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The Learning Curve, Chapter 2 - Infrastructure

Community Blogs 21 de Julho de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

Are you new to Liferay? Found Liferay and want to know what it can do for you? Or are you with Liferay and still remember the time when you were new and unexperienced? Where did you come from and what was the biggest problem you faced? Can you ever learn enough? And how do you keep up with the current trends and new features?

A platform as big as Liferay spans several technologies and areas of best practices that are beneficial to know of. Nobody can know everything - there's always a learning curve. At the beginning, it's quite steep. Some argue that it's flattening the more you know. Some argue that it gets steeper: The more you know, the more you know what you don't know.

I'd like to give you pointers to resources that are available to you, in order to learn about Liferay, resources that help you avoid steep detours, when there are flatter direct connections. This is meant to be (eventually) comprehensive but I'm sure that it will never be complete. It's just what I remember while I write this article and the follow ups (yes, there are more, already drafted)

Today's Target Audience: Technical (Sysadmins and Developers), unless indicated otherwise:

Basic Understanding

Liferay is always running in some kind of environment. It requires a database to store its data. It requires an application server to run on. And there are a lot more component that you can operate in combination with Liferay: Single-Sign-On, LDAP, Search Appliances, Monitoring Systems etc. Let's look at the most common ones and keep the other ones for later:

Liferay's User Guide has several chapters on Administration and Installation. While this gives you the necessary step-by-step instructions to get started on any (supported) platform, the more experience you have on a platform, the more you can get your own policy or opinion into the game.

Application Server

Liferay is an application that requires a container to run in. This can be a simple servlet container or a full blown application server. Naturally, quite a bit of configuration for Liferay depends on the container that you're running on. And, as technical staff, you should know a bit about your container of choice and about Java Web applications in general. For the purpose of this blog post, I'm summarizing all these containers as "Application Servers" even if they might be more simple than you'd expect from such a component.

Among the things that you should know (or learn) about your application server of choice are

  • Proper setup for production, including hardening, protecting default management interfaces from public access
  • Update procedures. Even (or especially) if you're running Liferay from a bundle: The maintenance of the appserver is in your realm.
  • Backup and (Disaster) Recovery.

Where do you find that information and experience? The vendor (or supporting website) of your appserver vendor should have it, alternatively somebody in your team or on the market: Having a good system administrator or developers with good understanding of the platform they're developing on is gold. There's trainings for the server of your choice, books, and the internet is full of Q&A. If you wonder why there's no link here: Liferay supports various versions of the following application servers, and I'm familiar with only few of them:

  • Glassfish
  • JBoss
  • Tcat
  • tcServer
  • Tomcat
  • Weblogic
  • WebSphere
  • Resin

Speaking about your Application server of choice: Which one should you choose? The bulletpoints above might already answer this question: Choose the one that you feel most familiar with. If I give my recommendation (the one I'm most familiar with), this doesn't help you: you might not have a clue about hardening, maintenance, backup and recovery of that platform. So check your team's experience with and make your own choice. Ask your team about the best way to learn about their preferred platform. Mentor each other. Find local usergroups, online resources and meetups/conferences for the platform of your choice. (this exercise is left for the reader. If you have outstanding, specific preferred resources, feel free to add them as comment)

Database

The same goes for your database: Liferay supports many of the databases available on the market. While it will be happy to store its data in your DB, the setup, backup, maintenance and tuning of that database is totally outside the realm of Liferay. Where do you get the experience? With the vendor or platform of your choice. Here we have the same recommendation as with appserver: Choose the one platform that you can maintain best. It's not worth choosing my favourite one just because it's 5% faster when you have no clue about its backup strategy or disaster recovery.

Again - where do you find this information? With the database vendor of your choice. From Q&A sites. From training and from experienced admins that you're working with. (and again: Feel free to add outstanding resources as comments)

For databases, just like for application servers, you'll have to make your own choice: Here are the databases that Liferay supports (in various versions)

  • DB2
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • Postgresql
  • SQL Server
  • Sybase ASE

Installation/Maintenance Training

Naturally, with Liferay's Training offerings, "there's a course for that": In Administering Liferay Systems, we spend 3 full days to set up, maintain and tune Liferay within the infrastructure. While this course concentrates on the open source appservers and databases (because that's what we can legally distribute for the class), you're free to bring your own appservers and databases and try out the principles that you learn in this class.

Target Audience for this class, naturally: System Administrators and DevOps.

As always, this course is available in public trainings, scheduled around the world, as well as onsite, with a trainer coming to your organization.

Links?

So much for the infrastructure. Granted, due to the nature of these recommendations there are not a lot of clickable links here. Help me fix this and add your recommendations for the environment of your choice in the comments. And stay tuned for Chapter 3: Documentation (sic!).

People that liked this article, also liked The Learning Curve Chapter 1 - a basic overview.
People that like to learn more about what happens behind the scenes, also like to listen to Radio Liferay. ;)

The Learning Curve, Chapter 1 - A basic overview

Community Blogs 15 de Julho de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

Are you new to Liferay? Found Liferay and want to know what it can do for you? Or are you with Liferay and still remember the time when you were new and unexperienced? Where did you come from and what was the biggest problem you faced? Can you ever learn enough? And how do you keep up with the current trends and new features?

