Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Playing with Liferay

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on January 26, 2006

Took a hiatus from blogging for a whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile! Lots of interesting things have been happening but I have been lazy in keeping up my blog. More WebSphere Portal stuff has been happening, but I will not write about it this time. Finally decided to dump the product that no IBM development team wants to own – WebSphere Site Analyzer (aka Tivoli Web Site Analyzer) and switched to AWStats for site usage analysis. I love it as does the client! On another front, started using Unison for file system replication across two physical sites that have spotty connectivity – dumped another commercial product (SureSync) in favor of an open source one. SureSync seems to work well and does a good job of real-time replication when you have good connectivity, but breaks down pretty badly across bad connections when you have large updates on a site.

However, the thing I am pretty excited about is Liferay – an open source portal solution that looks pretty promising. I looked at JBoss Portal as well, but was far from impressed with that one. JetSpeed, I have looked at earlier and passed on it. Liferay seems to have quite a good breadth of functionality out of the box – a full-blown content management system, document management, image gallery, message boards, event calendar, polls, wikis, blogs and a few others. It seems like a good fit for mostly content oriented Portals for the SMB market. The only thing that is missing is adequate documentation, but that will happen with time and community momentum (or with Xtivia‘s efforts – a plug for my employer :-)). It was a breeze getting the base product installed with bundles available with various open source Application Servers/Servlet Containers. I opted to go with the JBoss+Tomcat bundle. Setting it up to do authentication using our Windows Active Directory Server was not too bad – check out the Liferay forums if the product documentation does not cut it for you. Setting up Liferay to run as a service on Windows was as simple as using JavaService to run JBoss as a service. Setting up Liferay over SSL was as simple as putting Apache in front of Tomcat using mod_jk redirection. So far so good.

Now I need to experiment with customizing Liferay – custom portlets and custom look and feel. Will check out Liferay’s flexibility and see what is feasible in terms of layouts – will be comparing with WebSphere Portal where we have successfully implemented all kinds of layouts breaking navigation into n levels – used tabs, drop-down menus, and left navigation – all at the same time even.

Anyways – its been fun playing with Liferay!

3 Responses to “Playing with Liferay”

  1. James said

    Liferay is a very high quality portal. Haven’t figured out why those in the media haven’t noticed it yet…

  2. joe said

    check out the latest source. layouts have been changed a lot… much more flexible now…

  3. “Working out to integrate OpenLDAP in Liferay to incorporate single sign-on feather”

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