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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Building Portals with Oracle WebCenter Portal
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.8.3)

Part Number E27603-05
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45 Adding Connections to a Portal

This chapter describes how to add Connections to a portal. Connections provide users a means of establishing a social network of work friends and associates, which can be used to collaborate with each other.

This chapter includes the following topics:

Permissions:

To perform the tasks in this chapter, you must be a portal moderator or a portal member with the portal-level permissions Basic Services: Edit Page Access and Structure (standard permissions) or Pages: Edit Pages (advanced permissions).

For more information about permissions, see Section 29.1, "About Roles and Permissions for a Portal."

45.1 About Connections

Connections provides a means of collecting your business friends and contacts into a social network. It furnishes tools for managing your own connections and viewing the connections of others. Using People Connections Preferences, you can grant differing levels of access to those who are and are not your connections. For example, you can limit view privileges on your Profile to just your connections or enable your connections to view certain sections of your Profile, while hiding those sections from users who are not your connections.

See Also:

For information about setting your Connections preferences, see the "Setting Connections Preferences" section in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

When you connect with other users, you give them access to your People Connections views, and gain access to theirs.

Note:

People Connections encompasses Connections, Activity Stream, Message Board, Feedback, and Profile. For more information, see:

Before you begin to build your social network, your application administrator can set global application defaults that affect what all users may see and do with their own and other users' connections. For more information, see the "Configuring Connections" section in Oracle Fusion Middleware Administering Oracle WebCenter Portal.

WebCenter Portal provides the following Connections task flows:

Connections task flows have associated properties that you can use to control the appearance and behavior of a task flow instance. For example, you can use Connections properties to specify the number of connections to show or the number of rows to show in Connections - Card and Connections - Quick View task flows.

See Also:

For more information about Connections properties, see Section 45.3, "Setting Connections Task Flow Properties."

For information about using Connections features, see the "Managing Your Contacts" section in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

45.2 Adding a Connections Task Flow to a Page

For the steps to add a People Connections task flow to a page, see Section 14.2, "Adding a Component to a Page."

Tip:

The presence or location of these components depends on how the resource catalog is configured. For example, in the default resource catalog, next to Social and Communication, click Open to expose a list that includes the People Connections task flows.

45.3 Setting Connections Task Flow Properties

Connections task flows have associated properties, which users with sufficient privileges can access through the Component Properties dialog in Composer (Figure 45-5).

Tip:

For information about accessing the Component Properties dialog, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

Figure 45-5 Connections Task Flow Component Properties

Description of Figure 45-5 follows
Description of "Figure 45-5 Connections Task Flow Component Properties"

The following sections provide information about properties associated with Connections task flows and describe the properties available on the Parameters tab:

45.3.1 About Connections Task Flow Properties

When you set property values on a Connections task flow, you are affecting only the task flow instance on which the value is set. Other instances of the same task flow are not affected by such changes.

The properties on the Parameters tab of the Component Properties dialog control the default task flow content. For descriptions of the parameters on this tab, see Section 45.3.2, "Connections Task Flow Parameters." For some task flows, parameters on this tab facilitate the wiring of the task flow to page parameters and page definition variables. For more information, see Chapter 19, "Wiring Pages, Task Flows, Portlets, and ADF Components."

Changes to the properties on the Display Options, Style, and Content Style tabs affect the appearance and behavior of the task flow. These properties are common to all task flows. For more information, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

The content of the Events tab depends on the events supported by the task flow. For more information, see Section 14.3.7, "Working with Component Contextual Events."

All properties on the Parameters and Display Options tabs provide access to an Expression Language (EL) editor, which you can use to select or specify a variable value instead of a constant value. Click the Edit icon next to a property field to open the editor. For more information about using the editor and for descriptions of common EL expressions, see the "Expression Language Expressions" appendix in Oracle Fusion Middleware Developing Portals with Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle JDeveloper.

Note:

Wherever you enter EL on the generic Display Options tab in the Component Properties dialog, the entry is automatically validated. If the EL syntax is invalid, an error appears and the value is neither applied nor saved. Generic Display Options are those cataloged in Table 14-1, "Display Options Properties".

EL validation is not performed on non-generic display options.

45.3.2 Connections Task Flow Parameters

Table 45-1 describes the parameters that are unique to Connections task flows.

Table 45-1 Connections Task Flow Parameters

Parameter Description

Allow Remove

A Boolean value representing whether a control is available on the task flow for removing a connection

Enter either true or false.

This value is honored only when the task flow instance is rendered in list format. For more information, see Profile Format.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Connection List Name

The name of a grouped list of connections

Use this parameter to limit the display of connections to those on the specified Connections list.

Enter the name of a Connections list.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Current View

The view to display by default

Valid values include:

  • connections—(the default value) a list of connections

  • receivedInvitations—a list of connections invitations you received

  • sentInvitations—a list of connections invitations you sent

  • people—a search field for finding people with whom to connect

When users access the task flow instance, the view specified here is the first one they see. All selections, except people, provide controls for navigating to the application default view (connections). Selecting people provides search and select controls for inviting other users to connect.