A platform as big as Liferay spans several technologies and areas of best practices that are beneficial to know of. Nobody can know everything - there's always a learning curve. At the beginning, it's quite steep. Some argue that it's flattening the more you know. Some argue that it gets steeper: The more you know, the more you know what you don't know.

I'd like to give you pointers to resources that are available to you, in order to learn about Liferay, resources that help you avoid steep detours, when there are flatter direct connections. This is meant to be (eventually) comprehensive but I'm sure that it will never be complete. It's just what I remember while I write this article and the follow ups (yes, there are more, already drafted)

Today's Target Audience: All, this is providing an overview and basic information

Quick reads

A very quick overview over the aspects of the Liferay Platform are the Whitepapers found in the "Business Whitepapers" section. I recommend them even for technically oriented folks, as they show off some aspects that you otherwise wouldn't necessary get in contact with, and they're really quick to read.

Continuing on the quick reads, you might be interested in case studies, e.g. matching your industry, your usecase or your location. All of them are easy to filter.

Events





To get in contact with people that are actually using Liferay, a good opportunity is to visit the events that are happening all over the world. Starting with half-day roadshows that are conducted in cooperation with our service partners. These typically feature some customer case study and - most important - bring you face to face with experienced Liferay-, Partner- and Customer-Staff. You'll get real experience & answers to the questions that you bring.

On with other events: All over the world, you'll find either "Symposiums" or "Liferay Portal Solutions Forum" or LPSF. These are typically single- or two-day events. Some are in the language local to the country they take place in, others are in english, or mixed. About the content, LPSF is focussing on the business aspect of Liferay. You'll typically find customer case studies, insights into Liferay's Roadmap and our "Speed consulting", where an experienced Consultant answers as many questions as you can ask during your appointed time slot. In contrast, Symposiums add the technical crowd to the mix. The different target audiences are organized in different tracks, but there's some overlap and you can choose from session to session. Purely technical people are the target audience for DevCon

Trainings

Mastering Liferay FundamentalsLiferay offers different certified courses for all target audiences - how about getting you or your project team kickstarted with Mastering Liferay Fundamentals? This course gives you a comprehensive overview over Liferay Features. After having taken this course, you have a solid impression of Liferay's feature set, the configurability and how to adapt this great platform for your own site(s). Our trainers are well experienced, so you'll be able to get your own questions answered during class, in addition to the curriculum.

For the managers and business owners: You'll learn what Liferay can do for you.

For the developers and technical people: You'll learn that Liferay has many features that you just need to enable or tweak, rather than implementing them yourself, from ground up.

A customer once stated to me that they'd have saved months of implementation if their developers only had taken this class at the beginning of their implementation, rather than a few years in.

Trainings are offered on-site (a good deal for 5 and more participants from your organization: Have the trainer come to your place) or as public trainings, open for anybody to sign up. "Mastering Liferay Fundamentals" is also available online. For all Liferay trainings, you can get a certification of participation as well as a badge on your liferay.com profile (check out mine)

So much for the basic overview, stay tuned for Chapter 2: The infrastructure Liferay is running in, and what you should know about it.

Community Meeting: Wien, 15. Mai

Community Blogs 9 de Maio de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

(english summary below)

Liferay öffnet am 15. Mai offiziell sein österreichisches Büro - ein schöner Anlass, am Abend zum Community-Meeting einzuladen:

15. Mai 2014, 19:30 (Achtung: Neue Zeit!)
Eatalico
Praterstraße 31
1020 Wien

Auf der Agenda steht: Zwangloser Gedankenaustausch, Treffen mit anderen Liferay-Nutzern und ich (sowie andere) werde bereitstehen, Fragen zu beantworten.

Wie immer bitte ich um Bestätigung, damit wir einschätzen können, was für einen Tisch wir reservieren müssen. An-/Rückmeldung per Kommentar hier, via Twitter oder per Mail (olaf punkt kock ät liferay punkt com).


What better reason to have a community meeting than Liferay opening its austrian office. You're welcome to join even if you don't speak german. Please let us know if you're planning to come - via comment here, tweet to @olafk or mail to me, olaf (dot) kock at liferay.com.

Community Meeting: Zurich, 7. Mai

Community Blogs 22 de Abril de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

Location Update:
Zunfthaus zur Haue, Limmatquai 52, 8001 Zürich
Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2014, 19:00
Ich bitte um Rückmeldung, um ausreichend Tische zu reservieren!

(english summary below)

Und wieder bin ich auf Reisen, dieses Mal zu den Trainings "Mastering Liferay Fundamentals" und "Developing for the Liferay Platform 1" in Zürich/Schweiz. (Hint: Es gibt noch freie Plätze).

