Liferay Projects

Company Blogs July 12, 2011 By Paul Hinz

Liferay's Responsibility to Community 

Open source is a productive model for the development of software. We believe it is the best choice for the development of Liferay and, therefore, we are committed to providing programs that benefit our community.

One benefit from open source development is that it allows a larger, more creative team to participate in the development of the core project as well as  the extensions to the project, creating an enormous interdependent ecosystem.  While proprietary software can also develop a large ecosystem (e.g., Windows, iOS), open source projects:

  1. must adapt to the demands of their users or be replaced by other open source projects,
  2. benefit from features identified by an extensive group of freeware users as well as from enterprise users, 
  3. allow individuals to build extensions to or solutions from the freeware (i.e., leverage free core), and 
  4. encourage individuals to create business plans based on selling extensions to freeware or enterprise users (i.e., leverage existing customer base).

The success of an open source project is dependent on the growth of its ecosystem, while an open source project's ecosystem is dependent on the empowerment of its community.  Therefore, Liferay has implemented several programs to facilitate our growing community. 

Open Source Community Membership Rights and Responsibilities:

Leveraging open source software has many benefits and responsibilities. Anyone who develops with, on, or for Liferay software, deploys Liferay software, or even contributes to the knowledge-base for Liferay software, is part of the Liferay community. The most obvious benefit to using Liferay Community Edition is the ability to use the software for free. Without discussing the definitions of free beer*, it can be stated that open source software can be downloaded, installed, and used in some manner without a financial payment.  This has allowed Liferay to spread throughout the world. With as many as 1 million websites running Liferay CE (we use 4M total downloads for public discussion)**, Liferay has an enormous community presence worldwide. Community members are responsible to ensure the continued growth and quality of the resources available to other community members***. While many responsibilities are not mandatory, Liferay’s goal is to develop services that can allow individuals to benefit from the community and to grow the ecosystem while adhering to their responsibility to benefit everyone.

Liferay, Liferay Marketplace, and Liferay Projects

There are several programs that allow individuals to contribute to the Liferay ecosystem:

  1. James Falkner's Community Participation List:
  2. Special Activities:
  3. Liferay Projects
    2. Liferay has recently previewed two new programs, the Liferay Marketplace and Liferay Projects, which allow additional ways for individuals to contribute to the community. 
  4. Liferay Marketplace
    2. Many developers want to focus on developing features for the core within an open source project and believe it is the main area in which they can contribute.

These four allow a nice gradient for participation in the community. Some contributions can be done through, while others can be done as decoupled projects at in combination with Liferay employees or mentored through our community program. Others can be developed completely decoupled as applications, hooks, and so forth available through the Liferay Marketplace. These options are designed to allow the ecosystem to expand worldwide. 




*** As defined by the Liferay trademark policy:

Social Applications Overview

Company Blogs June 27, 2011 By Paul Hinz

      Liferay Portal provides an excellent platform for building web applications, websites, and portals, but recently customers have been looking at a new category of web applications called "social applications."  Liferay has several key features to implement social applications.  


     The definition is simple: a social application is a web application that additionally leverages social: identity, data, and features or services.    In the figure to the left, the light blue squares represent a definition of a standard web application while the darker blue squares show the addition of social aspects. First, a standard web application consists of a user interface built to access application logic (e.g., a web form with a submit button allows a user to store fields into a database). Second, web applications are often influenced by a formal identity policy. For example, only persons with a username and password are allowed access, or only individuals within the sales organization in the role of manager are allowed to access the application. Lastly, web applications are often built to interface with external services; e.g., an application allows users to browse an external catalog, select an item, and submit orders into an external order processing system. 

     Nearly any web application, can also be built as a social application, increasing the productivity of users.  Any one of the three areas above can be leveraged to create a social application: social identity, social data, and social features and services. The first area, social identity, however, is important for enterprises concerned about identity management.



Leveraging Social Identity by Adding it to Formal Identity

     The right diagram shows how Bob Smith is identified by both his formal and social identities. He has a formal identity that states his membership in the Engineering Organization, Core Engineering Team, Project X Group; plus, he has the additional role of Manager. This formal identity is defined by policy, implemented by people administrators, and is often regulated by SOX compliance.

     Enterprises often implement a systems architecture which simplifies access management. First, applications are configured to grant access based on a user's organization, role, and so forth (e.g., ability to access a Sales Portal if they are within the Sales Organization). Second, all applications are configured to point to a central user repository (such as a Directory Server). Lastly, individual user accounts are all managed in the central directory via identity management or role management software.  Implementing a formal identity management and access policy or architecture simplifies the management of a large and changing number of users that are accessing an equally large and changing number of applications. It also allows auditing and compliance as all accounts are centrally managed and all access can be centrally audited. 


