Liferay DEVCON 2018

13.11.2018

We attended Liferay DEVCON conference in Amsterdam once again, this time being represented by our experts Jiri Kadlec, Jakub Kohout, Jan Murin and Petr Buchbauer.

The three-day conference was rich in presentations, workshops and subsequent networking. We've learned that Liferay is launching four new products and discussing other topics that we have summed up for you in these news.

Four New Products

Liferay announced at the conference big news, saying they will not provide just one portal product, but a total of four, while they will complement one another. Namely, Liferay DXP 7.1, Liferay Commerce (here we can expect a free product option called Emporio), Liferay Analytics Cloud and Liferay Cloud.

The Speed of the Platform and its Launch

Brian Chen (Liferay Founder & Chief Software Architect) in his presentation emphasized the need to accelerate development through a better launch of the portal within the 30sec (powerful laptop with I9 CPU). Our better stations enable us about 60sec, which we consider a truly great improvement compared to the original 250sec.

Liferay Commerce will have a Common Core for Enterprise and the Free Version

We see a lot of potential in this solution, for customers who are not interested in buying and paying for the license. There were also some interesting concepts introduced such as accelerators, as to allow a faster launch of a sales website based on Liferay portal, which is not an exactly a simple matter today.

Supporting Development in Modern JS

Liferay seeks to maximize support for development in modern JS, which is what also our React-union project supports, as Jakub Kohout had a talk about it at the conference. Liferay 7.1 wants to include the so-called headless portals with APIs that will be able to consume custom JavaScript applications.

Migration Solution

A lot of presentations were devoted to migration issues from older versions of Liferay and strategies, as to how it can be best done. In particular, the processes of automation and breaking changes including a new migration tool to IDE - Version 2.0.

Development in Java

Liferay is pushing for simplification of development for the portal in Java. This is evidenced by an enhanced watch mode for OSGi bundles and OSGi resolver already in the build – which can detect problems in time.

Modularity and its Use to Simplify the Platform

There were external companies at Devcon presenting attempts to simplify complexity. One supplier suggested a dependency visualization to make it easier to identify impacts if a module in Liferay is turned off. The result - we will have a list of modules that can be turned off, which will help us reduce the complexity and time to launch the portal.

Liferay admitted at the conference that removing the cluster from 7.0 CE was not a good move and apologized for it. Overall, version 7.0 is considered to be terrible. Because of this, they place greater emphasis on simplifying the development, releasing their own docker image with Liferay or possibly with pre-installed Liferay ecommerce.

Jirka Kadlec (Team Leader / Senior Java Developer) with Jan Murin (Digital Product Designer) presented at the conference case studies where they talked about changes in the development process and tools that can significantly reduce development costs. The first step is to create a Design System that defines a common language among UX, analysis and development. The next step is to engage the customer's WCM (Web Content Management) team into the development process. It is also important to automate the set up of the entire environment, including automatic backup and restoring the production environment to other environments. What is also important is Masterpage with all the components in Liferay directly mapped to the Design System itself (ID module for each element that is used from the Design system). These steps will greatly reduce the development costs, while developers don’t need some of the supply at all, as they use the existing Design system design created by an internal team.

Jirka_Kadlec, Honza_Murin

Jakub Kohout (Java Liferay Specialist/Full- Stack developer) attended the conference with his talk on React-Union that we create at Lundegaard. It is an open source solution for simple development of React applications on Liferay and other CMS systems. The project allows standard development of React applications without the need to have knowledge or even a running Liferay, which is one of its greatest benefits. The project got quite a bit of interest even from the rows off Liferay front-end developers, who also mentioned a possible future cooperation. This is how we followed up on the last year when the community requested React-Union, and therefore Lundegaard has opensourced it. So now it’s freely available on GitHub - https://github.com/lundegaard/react-union

Kuba_Kohout

Petr Buchbauer (Head of DevOps Solutions) concludes: "What delighted me most was the possibility of confronting our Lundegaard approach to developing the Liferay Portal with a wider team - and we actually confirmed that what we do we do right; and what is more, colleagues from other countries came to us for advice. This is what I really enjoy the most, as well as the fact that Lundegaard as the only partner represented three speakers at two different lectures! Two other speakers combined a lecture and a follow-up workshop, but we had the honour to talk about totally different topics ... So maybe we will do that well next year too!"