Aus diesem Anlass - und weil es immer wieder nett ist, einen Abend mit Gleichgesinnten zu verbringen, rufe ich mal wieder zum Community-Meeting auf für Mittwoch, 7. Mai, 19:00. Wie gewohnt wird der exakte Ort kurzfristig bekannt gegeben - es wird in der Nähe des Hauptbahnhofs sein und ich nehme gern Empfehlungen an. Um eine Tischreservierung vornehmen zu können, bitte ich um An-/Rückmeldung per Kommentar hier, via Twitter-Mention oder per Mail (olaf punkt kock ät liferay punkt com).

Wer sich nicht anmeldet und dadurch keinen Sitzplatz mehr bekommt, sitzt zwischen den Stühlen ;)


Again, calling for a community meeting. This time in Zürich/Switzerland (note: seats in trainings are still available). This post will be updated with the exact location a day before the event. It will be Wednesday, 7. May, at 19:00 (7pm), close to the main station. Please register by commenting here or through a twitter mention to make sure the table has enough room (and beer) for everyone.

Community Meeting: Stuttgart (15. April 2014)

Community Blogs 7 de Abril de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

(english summary below)

Hallo zusammen,

ich bin mal wieder auf Reisen - genauer gesagt beim Training "Administering Liferay Systems" in Stuttgart (Hint: es gibt noch freie Plätze) und habe am Dienstag, 15. April, abend noch nichts vor. Korrektur: Jetzt habe ich etwas vor!

Ich rufe kurzfristig zum Community-Meeting im Café Kaiserbau am Marienplatz in Stuttgart auf, zum freundlichen Gespräch und Austausch bei Bier, Wein oder einem anderen Getränk. Um einen groben Überblick zu haben und einen passenden Tisch zu reservieren, bitte ich um kurze Rückmeldung per Kommentar hier, auf twitter oder per Mail (olaf punkt kock ät liferay punkt com)

Keine Agenda, keine Vorträge (sofern sich nicht jemand aufdrängt), nur nette Unterhaltung. Start: 18:30 Uhr, die genaue Location gebe ich spätestens am Tag vorher hier bekannt (Vorschläge von Ortskundigen sind gern genommen) steht jetzt oben: Cafe Kaiserbau. Ich habe einen Tisch bestellt - bitte probiert entweder "Liferay" oder meinen Namen, wenn ich noch nicht da bin.


the promised english summary

As I'll be in Stuttgart for the upcoming training "Administering Liferay Systems" (which you still can register for), I'm calling for a community meeting. The location will be close to Marienplatz, Time is Tuesday, 15. April 2014, 18:30 (6:30 pm). To ensure we have enough seats, please register by commenting here, on twitter or through mail (olaf dot kock fancy-symbol liferay dot com, go figure). There's no agenda or presentation (unless someone volunteers), just conversation (and some drinks). Location: Cafe Kaiserbau, there's a table for "Liferay" or on my name.

Radio Liferay Episode 38: Alberto Chaparro on the Migration tool for Portlets Version 6.1 to 6.2

Community Blogs 5 de Fevereiro de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 I talked with Alberto Chaparro. Alberto works for Liferay as a support engineer on the spanish team. This conversation follows up on something that Iliyan mentioned in episode 37: The migration tool that will help you upgrade your portlet from 6.1 to 6.2. We're talking during the end of the symposium, so the background noise that you hear are people that are starting to break down the staff room.

We talked about

  • Alberto has helped Iliyan working on the upgrade tool that we spoke about in episode 37
  • The tool helps upgrading AlloyUI JS, CSS and some JSP code from Liferay 6.1 to 6.2
  • Alberto presented this tool at the spanish symposium
  • The tool is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, Installation instructions are available in the tool / github repository
  • It's been used on 100+ portlet plugins already, providing good service in the upgrade process. Sorry, this is the only plugin type that it's good for.

Follow RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

Or just download the MP3 here:

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 37: Iliyan Peychev on Frontend and AlloyUI

Community Blogs 9 de Janeiro de 2014 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 I talked with Iliyan Peychev, Software Developer from Madrid. We met during Liferay's spanish symposium (so it's about time to publish the episode - sorry for the delay). We're back on Liferay's frontend, so I'm getting my scoop on how to approach Javascript work, new tools, new infrastructure. Also - as you'll discover - I got a glimpse of developer-paradise