     In addition, portals can be used to simplify role-based access control by aggregating applications that do not understand formal identity. The portal allows administrators to define access policies in the portal, which then controls access to applications integrated into the portal. For example, a sales activity page is created and made available to people in the portal if they are in the sales organization. 

     Standard web applications can be developed to leverage a formal identity in at least four methods. The first, simple access control, is to allow access if a person has a username and password within the centralized directory. The second, node specific access control, allows a person access if they are within a specific organization or role (i.e., you can only access the application if you are in the sales organization or have the manager role). A third method, role-based content delivery, allows a person to access additional content or features based on a person's organization or role (i.e., an individual may get an additional "Sales" tab added to the application's web pages if they are within the sales org, or the individual may be allowed access to the manager's reporting tool if they have the manager role). The fourth, workflow access, allows acces to workflow tasks based on a person's role (i.e., a user can only submit fix tickets if they have a manager role, or a manager will be given alerts to approve fix tickets submitted by their team members and not from other team members based on who they directly manage). 

      Formal identity policies and portals have been very useful for medium and large-scale enterprises to control access to applications. But today, users can be identified by more than their formally defined-from-the-top-down identity. Each user can also be identified by their social identity. Before social collaboration software, people had social identities. They had friends, they formed groups, and they worked in teams. Within an enterprise, sales individuals would network with engineers and request help from time to time. Engineers in different groups would share ideas on development. Marketers may lead a company softball team. Today, these groupings can be supported by collaborative services. Individuals can form a team calendar or create an engineering wiki or work within a forum.  The graphic to the left shows how Bob can access a social collaboration site, which knows he has a friend network which is different than Steve's and Joe's friend network.


     Social applications leverage a person's social identity in several forms. The first form is activity streams, where users may see and share activity data or posts by others within their network. For example, you can see microblogging posts from friends combined into a single wall stream. The second is subgrouping, where a user can divide his or her entire collection of friends into a set of teams or groups and can then define access to specific information based on these subgroups (e.g., a user can define that specific content or alerts can only be shared with friends that are also labeled "Family"). The third is grant access control, where user can define content, application or site access based on a friend network (e.g., a user is allowed to view photos from a friend within their network). The fourth is restrict access control, where a user can restrict access based on a persons status (e.g., a user can define parts of their content to be unavailable to search or read).    A fifth form is delegation, where a user can delegate tasks or authority to others within their network, (e.g., a user can allow a friend to have ownership rights to a document while allowing others only read access).  There are many other forms to leverage this data, (e.g., alerting, presence, tags, equity) but the key for an enterprise is to define an authoritative repository for this social data. Otherwise, each collaboration application will define a different social network for each user, similar to having different Facebook, Tripit, Ning, Orkut and Last.FM accounts and different friends in each. 


Leveraging Social Data by Expanding Data Scope

     A social application is often designed to have a data scope that is broader or more restricted based on an individual's social identity. In the right diagram, the left application is a standard web application while the one on the right represents a social application. The standard web application has application data, but Bob can only see the application data associated with himself. For example, he may have set a weather portlet to view weather in area code 92009, or he may have uploaded a set of online documents, or he may have created events/tasks into his online calendar. Only he can access this data.  Others with access to the same applications will only see their data.  Bob cannot see any data from Steve and Steve cannot see things from Bob. In the right example, if Bob is accessing a social application, he can see data that is specific to himself as well as information that is specific to all members in Project Y (that is, if the application was made available to Project Y). An example could be a team calendar, where all individuals can enter events/tasks and all individuals can see the events/tasks entered by the group. 

     Changing an application to support a new dimension in data scope allows team members to work collaboratively on a range of tasks. Google Docs is a good example in which individuals can together work on a single document, even at the same time. But many applications, which today are built as standard web applications, could provide vast improvements in collaboration if done as social applications. For instance, a team of individuals can work on a web-based tasking system, sharing and collaborating within the application, all available to a self-identified grouping of individuals. Individuals can invite people into a project area for a limited time to help on a specific task, then remove that person's access once it is complete. This could all be done without need for IT group support.



Leveraging Existing Social Features and Services in Social Applications

     Social applications can be developed to leverage social features and services available in a social application platform. Liferay provides many applications/fatures that provide collaborative features and can be combined into the use case for the application in development. These services can be grouped into categories as shown below. More than simply adding links, each can become a service within a social application. Take, for example, a new application that needs to be developed that would allow management to assign tasks to a set of telecommunications field workers. This application can include a calendar and task management portlet where teams are assigned group tasks; a wiki, in which individuals can update technical pages; a doc sharing area for technical docs; ability to allow individuals to subscribe to various forum threads on technical topics or specific projects; an initial default UI where several portlet/widget apps are set on the home page but can be customized with other applications; and an ability to include various content, features, and applications based on the user's role.   Liferay would vastly simplify the development of this application.  


