This chapter provides a brief description of features introduced with the latest and previous releases of Oracle Portal and provides pointers to additional information, this chapter includes the following section:
The new features of Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) include:
Oracle Portal Runs on Oracle WebLogic Server
Oracle Portal, originally shipped as part of Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One in previous releases, now runs on Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3 (10.3.1).
Support for WS-Security
With this enhancement, an administrator can secure a WSRP producer with WS-Security (For example: SAML, UserTaken, and so on.), and select an appropriate token type to use for identity propagation.
Support for New HTML Document Type Declarations (Doctypes)
A new portal configuration setting allows you to specify the HTML output type generated by Oracle Portal. In addition to HTML 4.01 Transitional, three new doctypes are supported: HTML 4.01 Strict, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and XHTML 1.0 Strict.
Optimization of Oracle Internet Directory Integration
These security enhancements let you adjust for login performance, and specify how soon the effects of provisioning changes in groups affect user authorizations.
Identity Management Integration
This enhancement lets you define a dynamic group in Oracle Internet Directory (OID), add a user as a member, and secure a page by assigning appropriate access rights to the dynamic group. Whatever changes to the group's rights or the user's membership in the group are then reflected in the user's ability to access the page.
Integration with Oracle Secure Enterprise Search
Secure Enterprise Search (SES) provides the ability to search public and private portal content as well as external repositories (and replaces UltraSearch).
Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) includes integration with Oracle Enterprise Manger Fusion Middleware Control 11g, which introduces many important new features for monitoring and configuring Portal components, viewing performance metrics for portal pages, portlets, and providers in real time using the Oracle Enterprise Manager interface.
Improved Export/Import Utilities
The Export/Import utilities include several key improvements for Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), including:
Improved error logging
Enhanced user guidance
New cloning functionality
Integration with Oracle Fusion Middleware
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) has new portlets that integrate Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (search submission and search results), Oracle BPEL (notifications, task analysis, reporting), Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (Siebel BI Tools), and Hyperion System BPM (Business Performance Management), this provides improved, out-of-the-box integration with Oracle Portal.
Support for Content Approvals Using BPEL
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) enables you to use Oracle BPEL to define approval processes for page groups and pages in your Portal. Oracle BPEL brings added functionality beyond that provided by the Oracle Portal built-in workflow, and it is now a simple job to leverage that functionality in your Portal.
Improved Integration with Oracle Applications
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) provides improved integration with the following:
Oracle Applications based on Oracle Applications Framework, such as Oracle Self-Service Applications, can now expose application pages based on Oracle Applications Framework as portlets within Oracle Portal.
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) will also support incorporation of portlets from PeopleSoft applications, including PeopleSoft Version 9, which is based upon the PeopleTools release 8.48 technology layer. The following adapters are available:
Oracle Universal Content Management
Content DB* Third-party content management JCR adapters
Capability to integrate Oracle WebCenter Services into Oracle Portal
In this release, you can integrate Oracle WebCenter Services, which is a separate license, into Oracle Portal. For information about setting up the services producer application, see Chapter 27, Creating Portlets with the Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.
Use of Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge to portletize JSF applications and integrate them into Oracle Portal
You can portletize JSF applications by using Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge, which is packaged with Oracle WebCenter Services. You can integrate these portlets into Oracle Portal. For more information about Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge, see Chapter 27, Creating Portlets with the Oracle JSF Portlet Bridge in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.
The Oracle Portal portlets help to expose content from third-party document management systems. The portlets are built in Oracle JDeveloper, and JCR 1.0 adapters are used to connect to content management systems.
Improved Access to Oracle Portal Management Content
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) has a new JCR-based (JSR-170) adapter, that will allow you to integrate content stored and managed within the Portal Repository in a custom J2EE application.
This enhancement will provide an advanced parameter form that allows you to populate a list of values dynamically based on a data source, such as a SQL query or database column. In addition, the Web service data source of OmniPortlet has been improved greatly, allowing you to consume complex Web services, including BPEL and PL/SQL-based Web services.
Support for New Industry Standards
Oracle Portal 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) supports the following new standards:
WSRP 2.0: Oracle Portal supports WSRP 2.0, including rich Ajax-enabled portlets built with ADF rich client technology.
JSR301: The Portlet Bridge Specification for JavaServer Faces (JSR 301) outlines the standard for building new portlets with JSF, turning JSF pages and task flows into standards-based portlets, and bringing existing JSF applications into Oracle Portal.
JSR170: This allows you to integrate content stored and managed within the Portal Repository in a custom J2EE application.
