Friday, December 7, 2012

Webcenter - Users from Multiple LDAP Providers


A Company has 3 different LDAP providers for their user repository , and they want to assign roles and give access to all users in WebCenter Portal / Webcenter Spaces.

Possibilities :  

Webcenter had a restriction previously, as that it can only fetch users from the first LDAP provider in the security realm.Though users from the second LDAP providers is made available to weblogic layer of security, webcenter cannot get them.  This was a huge limitation, but now its fixed.

Eg: As in below picture , though both ,OID and Default authenticator are configured in weblogic's security realm and their JAAS control flag is set to SUFFICIENT , Webcenter can only take up users from OID and not Default Authenticator.



 Solution :  

Now we do have a fix for this restriction

Step 1 - Configure all your LDAP Providers in Security realm , make their JAAS Flag as SUFFICIENT and re-order them to the top.

Step 2- Restart the weblogic server and check whether you have all the users in Weblogic's users and groups section.

Step 3- Browse to $DOMAIN_HOME/config/fmwconfig/jps-config.xml
 and find the following tag

 <serviceInstance name=idstore.ldap provider=idstore.ldap.provider>
 <property name="idstore.config.provider" 
  <property name=CONNECTION_POOL_CLASS> 

Step 4 - Add the following property tag , which enables multiple LDAP queries ,
<property name="virtualize" value="true"/>
Step 5- After changes the tag looks like this

 <serviceInstance name=idstore.ldap provider=idstore.ldap.provider>
 <property name="idstore.config.provider" 
<property name=CONNECTION_POOL_CLASS> 
<property name="virtualize" value="true"/> 
Step 6- Restart the Admin and managed servers.
Step 7- Users from all LDAP is available in Webcenter, to check ,log in to  
portal administration ,browse to security tab, enter * in search users and click go.
You would see users from all the LDAP Providers :-)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Webcenter Portal vs Webcenter Spaces


A portal/website is required with Social collaboration features + transaction to be integrated from the legacy portal/Application.

Possibilities :

Now there are two options here  to proceed upon , both with its own pros and cons, as to whether use Webcenter Spaces / Webcenter Portal . No doubt  either option would work , but its good to choose a better approach between them to  save cost ,effort ,without compromising on the effectiveness of the final solution.

How to Choose?

Does the Requirement involves creation of Personnel/Group Space(Which is similar to LinkedIn's Community) ?

Webcenter Spaces is a ready to use Collaboration portal , with all the built in Social collaboration Services from oracle such as

PeopleConnections (In LinkedIn terms it comprises of Friends list, Message board ,Profile Photo upload and download, Status update etc),Activity Stream,Document Management,Share , Notes,likes ,comment, Favorites etc
Group Spaces(LinkedIn terms : Community Creation, Discussion, Events,Lists, Share, Moderator approval/reject, membership list, Community Wikis , Blogs and Document Sharing etc)

Webcenter Spaces also has a concept of personnel Space , where each business user can create their own pages ,arrange them , add components they like etc

Most of the above said features are exposed as REST services using which, we can build the social collaboration component  how we visualize them to be, i.e. we can build them to achieve the same social collaboration features in WebCenter Portal, however its not that easy as it sounds when the requirement involves Personnel Space / Group Spaces 
Trying to Build these Personnel Space / Group Spaces features in Portal ,as i see it is a very cumbersome task and should not be attempted.

Does the project is of short span?

This parameter is another deciding factor to choose between the two, If the project has a very fast deadline
 like ,say, 10 -15 weeks, its a good idea to go for Webcenter Spaces, because it eases of your development effort as it has most common business needs prebuilt.

Does the project involves  Lot of Customizations and legacy integrations with minimal Social Collaboration features?

In this  case , the best choice  to go for is Webcenter Portal, because it is easy to extend portal and use it across multiple teams without too much of dependency / overlap if planned properly,
and it also gives you excellent code control in multi-developer environment. 
Minimal amount of social collaboration features can be built using Rest/API/Data Control to be integrated into portal, Lets  say, the requirement needs  to have just a message board + connections + activity stream+ profile snapshot only then its easy to build them/ use existing taskflows/Customize existing taskflows to our the needs. 

What are the features available in Webcenter Spaces PS5 Not available in Webcenter Portal PS5?

The following are not available in Portal -

a)Favorites - It may be available in portal from PS6  
b) Notes
c) Lists
d)Group Spaces Events- Events calendar for Microsoft exchange is available in portal but Group Space(Facebook : Community Events) feature is not available.

So Finally Webcenter Portal or Webcenter Spaces :-)?  

Its still a tricky question:-), As i know its a trade off among time , effort and effectiveness if you are little flexible with  your requirements to choose a better one for you.
However ,the above answers will help you reach a conclusion to some extent.
As i see it , if Personnel / Group Space is needed its best to go for Webcenter Spaces.

Oracle Social Network is all set to release, please see the demo , if social collaboration is a prime need .