     As mentioned, Liferay makes an excellent platform for building a social application. The portal ability to build an application as a set of modules, where features can be grouped into one or more pages, helps to make the application customizable while simplifying the growth of the feature set over time; new features are added as updates to existing portlets or added as new portlets and pages.   


Liferay as an OpenSocial Container

     Social applications can each implement their own social repository or leverage a centralized repository for social identity.  As mentioned above, if each application is developed to leverage its own, then an enterprise with many social applications can have many different friend network definitions for each person, and each new application would require users to re-request friends for the new application. A more efficient method is to create an authoritative source for friend networks and social identity. 

     Liferay 6.0 implements OpenSocial, which defines both a method to run gadgets and widgets as well as a common method to store and access social identity. This allows enterprises to develop an authoritative source for social identity information.  A single Liferay installation in an enterprise allows users to create a profile page, develop a friend network, create and manage new communities or join other communities. This means a social IdM repository for the entire enterprise is developed within that one Liferay instance, which can then be accessed by multiple social applications. New applications, which also support OpenSocial, can be developed and added to the portal (as portlets or gadgets), allowing the new application to use the already defined friend networks for an individual.   

     Given that Liferay allows the development of multiple sites and portals within a single implementation, the social networks developed by an individual within Liferay can be leveraged across multiple sites developed within the same Liferay portal architecture. For example, users can leverage their friend network across the Sales Portal, HR Portal, and CompanySoftballTeam portal within a single Liferay deployment. Enterprises that leverage this "Enterprise-Facebook" like functionality gain the collaborative capabilities available by popular internet-based social networking sites, but make it secure (behind the firewall) and controlled by formal IdM policy and auditing. 



Liferay as a Centralized Social Identity Repository

     Additionally, because Liferay leverages the OpenSocial standard, and because Liferay externalizes the definition of the friend network, a single Liferay implementation can be leveraged as the master repository for social networking data as shown left. Applications that also support OpenSocial can point at the Liferay implementation (similar to pointing an application to an external LDAP repository) and leverage a common social identity repository. Enterprises that implement this method will be able to develop a single IdM repository for social data, enabling a single source for collaborative defnitions (and auditing).




































Liferay Trademark Policy

Company Blogs June 17, 2011 By Paul Hinz

We recently posted a description of our trademark policy to help the community more easily understand the proper use of Liferay trademarks. There are two categories of use defined within the policy: Permitted Use and Restricted Use. Permitted Use is available for use cases when applied in manners described below and does not require approval from Liferay, Inc. Restricted Use cases, on the other hand, require approval from Liferay, Inc.

This policy is a simple description of the rights of Liferay, Inc. as the owner of the registration. But it also represents our strategy to enable the entire community. In other words, Liferay is not only open source but also open community. Our intention is to foster the advancement of web technology for the betterment of the Liferay community. Open source allows the community to access the source code, to understand how it works, and to allow the integration, expansion, and advancement of the core. Open Community allows an enormous number of individuals and organizations to participate in the strategy and development of the technology and its ecosystem. If you use, contribute to, or design for Liferay, you are a part of the community. Liferay trademarks allow a way for everyone who is a part of the community to understand if something meets the quality and approval of the entire community. Liferay, as the owner and mentor of the trademarks, has developed this policy to benefit us all.

The policy defines these four reasons for protecting how the trademarks are used:

  • To ensure the continued growth and use of Liferay-based or ancillary products.
  • To avoid confusion on the part of the community and the general public regarding the official connection between Liferay, Inc. or the official community and any product, service, meeting, or other use of the term "Liferay."
  • To maintain the value and reputation of the Liferay brand and trademark.
  • To protect the community from improper or unauthorized use.

More simply stated, we are striking the balance of wanting people to be involved in the community while having to enforce the proper use of the trademarks so as to properly maintain the goodwill developed by the community. More details are available at <>; please submit any questions to We hope this policy is simple to understand and ultimately helps us to grow as a community. 

Liferay East Coast Symposium 2011

Company Blogs May 17, 2011 By Paul Hinz


Our Liferay East Coast Symposium was held last week outside Washington D.C., doubling the size of last year's ECS.  The event was designed to support community members, prospective Liferay customers and existing Liferay EE administrators / developers / business managers.  With such a diverse audience, several new activities were added to ECS to expand the benefits to attendees:

  • New: Industry showcases
    • A solutions showcase area was setup for 6 different industries using Liferay.
  • New: Call for Papers from the community
    • Community members worldwide were invited to present on the future of Liferay.
  • New: Official Liferay Training was available the day before the event
    • Over 60 attendees took either the Portal Administration or the new Themes Development course. 
  • New: Application partner sponsors
    • Partners with solutions built on Liferay were also invited to attend.
      • Mule showed the new TCat Server bundle with Liferay as well as Mule ESB.
      • Terrecotta showed their integration with Ehcache.
      • Roambi showed their iPad/iPhone reporting application.
      • Several industry vertical partners also demonstrated within the showcases.