The new features of OracleAS Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.4) include:
New Caching Architecture
In 10g Release 2 (10.1.4), OracleAS Portal introduces a major improvement in scaleability. In this release, OracleAS Web Cache which uses Edge Side Includes (ESI) processing, is the entry point for page request processing rather than the Parallel Page Engine (PPE). This simplifies the page metadata (PMD) and it allows different types of metadata to be cached in OracleAS Web Cache at a more granular level, increasing the cache hit ratio and enabling a more granular invalidation of portal content. This new approach also provides support for secure full page caching in OracleAS Web Cache.
Query Path URL Supports SSL
OracleAS Portal maintains the URL prefix of OracleAS Single Sign-On, which accesses certain information through calls from the database using the UTL_HTTP package. These calls can now also be made using HTTPS. In previous releases, these calls were made using HTTP. As a result, even if OracleAS Portal and OracleAS Single Sign-On were configured to use HTTPS, you had to still use an HTTP port on OracleAS Single Sign-On to support these interfaces. If you are using HTTPS, then after configuring OracleAS Single Sign-On to use SSL, you must update the OracleAS Single Sign-On query path URL.
New URL Format
The URL format in OracleAS Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.4) has changed from
http://<host>:<port>/portal/pls/<dad>. This change is to accommodate the availability of all necessary Portal Services running within WLS_PORTAL. If URLs of the older format are accessed, then OracleAS Portal either automatically rewrites the URL to use the new format, or alerts you to change the bookmarked URL to the new format.
Organizations engaged in enterprise portal projects have found application integration to be a major issue. Until now, users developed portlets using proprietary APIs for a single portal platform and often faced a shortage of available portlets from a particular portal vendor. All this changes with the introduction of Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP). WSRP is a Web services standard that allows the plug-and-play of visual, user-facing Web services with portals or other intermediary Web applications. Being a standard, WSRP enables interoperability between a standards-enabled container and any WSRP portal.
Search and Oracle Text Indexing Enhancements
Notable improvements to the search facilities in OracleAS Portal include:
Search Indexes Synchronize Automatically On Commit
If you are using Oracle Database 10g, you can now specify that Oracle Text indexes synchronize automatically whenever portal objects are added, modified, or deleted. This feature is useful for portal applications where newly added or altered content must be searchable immediately.
To find out more, Section 18.104.22.168, "Synchronizing Oracle Text Indexes". This feature is not available on databases earlier than Oracle Database 10g
Improvements to Document and URL Filtering
Oracle Text uses the AUTO_FILTER to convert documents and URL content into a plain text format that is suitable for indexing. Filtering content unnecessarily can impact the speed and efficiency of portal searches, so in this release OracleAS Portal introduces two special attributes for file- and URL- based item types: MIME Type and Character Set. These attributes enable portal users to classify portal content correctly when it is uploaded to the portal and this streamlines the filter process.
For more information, see Section 22.214.171.124, "Maximizing AUTO_FILTER Performance".
Support for Enhanced Provider Message Authentication
In 10g Release 2 (10.1.4), OracleAS Portal introduces the support for Enhanced Provider Message Authentication. Enhanced message authentication secures the integrity of the headers that are used to propagate the user's authenticated identity to the Web provider. This enables you to leverage J2EE security in your provider code.
The new features of OracleAS Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.2) include:
Introduction of the Portal Services
The OracleAS Portal WLS instance now provides all the Portal Services used to assemble portal pages, access portal and page metadata, and so on. The Parallel Page Engine (PPE) continues to be one of the Portal Services that assembles portal pages. Other services, like those previously provided by mod_plsql, are now incorporated in the Portal Services as well. Starting with this release, OracleAS Portal no longer depends on mod_plsql, but all previous functionality is still seamlessly provided by the Portal Services. Although OracleAS Portal no longer has a runtime dependency on mod_plsql, it still has a dependency on the mod_plsql configuration files. These files are used by Portal Services in order to process requests for portal the same way that mod_plsql does.
New ptllang Script to Install Languages
OracleAS Portal is configured with the languages that are selected in the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) during the Oracle Application Server middle-tier installation. To install languages, after you have installed OracleAS Portal, run ptllang. In OracleAS Portal 10.1.2, the ptllang script completely replaces the ptlasst.csh-mode LANGUAGE. You must run ptllang for each language that you want OracleAS Portal to support. Refer to Section 5.10, "Configuring Language Support" for details.
Support for Global Inactivity Timeout in OracleAS Portal
A Global Inactivity Timeout can be configured for the OracleAS Single Sign-On (SSO) Server. This feature is now supported in OracleAS Portal 10g Release 2 (10.1.2). Refer to Section 126.96.36.199.2, "Support for Global Inactivity Timeout in Oracle Portal" for details.
Support for User and Group LOVs in OracleAS Portal