This tutorial gives you an overview and talks about the fundamentals of Oracle WebCenter.
Oracle WebCenter Suite is a platform for building corporate portals or custom applications that integrate Enterprise 2.0 features and aims to improve business processes through the integration of business applications and user communities.
This suite allows companies to build corporate portals, social networks, collaborative communities, content managers, composite applications, and intranet and internet sites.
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Oracle WebCenter suite has the following key components:
Oracle WebCenter Framework: Used for building user interfaces and portlets in our solutions. The components built with this Framework use JSF and AJAX to provide a rich interface.
Oracle WebCenter Services: This component provides capabilities that integrate our solutions with content managers, search, wikis, discussions, blogs, messaging services (mail, instant message, telephone), and the whole of the features of Web 2.0.
Oracle WebCenter Composer: Allows users to personalize their content through friendly interfaces.
Oracle WebCenter Spaces: An out-of-the-box application, which uses components previously detailed to provide a collaborative work environment, the ability to create social networks, and the facility to share resources.
Oracle WebCenter Anywhere: Introduced to enable an application’s interaction with mobile devices such as PDAs and smartphones.
The relationships between these components and the application server are displayed in the following image:
With the new release of WebCenter, you have the ability to create rich enterprise portals without needing to code a lot.
In this chapter, we will explain how to set up, create, and build such a portal application. You will learn about:
An enterprise portal is a framework that allows users to interact with different applications in a secure way. There is a single point of entry and the security to the composite applications is transparent for the user.
Each user should be able to create their own view on the portal. A portal is highly customizable, which means that most of the work will be done at runtime. An administrator should be able to create and manage pages, users, roles, and so on. Users can choose whatever content they want to see on their pages so they can personalize the portal to their needs.
In this chapter, you will learn some basics about the WebCenter Portal application. Later chapters will go into further details on most of the subjects covered in this chapter. It is intended as an introduction to the WebCenter Portal.
When you want to build WebCenter portals, JDeveloper is the preferred IDE. JDeveloper has a lot of built-in features that will help us to build rich enterprise applications. It has a lot of wizards that can help in building complex configuration files.
You will need to install JDeveloper before you can start with this recipe.
JDeveloper is the IDE from Oracle and can be downloaded from the following link:
You will need to download JDeveloper 220.127.116.11 Studio Edition and not JDeveloper 11.1.2 because that version is not compatible with WebCenter yet. This edition is the full-blown edition with all the bells and whistles. It has all the libraries for building an ADF application, which is the basis for a WebCenter application.
How to do it…
You can check if the updates have been installed by opening the About window from the Help menu. Select the Extensions tab and scroll down to the WebCenter extensions. You should be able to see them:
How it works…
When you first open JDeveloper, you first need to select a role. The role determines the functionality you have in JDeveloper. When you select the default role, all the functionality will be available.
By installing the WebCenter extensions, you are installing all the necessary jar files containing the libraries for the WebCenter framework.
JDeveloper will have three additional application templates:
In this release of WebCenter, we can easily build enterprise portals by using the WebCenter Portal application template in JDeveloper. This template contains a preconfigured portal that we can modify to our needs. It has basic administration pages and security.
For this recipe, you need the latest version of JDeveloper with the WebCenter extensions installed, which is described in the previous recipe.
How to do it…
The Create WebCenter Portal Application dialog will open. In the dialog, you will need to complete a few steps in order to create the portal application:
You can test the portal without needing to develop anything. Just start the integrated WebLogic server, right-click the portal project, and select Run from the context menu.
When you start the WebLogic server for the first time, it can take a few minutes. This is because JDeveloper will create the WebLogic domain for the integrated WebLogic server. Because we have installed the WebCenter extensions, JDeveloper will also extend the domain with the WebCenter libraries.
How it works…
When the portal has been started, you will see a single page, which is the Home page that contains a login form at the top right corner:
When you log in with the default WebLogic user, you should have complete administrative rights.
The default user of the integrated WebLogic server is WebLogic with the password weblogic1. When logged in, you should see an Administration link. This links to the Administration Console where you can manage the resources of your portal like pages, resource catalogs, navigations, and so on.
In the Administration Console you have five tabs:
The WebCenter Portal application will create a preconfigured portal for us. It has a basic structure and page navigation to build complex portals.
JDeveloper has created a lot of files for us.
Here is an overview of the most important files created for us by JDeveloper:
The default portal has two-page templates.
They can be found in the Web Content/oracle/Webcenter/portal app/page templates folder:
You can of course create your own templates. This will be covered in the next chapter.
JDeveloper will create four pages for us. These can be found in the Web Content/oracle/Webcenter/portal app/pages folder:
By default, JDeveloper will create a default resource catalog. This can be found in the Web Content/oracle/Webcenter/portal app/catalogs folder.
In this folder, you will find the default-catalog.xml file which represents the resource catalog. When you open this file, you will notice that JDeveloper has a design view for this file. This way it is easier to manage and edit the catalog without knowing the underlying XML. Another file in the catalogs folder is catalog-registry.xml. This is the set of components that the user can use when creating a resource catalog at runtime.
With the page hierarchy, you can create parent-child relationships between pages. It allows you to create multi-level navigation of existing pages. Within the page hierarchy, you can set the security of each node. You are able to define if a child node inherits the security from its parent or it has its own security.
By default, JDeveloper will create the pages.xml page hierarchy in the Web Content/oracle/Webcenter/portal app/page hierarchy folder. This hierarchy has only one node, being the Home page.
One of the most important features for an administrator of a portal is managing the pages. Without pages, you won’t have any place to put your content on.
This recipe will show you how you can manage the pages of your portal.
For this recipe, you need a WebCenter Portal application. You will also need to start the Portal application.
We will use the default WebCenter Portal Application as an example in this recipe.
How to do it…
In the create page popup, you will need to specify the following fields:
When you press the Create button, the popup closes and you see the page in the list.
In the list, there is a Show Page checkbox. When this checkbox is selected for a page, the page will show up in the navigation. If this checkbox is not enabled, you can access the page by linking to the page or specifying the URL of the page in the browser. The page will however not be visible in a navigation model when you add a page hierarchy. You will need to manually create a link from another page to that page.
When you want to secure your page instead of using the visible attribute, you need to specify specific security settings in the page hierarchy, which is described in the next chapter.
Move the page
Once the page has been created, you want to put the page in the correct hierarchy of your portal. In WebCenter, you can assign a parent page to each page. By default, the ROOT is the parent of each page. The root is not a real page. It is the parent node for each newly created page:
You will see that the column Sub Pages of the parent node will have an icon telling you that there are child nodes. Click on it to see the child pages.
Securing the pages
When you create a page, the security will be inherited from the parent. The inheritance is a property so it means that when you modify the security on the parent, it will be propagated to all of its children who use inheritance.
You can modify this behavior by setting the security. This can be done by clicking the actions button and selecting the Set Access from the context menu.
At the top of the popup, you can specify the Access Method:
When you have specified the delegate security, the list of access rules is populated based upon the rules of the parent. From this point on, you can add your own roles and modify the security:
You can add both users and roles and need to specify what actions they can perform on the page.
Following access rules can be granted:
There are some other actions you can perform on the pages from the actions context menu:
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