Table of Contents
Many IT organizations look to achieve a competitive advantage for the enterprise by improving business productivity and reducing costs. Today's top enterprises are realizing this goal by deploying enterprise portals within their IT infrastructure. Enterprise portals simplify access to information by providing a single source of interaction with corporate information. Although today?s packaged portal frameworks help enterprises launch portals more quickly, only JBoss Portal can deliver the benefits of a zero-cost open source license combined with a flexible and scalable underlying platform.
JBoss Portal provides an open source and standards-based environment for hosting and serving a portal's Web interface, publishing and managing its content, and customizing its experience. It is entirely standards-based and supports the JSR-168 portlet specification, which allows you to easily plug-in standards-compliant portlets to meet your specific portal needs. JBoss Portal is available through the business-friendly LGPL open source license and is supported by JBoss Inc. Professional Support and Consulting . JBoss support services are available to assist you in designing, developing, deploying, and ultimately managing your portal environment. JBoss Portal is currently developed by JBoss, Inc. developers, Novell developers, and community contributors.
The JBoss Portal framework and architecture includes the portal container and supports a wide range of features including standard portlets, single sign-on, clustering and internationalization. Portal themes and layouts are configurable. Fine-grained security administration down to portlet permissions rounds out the security model. JBoss Portal includes a rich content management system and message board support.
JBoss Portal Resources:
The following list details features found in this document's related release. For a technical view of our features, view the Project Roadmap and Task List .
Technology and Architecture
Portal and Portal Container
Themes and Layouts
User and Group Functionality
Content Management System
This document is intended for those using JBoss Portal as End-Users. This is a "Where do I Click?" Guide.
For Portlet developers, Portal administrators, and those wishing to implement/extend the JBoss Portal framework, there is a Reference Guide available from our documentation page .
We would like to thank all the developers that participate in the JBoss Portal project effort.
Contributions of any kind are always welcome, you can contribute by providing ideas, filling bug reports, producing some code, designing a theme, writing some documentation, etc... To report a bug please use our Jira system .
This section will introduce the reader to some basic portal concepts and terms, used within JBoss Portal and this document.
JBoss Portal supports mutliple portal instances running within one container. A portal instance can be viewed as a 'bucket', containing portal objects such as, Portal Pages, Themes, Layouts, and Portlet Windows. It also manages the relationship between the user and the portal itself. The hierarchy of portal objects is depicted as follows:
A portal instance is reachable by the url format http://[domain]/[context]/portal/[portal_name] . In a default/local install, the default portal instance can be reach by http://localhost:8080/portal/portal/default .
A Portal Page is an aggregator of Portlet Windows. It is generated by the portal, during the reponse phase. During this phase, the portal aggregates all of the HTML markup created the individual portlets, decorates them with window controls, and presents them to the user as a consolidated page.
A portal page is reachable by the url format http://[domain]/[context]/portal/[portal_name]/[page_name] . In a default/local install, the default page can be reach by http://localhost:8080/portal/portal/default/default . Likewise, the News Page in a default install can be reached by http://localhost:8080/portal/portal/default/News .
More, on navigating the portal pages and what they contain can be found in, Section 1.2, “The Portal Pages”
Portlet Windows are found on Portal Pages and contain the HTML markup for a specific portlet instance.
The diagram above, shows the default JBoss Portal page with certain window-related items highlited (in red). Lets look at these items:
Window Title Defines the content and purpose of the individual portlet window.
Window Fragment The generated HTML markup produced by the portlet on the server-side.
Window Controls Window controls are divided in to two categories: Window State and Portlet Mode .
(Normal) - Normal window state, is what you see in the illustration above. All portlet windows take up a similar amount of space on the page.
(Minimized) - The portlet window renders, minimal-to-no markup.
(View) - In View mode, the portlet renders markup reflecting the current window state of the portlet. The diagram above has all portlet windows in View mode.
(Edit) - Allows a user to customize the portlet's behaviour.
(Help) - A portlet should provide help information to the user.
Navigating the portal pages is normally performed either by typing in a specific URL ( Section 1.1.2, “Portal Pages” ), or using the Navigation Tabs at the top of the page.
Each page, in the default installation of JBoss Portal is explained in the following sections, along with the portlets found within them.
The default page contains the following portlets:
Displays hard-coded links to downloading JBoss Portal, downloading portlets from PortletSwap.com, and the live online JBoss Portal demo. It also contains default authentication information on using the UserPortlet to login.
The User Portlet allows a user to:
Login to the Portal
Login using the credentials (by clicking the Standard Login link):
Username: user Password: user
Username: admin Password: admin
Once successfully logged in, the user will have additional functionality at his disposal, that is covered in the following sections.
Create a new account
Create a new account by clicking on the Create link in the portlet. A User can then fill in the necessary information to create an account on the system:
Edit personal information.
A user has the ability to edit his personal information at any time by clicking on the Edit Info link.
