As you know, internet traffic has risen exponentially over the past decade and shows no sign of stopping. With the latest and greatest devices, mobile internet access has become the norm and is predicted to pass PC based internet access soon. Because of the mobile boom, new obstacles and challenges are presented for content management. How will content adapt to all devices with different capabilities? How can your grandma’s gnarly tablet and cousin’s awesome new mobile phone request the same information from your portal?
The Device Detection API is used for detecting the capabilities of a device that is making a request to your portal. In addition, the Device Detection API allows Liferay to detect which mobile device or operating system is being used for any given request and alters the rendering of pages based on the detected device. To install this feature, you will need to install the Device Recognition Provider app from Liferay Marketplace. Based on your Liferay edition, you can select the appropriate link for more info and download information: Device Recognition CE or Device Recognition EE.
The Device Recognition plugin, which is bundled inside the Device Recognition Provider app, uses a device database called WURFL to determine the capabilities of your device. You can visit their site for more information at http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/.
You could create your own plugin to use your own device’s database. Let’s go through some simple ways to use the Device Detection API and its capabilities.
Using the Device API
We will go over a couple of code snippets that will help you get started. The object
Device can be obtained from the
themeDisplay object like this:
Device device = themeDisplay.getDevice();
For reference, you can view the API in the Device Javadocs. Using some of the methods from the javadocs, here is an example that obtains the dimensions of a device:
Dimensions dimensions =device.getScreenSize();
float height = dimensions.getHeight();
float width = dimensions.getWidth();
Now, your device can obtain the
Device object and can obtain the dimensions of a device. Of course, you can acquire many other values that take care of those pesky problems that arise when sending content to different devices. Simply refer to the previously mentioned Device javadocs for assistance. Let’s go through some device capabilities.
Most of the capabilities of a device can be detected, but this depends on the device detection implementation you’re using. For the Device Recognition plugin, you can view its device database’s (WURFL) list of capabilities here. For an example, you can obtain the capability of a brand name by using this code:
String brand = device.getCapability("brand_name");
Furthermore, you can grab many other values such as model_name, marketing_name, release_date, etc. Also, there are boolean values that can be acquired that include: is_wireless_device, is_tablet, etc. Keeping the capabilities list in mind when configuring your device is very helpful.
You’re able to detect the capabilites of a device making a request to your portal by using the Device Detection API. Through the use of this API, your grandma’s gnarly tablet and cousin’s awesome new mobile phone can make requests to your portal and receive identical content. This will make everyone happy!
You’re really getting the hang of Liferay’s APIs. Way to go!