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Access Objects from Velocity

Overview #

There are 3 different places to use Velocity templating in Liferay Portal. Each place introduces its own slight difference in behavior. These differences are noted below.

The places in Liferay that support Velocity templating are:

  1. theme
  2. layout templates
  3. CMS Content Templates

In the theme, we assume 1) that more power is greater flexibility to develop cool stuff... and 2) the portal admin is taking FULL responsibility for installing a theme that might potentially have code which could kill the entire system (this is why we have official and non-official plugins as the same could be said for webs, portlets and hooks).

Objects Available in Themes, Layouts, and CMS #

In the theme, layout templates and CMS Templates we load all the tools found in the com.liferay.portal.velocity.VelocityVariables insertHelperUtilities() method:

  • arrayUtil
  • browserSniffer
  • dateFormats
  • dateTool
  • dateUtil
  • escapeTool
  • expandoColumnLocalService
  • expandoRowLocalService
  • expandoTableLocalService
  • expandoValueLocalService
  • getterUtil
  • htmlUtil
  • httpUtil
  • imageToken
  • iteratorTool
  • journalContentUtil
  • languageUtil
  • unicodeLanguageUtil
  • listTool
  • localeUtil
  • mathTool
  • numberTool
  • paramUtil
  • portalUtil
  • portal
  • prefsPropsUtil
  • propsUtil
  • portletURLFactory
  • velocityPortletPreferences
  • randomizer
  • saxReaderUtil
  • serviceLocator
  • sessionClicks
  • sortTool
  • staticFieldGetter
  • stringUtil
  • timeZoneUtil
  • utilLocator
  • unicodeFormatter
  • validator
  • accountPermission
  • commonPermission
  • groupPermission
  • layoutPermission
  • organizationPermission
  • passwordPolicyPermission
  • portalPermission
  • portletPermission
  • rolePermission
  • userGroupPermission
  • userPermission
  • locationPermission

Objects Which Can Be Restricted From Access by CMS #

We call these restricted variables. They are restricted by adding them to the following portal property:

    # Input a comma delimited list of variables which are restricted from the
    # context in Velocity based Journal templates.

Following are the list of variables that can be restricted:

  • portalUtil
  • portal
  • prefsPropsUtil
  • propsUtil
  • velocityPortletPreferences
  • serviceLocator
  • sessionClicks
  • utilLocator

Now, on the issue of what other variables are accessible where.

Run Time Variables #

In each of the three contexts there are some "run-time" variables which are available only in those contexts.

Layout Templates #

The only additional runtime variable for layouts is:

  • processor

Themes #

  • request
  • portletConfig
  • renderRequest
  • renderResponse
  • xmlRequest
  • themeDisplay
  • company
  • user
  • realUser
  • layout
  • layouts
  • plid
  • layoutTypePortlet
  • scopeGroupId
  • permissionChecker
  • locale
  • timeZone
  • theme
  • colorScheme
  • portletDisplay
  • navItems
  • fullCssPath
  • fullTemplatesPath
  • init
  • portletGroupId
  • processor
  • taglibLiferay
  • theme

These are all objects are you might expect them to be... real

, real User, etc...

CMS Templates #

The processing of a template is handled in such a way that it is not dependent on access to a real HttpRequest of any kind. Why? Because it's done WITHIN the service call. We do not allow our service layer objects to have an HttpRequest or HttpResponse of any kind as parameters. Thus, we can't add any of those NON-serializable objects like

, etc...

As such we have the following variables:

  • xmlRequest
  • request
  • company
  • companyId
  • groupId
  • journalTemplatesPath
  • viewMode
  • locale
  • permissionChecker
  • randomNamespace

Request is NOT an Http Request of any kind. We have "mocked up" these items into what we call and "xmlRequest".

    String xmlRequest = PortletRequestUtil.toXML(PortletRequest portletRequest, PortletResponse portletResponse);

This serializes all the most important pieces required into a hierarchical HashMap called "request" ("xmlRequest" is still just the string from before... so that you can further call

from within a template...).

