Oracle WebCenter Portal's
Composer is an innovative component that enables any WebCenter Portal application
to be customized or personalized after it has been deployed and is in use.
Composer in WebCenter Portal is designed to be extremely easy to use so that business
users and end users can edit any page with a few clicks of the mouse.
Composer runs in all modern browsers and provides a rich, dynamic way to
edit JSF application and portal pages by selecting information and components
from the Business Dictionary or Resource Catalog.
Customizations can change everyone's view of a portal and are typically required to "brand" a delivered portal for a specific customer or purpose. Customizations include simple changes, such as inserting a logo or altering the colors to match your corporate branding, to more sophisticated tasks such as adding items to a page. They can also involve adding items to a page, changing the layout of a page, altering a supplied process, and specifically tailoring the delivered portal to meet a given business need. WebCenter Portal and Composer in WebCenter Portal provide an extremely flexible model for storing these customizations in the file system or directly into any database using Oracle Metadata Services (MDS). For example, to store customizations in a database, Composer creates a copy or "sandbox" for pages as they are being edited. This "sandbox" is a temporary storage area to save a group of runtime page customizations before they are either saved and pushed to other users, or discarded. In this way, customizations can be previewed by others and approved for use before they are visible to all users.
Customizations can also change your view—and only your view—of a portal page. Other users are not affected by the changes you make to a page. Many web sites and social services on the Internet today allow users to create their own "personal" page as a place where they decide what is important to them and organize information so that it is quick and easy to find. Composer in WebCenter Portal enables personalizations by displaying information from Oracle's Business Dictionary or Resource Catalog in a role-based view, so that users see only components relevant to them. For example, a sales representative might be able to select a list of current customers, a list of current leads or sales opportunities, and a list of past customers and products up for renewal to personalize a page. A customer support representative might see only a subset of these components available for adding to a personalized page. The important point is that the page can be tailored by individuals to add any combination of components to their page whenever they want, or need them, without affecting everyone else's view of the page.
Composer in WebCenter Portal is integrated with WebCenter Portal: Framework and WebCenter Portal: Services. You can add Composer components to your JSF application pages to enable users to edit those pages at runtime. You can add Composer components at any time during the development lifecycle, when the requirements of the application demand it.
Software developers can easily add Composer without writing a single
line of code. One can simply drag and drop Composer onto a JSF page to enable this powerful capability.
Composer in WebCenter Portal has been leveraged extensively inside Oracle WebCenter Portal: Spaces to allow users to customize and personalize spaces. The Oracle WebCenter Portal: Spaces application provides a working example of how end users can take an active role in managing and altering their work environment to match their specific needs and requirements.