Allows a user to navigate to different Portal Pages, by clicking on the page names. Similar to the Navigation Tabs at the top of the page.
Renders data from the Content Management System embedded with the Portal. Users are able to navigate the content, view images, binary files, etc.. via this portlet.
Displaying content is done by the portal using a path mapper. For example, if we wanted to display a zip file, located in /default/foo/bar.zip , we would type in the URL http://localhost:8080/content/default/foo/bar.zip . Notice how the path to the content, is prefixed with the '/content' term. Although in this example we are describing binary content retrieval, the same is to be said for text/html files. Keep in mind, however, that binary files are displayed outside of the portal pages, but text/html are displayed inside the CMSPortlet Window.
Serving Logic: The CMS Portlet now serves content based on the user's locale setting. For example: if a user's locale is set to Spanish in his browser, and he requests URL: default/index.html , the CMSPortlet will first try and retrieve the Spanish version of that file. If a Spanish version is not found, it will then try and retrieve the default language version set for the CMSPortlet (set to English, by default).
The News Page contains customizable weather and news displays from common internet feeds. An open internet connection on the server-side is therefore required for them to operate. ;-)
This page contains the following portlets:
The Weather Portlet retrieves an RSS weather feed, based on a key (commonly a US Postal Code), and displays it as HTML to the user.
Additionally, a user is able to modify his preference in location by going in to the Portlet's Edit Mode (click ). Any valid US Postal Code can be inputted here. Once the form is submitted, this property will be saved in the user's preference, so he will always see the same weather data for his location, when logged in.
Not in the United States? Follow these steps to configure the Weather portlet to display information for your area.
Enter your city name in the location field, found on the page:
Find your location on the list under the form and click on it (In this case, its Marseille, France ):
Copy the location digits from the address bar in your browser (In this case, its FRXX0059 ):
Paste these numbers in to the weather portlet edit form (In this case, its FRXX0059 ):
Hit submit ...
The News Portlet retrieves an RSS news feed, based on a url, and displays it as HTML to the user.
Additionally, a user is able to modify his preference in RSS feed source by going in to the Portlet's Edit Mode (click ). Once the form is submitted, this property will be saved in the user's preference, so he will always see the same news source, when logged in.
Items in this test page change frequently. They are used mainly by the JBoss Portal Development team to debug and test new functionality. For that reason, these items are not covered in this document. It is recommended that Portal Administrators remove this page for that reason.
The Admin Page's purpose is to allow an administrator to manage all aspects of the portal (Follow the links for in-depth reviews of these functions):
Content Management System (See: Chapter 3, Administration - Content Management System )
Portal Objects (themes, layouts, portal instances, pages, windows, security, and deployed portlets) (See: Chapter 2, Administration - Portal Object Management (Dynamicity) )
The concept of dynamicity is that all portal objects are able to dynamically be modified at runtime, eliminating the need to struggle with large xml files, or restarting the application server for changes to take effect. In the scope of dynamicity, Portal objects are defined and can be altered as follows:
Dynamicity allows an administrator to manage the entire portal deployment from within a portlet. Some of the many tasks available to administrators are:
Administrators may manage the portal, pages, subpages, and windows at any time, by clicking on the "Portal" tab at the top of the Management Portlet. The components currently deployed in the portal container are displayed in a tree-structure for ease-of-navigation and modification.
Expanding the tree structure will reveal all pages and portlet windows deployed in a particular portal instance.
Selecting the Security option, allows an administrator to secure the portal instance. On this screen, you can select and unselect portal-wide security settings for a given role. Security settings are defined as follows:
Clicking on the Portlet tab and then clicking on a specific portlet allows you to create a new instance of this portlet.
Clicking on the Instance tab and selecting a portlet instance, displays a screen which allows an administrator to edit the portlet instance preferences.
Selecting the Security option, allows an administrator to secure the portlet instance. Security settings are defined as follows:
Expanding the tree structure will reveal all pages deployed in a particular portal instance, that an administrator can then customize.
By selecting a portal instance, and then selecting the Manage option, you can create a new page. Simply assign a name to a page and submit the form.
Selecting a portal page, allows you to Manage the order in which windows appear and the layout column in which they will appear. Additionally, you can name and assign portlet windows on the selected page, create subpages, or even delete the page.
Selecting a portlet window, allows you to Manage which portlet instance is assigned to it, and even delete/remove the window from the page.
Selecting a portal window under the Portal tab, and selecting the Theme option, allows an administrator to modify the look-and-feel for the chosen portal page.
Selecting the Security option, allows an administrator to secure the portal page. On this screen, you can select and unselect page security settings for a given role. Security settings are defined as follows:
The CMSAdmin Portlet allows control over the content management system.
Viewing the CMSAdmin Portlet is accomplished by logging in as an admin (admin/admin) and navigating to the Admin page.