This parameter is associated with the Connections task flow.

Filter Pattern

A value to act as a filter against task flow content

For example, to show only those connections with a user name that includes the term pat (including patrick or sripathy), enter pat in the Filter Pattern field.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Hide Footer

A Boolean value representing whether to hide the task flow footer

Use this parameter to show or hide a link at the bottom of the task flow that enables users (when shown) to navigate to a detailed view of Connections when the number of available connections exceeds the number of connections that are shown.

  • Select the check box (#{true}) to hide the task flow footer.

  • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to show the task flow footer.

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections – Card

  • Connections – Quick View

Hide Header

A Boolean value representing whether to hide the task flow header

Use this parameter to show or hide a link at the bottom of the task flow that enables users (when shown) to navigate to a detailed view of Connections when the number of available connections exceeds the number of connections that are shown.

  • Select the check box (#{true}) to hide the task flow header.

  • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to show the task flow header. (default)

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Quick View task flow.

Hide Name

Determines whether the connection's name appears under the connection's picture when the Profile Format is set to iconic.

  • Select the check box (#{true}) to hide connections' names. The connection's photo is a link to his or her profile.

  • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to show the connection's name under the photo. The connection's name is a link to his or her profile. (default)

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Launch Style

Has 2 options for now snapshot and profile. By default the value will be snapshot. This task flow parameter will be honored only if the Profile Launched on Selection is checked.

Select one of the following formats:

  • Snapshot—Launches a profile popup when a user clicks a connection.

  • Profile—Launches the profile page when a user clicks a connection.

This parameter is considered only if Profile Launched on Selection is selected.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Number of Columns

The number of columns to show in the task flow

For example, with six connections to show, a value of 2 means those connections are shown in two columns with three rows.

When a user's number of connections exceeds the number of connections allowed after column and row restrictions are applied, Previous and Next links are shown, enabling the user to page through his connections. (See also Number of Rows.)

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Card

  • Connections - Quick View

Number of Connections per page

The number of connections to show in the given task flow instance

Enter a numeric value, such as 10, 2, 15, and so on.

The number you enter here limits the number of connections that are shown in the task flow instance. If a user's number of connections exceeds the specified value, a More link is shown, enabling the user to navigate to a full view of the Profile page's Connections subpage.

This parameter is ignored if both the number of rows and the number of columns have been specified together as parameters.

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Card

  • Connections - Detailed View

  • Connections - Quick View

Number of Rows

The number of rows to show in the task flow

For example, with six connections to show and a value of 2 for Number of Columns, a value of 2 for Number of Rows means connections are shown in two columns with two rows. That is, four connections are shown.

When a user's number of connections exceeds the number of connections allowed after column and row restrictions are applied, Previous and Next links are shown, enabling the user to page through his connections. (See also Number of Columns.)

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Card

  • Connections - Quick View

Number of Rows (list layout)

The number of rows to show in a list layout of the Connections task flow

This value is honored only when the view of the Connections task flow is set to connections. (For more information, see Current View.)

When a user's number of connections exceeds the number of connections allowed after row restrictions are applied, Previous and Next links are shown, enabling the user to page through his connections.

This parameter is associated with the Connections task flow.

Profile Format

The layout style for the task flow

Select one of the following formats:

  • vcard—Renders each connection in a virtual business card and includes the connection's user name and status message and quick-access buttons for interacting with your connections.

  • iconic—Renders the connection's personal profile photo and shows the user name below the photo.

  • list—Renders connections in a list, showing the personal profile photo, user name, information about recent profile updates, and quick-access buttons for interacting with your connections.

  • tiled—Renders the connection's personal Profile photo and shows the user name and job title beside the photo.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Profile Launched on Selection

A Boolean value representing whether a Profile popup should open when a user clicks a connection listed in the task flow

  • Select the check box (#{true}) to enable the user's profile to launch when a user clicks a connection. The profile view launched is determined by the Launch Style selection (Snapshot or Profile).

  • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to suppress this option.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Show "See all your connections" in footer always

Determines whether the footer with a See all your connections link should always be displayed.

  • Select the check box (#{true}) to show always show the footer with a See all your connections link. The footer appears even if there are fewer connections than the value set for the Number of Connections per page.

  • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to display the footer with a More link if there are more connections than the value set for the Number of Connections per page.

This parameter is associated with the Connections - Card task flow.

Sort Criteria

The connections sort order

Enter LAST_ACTIVITY_TIME to sort connections in descending date/time order. Leave blank to sort alphabetically by name.

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Card

  • Connections - Detailed View

User Id

The ID of the user to show in the task flow

This value is set automatically (#{securityContext.userName}). Do not edit this value.

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Quick View

  • Connections - Detailed View

User Name

The ID of the user to show in the task flow

This value is set automatically (#{securityContext.userName}). Do not edit this value.

This parameter is associated with the following task flows:

  • Connections - Card

  • Connections


45.3.3 Using Properties to Configure a Connections Task Flow Instance

This section provides examples of how you use property values to affect the behavior of a given task flow instance. Because you make these changes in the page editor (Composer), they affect all users' views of the affected task flow instance.