We talked about

  • where Iliyan's non-spanish accent comes from
  • Iliyan is a long time user and contributor to YUI (since YUI 2.x) and came on board when Liferay was looking for an Ajax Developer after having seen many of the AlloyUI components.
  • Liferay's currently open positions (changed since we recorded, but still a lot & interesting positions)
  • How to approach AlloyUI, what tools to use
  • as 6.2 uses Bootstrap for themes, we talk about the migration of existing themes and the way we work with css. (the episode has been recorded just before the actual release of 6.2)
  • The Liferay AUI upgrade tool will cover a lot of the upgrade work you need to do to migrate your existing 6.1 plugins to 6.2 - covering various API upgrades etc. (see https://github.com/liferay/liferay-aui-upgrade-tool#what-it-does - doesn't it sound like paradise?)
  • AlloyUI now has a testing infrastructure - automatically running a on a huge number of browsers to make sure nobody introduces regressions with a change to AlloyUI
  • Roadmap for AlloyUI past 2.0
  • Just like all Open Source projects, AlloyUI lives and improves on feedback - please help and get involved, get your impression heard. (and the same goes to podcasts. Please let me know which episodes you like, what to change, topic requests. You have blog comments to this episode on liferay.com, itunes comments and ratings and other platforms - whereever you get this podcast from)
  • The AlloyUI team hangs out on Forums, IRC, stackoverflow, twitter, github, jira - use whatever suits you best.
  • An alternative to Bootstrap that has been considered
  • Though symposium season is over now, you, dear listener, might consider to come to one of the 2014 Symposiums, Portal Solution Forums, Roadshows or DevCon.
  • AlloyUI is available through CDN

Follow Iliyan, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

Or just download the MP3 here:

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 36: Daniel Sanz on Liferay Translations

Community Blogs 18 de Novembro de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 For this episode I spoke with Daniel Sanz. He's a support engineer in the spanish office and is responsible to oversee the translation efforts on Liferay.

We talked about

  • He's the one to keep the pootle instance at translate.liferay.com populated and synchronize changes between pootle and the git repository. This started with some script by Milan Jaros
  • Liferay has some generated translations (with the help of babelfish or bing translate) as well as some copied (english) texts in all the localizations. This needs to be handled, so that pootle does know which (existing) translation still requires manual work.
  • the process of synchronization between pootle and git requires some patches and bugfixes in pootle - an open source, python based product.
  • More complication added by maintaining different branches of Liferay, different plugins (not only portal) and different sources of translations (git, pootle, Jenkins, other contributions).
  • it's hard to keep 100% completion for a translation as new features are constantly added
  • Due to the scripting work, translation can be done either in git or in pootle.
  • Liferay provides translations to roughly 42 (sic!) languages.
  • Shoutout to Daniel Reuther, who has worked hard on the german translation, standing in for me because my vacation came just at the right time - thanks Daniel.
  • History of translations and automatic translations (starting with Yahoo's babelfish, continuing with Bing translator) and if they make sense... (hint: no, with an exception mentioned at the end)
  • \o/ : The pootle import scripts ignore automatic translations. They only appear on the UI when they continue to not be translated.
  • We're evaluating to use other tools than pootle - however, the existing bidirectional scripting makes it hard to choose something different (even updating pootle can be hard)
  • Become part of the Translation Team and communicate on the Translation Forum

Follow RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 35: Greg Amerson and David Truong on Developer Tooling

Community Blogs 13 de Novembro de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 At Devcon 2013 I've met with Greg Amerson, main Author/Team Lead for the Eclipse-based tooling (Liferay IDE & DevStudio) and David Truong, one of the very early employees of Liferay, Product Manager for Platform an Tooling. The topics we covered were all around Developer Tooling. There's a bit of background noise as we were recording this session in the break area of the conference. We had to limit ourselves to the time when some sessions were on, in order to find the quietest possible environment.

We talked about

  • Ray, a very new command line project that has been shown and discussed at DevCon, aiming to bring the ease of Application Development of Rails, Play Framework, Grails etc. to Liferay.
  • Ray is obviously a very new prototype, designed to rather gather feedback than to demonstrate a ready-for-use environment.
  • Ray will be Development-platform-agnostic, e.g. not tied to our eclipse-based developer offering. It's (currently) maven based, built on top of Spring Roo
  • Play with Ray and give feedback: Fork or Clone Greg's github version, the release will take at least half a year, but you now can influence what it will be able to do for you in future.
  • Ray is aiming to be cross-version compatible, due to this aim, the release plan will be completely independent on Liferay Portal's.
  • Liferay IDE 2.0 finally supports Maven, check the latest Milestone if the final version is not yet out.
  • Greg needs feedback (link forums) on typical Liferay-Maven-project structures to continue work on the maven integration
  • IDE 2.0 is scheduled to be out two weeks after Liferay Portal's GA for 6.2, but the Milestones are supposed to be stable. New features for 2.0: Maven, Freemarker-Debugger (for Themes in M1, for ADT in M2), new Project Wizard with support for more than the SDK
  • Underlying Topic in this episode: Feedback is key - if you give feedback early, you can bring your favorite things in.
  • IDE Roadmap: Tools that work across different environments - e.g. commandline tools like Ray, IntelliJ Idea, Netbeans or others.
  • Greg's move to china that we discussed back in Episode 15 and how to say "cheese" in mandarin.

Follow David, Greg, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 34: Ray Auge, Miguel Pastor on Modularity and OSGi

Community Blogs 28 de Outubro de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 At Devcon 2013 I met with Miguel Pastor and Ray Auge, both Engineers and Core Developers at Liferay. They both have been involved in the latest modularization efforts, resulting in OSGi being now on the Feature List for Liferay 6.2.

