Oracle Webcenter technical workshop (part 1)

On the 17th of april we where invited to join a technical workshop about Oracle Webcenter for partners at Oracle DeMeern near to Utrecht (Holland).

We wanted to know what Webcenter really could do for us, and what the capabilities are, and of course what the next generation of Webcenter would look like.

Well, we came back full of enthusiasm and the will to explore and look deeper in the webcenter technology.

Read further …

What have we seen during that day?
First of all we got an introduction about all the different layers on which the webcenter framework was build.
And we also saw that webcenter uses several known standards like wsrp, jsr168, jsr170, web 2.0 …


They explained that the Webcenter framework uses Oracle Metadata Management (MDS). This is an XML based repository that stores all kinds of application metadata. In the version we use now this is file based, but in future versions the user will have the choice between file and database based storage.
Webcenter is the first tool in the fusion stack that uses MDS but in the next releases this will also be used for other tools.

In Webcenter it is also possible to use existing portlets/pages/… Therefore you will have to use the ‘Federated Portal Adapter’.
The other way round is also possible, by using the ‘JSF Portlet Bridge’. This will make it possible to publish any portlet created in webcenter to a portal (e.g. oracle portal) that supports jsr168.

The main subject of the day was the JSF part. Oracle uses their ADF framework for creating these kinds of applications.
Not being a real java expert, I really enjoyed working with this tool and the fastness of creating little applications with it.
In the webcenter there are already a few build in portlet applications like the rich text editor, omniportlet which we already knew from the oracle portal.

We also saw how the future of webcenter possible would look like.
First of all the UI of the portlets will look much flashier with more use of AJAX, dhtml,…
It will also be possible to change pages on the fly and there will be more drag and drop functionality.

Last but not least, we also discussed the positioning of the product, particularly against the oracle portal. This was a tricky one, but I kind of know now how I have to position it now. If you want to use open standards and you don’t mind to create applications (almost) from scratch (apart from the already build in applications like rte, omniportlet,…) this is a very fast and good development tool!

One of the next days we will handle the practical part of this day, to give you a glimpse on how webcenter works.

To be continued…

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