This section includes the following subsections:

45.3.3.1 Adding a Remove Button to Connections - Card

By default, the Connections - Card task flow does not provide a control for permanently removing a connection. You can use the Allow Remove property on a Connections - Card task flow instance to render a Remove button next to each listed connection. Allow Remove is honored when the task flow's Profile Format property is set to List or Virtual Business Card.

To enable the removal of a connection in a Connections - Card task flow:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Set Profile Format to list.

  4. Provide a value for Allow Remove:

  5. Click OK.

45.3.3.2 Restricting Connections Displayed to Those on a Named List

In an instance of the Connections - Card task flow, you can use the Connection List Name property to restrict the display of connections to only those users included on a named Connections list.

See Also:

For information about Connections lists, see the "Creating and Managing Groups of Contacts" section inOracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

To restrict a Connections - Card task flow to a particular Connections list:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. In the Connection List Name field, enter the name of the Connections list to use to limit the display of connections.

  4. Click OK.

45.3.3.3 Specifying an Initial View for a Connections Task Flow Instance

Use the Current View property to specify the initial view of a Connections task flow instance. For most views, users can change the default you specify here. The exception is the people view, in which there are no controls for switching to a different view.

To specify an initial view for a Connections task flow instance:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. For Current View, select one of the following:

    • connections—(the default value) a list of connections

    • receivedInvitations—a list of connections invitations you received

    • sentInvitations—a list of connections invitations you sent

    • people—a search field for finding people with whom to connect

  4. Click OK.

45.3.3.4 Limiting the Number of Displayed Connections

The Connections - Card, Connections - Detailed View, and Connections - Quick View task flows provide the property Number of Connections per page for limiting the number of connections to show at a time. If a user's number of connections exceeds the specified value, a link is shown at the bottom of the task flow to enable the user to navigate to a full view of the Profile page's Connections subpage.

To limit the number of displayed connections in a Connections - Card, Connections - Detailed View, or Connections - Quick View task flow instance:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card, Connections - Detailed View, or Connections - Quick View task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Provide a value for Number of Connections per page.

  4. Click OK.

45.3.3.5 Specifying Numbers of Rows and Columns

The Connections, Connections - Card, and Connections - Quick View task flows provide properties for controlling the number of columns and rows to show at a time. When column and row values are both specified, and a user's number of connections exceeds the specified values, Previous and Next links are shown, enabling the user to page through his connections.

To specify the number of rows and columns of connections to show:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections, Connections - Card, or Connections - Quick View task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Enter a numeric value to control the number of rows to show:

    • For Connections, enter a number for Number of Rows (list layout).

    • For Connections - Card and Connections - Quick View, enter a number for Number of Rows.

  4. For Connections - Card and Connections - Quick View, enter a numeric value in the Number of Columns field to control the number of columns to show.

  5. Click OK.

45.3.3.6 Applying a Filter to a Connections - Card Task Flow Instance

The Filter Pattern property enables you to apply a filtering term that limits the display of connections in a Connections - Card task flow instance to only those who meet the filtering criteria. For example, to show only those connections with a user name that includes the term pat (including patrick or sripathy), enter pat for the Filter Pattern property.

The filter is applied to all of the information in a given card, so you can filter against things like the user's job title or name. For example, entering the term manager, ensures that only those connections whose job title includes manager are displayed in the task flow instance.

To apply a filter to a Connections - Card task flow instance:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Enter a filtering term for Filter Pattern.

    Tip:

    For example, enter a job title, a user name, or partial values, such as man.

  4. Click OK.

45.3.3.7 Selecting a Display Format for a Connections - Card Task Flow Instance

The Profile Format property provides options for controlling the arrangement of connections within a Connections - Card task flow instance. Both the placement of information and the amount of information shown are affected by your selection.

To select a display format for a Connections - Card task flow instance:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Select a format from the Profile Format drop-down list:

  4. Click OK.

45.3.3.8 Invoking a Profile Popup from a Connections - Card Task Flow Instance

The Profile Launched on Selection property provides a means of launching a Profile popup when users click a connection name in a Connections - Card task flow instance (Figure 45-11).

Figure 45-11 Invoking a Profile Popup from the Connections - Card Task Flow

Description of Figure 45-11 follows
Description of "Figure 45-11 Invoking a Profile Popup from the Connections - Card Task Flow"

When this option is not selected, clicking a connection name in the task flow simply selects the connection.

To enable the launch of a Profile popup from a Connections - Card task flow instance:

  1. Edit the properties of a Connections - Card task flow instance.

    See Also:

    For information about editing task flow properties, see Section 14.3, "Modifying Components."

  2. In the Component Properties dialog, bring the Parameters tab forward.

  3. Select an option for Profile Launched on Selection:

    • Select the check box (#{true}) to enable a Profile popup to launch when a user clicks a connection.

    • Deselect the check box (#{false}) to suppress this option.

  4. Click OK.

45.4 Working with Connections Task Flows

For information about how users work with Connections task flows, see the "Managing Your Contacts" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.