The agenda for ECS was designed to support three themes which were: Liferay as a strategic developer platform, the community announcement of the Liferay Marketplace, and the development of social applications using Liferay as a web platform.    The opening keynote worked to define how these three themes were interconnected and Liferay's roadmap to support them.  As a platform, Liferay is being used worldwide for a wide array of web projects, benefiting from it's richness, integratability, and ease of use.  Enterprises are now looking at Liferay as a key strategic web platform for multiple projects throughout their infrastructure.  The new Liferay Marketplace, will extend the capabilities of a Liferay eco-system, simplifying how deploymenters find and install additional "modular applications" as well as how third party developers will advertise and monetize their Liferay-based applications.  Social application development is a new development methodology, where any web application can be extended to allow the application to leverage a user's "social identity", enabling individuals within a team to leverage "social data" or "social features".   James Falkner had a simple video produced, showing how the Marketplace will look and how it will simplify finding and installing modular applications.



The event was also designed to allow individuals to learn about products, services, partners, to interact with technical and business leaders, and to impact the future of the Liferay community.  Enabling the Liferay community to participate more is a key theme for 2011 and this event was the first to solicit community leaders to propose and give sessions.   

Liferay also announced the following within the Special Events section: 

  • LIVE is now expanding to support weekly sessions hosted by both Liferay and community members.
    • See:
  • New docs are available including the Updated Buyers Guide.
    • See:
  • Facebook and Twitter (and other social media) will be integrated with Liferay Events and Liferay Community sites to better enable users within the community to collaborate across sites.
  • Liferay also announced a new offer for an iPad 2 to Liferay Training attendees:
    • See:

Thank you everyone for participating in the Liferay ECS, be sure to watch for other upcoming Symposiums and Events at  Coming soon:

Liferay Hungary Symposium: 26 May 2011
Liferay France Symposium: 15 June 2011




Liferay at Gartner PCC Summit 2011 in Los Angeles

Company Blogs March 31, 2011 By Paul Hinz

 Were you able to visit us at the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in Los Angeles this last week?  We presented to numerous customers and interested business leaders in our booth.  I am sorry if you stopped by and we were unable to speak to you personally, we were inundated with visitors and we tried to get to everyone.  Several times I had to use my iPad to demo Liferay's WCM workflow capabilities, or social office file sharing, or Alloy components, etc., while standing outside the booth because there were too many people next to the demo stations.  If you missed us, and you want any information or can provide feedback, be sure to email me or the team.

Gartner analysts mentioned Liferay several times while onstage and also invited Jennifer Lohse from Deluxe Corp to be a speaker on a panel discussing how to build successful projects using Liferay.   Gartner also discussed a great deal about the importance of portals, and how portals, web content and collaboration fields are combining (both through product integrations and wider product capabilities) to provide customer's a user experience platform.  Liferay includes a lot of of those capabilities in a tight integrated platform which is perhaps one reason our booth was filled with so many people. 

We were also able to team up with several different partners and ISV's at the show also and we'll be announcing the winner of our cool prizes.  We chose this, rather than an iPad as several others were giving away iPads and always being two steps ahead, we thought this would be a good gift works because it works with an iPad/iPhone.  You can actually see through the cameras on the flyer in your iPad as you use the iPad to control the flight.  Fun.  


Company Blogs September 23, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Over the last year, over 1,000 people have attended Liferay's Symposiums.  We have held Symposiums worldwide to simplify attendance and each has been filled with both technical and business leaders looking for indepth knowledge and collaboration on Liferay technologies.  Last week, our largest audience ever, attended the Liferay West Coast Symposium to witness the launch of Liferay 6 EE.  The launch itself was broadcast on Liferay LIVE to even more attendees. 


We announced a great deal at this event and several within the press picked up on the directions we are headed. Here are a few samples:

  • CMSCritic: Mike Johnston
    • " Take a look at the recent release of Liferay 6EE for instance.. in my mind, it somewhat speaks to what true content management is, which is why I’ve been so pleased with its release and the advancements that it brings."
  • DZone:
    • “Liferay is serious about beating its competitors like eXo platform and Jive.  The “Design with Liferay” program gives major discounts (first year free) to certain converts from other enterprise portal products.  Today's Liferay 6EE release is available in a free 30-day trial as well.”
  • FierceContent:
    • “Liferay, an open source portal framework, released Liferay Portal 6 Enterprise Edition. The new package is loaded and includes social collaboration functionality, along with built-in web content management and tools to help developers create customized applications."
  • CMSWire
    • “Recently Gartner placed Liferay in their 2010 leader/visionary portion of the Horizontal Portals Magic Quadrant, making the company the only focused, open source, independent portal vendor in that portion of the quadrant among larger players who sprawl across numerous technologies."
  • TheServerSide
    • “Liferay 6EE touts a number of new features, but it's the social interaction facilities that I think are the most promising.”
  • Michael Cote/RedMonk blog:
    • “As with much of the Java world now, the ideas of an application server, a portal, a container, and a general platform have run together nicely for Liferay.... Clearly, in the portal space, Liferay is looking to pick up migrate-to-cheap portal projects. At the same time, they’re hoping to offer a harbor for Java developers, most of which are casting about for the platform to standardize on."


