Thursday, May 27, 2010

Liferay Admin tasks

Pakt Publishing has published a sample chapter from the book "Liferay Portal 6 Enterprise Intranets" by Jonas X. Yuan.

The book claims to be a guide to configure Liferay 6 (still a release candidate) without writing Java code. That has been certainly possible so far in previous versions as well but definitely version 6 might come with easier ways.

The sample chapter guides us through the Liferay Control Panel to explain how to set up multiple websites within the same Liferay installation. It is explained how to restart, monitor Liferay among other common admin common procedures. Liferay configuration like password policies, home URL, default landing and logout page between much more are covered. It also covers important aspects to take into account in real production systems like dynamic data source and database sharding, thing that you will need for really high volume web sites.

A section about Database replication and clustering really caught my attention. This is not only a complex subject but the one your IT manager will always push to accomplish, yet the one that comes with more frustration for small budgets. It is mentioned how to configure a master / slave topology but that would not lead to a true load balancing approach. It is then mentioned about Sequoia DB but Continuent, the creators of the tool, are now offering Tungsten and not supporting Sequoia any longer.

The author digs into server configuration showing both tomcat and jboss load balancing thanks to Apache + modjk. I would love to test Liferay with session replication. It would be interesting reading some real life examples or performance tests done in this area. The use of has a very important implication in the way the whole application is designed and coded.

It is explained how to host Liferay in Amazon Cloud (EC2 / S3), what pieces to backup regularly (source code, WEB-INF/classes property files, data folder, database, and Jackrabbit database). Some important integrations with other tools like Alfresco CMS are also discussed in this chapter.

How many users you are expecting to handle? For this important question the author provides not only some benchmark but also he advises to follow "ten golden rules"

Even if things are not discussed in deep which I agree would make the chapter prohibited big I think the goal is met. It is a good presentation of Liferay capabilities for those in charge of configuring the portal to meet specific needs. It is then in my opinion a good entry point for those looking to get a fast introduction into Liferay admin tasks.

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