You should then be presented with a page that is similar to this:
It is important for a user to note the action icons used throughout the portlet and their meanings. The action options change depending on what type of resource the user is dealing with. All possible actions are listed here:
Additionally, there are icons that help describe the types of resources present on the page:
This section describes common actions an administrator can perform from within the AdminCMS Portlet:
A user can list directory contents by either clicking on the icon, or clicking on the directory's "DisplayName". All actions are possible from this screen.
Clicking on the icon or the "DisplayName" of a file brings up the File Properties page.
The File Properties window displays all the possible actions available to perform on a file.
Version and Locale Information are also contained on this screen. Note that any version labeled with the is the current "live" version shown to users.
Clicking on the icon displays the copy file/directory dialog window.
The copy resource window allows a user to copy files to any folder on the system, as well as copy whole directory trees to any directory on the system. A user can select which destination directory to copy the resource to, by using the directory browser. Clicking the icon expands the directory tree. Clicking on the name of the directory within the tree, sets it as the destination directory for the copied resource.
Clicking on the icon displays the move file/directory dialog window.
The move resource window allows a user to move files to any folder on the system, as well as move whole directory trees to any directory on the system. A user can select which destination directory to move the resource to, by using the directory browser. Clicking the icon expands the directory tree. Clicking on the name of the directory within the tree, sets it as the destination directory for the moved resource.
Clicking on the icon displays the delete file/directory confirmation window.
The delete resource confirmation window allows a user to delete a file, or a directory on the system. Note that deleting a directory, will delete the entire tree, so all directories under the deleted one, will also be deleted.
Clicking on the icon displays the create directory dialog window.
The create directory resource window allows a user to create a directory under chosen path. On this window, a user can specify a name for the new empty directory and assign it a description.
Clicking on the icon displays the create file dialog window with the embedded WYSIWYG editor and directory browser.
The create file window allows a user to create a text or HTML file using the embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor. The editor is a fully-functional HTML editor with a myriad of HTML functions. It also includes a preview button and a source view button.
An in-depth walk-through of the editor is beyond the scope of this document. However, the editor does contain help pages within it, that can be accessed by clicking the icon.
Additionally, a user can set a title for the file that will be used in the portlet title bar, and a language for the file, used in serving localized content.
Clicking on the icon displays the upload file dialog window.
The upload file window allows a user to upload files to any directory on the system. The upload process will work on files up to 1GB and of all types. A user can select which destination directory to upload the resource to, by using the directory browser. Clicking the icon expands the directory tree. Clicking on the name of the directory within the tree, sets it as the destination directory for the uploaded resource. Additionally, a user can set a title for the file that will be used in the portlet title bar, and a language for the file, used in serving localized content.
Clicking on the icon displays the upload archive dialog window.
The upload archive window allows a user to upload archives to any directory on the system. The system will then explode the archive, create versions, and place all the files in the repository. A user can select which destination directory to upload the resource to, by using the directory browser. Clicking the icon expands the directory tree. Clicking on the name of the directory within the tree, sets it as the destination directory for the uploaded resource. Additionally, a user can set a language for the archive files, used in serving localized content.
Clicking on the icon displays the export archive dialog window.
The export archive window allows a user to export entire directory structures as zip files. The system will aggregate all contents of a specific directory, and present to the user to download it. A user can select which source directory to export the resources from, by using the directory browser. Clicking the icon expands the directory tree. Clicking on the name of the directory within the tree, sets it as the source directory for the export resource. Additionally, a user can set a language for the files to be exported.
Clicking on the icon displays the edit file dialog window with the embedded WYSIWYG editor and directory browser.
The edit file window allows a user to edit a text or HTML file using the embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor. The editor is a fully-functional HTML editor with a myriad of HTML functions. It also includes a preview button and a source view button.
A user may specify at this point if he would like to make the new edit "live", or available in production. Additionally, a user can set a title for the file that will be used as the portlet window title.
This section covers the administrator functions made available by the UserPortlet. For end-user operation, see: Section 18.104.22.168, “User Portlet” . Adminsitrative functions are available once you are logged in with the proper credentials (admin/admin)
All administrative functions are available after clicking on the ' List of all users ' link.
Managing users using the UserPortlet consists of:
Typing a partial username in the form text field, allows you to search for usernames matching that criteria.
Clicking on the Profile link on the search page will allow you to edit a user's profile data, and even reset his password.
The role portlet is dedicated to create and edit roles. A role will be used to grant different permission level to different portlets, pages, or portal instances. A user can have several roles.
The RolePortlet is accessible once logged in as an administrator (admin/admin) from the Admin Page
Managing roles using the RolePortlet consists of:
To create a new role, you need to define a short name that will be used for reference, and a display name for displaying to the user, for example admin would be a good name for the display name Administrators , changing the display name will not affect the security rules.
While editing a role, you just need to pick an exising role then change the display name. Additionally, you can delete existing roles from this screen.