The Symposium opened with the official Liferay 6EE launch announcement which focused on how the tools which developers have used to build web applications have progressed through several major transitions over the last 20 years - Liferay 6EE launch is significant and a culmimation of years of efforts and represents that next transition.  Brian Chan followed this opening with a team of our lead engineers detailing only a few of the many new features.  Here he is with Ray.

The symposiums are designed to allow individuals throughout the two days to listen and learn but also to collaborate with others.  Here Bryan shows his marketing prowess by engaging in deep discussions with community members,  with the Liferay First Year Free banner next to him.  Liferay's First Year Free offer allows customers to easily start learning how to Design With Liferay. 



Liferay Symposiums are also a way for Liferay's Certified Partners to engage with the community and customers.  These companies have tremendous skill and  have designed an amazing breadth of Liferay solutions worldwide.   Spend 20 minutes with these guys and you'll benefit from years of tips and tricks and expertise.

 Our team even benefits with our discussions with partners like Rivet here who defined several key trends for Liferay.





 And Liferay's partners have specialization in many areas.  Triton here lead putting Liferay on the GSA schedule while also leading many government and non-government initiatives.


Many customers have questions about their projects and at the Symposium they are able to ask: how do I start, what can I build, what are others doing, how much will it cost, and more.   

Expect more and more emphasis on partner and community interaction and leadership in future Symposiums.











Proving socialization leads to enterprise productivity gains.....









Additionally - Web Applications can be a major representation of brand and LEVEL leverages Liferay as a tool for enabling the concepts they design for customers.


 Many community members were able to learn much more about what Liferay can do for them than just how you can build a portal, a website or a collaboration site.  They learned how to leverage all those aspects to build or enhance  a brand.



As intense as the meeting schedule was, there was always time to collaborate. 


What could Chris and Ray be discussing?  And why is Ray using that ancient technology - spreading colored liquid on compressed tree pulp?




Brian Kim also awarded CIGNEX with Partner of the Year while additionally recognizing all our partners. 



CIGNEX  continually drives success for customers while collaborating on ideas for Liferay to better service it's growing worldwide customer base and community.





But while we work hard at these symposiums we also have fun.  So, we decided to have a Saturday Night On the Town party. 


We had beers, hamburgers, pool, darts, donkey kong, skee ball, basketball and Avatar - plus a lot of awesome door prizes followed by some fun marketing puns.



Competitive Basketball as partners and customers interact.  Two new portals projects were actually designed during this session.....







Finally, with all the education, fun and collaboration, we also wanted to give a glimpse at the future.  

Here, if you were there, is where Ray showed Liferay, OSGi, and more!  


Join us for future events (our EU Symposium is already sold out!).  Also attend a roadshow, many of which are quickly filling to capacity!




The falcon is free!

Company Blogs September 10, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Liferay 6EE is complete and was launched at Liferay's West Coast Symposium.  It should be obvious now we were purposely quiet leading up to this launch but now with the hood off, there are several topics to discuss including the future of application development, social equity, web content management, social applications and more.  But before drilling into these topics and where Liferay is growing and going, I was asked to release once more those terrible marketing slogans and their associated marketing give aways which didn't quite make the grade for our launch - but which instead made for a great door-prize give away session. 

Slogan - (and the marketing giveaway)

1.    At Liferay, we love doing business with you. (Black Wii)

2.    Is your current portal going in-and-out of favor with your staff?  Then get Liferay. (Double Double meal coupon for In-N-Out)

3.    Let us shed light on the way you can save money with Liferay. (Tactical flashlights)

4.    Listen up! Liferay is free for the first year. (Headphones)

5.    Liferay has the keys to your success! (Multi-function tool keychain)

6.    Liferay's offices are world wide find one near you! (Beers of the world)

7.    Don't get stuck behind the eight ball with your current portal  - choose Liferay. (Pool cue)

8.    Liferay Alloy UI is chuck full of tools. (Tool box)

9.    Grab a cup of joe and read "Liferay Unleashed". (Single cup coffee maker)

10. Is your current web site running hot and cold? Get Lifery now. (Refillable hot and cold water bottle)

11. Liferay developer Studio - a multi function wrench in a box (Multi function wrench)

12. Is your current portal not measuring up?  Build with Liferay.  (Tape measure.)

13. Haul away your old portal piece of crap and get Liferay! (Hand truck / dolly)

14. Those with a discerning palate choose Liferay Social Office (Electric Wine opener)

15. Liferay is sweet!  Find out more at Liferay LIVE! (Ferrero Rocher Candy)

16. Brew up something good with Liferay Alloy UI! (Beer making kit)

17. Get your teams organized with Liferay Social Office (Suit case / golf bag)

18. Be cool like the guys at Monster Energy build with Liferay! (Hot/cold bag)


Countdown to Liferay 6 EE

Company Blogs August 31, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Liferay 6 Launch Event