We recorded this session in the break area of the conference, during one of the sessions in order to find some quiet time. Unfortunately, as you'll hear in this recording, we picked the time when Lunch was prepared, so the catering staff is setting up stacks of plates, heaps of cutlery and other noisy stuff. This episode might be the one with the most background noise we ever had on this podcast, but after all, it's in the background and I hope it doesn't distract too much. Be assured, the lunch was really nice.

With the main topics being OSGi and Modularity, we talked about:

  • Middleware and Appservers that support OSGi
  • 6.2 is the first release to officially be supporting OSGi
  • Goal is to shrink Liferay's footprint
  • The current state of OSGi in Liferay - is there anything left to do? (guess what - the answer is "yes")
  • Extending Liferay with plugins without depending on the Appserver. Liferay can be extended through plugins in an Appserver - in future this should be a lot easier just extending with OSGi bundles. The current mechanism is extremely dependent on the Appserver we're running on.
  • Deploying an OSGi plugin to Liferay completely decouples Liferay from the mechanisms of the Appserver,
  • What will happen to the existing plugin types - namely "ext"?
  • OSGi will make a difference for plugins that extend plugins - this works today, but is not straightforward.
  • This way of modularization will help lowering the learning curve for developing plugins - making extensions easier to write with the classic Java knowledge background.
  • Feature Bleed and Interdependencies between different unrelated parts of Liferay - as they exist today and will hopefully change in future

Follow Ray, Miguel, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 33: Jari Järvelä, Janne Hietala on Valamis

Community Blogs 24 de Setembro de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 About a month ago I had the opportunity to talk to Jari Järvelä and Janne Hietala from Arcusys. They both head Valamis, an E-Learning solution on Liferay that later (end-of-August) won the Liferay App Contest. Unfortunately, a lot of work as well as my summer vacation kept me from releasing this podcast earlier (well, for me it was not quite unfortunate that I had a vacation)

Here are our topics:

  • the history of name changes, starting with "JSCORM"
  • The meaning and origin of the name
  • The release schedule (they met the schedule that we discussed during the recording, released end-of-August)
  • Features that have been added throughout the history of the project.
  • The version released in August now has a Curriculum Portlet that combines different courses into a Learning Path.
  • SCORM, the prevalent standard for exchanging E-Learning information. This standard is typically used as distribution format for commercial courses and Valamis supports SCORM 1.2.
  • We talked about Liferay Certification being available "soon" - that was true at the time when we recorded the podcast, it's actually available now
  • License, Availability and Price (hint: LGPL, and there's professional support available)
  • There's a steady team working full-time on Valamis.
  • Design aspects: The Arcusys Team really cares about design aspects, both in the software, as well as in their presentations.
  • Geography for beginners, we talk about finish climate, ice-fishing, and "where is Finland"
  • If you want to try Valamis without installing it yourself, just try it on their homepage: A demo environment is available
  • Picking up my favourite code demo, sevencogs, from my last-year's symposium presentation "Well Hidden Features"
  • The experience of publishing on Marketplace, PACL and PACL differences between application servers
  • Future Features and Release Plans (e.g. Tin Can API)
  • How to evolve from a Learning Management System to a Learning Portal
  • The principle of Aiming High
  • There's no shortage of standards to implement
  • The team is working with a school in Afghanistan to provide what might be the first e-learning system in an afghan school, also connecting them to finnish schools and students.
  • Upcoming Symposiums, Portal Solutions Forum, DevCon
  • Since we recorded, Valamis won the Liferay Marketplace App Contest

Follow Jari, Janne, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

DevCon 2013 filling up quickly. Unconference Alert & Community Meeting Announcement

Community Blogs 20 de Setembro de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

You probably have heard about Liferay's DevCon that we'll have on 9.-10. October in Berlin. Here you'll have a lot of opportunities of learning about Liferay, get your opinion heard and give feedback about what you like or dislike in Liferay. Also, you'll be able to meet a lot of people behind the product. Today we're finalizing the agenda, and it will be public very soon.

If you've also heard about the optional Unconference on 8. October, please note that seats for this day are strictly limited and there are only a few left. If you enjoy this format (or want to experience it), make sure to register very soon or prepare for a seat on the waiting list. The unconference is fully booked, sorry, no more seats available!

And last but not least: A lot of you will be in Berlin on 8. October - as every year we're having a Community Meetup in the evening. This will take place in Ampelmann Restaurant in Stadtbahnbogen 159/160 (in Berlin-Mitte am Monbijoupark), 10178 Berlin-Mitte - easy to reach by local train to "Hackescher Markt". We will be there from 18:30-21:30. If you've seen us struggling with last year's success (we literally flooded the restaurant) you'll understand that our life will be a lot easier if you register in advance. Beer (or other beverages) will be available to those that register, so you can do yourself and us a favour and send your complete name, e-mail address, company, and job title to events-de@liferay.com, noting that you'll come to the Community Meeting (it's free, by the way).

With that, I hope to see a lot of you in Berlin, one or the other day.

