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Development Lifecycle for Custom Task Flows in Oracle WebCenter Portal (Part 1)

Here is an Oracle whitepaper that describes development lifecycle for custom taskflows to be included in WebCenter Portal pages. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/webcenter/portal/learnmore/wcp-createcustomtaskflow-2135965.pdf

Summary of steps

  1. Create Fusion Web Application (ADF) to develop custom taskflows.
  2. Create Portal server extension application and include shared library of custom taskflows.
  3. Build WAR shared library from Fusion Web Application.
  4. Build WAR shared library from Portal server extension application.
  5. Deploy Fusion Web Application shared library.
  6. Deploy Portal server extension shared library (extend.spaces.webapp).
  7. Restart Spaces cluster.

How does this work ? WebCenter Portal Server (formerly Spaces) includes a reference to the latest version of extend.spaces.webapp library. Now when you deploy extend.spaces.webapp with reference to shared library that contains your custom taskflows, they are automatically included in WebCenter Portal Server. Now you just need to recycle Spaces cluster and the latest version of Shared libraries are ready for use in Portal Server.

Shared libraries will be deployed with a specific version to Spaces cluster and as per configurations the latest version is utilized by application. It can be error prone and cumbersome to manually manage version information in the MANIFEST.MF file and correlation to specific tag in Source Control System. It is recommended to employ some type of automation to build and deploy these applications.

Step 1.  Create Fusion Web Application

Make sure to pick “Fusion Web Application (ADF)” as Application Template for this application.

CreateCustomFMWApp

Develop your taskflows in this application. You can reference other ADF Library JAR files from other projects as well.

CustomFMWAppStructure

Create blank web.xml file. (For example, fd-web.xml). This is done as we do not want any web.xml code to merge with WebCenter Portal application, as it can create issues. This is indicated in the Oracle whitepaper as well.

BlankWebXMLFile

Create Deployment profile for Web Shared Library.

CreateDeployProfile-1

CreateDeployProfile-2

CreateDeployProfile-3

Run Deployment profile and you can examine resulting war file.

WarProfileTrialResult

Now we are ready to automate the build and deployment of this application.

Step 2. Create portal server extension application.

Make sure to pick “WebCenter Portal Server Extension” as Application Template. Accept all defaults.

CreatePortalServerExtApp

PortalServerExtStructure

Create new weblogic.xml file.

CreateWebLogicXML

Reference Library Name of custom taskflows application in weblogic.xml.

DefineWebLogicXML

Now we are ready to automate build and deployment of this extension.

Make sure to commit both applications to your Source Control system like SVN or GIT.

In my next post, I will talk about how to automate building .war files from these two applications for deployment to WebCenter Portal Server.

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