Company Blogs August 13, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Liferay 6 EE is almost done -  it's great - and we're having a party.  Over the last year and a half, most of Liferay spent heads down digging through reports, reviews, strategies, ideas, code, bugs, and processes.  All with one aim, to build the culmination of Portal, Web Content Management and Social Collaboration into one innovative, robust, scalable and easy to use application with a powerful eco-system behind it for mission critical enterprise support.  You are going to love it.

The launch will take place at Liferay's West Coast Symposium.  A short list of  activities:

  • Countdown to Liferay 6 EE starts Aug 31 (watch
  • Liferay 6 EE Launch Event is Sept 8 at our West Coast Symposium
  • Special Launch Announcement at 9am PDT  
  • Liferay Launch Party at 6:15 pm PDT - Should be great fun.


WCS will additionally have several technical and business session designed to increase your knowledge of Liferay 6 EE and it's use in enterprise deployments  (click graphic above for agenda).  If you are looking to build any new web properties, are building a social collaboration site, or are faced with End of Feature Life for your existing portal, you should attend this Symposium.  There will also be a special announcment on day 2 of the Symposium.


Open Source Software Tech Event: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Apr 24-26

Company Blogs April 13, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Liferay Platinum Partner CIGNEX ( will be sharing their experiences on Open Source Content Management solution adoption at the First International Workshop on Free / Open Source Software Technologies to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between April 24th and 26th (register for this event at

Mr. Munwar Shariff, CTO & EVP EMEA for CIGNEX (author of 3 books on the subject) will be speaking at this event and sharing CIGNEX's experience in over 150 customers across the US, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia-Pacific achieve leveraging Liferay Portal & other commercial Open Source solutions.

Mr. Shariff will be available in Riyadh for all the 3 days of the event, plan to  interact with him and gain from his experiences on how to decrease the True Cost of Ownership (TCO) in deploying and managing Open Source Content Management and Portal solutions.

Anyone wishing to setup a meeting with him at the event, pleasending him an email on or look out for him at the Softway booth at the event.


Open Source: The Future or a Trend?

Company Blogs March 23, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Is Open Source a Growing Market or a Temporary Trend?  Are successful open source vendors simply becoming proprietary software vendors with open source community products?  No.  Open source means more than open source code base and the business models for the companies and communities surrounding various projects have become very sophisticated and responsive to customer needs.  The future is open source development for all software vendors.  One way to understand this future is to review open source as a marketplace:

A market can be defined at a minimum by a definable Need, Customer's with money, Vendors with products,  and an acceptable Business Model.   Let's review each of these for open source:

1.) Open Source Code Base
    - Allowing customers access to the source allows them to more easily maintain and customize their software.  Any major enterprise that is buying a software product - will want access to the full open source, so they can understand the inner workings when customizing or developing extensions, so they can support themselves long term or in emergencies, etc.  In the past companies (especially governments) would require that the source of the product they purchased would be put into escrow to ensure they would have access to the source if the source company ever went out of business.  However, that only let you have the source if you needed it - not to allow introspection earlier.
    - BIG ONE: Most of the major (very expensive) vendors all have the same features, thus they are spending hundreds of millions of development dollars on rebuilding the same commodity aspects.  Given there is only a set number of dollars for development in the industry, commodity/core features, once complete, should be made open source, and shared by all, which forces software vendors to innovate on top of those core features.  Instead major vendors have looked to add features that either lock cusotmers into their platforms or push product-chaining strategies.  In 2010, why are we paying $300 for a desktop operating system, $500 for office software,  $Millions for an App Server?  It may be that we are 20 years behind where we would have been in software technology had it not been for the majority of investment dollars and strategy being pent up by major proprietary vendors.

2.) Lower True Cost of Ownership
 - Open source is lower cost.  I have spoken to CIO's who have read the IBM article proposing that open source while having lower licensing costs is more expensive for long term cost of support.  However, the opposite is true.  Open source vendors have a business model which allows software developed in the open, to be supported the same as proprietary software, i.e., there is no need to have on staff, open source developers who know how to find patches, compile them, etc., instead customers with support from open source vendors get product bulletins/alerts, phone/email/web support, customer portals, hot patches, service packs, etc.  Lower cost to start - lower cost to support.  Add this to the fact that customers can often evaluate the community versions of the product before the project is funded or even during the initial development phase even lowers the need for long term procurement steps.  Why work 6 months on an RFP - when you could download the software and try it out?

