Office and Exchange for document, contacts, and calendar management, but definitely let us know what you think.

If you've used other solutions such as IBM Lotus Connections / Quickr, Jive Clearspace, or even point solutions like Interface 21's BaseCamp / Highrise, MoveableType, WordPress, etc., let us know what you like / dislike about them. Again, our focus is not so much on adding a bunch of features, but making a cohesive solution that makes sense as a whole.

4. Bunch of Document Library questions


a. Is it a JSR 170 content repository?

SO uses the the Document Library of Portal, which means if you use Jackrabbit or another 170-compliant repository to back the Doc Lib, it will be compliant. However, we've found the benefits of 170 outweigh the cons, and usually recommend folks to use Doc Lib independently of a 170 repository.

b. Does it support inline editing? Web-Dav, CIFS, etc


You can open and save directly from MS Office. I believe we have WebDAV level 1 compliance (need to ask Alex Chow). CIFS is a strong contender for inclusion in future release.

c. Does it have version control and check in check out


Yes, we have the same basic capabilities as the Doc Lib in Liferay Portal. But these areas definitely need to be made more robust and we welcome your feedback and assistance.

5. How do the Wiki and Blogs compare to those in Liferay Portal


You will notice that the Wikis and Blogs are similar to those in Liferay Portal, but the UI has been refined a bit. In general, the Social Office approach will be to have fewer random, individual features in the product. Instead, more thought will be given to carefully integrating capabilities to create a usable and intuitive solution. I definitely don't think we're there yet, but I think you'll find that even in the beta, Social Office is a strong improvement for the use case of social-enabled team workspaces.

6. Has a date been set for when it will be ready for download?


You can download the beta now at:
sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=49260&package_id=300610
Channing K Jackson
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 13, 2009 2:16 PM
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Channing K Jackson

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Bryan Cheung:
With respect to SP specifically, I think the question I would have for you and the community is, for those who have used SharePoint, what are the most compelling capabilities and what are the biggest frustrations? I suspect a lot of it is around integration with Office and Exchange for document, contacts, and calendar management, but definitely let us know what you think.


The most compelling feature in SharePoint not existing in Liferay "out-of-box" today is Lists. I've seen one post addressing the possibility of knocking that out too, here: Using Expando as a SharePoint List Replacement???.

However, I haven't seen much flurry of activity there, or any news about how far along a comparable solution is. My company apparently has people using Lists extensively. Whether that was a good choice for them to begin with is up for debate, but the fact remains they use them, and they want to use them again in whatever we use to replace our current SharePoint environment.
Bryan Cheung
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 13, 2009 6:33 PM
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Bryan Cheung

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Channing, as I'm not familiar with Sharepoint Lists, it would be helpful to get an understanding of what they do so we can determine LOE.
Channing K Jackson
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 17, 2009 8:30 AM
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Channing K Jackson

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Hi Bryan,

A List in Sharepoint is essentially an ad-hoc database. A List can be created from a number of available "List Templates" like Tasks, Issues, etcetera, or a List can be created from scratch. Most importantly, a List field can be setup to derive its value from another "PickList" that holds all the possible enumerated values.

Fields can be strongly typed, and a List can contain an arbitrary number of fields. Lists can be edited in a grid-like control -- in Microsoft Internet Explorer -- and exported to Microsoft Excel for distribution or further manipulation. The EMC eRoom collaboration product has a similar component, but they call it, appropriately, a database.

Here is a link to a tutorial on the Microsoft site for working with Lists: Working with SharePoint Lists

I took a closer look at Expando yesterday, and I think it offers the necessary capabilities, with perhaps a few tweaks. Provide the following interfaces:

- Create a new List.
- Add/Remove fields from a List .
- View the contents of a List -- with pagination options for Lists containing many rows.
- Add a new record to a List.
- Update a record in a List.
- Delete a record from a List.
- Export a List to MS Excel.
- Manage permissions for a List.
- Sort a List on a specific field.
- Filter the visible rows in a List, based on field values.
- Configure distinct List views that allow the user to select the columns they wish to see, and the order in which they appear.

I think it would take the following activities to make it a robust offering:
- Add an ActiveFlag to expandocolumn.
- Add a 'list' type as a valid type for a field, allowing the user to setup a picklist from which to select values for a field in a List.
- Add sorting capabilities.
- Add grid-like editing capabilities.
- Add export capabilities for MS Excel.
- Track the owner of a List, and its permissions for view/update.
- Create a List portlet providing a single place for these capabilities.

I hope that helps. My company is near its selection of a collaboration tool, and we will need to duplicate at least the basic functionality of Lists to satisfy our user base. I will be in touch if we end up writing anything that could be of use.
Bryan Cheung
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 17, 2009 10:04 AM
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Bryan Cheung

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Hi Channing, let me ask Ray (our resident Expando guru) to take a look at your post and comment. Tx
Ray Augé
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 17, 2009 12:25 PM
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Ray Augé

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Aside from filtering, sorting and "an ActiveFlag to expandocolumn", everything else in your list that is not a front end feature, we support.

