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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developing Portals with Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle JDeveloper
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.8.3)

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37 Introducing the People Connections Service

This chapter describes the task flows associated with the People Connections service, which provides social networking tools for use in enhancing connection and communication within a project team and throughout an enterprise. It does this through a set of features that include Activity Stream, Connections, Feedback, Message Board, Profile, and Publisher.

This chapter includes the following topics:

37.1 Overview of the People Connections Service

The People Connections service provides social networking tools for creating, interacting with, and tracking the activities of one's connections. The following features enable users to manage their personal profiles, access the profiles of other users, provide ad hoc feedback, post messages, track activities, and connect with others:

In a production environment, an enterprise can leverage its back-end identity store as a means of providing People Connections with a population of potential connections. In a development environment, developers can add test-users to the jazn-data.xml file.

See Also:

For information about connecting to a back-end (LDAP) identity store for the production version of your application, see the "Configuring the Identity Store" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Administering Oracle WebCenter Portal. For information about creating test users in jazn-data.xml, see Section 22.2.2, "How to Define Roles and Grant Privileges in the jazn-data.xml File."

This section provides an overview of the People Connections service. It includes the following subsections:

37.1.1 People Connections Service Task Flows

The features of the People Connections service fall into five categories. Each category includes a set of task flows that expose People Connections features to your end users. The Publisher task flow does not belong to these categories, but rather, works in concert with the Activity Stream.

This section introduces these categories. It includes the following subsections:

See Also:

For information about the People Connections service at runtime, see the associated chapters in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

For information about People Connections task flows, see Section 37.1.1, "People Connections Service Task Flows."

37.1.1.1 Activity Stream

The Activity Stream feature tracks the application activities of a user's connections. Table 37-1 lists the types of activities that can be tracked by the Activity Stream.

Table 37-1 Activities Tracked by Activity Stream

Service Tracked Activities

Announcements

  • Create announcement

  • Edit announcement

Blogs

  • Create blog

  • Update blog

Connections

  • Invitations to connect

  • People are connected

Discussions

  • Create forum

  • Create topic

  • Reply to topic

Documents

  • Create document

  • Edit document

  • Add tag

  • Remove tag

Events

  • Create an event

  • Edit an event

Feedback

  • Feedback left

  • Feedback received

Lists

  • Create a list

  • Add a row to a list

  • Edit a list row

Message Board

  • Message left

  • Message received

Pages

The following activities are tracked when they are performed within the service framework scope (for example, if a user creates pages under /myapp/mypages/, the page operations are not tracked):

  • Create page

  • Edit page

  • Delete page

  • Add tag

Profiles

  • Photo updated

  • Profile updated

  • Personal status note updated

Tagging

  • Add tag

  • Remove tag


Activity Stream compares somewhat to the Recent Activities service, which also tracks and reports on application activities (for more information, see Chapter 51, "Integrating Recent Activities"). Both track the application activities of integrated services, though Activity Stream tracks a broader range of services. For example, Recent Activities tracks the Documents (including wikis and blogs), Announcements, Discussions, and Page services. Activity Stream tracks these services as well as People Connections. Recent Activities tracks activities no matter who performs the action. Activity Stream tracks activities performed by a user's connections and includes information about who performed the activity. Recent Activities does not include names.

The basic difference between these two services can be summarized as follows: Recent Activities provides an overview of what is happening in an application. Activity Stream provides an overview of what is happening with a user's connections.

The Publisher task flow works in concert with Activity Stream to provide content in the form of user messages. A message posted through the Publisher task flow is published to the Activity Streams of the user who entered it and that user's connections.

Activity Stream messages may include attachments, such as a file or a link. Depending on a file's mime type, Activity Stream allows for displaying a preview of such attachments. Activity Stream previews files through either a native web format or through UCM slide rendition. The previewer used depends on the mime type of the file to be previewed.

The mime types that use the native web format include:

  • image

  • htm

  • text

The mime types that use UCM slide rendition include:

  • pdf

  • powerpoint

  • powerpnt

  • pptx

Note:

PDF file previews are available in Activity Stream when the mime type is pdf, webContextRoot is specified in the UCM connection, and the WebCenter Portal application is accessed through an Oracle HTTP Server.

