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Guenter Nobody
Some Beginner Questions
February 15, 2012 12:46 PM
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Guenter Nobody

Rank: Regular Member

Posts: 119

Join Date: January 27, 2012

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Hi,
we toyed now a quite a while with Liferay but we're starting wondering its the best fit to our purpose, developing an seamless integration of a community solution into our "App-studio" for mobile devices.

First, its quite neat what comes here out of the box. For this purpose its quite ok but the hassle starts when adding custom portlets or customization itself. Especially the sass, minifier filters , etc... isn't customizable as they would have to be. I spent hours just to figure out that it is not a good idea to touch the portal.properties at all, at least not the setting which tell you clearly : "Don't do that!", there is alwas something else going wrong.

Then, the price. I am not ok with the policies being made around this project. I understand that nobody wants to work for free but leaving community users in the rain with open security issues isn't that gentle either. A specialist of us checked it out with "standard" attacks and its just unacceptable. See the tests done in the popular thread.

Then, you see in the headline "OpenSource" for life but then people keep telling you "don't touch or use the source code", not even for fixing,etc.. What is the source code for then ? Worst even, there are no deprecated warnings or notifications that things may change in the next version. Is this normal ? I really wonder whats going on when I paid for the EE !? I guess I will be still chained and in the rain and paying off endless bills for every little thing again which should be built-in. Sorry dudes, thats really the impression it makes finally !

So this my actual question, is Liferay meant for EE or so called "premium" customers only or is it indeed "open source" ? And, how much I need to reserve in the budget to feel ok with Liferay ? A single server license won't do the job how it looks. Yes, this question is meant how it appears ! Should I go better with my money somewhere else ?

Then, it says "Enterprise", its clearly not really as such I think. Clusters, Load-Balancers etc. seem to work. Also cache distrubution over net works quite well. But then I figure out that the data structure of built-in objects are not made for E. No communities, tags,etc.. per user identity. Did I get it wrong again ?

However, we learned now "Don't build on it, build with it", is that right ?
g
David H Nebinger
RE: Some Beginner Questions
February 15, 2012 2:01 PM
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David H Nebinger

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Posts: 9010

Join Date: September 1, 2006

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Guenter Baumgart:
First, its quite neat what comes here out of the box. For this purpose its quite ok but the hassle starts when adding custom portlets or customization itself. Especially the sass, minifier filters , etc... isn't customizable as they would have to be. I spent hours just to figure out that it is not a good idea to touch the portal.properties at all, at least not the setting which tell you clearly : "Don't do that!", there is alwas something else going wrong.


Well, Guenter, it is an open source project but for most enterprises you should still have an experienced user help you w/ the setup and configuration. An experienced user just knows that you never touch portal.properties, that you should only do overrides in portal-ext.properties. A lot of the documentation for setup will get you a working environment that you can play in, but that is nowhere near a production-ready environment.

Then, the price. I am not ok with the policies being made around this project. I understand that nobody wants to work for free but leaving community users in the rain with open security issues isn't that gentle either. A specialist of us checked it out with "standard" attacks and its just unacceptable. See the tests done in the popular thread.


Most security issues in the production line of 6.0x can be cured through the patches in Jira. Again, an experienced user will know where to go for the patches, which ones to get, and how to apply them. The 6.1 line is still brand new and I don't think anyone in their right mind would be using it production, at least until the bugs and security holes are identified and patched.

There's also the EE line which, although it is not free, comes hardened and more secure. The key thing is that just like Jboss, RedHat, etc., Liferay has an Open Source CE addition that you can use at no cost to see if it is the platform for you. Obviously they hope this will turn into a sale of EE, the line that is intended to be used in production environments.

Then, you see in the headline "OpenSource" for life but then people keep telling you "don't touch or use the source code", not even for fixing,etc.. What is the source code for then ? Worst even, there are no deprecated warnings or notifications that things may change in the next version. Is this normal ? I really wonder whats going on when I paid for the EE !? I guess I will be still chained and in the rain and paying off endless bills for every little thing again which should be built-in. Sorry dudes, thats really the impression it makes finally !


The "don't touch or use the source code" thing is not really accurate, at least not in a general context. You should not modify the source directly because it makes upgrading to a new version extremely difficult (you'd have to manually apply your patches to the source of the upgrade version). Instead you should use the EXT plugin which keeps your changes to the Liferay environment out of the normal source tree and simplifies the upgrade process.

