Oracle WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook

I received a copy of Yannick Ongena’s “Oracle WebCenter 11g PS3 Administration Cookbook” from Packt Publishing a few weeks back.  Here is my assessment of the book.

While the title “Administration Cookbook” suggests that it may just cover Administration topics, I found the book covering a lot more than just Administration.  It covers all the important aspects of WebCenter Portal – building a portal, consumption of Portlets, constructs like Navigation and Page Templates, services like wiki, Spaces, and much more.

Yannick’s book is very well written.  The concepts are very well laid out and explained with a lot of screen shots.  The book is a great resource for Architects and Developers. It provides an excellent overview and will be a good reading for Project Managers who are evaluating Oracle WebCenter Portal.

I really like the way Yannick explains how a Portal can be built using the powerful JDeveloper tools and later evolved and managed using WebCenter Runtime browser-based tools.

Congratulations Yannick on bringing this book to the ever growing WebCenter community!

WebCenter 11g PS3 Launch Webcast

A recording of the WebCenter 11g PS3 launch webcast is now available here.  A very nice overview and demo of the key features in the new release.

Security Model for WebCenter Portal Pages

In PS3, the WebCenter Portal Framework allows you to create page hierarchies.  As you may know, it is typical to manage Portal pages in a hierarchical way.  The hierarchical structure allows ease of management and security provisioning.   In this blog post, I want to give a quick overview of the new model for securing page hierarchies.  Here is the algorithm:

  • root page has a default entitlement (policy)
  • subordinate pages may inherit entitlement from parent page
  • subordinate pages may override default by specifying a new entitlement
  • to be able to a view a page, one should have “view” access on all parent pages in the hierarchy

Let’s look at an example.  All the subordinate pages – i.e. “hardware”, “software”, “warranty” pages inherit entitlements from “products” page.   Here, we have placed an entitlement on products page.  The entitlement grants access rights to the marketing-role.

Subordinate pages (like “hardware”) inherit entitlements from “products” page. i.e. marketing-role has all access rights that it was granted at the “products” page level.

Now, lets see the effect of these entitlements at runtime.  Login as mark (marketing-role).  He should be able to create a subordinate page under “products” and also perform operations like “edit” for all pages under “products”.

If we login as another user (say “sam” who is not in marketing-role), he will not be able to create a subordinate page (see “create page” option is disabled) and perform operations like “edit” etc. for any page under “products”

For more detailed information, refer to “Securing your WebCenter Portal Application” section in WebCenter Developer Guide here.

Branding WebCenter Spaces with custom Page Templates, Navigation, and Skins

“Branding” WebCenter Spaces in PS3 is easy!  There is support for complete management of “Site Resources” (like Page Templates, Navigations, Skins, etc.).  Powerful browser-based tooling allows business users to easily create, edit, and manage these resources.  Part III of User’s Guide covers these topics in detail.

A great post (and video) by John Brunswick here shows an example on how one can quickly create a new Page Template with “flyout-menus” using CSS.

Here are some screen shots of a Page Template we built using similar techniques.

Flyout menus include links and content (images) defined in the Navigation Model

Flyout menu surfacing Administration links for the space

WebCenter 11gPS3 is out!

Yes, the new release of WebCenter (11g PS3) is out today!  WebCenter 11gPS3 delivers the most comprehensive platform for building portals and collaborative & social applications.  This release brings together the best features from WebLogic Portal (WLP), Oracle Portal, and WebCenter Interaction (WCI).  The best place to get information regarding the features in PS3 is still at http://webcenter.oracle.com.  If you are looking for an overview, you should register for our webcast planned on Feb 2.

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