Radio Liferay Episode 32: Jack Rider

Community Blogs 7 de Agosto de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 This week's guest is Jack Rider, from the mediterrean shore in Benidorm. He is a real Liferay veteran, having started with version 3.6, and has initiated quite a few very nice and well-usable projects.

Here are our topics:

  • Jack started in 2005 with Liferay 3.6, got first trained on Liferay 4.2 in 2007
  • He's working as a freelancer, specializing in Liferay, BPM and their integration
  • xmlportletfactory. This project generates simple CRUD portlets that make use of servicebuilder and many other aspects of the Liferay infrastructure. With many contributions from its community (e.g. Juan) more and more of the infrastructure is used: ServiceBuilder, Asset Framework, Workflow, IPC, Entity Relationships, Export to Excel, Activities,
  • xmlportletfactory is a one-time codegenerator: You generate once, then you can modify the resulting code.
  • The code is generated from templates - as it's open source (GPL3), of course you can change it.
  • Jack is also currently integrating BonitaBPM into Liferay. This replaces the Bonita Portal, you can interact with the Workflow engine from Liferay as well as from an  Android smartphone. This integration is expected to show up on the marketplace soon. It now has been published on marketplace.
  • As we speak about publication on the marketplace, let me insert a short&shameless pointer to my own fabulous podcasting app. It was not out when we recorded the podcast, but now it is.
  • bonitalife.org
  • Bonita being recognized by Gartner as the only open-source product that meets Gartner's definition of a BPMS.
  • Jack has another site, portlet.es - providing some sample portlets: A Sudoku generator (maybe it appears on marketplace soon), a Lexicon filter (e.g. for forums, blocking keywords), GroupNotification (find marketplace link) - (sends emails to all usergroups or site members)

Follow Jack, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

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Radio Liferay Episode 31: Neil Griffin

Community Blogs 25 de Julho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 This week's guest is Neil Griffin, Liferay's resident JSF Wizard, Lead Engineer for Liferay Faces and representative for Liferay on the Portlet-Spec 3.0 group (JSR 362).

Here are our topics:

  • Liferay Faces started with portletfaces.org, a cooperative work by Triton and Mimacom. Neil started at Triton, then came to Liferay and Triton and Mimacom donated the code.
  • Liferay Faces (LF) consists of LF Bridge, LF Alloy, LF Portal, LF Util.
  • You can find a lot of Demos for integration with different components, LF Alloy, Icefaces, Primefaces, RichFaces, InterPortletCommunication. (find Demos)
  • The history and problems with earlier JSF versions (esp. Version 1) in Portlets: JSR-329 standardized a standard portlet bridge, those were typically built independently of the portals.
  • With JSF 2.0 the integration into portlets got easier and the problems vanished.
  • We have 20 Legends now - thanks for all the forum participation
  • How does a portlet bridge work and why do values end up in the session even though we've declared them to be request-scoped? E.g. what phases from the JSF lifecycle are bridged to what phases in Portlets?
  • With JSF 2.2 one can finally go stateless, previous versions have been strictly stateful.
  • AlloyUI 2.0 and its integration into Liferay Faces Alloy, a JSF implementation that utilizes AlloyUI and YUI components.
  • Liferay Faces 4.1/4.2 is targetting Java EE 7 (e.g. JSF 2.2) and 4.2 is planned to be released with Liferay 6.2.
  • Liferay Faces is distributed through Maven Central, thus it's ready for use and the release is technically independent of Liferay.
  • Liferay IDE already integrates JSF in the "New Portlet" Wizard, and it will become a lot better in the next versions
  • Neil's JSR involvement (JSR 314, JSF 2.0, JSR 344, JSR 2.2, JSR 362 Portlet 3.0)
  • Due to the involvement in the new portlet standard: What's the Portlet 3.0 committee working on?
  • CDI Context & Dependency Injection, Conversation Scope, liferay-cdi-portlet-bridge.jar, Implementations: JBoss Weld, Open WebBeans, Resin Candi
  • Shoutout to the various cooperators, e.g. from RedHat: Ken Finnegan, Stan Silvert, Pete Muir & Jozef Hartinger, from Oracle: Ed Burns, Mike Freedman, Roger Kitain, Manfred Riem, many Liferay Engineers
  • Neil will be at DevCon in Berlin and at other upcoming symposium(s?)

Follow Neil, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

DevCon 2013: Call for Papers

Community Blogs 18 de Julho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

You might have heard about this year's change in the european symposium: We'll replace the single symposium with a  Liferay Portal Solutions Forum, a rather business-oriented program as well as a Developer Conference with a lot of deeply technical content.

At the Developer Conference, we will make a lot of room for community-provided activity. In fact, this year we're opening a third track again. There's some room for workshops, presentations and Lightning Talks.

Please amaze yourself, us and your audience with an impression of your work, practical experience as well as deep insight into your area of expertise. Note that the Call For Papers closes on 31. July, midnight CET. You'll find all required information at the DevCon site. Please go ahead and submit.

