Book review: Liferay Portal Enterprise Intranets

Aug 17, 2008 | Tags:
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Anu Sonia over at Packt publishing was kind enough to provide us with a review copy of Liferay Portal Enterprise Intranets

This book is a practical guide for a Liferay administrator providing step-by-step instructions on how to use the most important Liferay features such as user management, roles, blogs, wikis, communities, themes, and so on. It contains numerous examples and straightforward explanations which will be very helpful for beginners. The book follows a well defined structure that makes it easy to find the information that you are searching for.

Although the book explains how to deploy Liferay with Apache Tomcat server and HSQL in a quick start guide, we miss more details on how to configure Liferay to work with an existing alternate, preexisting server such as JBoss, Glassfish or Jetty and of course a reference to mod_jk and its replacements. There is a section covering how to connect with MySQL but more information on other commonly used alternatives such as such as PostgreSQL or Oracle would have been good. As part of our work in BitNami, we are aware of many common setup errors. As a suggestion for future editions of the book we recommend providing a section covering ways of addressing them.

Another common topic among BitNami users has been how to tune performance of Java applications in general and Liferay in particular, including JAVA_OPTS settings.

The “Configuring Portal Paths” section was pretty interesting. It details how to change the default directory paths to Lucene or Jackrabbit, but we miss detailed information on how to change the default URL for the context with “portal.ctx” or the repository path with “resource.repositories.root”.

We particularly enjoyed the LDAP, Single sign-on and Alfresco sections. The book does an excellent job of explaining how to configure and integrate these technologies. It also covers upgrading Liferay through the Update Manager but is missing information on how to perform and restore backups.

Although we understand this book is targetted for beginners, we would like to suggest a chapter that explains the basic steps needed to develop a plugin for Liferay, so users have a starting point when they need to do.

Overall, the “Liferay, Portal Enterprise Intranets” book is a great practical guide for Liferay administrators, specially those that are just getting started. You can find useful howtos to configure and customize the base portal and the well designed book structure makes it easy to locate specific sections and topics. As mentioned earlier, what we would like to see in a future edition is more information on troubleshooting and tuning, configure alternate web servers and databases and how to create and restore backups.

The BitNami Team