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Liferay Portal 4.4: CMS upgrades, new content staging, and more integrations

by Ryan Slobojan on Feb 13, 2008 |

Liferay Portal, a Java-based open source enterprise portal and content management system (CMS), recently released version 4.4. InfoQ spoke with Liferay CTO Michael Young to learn more about this release and about Liferay in general.

Young first said that Liferay is built upon several existing technologies, including Spring, Hibernate, Apache ServiceMix, Seam, jBPM, Tapestry and Lucene. Young then described the major new features of Liferay 4.4:

  • Enhanced enterprise management - new capabilities include the ability to generate a hierarchical mapping of an enterprise's organizational structure
  • Enhanced LDAP configurator - the LDAP configurator now simplifies incorporation of existing directory data into the portal
  • CMS upgrades - the built-in CMS now has new features such as automatic document format conversions, a new multi-file uploader, and a much improved content staging system
  • New integrations - Liferay now supports interating with iGoogle and MySpace
  • ServiceBuilder enhancements - ServiceBuilder now uses dynamic FreeMarker templates for code generation, and can be used to develop Liferay Plugins
  • Improved staging integration - third-party applications and plugins can now participate in the new content staging system

Young also pointed out that Liferay currently supports integration with many other components, including Alfresco, Terracotta, ICEfaces, Pentaho, Magnolia, Active Directory, Novell Directory Server, Microsoft Office, and jBPM.

With the significant number of CMSes available, InfoQ asked Young what distinguished Liferay from the crowd:

The combination of a portal, built-in CMS, simple but powerful theming system, and the ability to display static and dynamic content probably make us one of the most attractive out there.

Our portal foundation makes it easy to implement content management around groups (e.g., shared workspaces) by enterprise departments. Liferay also includes all the functionality (incl. SOA) needed to integrate enterprise IT assets like LDAP and legacy apps. The portal context and enterprise-wide integration "activates" content to be useful beyond itself for things like data mining, reporting, knowledge management, and BI.

When asked about future releases of Liferay, Young indicated that the 5.0 release of Liferay Portal would be JSR 286 compliant, and would include enhancements such as:

  • JSR 286 (Portlet 2.0) and WSRP 2.0
  • A revamped Wiki Application that will allow pluggable Wiki Engines (JSPWiki and Friki by default)
  • Remote content staging
  • Flexible CMS Workflow
  • Improved clustering support
  • Enhanced Accessibility Compliance (W3C WAI Level A)
  • Groovy Scripting Language Integration

Young also pointed out that the jQuery UI team lead had recently been hired by Liferay, and that professional jQuery support would be offered. Additional future direction include enterprise social computing features such as social networking and blog integrations, and integration with Google OpenSocial.

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