Secret tipp: You can make our live easier: The earlier you submit, the more we love your submission. The more demonstrated experience you have (link recordings, feedback, sample sessions, video recordings of your abstract), the more we love it. The more you submit, the more we love it.

Now go, do it!

Looking forward to your submission

Radio Liferay Episode 30: Juan Gonzalez

Community Blogs 15 de Julho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 It's my return guest show time - here's another one. However, you've unfortunately never heard my first recording with Juan Gonzalez, back when we did it. This was due to a glitch that I'm really sorry for. Juan holds the Community Contributor Award 2012 and has since joined the spanish office of Liferay, working mainly in support and in the Liferay Faces team. As we missed doing so in the recording - we'd like to have a shout out to all the support staff in/for Liferay. These are the guys that keep the system running and the customers happy, but rarely receive some of the glamour of standing in the spotlight.

Some more keywords from the conversation:

  • The upcoming 6.1 GA3 release (sorry, this time I missed asking for the definitive release date)
  • JSF & Liferay Faces team, where Neil Griffin is leading the current efforts of transparently integrating the JSF lifecycle with the portlet lifecycle.
  • Juan actually sparked an upcoming episode (next, number 31) with Neil about JSF and Liferay Faces.
  • He updates me on the version numbers (JSF 2.1) and different JSF flavours (RichFaces, PrimeFaces, IceFaces) and their history, coming from Mojarra (Sun/Oracle) and MyFaces (Apache), and possibility to use them simultaneously.
  • Juan's contributions that he provided before he joined Liferay (and what he got the Community Contributor Award for): Audio/Video Preview, now found in the 6.1 Document Library)
  • xmlportletfactory, a project started by Jack A. Rider. This tool enables you to build CRUD portlets that are well integrated into Liferay's service-builder infrastructure. Juan provided the Asset-Integration for it.
  • The future: Juan is preparing a talk about JSF for the spanish symposium (meet him there) and plans to develop some JSF components, e.g. for dynamic data lists, pdf export
  • and as you can see: This time I didn't loose the recording again - that would have been too annoying...

Follow Juan, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Again, shoutout and big thank you to Auphonic for postproduction help. This is a fantastic service!

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Dragging portlets is easy - but where to drop them?

Community Blogs 10 de Julho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

When you're arranging portlets on your pages, have you ever wondered, where you'll be able to drop them? Especially when you use a more complex layout, like the 1-2-1-columns and don't have a lot of content on the page, it's sometimes not obvious what your options are. The good news is that Liferay comes well prepared for your intent - for some reason it just doesn't make full use of it.

This is what it looks like to have the 1-2-1-column layout with only one portlet in the first column, dragging a second portlet around the page. I'm using the classic theme for this screenshot (click for full size):

If you just chose the 1-2-1-column layout, you probably have some expectation where you can drop your portlet. If you just happen to work on a page and don't feel like checking which layout-template is currently active, wouldn't you rather like to see an indicator of the available columns, like this?

Here's how to activate the indicators: Go to "Manage Page", top-level, and enter this as the Javascript for each page. Alternatively, add the snippet to your custom theme:

As you might have heard that Liferay 6.2 will be using twitter bootstrap (e.g. reported here), a lot on the UI side will change, so I decided to publish this workaround here instead of pushing LPS-33636

Radio Liferay Episode 29: Milen Dyankov

Community Blogs 4 de Julho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 Please welcome yet another return guest, Milen Dyankov, a fellow trainer and senior consultant in Liferay. Milen has been participating in episode 9 and he has been the original contributor of the mobile device detection code to Liferay (see his presentation at the EU Symposium 2011). Back then he was a community member, but in the mean time he as joined the team and is now working from Poland and all over (and around) the european continent.

Some more keywords from the conversation:

  • Training experiences
  • Mobile Device Detection, or Device Recognition as it's labelled on Marketplace
  • The UI for DR is not too obvious - which was the original reason for us to have this conversation. Milen describes how to make sense of the UI, how to use it and what features are hidden behind the UI facade
  • WURFL and the dimensions of information that it can detect from devices
  • The history (more) (even more) of his contribution (for 6.0)
  • The UI changes in 6.2 have been significantly and will indicate that you'll need to install a plugin to use DR properly (we were not sure and didn't check yet if it's in M6 yet, if/once you see it please give feedback)
  • As the UI offers only a selection of the device information: Why we limited the information and what else is available through WURFL
  • How to determine if a certain device is a telephone or a tablet (hint: whatever WURFL says is assumed to be correct)
  • How to make use of the WURFL capabilities that are not exposed in the UI. Milen promised to post a blog article on it and - in fact - he has already done so.
  • Future plans to help with responsive desins
  • How DR can be used to serve specific content to devices (e.g. if all you want is to download an App)
  • Other mobile strategies:
    • run your own apps (how is that Liferay dependent? Well, take a look at Liferay's Events app (for the upcoming Developer Conference, Liferay Portal Solution Forums or Symposiums) that uses the agenda content directly from the portal, e.g. Liferay's CMS
    • Sync
    • Make use of HTML5 local storage (see the IBA presentation at the 2012 european symposium
  • Milen recently got praised for a beautiful presentation he did at a conference, titled "What is a portal?". His motivation and the story behind. (sshhh: He's available for presentations at other events as well)
  • Also, we're both showing age remembering Container Managed Persistence from EJB 2 and how Spring and similar libraries have turned the world upside down since then.

