WebCenter Spaces: The people connections tab

SOLVED – here.
You may have seen the default tab that Webcenter Spaces displays – the one titled with the logged in username. This tab originates from the People Connections service and contains sub-tabs like “Gallery”, “Activity Stream”, “Message Board”, etc.

People Connections Tab
People Connections Tab

In my current project, there is a requirement to not display this tab. There does not seem to be any admin option to turn off this tab. Nor does the people connections tab (and also the Personal Space tab) allow the “Close this tab” option. If you use the “Maximised” site template, of course, the primary tab is displayed at one level below and so the PC tab does not show but neither do other group space tabs. That isn’t a workable solution either.

As a last option, I decided to dig into the webcenter application to see what was going on under the wraps. Turns out the tab is hard-wired into the menu model used by WC Spaces. What’s more, the application explicitly leaves out the “Close this tab” option. The only way I see to disable this tab (unless Oracle decides it’s useful and release a patch to enable this feature) is to create a custom site template, create a dummy menu model accessor in a custom bean and use this as the model for the tabs. In the menu model accessor, retrieve the built-in menu model “#{o_w_w_i_v_s_tabManager.menuModel}” and manipulate it at run-time. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. The roadblocks –

  1. Getting all the required class libraries containing the webcenter spaces classes. The key classes needed are WebCenterShellMenuModel, WebCenterShellTabModel
  2. Finding a way to actually manipulate the menu model
  3. Making the whole thing upgrade/patch proof.
  4. Most importantly, figuring out the copyright/legal implications of using the Webcenter application classes and manipulating an internal object.

I seem to have sorted 1 out. I am working on 2 during my off hours. First step of 2 is to actually identify the entry for this tab, retrieve it at run time and examine its properties.

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