Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Managing BEA WebLogic Portal Content Management With Release 8.1

An import/export tool

One of the nice features of the WebLogic Portal 8.1 release is a fairly extensive content management system. It does not, nor was it ever intended to, compete with the large content management vendors on the market today, but for many applications it works quite well. There are some problems however with using the content management system. This article will address several of them and provide details of a dev2dev tool that will help get around them.

Problem #1: Migration
When content is created outside of a production system, there is no easy way of moving this content into production. In many cases production systems have very strict rules on changing content and ad hoc changes are not allowed, therefore migration is needed.

Problem #2: Backup/Restore
If the default repository is used, all data in the content management system is stored in a database. There are many ways to backup and restore this data using standard database tools, but a good knowledge of the database schema is needed to allow for a proper restore. Often the entire database is backed up, which only allows for a restore to a particular point in time.

Problem #3: Data Type Changes
Data types defined in the content management system cannot be changed if there is any content associated with that type. Therefore, all data must be deleted before a change can be made. This can be frustrating when a lot of data has been created and a simple property change is needed.

Problem #4: Bulk Changes
Sometimes bulk changes are needed in a content management system. The WebLogic Portal Admin User Interface is nice for maintenance of the content and for small changes, but for large ones it can be difficult to use.

Most of these issues are addressed today by fancy SQL scripts written by very advanced database gurus, or that require a large amount of manual work that leads to high maintenance costs.

After facing this issue while building a complex content management-based portal, I decided to build something to help. I developed a Content Management Import/Export tool. I shared this with several of my colleagues and soon discovered this was something that was needed in the public domain. You can find the tool, including source, on dev2dev: http://cmimportexport.projects.dev2dev.bea.com.

I will cover the operation of this tool and how it can be used to address the aforementioned issues.

You can find an installation guide to help with this process here: https://cmimportexport.projects.dev2dev.bea.com/ files/documents/261/192/InstallationGuide.doc. For the purposes of this article, it is assumed that the CM Import/Export portal was installed; however, the most common installation will be the portlet within an existing administration portal.

To install the CM Import/Export portal, simply deploy the appropriate EAR file from here: https://cmimportexport.projects.dev2dev.bea.com/ servlets/ProjectDocumentList?folderID=96&expandFolder=96&folderID=96 . Once this is done, the tool can be accessed by going to the following URL: http://host:port/cmPortal/cmImportExport.portal. Simply replace the host and port that is appropriate for your installation.

After logging into the portal, you are presented with four options (see Figure 1). Two options deal with content types and the other two deal with content data. The tool assumes you have some understanding of WLP content management and the fact that data types must be defined before content data can be added. However, the tool does not force you to do things in a particular order. Therefore, it is possible to try to import data with no type definitions. This, of course, would result in errors.

Content Types Export
Let's start with content types. If you have an existing repository with type definitions, you can export them to an XML file using the Content Types Export button. Once this is selected, you are able to select which repository to use for the export. When the View Export Tree button is pressed, you will be presented with a list of content types and checkboxes. All items that are selected will be exported to the XML file.

The XML file will be created in the server's temp directory. The final screen will show you the full path to the file.

Content Type Schema
There is no official schema definition for WLP content management types. So, I created one (cmTypes.xsd). The tool uses this schema to create XML beans for the import and export operations. The schema is a simple flat structure that supports all data types and properties except for the "explicit" flag (see Listing 1). The WLP content management APIs do not expose this property. Consequently, if you have types with the explicit flag set, this information will not be exported and the corresponding content data will not be exported. Since this is a user-defined database table, typically a separate process is used to maintain this information anyway.

Note: A future release of WLP may adopt portions of the JSR-170 standard for content management import/export. If this is the case, I will adopt this standard to make it easier to move content data from one version of WLP to another.

Content Types Import
The import operations allow you to upload a local XML file into an existing content management system. The import will look for differences between the XML file and the existing content management types. If there are any conflicts, they will be displayed BEFORE the import (see Figure 2). This allows you to intelligently select which content types should be imported into the new system. Note that in some cases, changes to data types that have associated content data may cause a failure. The existing data may need to be exported, deleted, and then reimported. If the data type structure changes, then the exported XML file may need to be changed to reflect the new structure. There are many good XML manipulation tools available that can do this.

More Stories By John Graves

John Graves has been with BEA for more than seven years and is currently working as an internal trainer for Education Services specializing in WebLogic Portal. He spent the first five years of his time with BEA in the Advanced Service Group doing full life-cycle project work.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
WebLogic Developer's Journal 10/12/05 06:15:20 AM EDT

Managing BEA WebLogic Portal Content Management With Release 8.1. One of the nice features of the WebLogic Portal 8.1 release is a fairly extensive content management system. It does not, nor was it ever intended to, compete with the large content management vendors on the market today, but for many applications it works quite well. There are some problems however with using the content management system. This article will address several of them and provide details of a dev2dev tool that will help get around them.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?