5 Coolest Features of the new WebCenter Portal (18.104.22.168)
By Kellsey Ruppel-Oracle on Sep 30, 2013
By Mitchell Palski, Sales Consultant, Oracle WebCenter
Coming off the heels of Oracle OpenWorld last week, I'm sure many of you saw and heard about the latest release of Oracle WebCenter (released in August of 2013). As you are probably aware, there were a number of changes that were made to the Oracle WebCenter Portal feature set that focus on two major themes:
- Knowledge Worker Tooling – ease-of-use for Portal development
- Mobility – create Portals that are targeted for mobile devices
- Decreasing a dependency for developers to know ADF knowledge
- Improving access to Portals by supporting mobile web and native phone application user interfaces
- Rich user profile that consolidates information from multiple profiles (OSN, HCM, LDAP, and so on).
- Improved search experience (supported with Oracle SES 22.214.171.124) that includes faceted search and document thumbnails.
- Simplified portal creation that includes in-place page creation.
- Redesigned portal edit and administration user interface (Portal Builder) that consolidates tasks into fewer steps.
- Simplified page creation and editing:
- Inline resource catalog (with support for component drag-and-drop onto a page)
- Design, Select, Structure, and Preview views
- Automatic update of portal navigation as new pages are created.
- "Lazy provisioning" of tools—Oracle WebCenter Portal configures the back-end server at first use of a tool rather than at portal creation to speed the successful creation of a new portal.
- Hierarchical page support (subpages).
- Device Settings that control how your portal pages render on different devices, such smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers. Page variants can be created to target and optimally render a portal on specific groups of devices like iOS phones, iOS tablets, and others.
- Responsive Content Presenter templates that provide an example of how you can use Content Presenter and CSS3 media queries to produce a responsive layout that adjusts to the width of the browser (for example, on smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers).
- Simplified Oracle WebCenter Portal administration that includes a power user oriented experience with familiar concepts for legacy Oracle WebCenter Portal customers.
- Impersonation, which allows a privileged user to impersonate another user for the purposes of verifying the other user's experience in Oracle WebCenter Portal and troubleshooting unexpected results.
- Improved portal lifecycle tools that enable export/import and backup/recovery of one or more portals with minimal downtime.
- Integrated Oracle WebCenter Portal's Pagelet Producer user interface within Oracle WebCenter Portal's administrative user interface to make system administrators aware of the existence of Pagelet Producer pagelets and to allow them to make these pagelets available to end users. Integrating the UIs also provides Pagelet Producer developers to easily navigate from Oracle WebCenter Portal where they see the pagelets to the Pagelet Producer Admin UI so they can create new or edit existing pagelets.
- New page performance analyzer that shows you how long individual components take to display on a portal page, as well as the overall time taken to display a page. This new tool is useful to developers who are performing first level performance analysis, customers who build their own pages, and any user who customizes pages in Oracle WebCenter Portal.
- Developers can use Expression Language (EL) to retrieve information about Device Settings. Device Settings control how your portal pages render on different devices including smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers.
- Simplified custom shared library development and deployment. Oracle WebCenter Portal provides a new JDeveloper template that enables you to build custom components, such as task flows, data controls, and managed beans and deploy them in shared libraries directly to the Oracle WebCenter Portal server.
5. Easy Page and Site structure creation
In previous releases, creating Pages was a step that had to be done after creating a Portal. The Portal admin would pick a template that had pre-configured services, create the Portal, and then go to the Pages tab and add the pages that their Portal requires. In the new release this process is streamlined to include setting up your site structure at the time a Portal is initially created.
- Less steps (clicks) for page creation
- Only add the system pages that you need
- New easy-to-use syntax gives you a visual representation of Portal navigation
- List the names of pages and separate them with commas
- To indicate that a page should be in the second level of navigation, prefix it with a plus sign
- To indicate that a page should be a system page, suffix it with ->[name of system page]
- Mobile device preview fits into your rapid development SDLC methodology – make a change, preview the page immediately through a web interface
- Group mobile devices together for best-fit user interfaces
- Easy to plan-ahead when considering mobile devices for your Enterprise
Mobile device settings work like this:
- Create device groups and assign specific devices to that group
- Create a page template each device or device-group
- Create page variants for those pages that do not render well in specific devices or device-groups
- Configure the Portal to leverage mobile templates and variants
3. Drag-and-drop Page Composer
- Easily create pages so that they automatically display correctly in the site navigation
- Navigate between pages without leaving Edit mode
- Add taskflows from an in-context resource catalog to pages using drag-and-drop
- Quickly build pages while and speed up your development schedule
If you have the proper rights and privileges, a user can either leverage the out-of-the-box “Actions” menu or they can simply use a simple key-stroke combination of Ctrl+Shift+E. Legacy custmers should be familiar with the similar use of Ctrl+Shift+C to enter in-context editing mode for content presenter taskflows.
Did I mention Page Editor faster to use now?? Smile and rejoice!
Have you ever called into a help desk because you experienced something you’ve never seen before on a web site? Did you have a hard time explaining what the issue was? Or where the support guy/girl should click to re-create the issue? I know I’ve wasted a lot of time on the phone trying to explain myself to customer service representatives, which is why I love the idea of impersonation for troubleshooting help desk tickets. Rather than explaining things over the phone, or taking screen shots, or sharing your screen, now you can grant temporary impersonation access to your support resource. Let him/her log into your profile and try to accomplish the same task you are having an issue with and see if they experience the same problem. Take out the middle steps, close the virtual space between two talking heads, and simplify the process of correcting your issues.
- Provide a user with the ability to impersonate other users
- Full traceability in system logs (ex: username will show up as “john.smith impersonating jane.doe”)
- Control over which users/roles/groups are allowed to grant impersonation right and receive impersonation rights
- Quickly see how long individual components take to display on a portal page, as well as the overall time taken to display a page
- This tool is useful to developers who are performing first level performance analysis, customers who build their own pages, and any user who customizes pages in Oracle WebCenter Portal.