Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Steps into Liferay Portal 6EE (Enterprise Edition): Part 1

Recently I was tasked with setting up a test Liferay portal environment to see how it compares with our current Oracle WebCenter Interaction 10.3 platform.  While I'm withholding my opinion for now, I thought I would share some information to help others that are also seeking to setup a Liferay environment.  All of this info is available elsewhere obviously, but you'll have to browse through a series of documents and do a little hunting to dig it all up, so I thought I'd share the basics.

  1. Download 
    1. Get the software:
    2. you'll need to create an account on to get to the download page
    3. you'll need a trial license to do anything with the downloaded software so contact their sales team for a 30 day license - you can extend your license by contacting the sales folks again later
    4. For evaluation purposes they recommend getting the tomcat bundle
  2. Hardware/Software Requirements
    1. Liferay doesn't seem to offer official documentation on what is/isn't supported.  Naturally this was extremely disconcerting, but given that this is just a test environment I took them at their word that their software is OS and DB agnostic.
    2. We chose to run on a single VM (Citrix XenServer) running Windows 2008 R2 SE 64bit, Xeon x5670 2.93GHz processor, 4gb RAM and MS SQL Server 2008 SE 64bit
      1. I've heard you can run on a laptop with 2gb of RAM with no problem
  3.  Install
    1. Unzip the tomcat bundle
    2. Copy the license file into the /deploy folder
    3. Run startup.bat from /tomcat/bin
    4. Voila! you are up and running

The Basics
Admin login:

The "Go to" dropdown is essentially a list of all Communities a person is subscribed to. This is synonymous with "My Communities" from Oracle WebCenter Interaction.

Create a community
  1. Under the “Manage” dropdown select control panel
  2. Click on Portal: Communities
  3. Click on Add
  4. Click on Save
  5. Note: Communities won’t appear under the “Go to” dropdown until they have pages assigned to them.
Create a page within a community
  1. Under the “Manage” dropdown select control panel
  2. Click on Portal: Communities
  3. Click the Actions link to the right of the community you want to add pages , and select Manage Pages
  4. Type the name of the page and select the type of page it will be then click  the Add Page button
To add a portlet to a page
  1. Under the “Add" dropdown select "More..."
  2. Drag the elements onto the page or click the "Add button" to the right of the element
Configure Active Directory Authentication & Profiling Source
  1. Login as an Admin
  2. Under the “Manage” dropdown select control panel
  3. Click on Portal: Settings
  4. Click on “Configuration: Authentication"
  5. Configure AD
Helpful links:
  1. Admin guide:
  2. Forums:
(Click to enlarge)


  1. Hi!
    Do you also have information on how this Oracle compares to Liferay. I would be very interested in that!

    I. Dibrani

  2. I don't want praise any product because there are huge changes I would make to each if I were in charge of them. Also, the reason to choose one portal over the other comes down to requirements and other factors, like how much customization & development do you plan on doing, integration, etc.

    You can install Oracle WebCenter Interaction in either java or .NET, and regardless of which install you use you can use the API from either language. Neither Liferay, nor any other portal I know, can do this.

    Liferay doesn't even come close to the capabilities of Oracle WCI's content management (both web and document), surveys & forms, analytics/metrics, search, and object management (admin stuff like users, communities, pages, portlets, etc) - and WCI hasn't had a release in over 2 years!

    Liferay gets the nod for their discussion board UI, wikis and blogs. And big props to their user community and product marketing teams which are better than Oracle's.

    But this is a moot analysis because Oracle has killed off WCI. I'm not quite ready to compare Oracle WebCenter to Liferay, but I already know that Oracle is light-years ahead in content management (document, web, asset), bpm/workflow, search, and user management. This was made more obvious at the Liferay conference I attended where a lot of customers spoke freely about their need to stack additional products (search, workflow, content management) to meet their needs.