For the front end features (including export and grid editing), we need to create a portlet to contain all those features, as you stated.

Can you explain the use-case for "an ActiveFlag to expandocolumn"?

{edit} My point is that it should not be hard... the issue is time.
Channing K Jackson
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
March 17, 2009 12:36 PM
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Channing K Jackson

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Hello Ray,

The use-case for an active_flag on expandocolumn was really just to avoid a potentially expensive, and potentially messy cascading delete when a field is removed from a List that already contains records. I'm assuming that setting an active flag from "Y" to "N" would be easier transaction-wise than cascade deleting the column, and then any expandovalue rows that reference that column.

I don't have a bias against cascade-delete myself, but our DBA actually does, and favors active-flag implementations instead. I think that's the main reason I put that in there.
Bryan Cheung
RE: Expando and Lists
March 17, 2009 1:46 PM
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Bryan Cheung

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Channing,

Can you create some Wireframes to show the functionality and flow you would see being useful to this module? If you email me (bcheung) I can forward you our other wireframes for guidance.
shailendra singh
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
July 6, 2009 10:54 PM
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shailendra singh

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Hi Bryan,


Can you tell me when the liferay portal will be integrated with liferay social office.Or can u please tell me if there is any way to integrate it.
Lisa Simpson
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
July 8, 2009 7:34 AM
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Lisa Simpson

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I'm told to check chapter 10 of the Developers Guide.
Bryan Cheung
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
July 8, 2009 5:17 PM
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Bryan Cheung

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Hi Shailendra,

Right now they should be considered as separate products but we will tackle the problem of how to "integrate" the two in a future release.

Bryan
Mickey Fox
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
July 15, 2009 1:38 PM
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Mickey Fox

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I take it then, that SO will not be integrated into Liferay Portal anytime soon? Can you please give us an update on your current thinking with respect to integration? That is, your thoughts and ideas about the viability of same and what feedback you would really like to see from us, the community, that would help you guys out?
Bryan Cheung
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
July 30, 2009 1:44 PM
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Bryan Cheung

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Mickey,

The main issues are classloading and JSP overrides.

Hooks basically assume that no one else will be overriding the same classes and JSPs. So if you have multiple hooks in a Liferay Portal (or if you have the Hook and a vanilla Liferay Portal), there's no way to reliably correlate the right version of a class or JSP to each "application" (Portal / SO).

So we'll need to develop a hook manager of some kind that would govern the various versions of classes JSPs. Until then, SO will always override the base portal functionality and render it unusable, or, at least, different from the vanilla functionality.

But before we do that, we want to understand *how* people want to use the two together. What are the business requirements, in other words, for the product integration? That will ensure the solution we build will be consistent with end user needs.

Mickey, I believe you've applied to our Early Adopter program, correct? We'll use that as a forum to discuss these and other ideas.

Bryan
Mickey Fox
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
August 5, 2009 8:15 AM
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Mickey Fox

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Thanks Bryan, that was a very enlightening answer - which I think answered a few other people's questions re interplay between the two (SO and Portal).

I might suggest that, with respect to *how* SO/Portal are being used, that you designate a team member to conduct a detailed person-to-person survey (rather than a static, "please take the surey" survey) of all the users (especialy including the Enterprise users) in order to help with product focus and direction. After you have done that, I would suggest spending some effort on focus group research in order to get the benefit of the group dynamic.

Sorry if I am out of place with my suggestions.
Bryan Cheung
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
August 21, 2009 12:14 PM
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Bryan Cheung

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Mickey,

Yes, we'll definitely go through this process during the EAP (which you are signed up for).

Best,
Bryan
Bryan Cheung
Thread Splitted
September 2, 2009 11:54 AM
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Bryan Cheung

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Taking the Expando / Lists discussion into the Social Office EAP as a feature request.
Jedi Lord xx
RE: Moving thread to new Social Office category
November 17, 2009 4:07 AM
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Jedi Lord xx

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for your effort and development for such a product.

We are curently using Alfresco ve Repository. We would like to use Social Office for our office and than offer our clients.

Current 1.5b has a bug (broken CSS)

http://issues.liferay.com/browse/SOS-201
http://issues.liferay.com/browse/LPS-5244
http://issues.liferay.com/browse/LPS-5243

As mentioned above
I coulndt find patch or fix and this CSS problem prevent us to use SO and show our clients. We need help.

Additionally how I can setup a netbeans project for SO development environment ?

We would like fix css problem as described in issues. how can I setup an dev environment for SO and compile it.?


Best Regards