Follow Milen, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Thank you again to Auphonic for improving the sound quality dramatically. AFAIK this time there were no unrecoverable dropouts ;)

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 28: James Falkner

Community Blogs 24 de Junho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 Please welcome a return guest, James Falkner, Liferay's Community manager. I got him on to talk about the changes in the upcoming symposium's structure, but we continued with conversations about a lot of topics he also mentioned in his previous Community Roundup as well as a brave move that I'd like to tease here: He gives us the definitive release date for Liferay 6.2 - so remember: you've heard it first on Radio Liferay

Some more keywords from the conversation:

  • Change to symposiums: This year we split some of the symposiums into business (Liferay Portal Solutions Forum) and technical (Developer Conference) events - especially in Europe.
  • LPSF 24. September in Frankfurt
  • DevCon (8.) 9.+10. October in Berlin
  • LPSF 7. November in UK
  • Symposium October US/SF
  • Symposium 16.+17. October Spain
  • Call for Paper open or soon to be opened for SF, Spain, Berlin: Help us by submitting long before the deadline
  • Unconference style, agenda finding
  • Last Milestone (M6) has been published just before we recorded
  • BugSquad is on again, finding those pesky bugs in the current milestone releases - thanks a lot to the bugsquad team for the help
  • Work done by the Community Verifier Team
  • Edward Gonzalez' role to pick up fixes that have been submitted without targetting a specific engineer (and shoutouts to Juan Fernandez, Cynthia Wilburn, Ed Chung)
  • Ideation
  • The "exit strategy" for ideas: Get it into the portal or create an App for Marketplace.
  • Project Learn, an e-learning platform, recently graduated to be a marketplace app (lookup name)
  • We're using my fabulous podcasting plugin as a means to describe how to publish an app on the marketplace (it's currently on its way)
  • Marketplace now has roughly 70 apps published by independent developers.
  • Marketplace App Contest: Participate and win one of 25 iPad minis and a trip to one of the symposiums or Liferay events of your choice - anywhere in the world.
  • various birthday coincidences
  • Community Leadership Team
  • Pointer back to the motivation thread, linked from Radio Liferay episode 1
  • Community Blogging
  • IRC: #liferay on freenode

Follow James, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Thank you again to Auphonic for improving the sound quality dramatically. Unfortunately there are a few dropouts during the recording that even auphonic couldn't rescue, but they're minimal.

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

Radio Liferay Episode 27: Jorge Ferrer

Staff Blogs 17 de Junho de 2013 Por Olaf Kock Staff

 I took some time to speak to Jorge Ferrer, Liferay's VP of Engineering about all things Engineering and Development in Liferay. This time I'm not starting with butchering names, but positions. Jorge is one of the very early contributors to Liferay, started as community member and got hired, started the spanish office. After an episode "on the dark side", being the GM for Spain, he's back in engineering. We're talking about his responsibilities within the project, the company, and more.

Some keywords from the conversation:

  • Changes of the collaboration structure over the year
  • Liferay is hiring independent of location, building an internationally distributed team.
  • Overcoming the difficulties of this distributed work
  • Current team size and structure
  • How to bring in code contributions as a community member
  • Liferay's coding standard being mandatory to match for contributions, strict Peer Reviews
  • Contribution Experience: My quick-win with a small patch that was severely rewritten during peer review (LPS-33455)
  • Milestones and when to start the beta cycle for version 6.2
  • The accuracy of Liferay's past release date announcements and how to improve - both on Liferay's side as well as externally: What help do we need?
  • Hold your breath: I got a target release date from Jorge. Yes, there's a disclaimer, but the intent is out now :)
  • The recent feature freeze
  • New features in 6.2: AlloyUI 2.0 (more info on that on episode 25), Twitter Bootstrap (we'll need feedback for theme-migration, please help, adopt early and report back), New Dockbar, Controlpanel overhaul, Site Administration (no longer in controlpanel), lots of usability improvements, sharing content across sites, recycle bin
  • The swiss army knife of CMS, AssetPublisher, gets a lot of new features (obsoleting some of the well hidden features that I talked about in episode 23): filtering through the search index, scripting for output.
  • The big plus on the technical side: OSGI (I sense an interesting topic for an upcoming episode)
  • BugSquad
  • DevCon (episode with more info already scheduled)
  • Jorge's architecture series of blog posts

Follow Jorge, RadioLiferay or me on twitter

Thank you again to Auphonic for improving the sound quality dramatically.

You'll find this episode - and make sure that you don't miss any of the future episodes - by subscribing to  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioLiferay. You can also subscribe on itunes.: Just search for "Radio Liferay" or just "Liferay" in the podcast directory.

download audio file

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