3.) Lighter Weight Solutions
- "Lighter Weight" means many things.  One of the big demand enterprises want for software is to simplify it's installation, configuration, scaling, management, developer experience, etc.  Open source software often leads in each of these areas simply because, if they did not,  they would not have been successful in open source against competing open solutions.  Open source development forces products to be developed in a way that they can spread virally - meeting multiple the demands of the enterprise.  In open source - it's not the "strong" who survive (those with vendor lock in, massive sales power, or monopolisitc position), it's the innovative, the adaptive ones who become successful.  Open source is forced to be responsive to the consumer  and one of the main directions for open source is lighter weight.

4.) Full Industry and Defacto Standards Support

 - Open source must also support industry, defacto standards and simplify integration/interoperability or again they will not grow in popularity. This allows customers a broader capability to fight vendor lock in.  Open source often must fit within a heterogenous environment - to work with many other products already leveraged within the enteprise.  Major vendors instead work to drive an exclusive platform stack.  While the sales pitch is that a homogeneous stack from one vendor simplifies learning cycles, manageability, interoperability and lowers cost - they instead are comprised of usually multiple different assets acquired by the single vendor, may have a single management stack but require integration for each, and are exponentially expensive as the customers have less ability to negotiate lower prices for the additional components.  That is, software suites are often more expensive than the individual products becuase the customer loses the ability to negotiate on each component. Vendors also design aggressively to lock customers onto their platform to ensure long term support revenue and to ensure a foothold for other product sales.  I still remember a major vendor who purposely slowed down the JSR 168 spec so that once the other industry partners couldn't wait any longer for the spec and decided to release this first iteration, this vendor immediately released their support for the spec but added extensions allowing them to claim they had better support for demand than others who only supported the spec.  They purposely manipulated the spec to ensure their market position.  While standards are a valuable aspect, they are often slowed due to major vendors desire to leverage their platforms. 

- Defacto standards, those that form in open source and become standards by wide adoption allow better development for innovations.    Many vendors can build standards and those that suite customer needs the best will result as leaders - and then may additionally become industry standards.   Thus successful open source vendors, who are driven to support industry standards and defacto standards, protect customers as well as provide them access to the leading innovations..

5.) Stop Product Chaining

- As described above, open source must follow market demand and is less able to focus on vendor lock in for product chaining.  Product chaining is a common product development tactic where a vendor builds a new product which requires use of one of their other products, or which supports industry open standards but allows more features when using their closed standard.  One easy example is a popular Email program that supports IMAP but provides many more capabilities if used with their proprietary email server.  Open source by its nature, cannot force product chaining - or it would never have grown to success.  Whatever excuse you use to justify the use of the products in the chain ("oh but their backend email system is really good") it still leaves a bad taste in the buyers mouth and ultimately lowers desire for future products from the same vendor.

Vendors and Customers with Money
There are thousands of open source applications and they are developed against many different models.  Some source is for very basic components like a javascript menu bar which can be embedded in other software programs - other software is an entire developer platform, operating system, or virtualization platform which may have add on products, support and service teams, marketing and sales teams. 

For more than 5 years, companies have been leveraging open source as an alternative to or to augment proprietary options ( is Liferay), governments are mandating the use of open source (US, EU, Brazil, etc.), startups are exclusively choosing open source (Facebook runs MySQL, iTunes uses OpenMQ), new developers are learning or preferring open source over other alternatives (Ruby, Groovy, JavaScript).  The demand in the market is broad. 

Multiple open source projects are seeing double digit growth and expanded market penetration.  I do not believe this trend is simply because companies are looking to reduce costs due to the troubled economies worldwide.  Enterprises have continued to need to "do more with less".  As systems are implemented, they must be maintained and often grown, while at the same time there is continual new demand for new services.  While the major software vendors have worked at customer lock-in their product functionality has been fully replicated in open source stacks or 100% of the base functionality needed are available and customers are opting for just the basics.  Enterprises will increasingly look to move commodity functions to open source platforms to reduce long term costs which allows incremental funding to be leveraged for new projects. 

Business Model
There are many business models being leveraged in the monetization of open source and facilitating their growth in popularity.  These include viral growth through community editions, multiple revenue streams (EE versions, Add on Products, Services, Solution Sets, OEM, etc.), product support models (forums / email / phone support, customer portals, product bulletins, hot patches, service packs, etc.), services departments (installation/confiuration, custom development, product enhancement requests, etc.), and marketing/sales departments (community advocacy, inbound marketing, paid search, etc.).  The models are very sophisticated in 2010 and are simply an adaptation of standard (tried and proven) business practices.