"Don't use the source code," I'm not sure where that comes from. In developing portlets for Liferay, it is often necessary to use Liferay-specific implementation details to do what you want. If you're speaking about portlet development in general, then using Liferay-specific code would mean that your portlet is not usable in another JSR-168/JSR-286 compliant portal container.

If you're talking about taking the source and building your own product that you plan to sell, well then the "Don't use the source code" comes from the license, and it's understandable. Liferay has a lot of intellectual property tied up in the code, and although they're letting you see it for free, they certainly don't want to be the primary developers of your product when they're not getting any of the profits out of it.

As far as deprecation warnings go, I don't know that they've ever done that even along the EE line. That's just another reason to use the EXT and/or hook plugins to handle source overrides as it will make it easier to upgrade and also easier to identify when some function has been deprecated. Liferay is, after all, still a rapidly evolving platform, and the changes they are making are to improve the portal and integrate changes from the web environment in general (i.e. the introduction of the social aspects).

As far as being chained in goes, I think it's the wrong impression. In a truly production-quality environment, you're going to be using some version of Liferay EE and, just because they come out w/ the next big release, you're not going to throw it into production until you can test it out and make sure all of your stuff still works and that there are no new security issues. Heck, even the Liferay.com website was still running under 5.x EE for months after the 6.0 EE release went out... We didn't even consider the move to 6.0 until the Liferay.com site was at that version (if it's not good enough for them, it's not good enough for us either). Once 6.1 EE comes out, we'll still wait for Liferay.com to do the upgrade before we do...

I don't consider that being locked in, I consider that having and maintaining a stable environment and, as an enterprise developer, value far more than being on the cutting edge.

So this my actual question, is Liferay meant for EE or so called "premium" customers only or is it indeed "open source" ? And, how much I need to reserve in the budget to feel ok with Liferay ? A single server license won't do the job how it looks. Yes, this question is meant how it appears ! Should I go better with my money somewhere else ?


Liferay EE is meant for a production-level system. With EE you'll typically get patch releases, support, and additional features/functionality not provided at all in the CE version. It too comes with the source, but it is not open as in take and use as the foundation for the product you're going to sell sort of thing. Whether a single server license would be enough really depends upon the expected usage characteristics - if you plan on having a couple of hundred simultaneous users, then a single server license probably would work. If you're building the replacement for Facebook and will have millions of simultaneous users, a single server license won't cut it.

Regardless, if you start pricing the other portal packages out there I think you'll find the cost for EE will still be more affordable in the end.

Then, it says "Enterprise", its clearly not really as such I think. Clusters, Load-Balancers etc. seem to work. Also cache distrubution over net works quite well. But then I figure out that the data structure of built-in objects are not made for E. No communities, tags,etc.. per user identity. Did I get it wrong again ?


Not really sure what you're really trying to ask here, but my gut feeling is that your definition of "communities, tags, etc. per user identity" probably is not in line w/ the portal's definition. For a portal environment, a tag is owned by the portal, not a specific user, and users within the portal can see the tags available in the portal. Maybe it's a misinterpretation on my part of what you're truly looking for here, I'd just need more info...

However, we learned now "Don't build on it, build with it", is that right ?


I think that from your perspective the answer is yes, but it would be the same answer if you were talking about building a project off of Jboss, Red Hat linux, any of the Apache commons, etc. The IP is there for you to use, but is not there for you to steal and sell for your own.
Hitoshi Ozawa
RE: Some Beginner Questions
February 15, 2012 2:51 PM
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Hitoshi Ozawa

Rank: Liferay Legend

Posts: 7949

Join Date: March 23, 2010

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Well, you can bake your own cake or buy it from a store.

However, we learned now "Don't build on it, build with it", is that right ?


yes, or you can create your own portal from scratch.

I'm sure you're not providing your service for free either. emoticon
Guenter Nobody
RE: Some Beginner Questions
February 16, 2012 11:11 AM
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Guenter Nobody

Rank: Regular Member

Posts: 119

Join Date: January 27, 2012

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Thank you again

Well, you can bake your own cake or buy it from a store.


that makes the things very clear emoticon

I'm sure you're not providing your service for free either.

well, yes we do. For 'private' usage its all for free. We made a mashup off the app-studio called quick-apps. I am using it every day for social, news and blog browsing, it really rocks emoticon

I hope we can add a real community builder module with Liferay to our "app-maker". Its still unclear that I can create chats, forums,tags per app/user etc... I am not sure about yet. Does dotCMS (thats how I came to here btw.) makes this task easier ? As said the built-in data structure doesn't seems a good fit to do so.

amen, g