Review: Liferay Portal 5.2 Systems Development

Liferay Portal 5.2 Systems Development

Life Portal 5.2 Systems Development

  • Author: Jonas X. Yuan
  • Pages: 552
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing
  • Rating: 9/10
  • ISBN: 1847194702
  • Summary: A Java developer’s guide to developing custom intranet systems, based on Liferay’s platform

As one of only a few books on advanced Liferay Portal development Jonas had a LOT of material to cover. My two weeks of experience with Liferay up to this point had only involved deployment, configuration and theme development. After been impressed with the results so far my next three aims were customising the WYSIWYG editor with styles more specific to the site, adding layout templates to support quick deployment of content and some custom portals for integrating our other information management systems. A week later with the book and I have the first two knocked over and am on my way with the portals.

I have no experience with Java programming, but luckily there was enough detail to get me started. Because of the lack of knowledge I started right from the beginning and read thoroughly all of the background information on Liferay Portal and the JSR-286 specs. This was quite a laborious experience. Not a lot of the JSR-286 specs made any sense until further on in portal development, but helped as a good reference on the portal boundaries later on.

A very progressive structure is taken in this guide. So much that I found it hard to dive into later chapters out of order. Even just the theme development chapter made more sense once I read the previous chapters. Once I had completed a few chapters I found myself using it a lot as a reference. Especially when developing Struts Portlets.

With the latter chapters on workflow, CMS, WYSIWYG editors, communities and templates and themes I was using code from the book directly in my deployment. The examples applied well to customising Liferay for an intranet CMS environment (luckly for me).

There are little quirks in the code examples where more proof reading would have helped, but these were easily ignored by downloading the example code archive.

This book is not for you if you only want to change the database backend or create a basic theme. Nor if you dislike getting your hands dirty in XML. If on the other hand though you are deploying a Liferay based intranet and want to tie in existing content services or want a unique and flexible public site, then the book is right up your alley.

Overall I am impressed with the depth of the book and will probably be spending a few more weeks working through it as I get time. And I will be sure to post updates about the portals if I start developing any applicable to use outside the company.

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