So, if you were to dump a $request variable from a template it would look like this:

render-url-exclusive=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0 &p_p_state=exclusive&p_p_mode=view& p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1, auth-type=, scheme=http, render-url-normal=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0& p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view& p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1, locale=en_US, attributes={ COMPANY_ID=10095, PORTLET_ID=56_INSTANCE_6860, RENDER_PORTLET_COLUMN_POS=0, CURRENT_COMPLETE_URL=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]], LAST_PATH={ contextPath=/web, path=/workshop/home }, FRIENDLY_URL=/web/workshop/home, com.liferay.portal.servlet.filters.strip.StripFilterSKIP_FILTER=true, PORTLET_PARALLEL_RENDER=true, RENDER_PORTLET_COLUMN_ID=column-1, LAYOUT_FRIENDLY_URL=/home, CURRENT_URL=/web/workshop/home, RENDER_PORTLET_COLUMN_COUNT=1, org.apache.struts.action.mapping.instance=ActionConfig [path=/journal_content/view, scope=session, type=com.liferay.portlet.journalcontent.action.ViewAction, validate=true,cancellable=false, LIFERAY_SHARED_PAGE_KEYWORDS=[ad], USER_ID=10150, PORTLET_STRUTS_ACTION=/journal_content/view, com.liferay.portal.servlet.filters.gzip.GZipFilterSKIP_FILTER=true }, render-url-pop-up=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0& p_p_state=pop_up&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1 &p_p_col_count=1, render-url-maximized=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0& p_p_state=maximized&p_p_mode=view& p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1, render-url-minimized=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0& p_p_state=minimized&p_p_mode=view& p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1, server-port=8080, portlet-mode=view, secure=false, action=false, theme-display={ secure=false, scope-group-id=10174, portal-url=localhost:8080, plid=10265, path-main=/c, i18n-language-id=, url-portal=localhost:8080, do-as-user-id=, path-context=, path-image=/image, user-id=10150, language-id=en_US, company-id=10095, locale=en_US, time-zone=UTC, path-friendly-url-public=/web, path-theme-images=/sesameworkshop-theme/images, real-user-id=10150, cdn-host=, path-friendly-url-private-group=/group, server-name=localhost, path-friendly-url-private-user=/user, server-port=8080, portlet-display={ title=Journal Content, portlet-name=56, instance-id=6860, resource-pk=10265_LAYOUT_56_INSTANCE_6860, root-portlet-id=56, id=56_INSTANCE_6860 } }, parameters=, container-type=portlet, context-path=/, content-type=text/html, render-url=[[http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home|http://localhost:8080/web/workshop/home]] ?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_6860&p_p_lifecycle=0& p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view& p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1, remote-user=10150, window-state=normal, server-name=localhost, container-namespace=/, portlet-session={ portlet-attributes=, application-attributes={ com.liferay.portal.kernel.util.ProgressTracker_PERCENT=100, j_username=10150, HTTPS_INITIAL=false, LIFERAY_SHARED_VISITED_GROUP_ID_PREVIOUS=10100, LAST_PATH={ contextPath=/web, path=/workshop/home }, USER_ID=10150, LIFERAY_SHARED_VISITED_GROUP_ID_RECENT=10174, org.apache.struts.action.LOCALE=en_US } }, portlet-namespace=_56_INSTANCE_6860_, portlet-session-id=1D8EA0980982E0C4DD5199B092450A2E

Note that it contains a VERY good selection of runtime values, all of which must be serializable.

Now, suppose you want to pass a runtime value to a template. Just add it as either a request parameter or a request attributes, both of which are made available here, as well as session vars in both scopes. Important pieces of

are also included.

Variables defined in init.vm #

From Alimozzaman blog:

These are the default Liferay 6 theme variables defined in init.vm.
I was searching but did not get any link ,so I hope this will help lot of
people also around  the globe. If anything goes  wrong, pls make a comment
and also try to add something that will help people around us.

