I am building an enterprise portal on Oracle WebCenter for a client. The client requires quite a few custom portlets that enable their business functions. The plan is to build these custom applications using Oracle ADF as individual task flows that may later be consumed either by WebCenter Spaces or by a custom WebCenter application.
Extending WebCenter Spaces is no fun at all. The only resource to help integrate customizations into spaces is the Oracle Whitepaper – Extending WebCenter Spaces. To be honest, integrating into Spaces could end up being the most frustrating part of the whole process.
I have spent a few days now trying the custom project that accompanies the WebCenter Spaces. The default settings for deployment work extremely well. My first point of trouble was when I tried to undeploy the customizations. Once I did that, the Spaces app began to throw exceptions all over the place. It was looking for metadata related to a template that existed in the sample war – the custom war that I “undeployed”. Figured out that WebLogic wasn’t cleaning up correctly after an “undeploy”. I had to manually delete the caches to get Spaces back to its default. Details here.
The second point of trouble was when I wanted to deploy only the custom resource catalog from the sample project. I didn’t have the need for any of the other customizations, so I followed the whitepaper instructions on removing whatever I did not need. The project builds fine and deploys fine. Unfortunately, Spaces began to throw up a different set of exceptions. The user error simply says “Error occurred in getting the complete list of pages you can access. Please contact the administrator.” without saying anything useful. The actual exceptions in the log are ClassCastExceptions and NPEs.
After a lot of unnecessary detours, I have now managed to integrate a custom ADF task flow into the Personal Catalog on Spaces. The taskflow is deployed on the server as a shared library.
I shouldn’t have to create a custom version of a WAR to simply consume an application in the portal. I’m told that the next release of WebCenter (PS3) will make customizations and skinning easier. Keeping fingers crossed!
Self Note: Useful Links