While the statements above detail how proprietary vendor solutions have been replicated by lower cost open source, that enterprises are moving these commodity functions over to open source vendors, the interesting twist that has occurred in open source is the development of innovations within open source.  Even though open source is often focused on commodity features - the leading open source vendors are additionally outpacing proprietary vendors with new innovations (SpringFramework, Liferay AlloyUI, MySQL Query Analyzer, Firefox Add ons, etc.).  The reasons are many but notably due to the nature of open source, that instead of 400 engineers from a major vendor, these successful open source projects are collaboratively built (or defined) by tens of thousands of free-for-now users, enterprise cusomers, partners who all have full access to the soure code.  The innovations of thousands will always outpace the [often self concerned] development of hundreds.

Given that demand is growing exponentially, that the business models are very sophisticated, it is natural for a broad marketplace to be developed.  Some quick examples of open source marketplaces are: sourceforge,,  These are each marketplaces for the collaboration, development,  download, etc.  for a broad range of technologies.  Additionally, however, major vendors are developing their own marketplaces, like  Individuals can find technical resources, download code, collaborate with others, while partners can advertise themselves, and community members can contribute.  Many open source vendors will develop and expand fully encompassing eco-systems.   Open source, is  a broad eco-system of marketplaces - not one - and definitely not none.

Liferay Portal 6 Version Announcement

Company Blogs February 12, 2010 By Paul Hinz

Liferay Portal 6 (code name: Bunyan)

The next version of Liferay Portal internally code named Bunyan, will be released as Liferay Portal 6.  Previously the team had considered naming the version 5.3 as a follow on to Liferay Portal 5.2  However, after review of the set of features and the future development strategy for our customers and community, it was decided to release with a major version number change.  

Some major features to consider within Liferay Portal 6 are:

Content and Knowledge Mgmt Platform Mgmt
  Sharing content   Portlet perf monitoring
  Tags and categories   Auditing
  Custom attributes   Analytics and Tracking
  Abuse reporting   ClusterLink
  Difference view   Scripting base mgmt
  Asset publisher and filters   Sharding
  Knowledge base plugin  
  Integrated workflow  
Extensions and Integrations UI and Usability
  Generic asset framework   Simplified navigation
  Alloy UI framework   Improved UI for doc lib
  Personalization rules engine   1 Click page creation
  Scripting framework   1 Click new community
  Liferay services in portlets   Simple content authoring
  Integration with external systems  




Liferay and the Future of Portal Development

Company Blogs February 3, 2010 By Paul Hinz

This week's webinar was a kickoff of the Liferay Webinar Series and a demand for changes in our industry to solve issues impacting our user community. 

  In that webinar, we pointed out several issues surrounding web/gadget/java/portlet development, tooling and the new demand for end user capabilities.  In the past, the original goals for portal technologies mushroomed to solve every enterprise development issue becoming overly complex, while at the same time, new demands for collaborative development became increasingly important.  Enterprise architects were focusing on Service Oriented Architectures while end users were demanding greater capabilities at the presentation layer similar to what was available from internet applications.  Java, a superior platform for enterprise integration, security, standards, etc. - became more complex for developing new applications than lighter weight frameworks and tools.   Portals too were replaced in favor of "stove piped" development.  However, as the use of lighter weight tools became more prominent in the development of new services, new problems arose.

  The use of lighter weight frameworks resulted in issues with scalability reliability (the reliability/manageability experienced as we scale out an implementation), feature scaling (the ability to grow additional features within an application over time) and a host of other architectural issues originally used when defining Service Oriented Architectures. Therefore the original goals for the portal layer have returned but now in need of the benefits of lighter weight development as well as the need for new capabilities which empower the end user.

  Liferay's tremendous growth these recent years is very much because of the quality of the work from the Liferay community and employees - as well as Liferay's focus on combining the best of both enterprise and web/html development.  The right platform, at the right quality, at the right time if you will.  Additionally, Liferay's focus on enabling the end user to define content, applications and communities with the addition of social interactions between users, greatly expands the possibilities for future applications.   Where other portals and platforms have focused on a few developers building content and services for everyone - Liferay has added the capability for end users to build content, applications, policy and communities - plus allowing users to leverage them within a social network.  These features have allowed a new capability for web and application development, but there are still demands from our community. 

   Systems of the future will require us to enable developer/creator capabilities across a range of actors - such as - standard users, power users, administrators and core developers.  Each user's role needs to be well defined with capabilities available to each, allowing the entire user base to become developers within the system.   Additionally, we need to solidify how this layer fits within the stack of applications within the enterprise, from data layer, to application layer, to this portal layer - and how other applications will interperate with them. 

  Liferay will need to focus on enabling our community  - our most valuable asset - in defining and delivering on these demands.  And we will do so in open source - where we believe technology progresses the quickest, for the benefit of everyone.  Welcome 2010 and beyond.


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