## ———- Common variables ———- ##



## ———- URLs ———- ##

## ———- Page ———- ##


$page = $layout


## ———- Navigation ———- ##

## ———- Staging ———- ##
## ———- My places ———- ##

## ———- Includes ———- ##

## ———- Date ———- ##

Final Notes #

Additionally, providing further complex tools to template in all cases, themes, layout templates and CMS Contents is best done through Spring as previously demonstrated in Ray Auge's blog, and is also available from plugins and no longer requires your plugin to use ServiceBuilder as of recently.

Note -- the Velocity Variables Explorer portlet is no longer available! The Velocity Variables Explorer portlet can also be used to browse through run-time generated velocity variables, separately for CMS content, layout and themes, as well as for Request and Helper sets (see VelocityVariables.java). Portlet generates variables display in accordance to Liferay version it is running on. For each velocity variable this tool displays list of public methods and, when available, provides access to extended description, use samples, source of an appropriate java class.

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Threaded Replies Author Date
Great start for this article. Only suggestion... Andy Harb March 18, 2010 10:37 AM
Andy I would agree with you however seeing how... Dmitry Brin July 13, 2010 7:04 PM
ok, how do I create a portletUrl in a CMS... Thiago Leão Moreira October 13, 2010 12:38 PM
Here is the answer to my question! ... Thiago Leão Moreira October 13, 2010 1:01 PM
Hi guys. I'd like to create a navigation... Achmed Tyrannus Albab June 15, 2011 1:50 AM
why I have the browserSniffer object at CMS... S I October 27, 2011 3:57 AM
How to access these variables in portlets..code... Raja Nagendra Kumar December 15, 2011 7:19 PM
I dont have access to those variables.... Christopher Jimenez December 23, 2011 2:47 PM
boa referencia essa ricardo wolosker January 20, 2012 10:13 AM
How is build/obtain the $layout variable ? Thanks. Antoine Comble October 25, 2012 7:19 AM
I've found the solution : $layout... Antoine Comble October 25, 2012 7:22 AM
This is a great article but doesn't seem to... Dave Weitzel December 17, 2012 6:33 AM
As Dave Weitzel mentioned, I am having a... Enrique Valdes Lacasa January 20, 2015 12:54 PM
How can i access hidden pages from liferay... Pradip A Bhatt January 28, 2014 9:12 PM
Perhaps this link could help you :... Antoine Comble January 29, 2014 12:12 AM
Perhaps this link could help you :... Antoine Comble January 29, 2014 12:12 AM
noob ? How would I retrieve the value of... John Nowlin January 31, 2014 1:01 PM
Is there an equivalent wiki or blog posting for... Dave Weitzel October 22, 2014 12:25 PM
I found this article very useful to access many... Enrique Valdes Lacasa February 2, 2015 11:07 AM
Can we add additional variable to the list to... Adnan Yaqoob March 13, 2015 9:47 AM

Great start for this article. Only suggestion I have is to link the variables to their corresponding Javadoc so new developers can quickly see what each object has to offer in terms of methods.

navItems link to http://docs.liferay.com/portal/5.1/javadocs/portal-service/com/liferay/portal/th­eme/NavItem.html
Posted on 3/18/10 10:37 AM.
Andy I would agree with you however seeing how Javadoc has absolutely no explanation of any kind it's pretty lame.
Posted on 7/13/10 7:04 PM in reply to Andy Harb.
ok, how do I create a portletUrl in a CMS context, since I don't have access to the real HttpServletRequest?
Posted on 10/13/10 12:38 PM in reply to Dmitry Brin.
Here is the answer to my question!

Posted on 10/13/10 1:01 PM in reply to Thiago Leão Moreira.
Hi guys.
I'd like to create a navigation portlet via structure and template.
Basically i want the default navigation to be drag able to be placed around.
I have tried adding a carbon copy of the navigation.vm inside a template + blank structure.
What i am wondering is how do i get the template to get the data from the pages ive created via control panel.
Thanks very much.

