Archive for January, 2010

The Four Tenets of Portal Integration

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Thinking about integrating applications into a portal (like, conveniently, WebCenter Interaction)?  I have, and am (Blogs and Wikis, anyone?). 

If so, whether you’re looking at a third-party application, open-source code base, or are planning to develop your own custom application, there are Four Tenets of Portal Integration you should consider.  Check them out!


Free Oracle WebCenter Interaction Code!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Sorry if the title of this post sounded sensational; this code has been around forever.  In fact, it’s kind of ancient, and as far as I can tell hasn’t had new submissions in years.  But for those of you looking for the old BEA “CodeShare” repository, this is the link you’re looking for.  All the classics are here: Lotus Notes / SAP / PeopleSoft / Exchange Portlet Suites, Java Portlet Tools, the Publisher Blog Templates, Sample Code (including some under-publicized Social Network portlets).

You won’t need any of this stuff today (or tomorrow), but someday when you’re pulling your hair out and thinking to yourself “if only BEA’s CodeShare was still around!”, this is the link you’re looking for: (free registration/login required).


Fix KD Handling of HTML Docs

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

In ALUI 6.5, and following through to 10gR3 and the latest patches, Oracle changed the way documents are opened in the Knowledge Directory.  This change was to get a little better browser compatibility so that when a user clicks on a document in the KD, the user is always presented with the usual Open/Save Dialog box.

Many WCI clients have HTML files in their Knowledge Directories, whether they’re crawled in from Publisher, Collaboration Server, or uploaded from some other source.  In version 6.1 and before, the behavior of the portal was simply to open these files directly in the browser, but that changed with 6.5.  Unfortunately, Oracle has asserted that this is “expected behavior” and while an enhancement request has been submitted, there are no promises about the behavior changing in 11g. The good news is that there’s a relatively simple fix for this behavior.  Unfortunately, the “relatively simple” fix assumes you’ve got BigIP load balancing requests to your portal, but if not, hopefully this post will give you some ideas on how to resolve the problem in your environment.

The problem is caused by the portal returning an HTTP header called “Content-Disposition”:

Content Disposition Header
Content Disposition Header

The trick is to remove this header for HTML documents.  I’ve tried writing ISAPI filters unsuccessfully, but for the clients that needed the fix, they had BigIP. 

Hit the link to see the BigIP iRule to resolve this issue.


WebCenter Analytics Status Check

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

We’ve all done countless restarts of the portal stack, and many of us have done countless WebCenter 10gR3 Analytics upgrades.  This one’s a quick and easy tip to ensure that Analytics is actually working after a restart or upgrade.

I used to check if ALUI Analytics was working by simply going to the Analytics Console in the portal and viewing traffic data.  But this is only half the picture: if you’ve just done an upgrade or reboot, getting valid traffic reports only shows you that the Analytics CONSOLE/UI is running.  It doesn’t tell you if the COLLECTOR is running and properly capturing metrics.

Instead, whenever I’m testing whether the full Analytics stack is working, I check the Collector and the UI by simply doing a quick search for a unique term.  For example, I can search for MATTTEST, which is a string I’m reasonably sure noone else has searched for today:

WebCenter Analytics Search

WebCenter Analytics Search

Next, go to the Analytics Console and check to make sure that that search term appears in the list of Phrases by going to the Analytics Console, then “Other Metrics”, then “Search”.  There you can view results for “Today” and make sure that a) your search query was accurately captured by the Analytics Collector, and b) the Analytics Console is properly reporting it:

Analytics Results

Analytics Results

Cool Tools 1: Snipping Tool

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Let’s start out this blog with a continuation of a series we started at Function1, Cool Tools.  For this feature, I’ll occasionally add tools I use on a regular basis that have some sort of relevance to WebCenter Interaction (aka Plumtree Portal, aka AquaLogic User Interaction, aka ALUI – yeah, we’re all in a perpetual state of adopting the new names since BEA aquired Plumtree and Oracle acquired BEA).

Today’s featured app is a simple one but I’m still always surprised at the number of screen shots I get where people hit “print screen”, then paste that screen capture into Word, then attach that Word document to an email.

There’s a better way!  In Vista and Windows 7, you can use Microsoft’s “Snipping Tool” to quickly capture selected areas of your screen to the clipboard.  Just run C:\windows\system32\SnippingTool.exe (I add a shortcut to the app in my Quick Launch bar for easy access), and you’ll never be far from a quick and easy way to take screen captures.

Once you launch the tool, you’ll get a simple interface:


… and the screen will “grey out”.  Then, you just highlight what part of the screen you want to copy and the Snipping Tool will automatically copy the image to your clipboard.  Go to an email in Outlook and click paste (or hit CTRL-V), and viola! – you’ve got a screen image of only the relevant part of the screen you’d like to share. 

The really cool thing is you can highlight text and draw arrows on the screen cap to point out areas of the snapshot you’re referring to, and Snipping Tool will automatically update the image on the clipboard.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Happy New Year all!  As most of you know, I’ve spent the past year establishing Integryst as another premier Web Center Interaction (or AquaLogic Interaction or Plumtree Foundation) consulting and software development organization.  I’d like to thank all my clients in 2009 for the great year, and look forward to 2010!  My New Year’s resolution is to get my blog back up and running; I’ve got a year’s worth of entries that I’ve been stockpiling, so expect some pretty regular updates this year!

As always, check out Function1’s Blog, which is always good for some incredibly educational and entertaining posts as well.  If you’re the RSS type, definitely subscribe to Kenan Shifflet’s RSS Feed Aggregator for All Things ALUI – he keeps track of all WCI/BEA/Plumtree feeds and aggregates them so you don’t have to!