Oh yea and i im not using source version.
Posted on 6/15/11 1:50 AM.
why I have the browserSniffer object at CMS level if I cant use any of it's methods?
Posted on 10/27/11 3:57 AM.
How to access these variables in portlets..code snipped would help
Posted on 12/15/11 7:19 PM.
I dont have access to those variables....
Posted on 12/23/11 2:47 PM in reply to Raja Nagendra Kumar.
boa referencia essa
Posted on 1/20/12 10:13 AM in reply to Christopher Jimenez.
How is build/obtain the $layout variable ?
Posted on 10/25/12 7:19 AM.
I've found the solution : $layout =$theme.getLayout()
Posted on 10/25/12 7:22 AM in reply to Antoine Comble.
This is a great article but doesn't seem to cover the situation where you are including journal content WITHIN a theme using $journalArticleLocalService.getArticle() .
can you advise how request variables in particular can be accessed in this scenario ?
$request just returns {}
Posted on 12/17/12 6:33 AM.
How can i access hidden pages from liferay theme??
in navigation i can find only visible pages ?

But my requriement is finding hidden pages from theme?
Posted on 1/28/14 9:12 PM.
Perhaps this link could help you : http://liferayui.blogspot.fr/2011/02/display-hidden-childs-page-in-footer.html :
#set($layoutLocalServiceUtil = $serviceLocator.findService("com.liferay.portal.service.LayoutLocalService"))
#se­t($topPublicLayouts = $layoutLocalServiceUtil.getLayouts($layout.getGroupId(),false))
#foreach ($lay_item in $topPublicLayouts)
#if ($lay_item.getHidden())
#if ($lay_item.isSelected())
#set ($lay_item_class = "selected")
#set ($lay_item_class = "")

<li class="$lay_item_class">
<a href="$lay_item.getURL()" class="$lay_item_class" $lay_item.getTarget()><span>$lay_item.getName()</span></a>
Posted on 1/29/14 12:12 AM in reply to Pradip A Bhatt.
Perhaps this link could help you : http://liferayui.blogspot.fr/2011/02/display-hidden-childs-page-in-footer.html :
#set($layoutLocalServiceUtil = $serviceLocator.findService("com.liferay.portal.service.LayoutLocalService"))
#se­t($topPublicLayouts = $layoutLocalServiceUtil.getLayouts($layout.getGroupId(),false))
#foreach ($lay_item in $topPublicLayouts)
#if ($lay_item.getHidden())
#if ($lay_item.isSelected())
#set ($lay_item_class = "selected")
#set ($lay_item_class = "")

<li class="$lay_item_class">
<a href="$lay_item.getURL()" class="$lay_item_class" $lay_item.getTarget()><span>$lay_item.getName()</span></a>
Posted on 1/29/14 12:12 AM in reply to Pradip A Bhatt.
noob ? How would I retrieve the value of url-portal from the $request object? I have tried $request("url-portal"), $request.getValue("url-portal") and url-portal.url-portal without success.
Posted on 1/31/14 1:01 PM.
Is there an equivalent wiki or blog posting for Freemarker? In particular looking at how to use taglibs in web content templates based on freemarker in 6.2CE. Im sure it is possible if themes and ADT can use them but cant seem to get right way of assigning the hash. but shouldnt there be a section in this wiki for freemarker?

Posted on 10/22/14 12:25 PM.
As Dave Weitzel mentioned, I am having a similar issue. The $request variable in my Liferay 6.2.1 CE shows up as empty {} when I add web content via a CMS Template. I found this LPS issue...it might be related to this problem...
Any help would be appreciated.
Posted on 1/20/15 12:54 PM in reply to Dave Weitzel.
I found this article very useful to access many variables needed from a Velocity template, I hope it helps. https://www.liferay.com/web/raymond.auge/blog/-/blogs/journal-vm-template-meets-­saxreaderutil
Posted on 2/2/15 11:07 AM.
Can we add additional variable to the list to expose custom services. So that we can keep serviceLocator restricted
Posted on 3/13/15 9:47 AM.