The mime types shown in these bullet lists are the only mime types that are previewed. Other mime types appear as links. The mime types docx and xlsx are not previewed in Activity Stream. You can set a parameter associated with an Activity Stream task flow instance to omit file previews (for more information, see Section 39.3, "Setting People Connections Task Flow Binding Parameters").

Two Activity Stream task flows are available through the Resource Palette:

See Also:

For information about Activity Stream task flows at runtime, see the "Tracking Portal Activities" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.1.2 Connections

Connections provides users with a means of managing their own connections and viewing the connections of others. Use Connections to collect business friends and contacts into one or more smaller social groups. Use connections lists to manage the display of your connections.

Three Connections task flows are available through the Resource Palette:

See Also:

For information about Connections task flows at runtime, see the "Managing Your Contacts" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.1.3 Feedback

Feedback provides users with a means of viewing, posting, and managing feedback. By default, users can view feedback in their own Feedback views. Users can view and post feedback in other users' Feedback views when given the proper permissions.

Two Feedback task flows are available through the Resource Palette:

  • Feedback—Provides users with the main view of the Feedback task flow. The main view contains controls for viewing, posting, sorting, and filtering Feedback—both given and received—and for hiding received Feedback (Figure 37-6).

    Figure 37-6 Feedback Task Flow

    Description of Figure 37-6 follows
    Description of "Figure 37-6 Feedback Task Flow"

  • Feedback - Quick View—Provides users with a truncated view of the Feedback task flow, where only the most recent posts are shown (Figure 37-7). When there are more posts than can be displayed in the initial view, users can click a More link to navigate to the main view of the Feedback task flow. When user A accesses user B's view of Feedback - Quick View, user A additionally sees an Add Feedback option.

    Figure 37-7 Feedback - Quick View Task Flow

    Description of Figure 37-7 follows
    Description of "Figure 37-7 Feedback - Quick View Task Flow"

See Also:

For information about Feedback task flows at runtime, see the "Working with Feedback and the Message Board" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.1.4 Message Board

Message Board provides a means of viewing and posting messages and attachments to Message Boards and Activity Streams.

Two Message Board task flows are available through the Resource Palette:

  • Message Board—Provides users with the main view of Message Board messages and a means of adding, viewing, updating, hiding, deleting, and managing your view of messages, and for marking messages as private and sharing private messages (Figure 37-8).

    Figure 37-8 Message Board Task Flow

    Description of Figure 37-8 follows
    Description of "Figure 37-8 Message Board Task Flow"

  • Message Board - Quick View—Provides users with a truncated view of Message Board messages and a means of adding, viewing, updating, hiding, and deleting messages, and for marking messages as private and sharing private messages (Figure 37-9). Users can click a More link to navigate to the Detailed View.

    Figure 37-9 Message Board - Quick View Task Flow

    Description of Figure 37-9 follows
    Description of "Figure 37-9 Message Board - Quick View Task Flow"

See Also:

For information about Message Board task flows at runtime, see the "Working with Feedback and the Message Board" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.1.5 Profile

Profile provides users with a variety of views into their own and other users' personal profile information. Such information can include a user's email address, phone number, office location, department, manager, direct reports, and so on. Profile takes the bulk of its information from the back-end identity store that provides your WebCenter Portal application with its users. Additionally, Profile may offer opportunities for altering some of this information and for providing additional data not included in the identity store.

Three Profile task flow are available through the Resource Palette:

See Also:

For information about Profile task flows at runtime, see the "Managing Your Profile" chapter in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.1.6 The Publisher Task Flow

The Publisher task flow works in concert with Activity Stream. Users enter content into Publisher, which is then published to the Activity Stream of the user who posted it as well as to the Activity Streams of that user's connections (Figure 37-13).

Figure 37-13 Publisher Task Flow

Description of Figure 37-13 follows
Description of "Figure 37-13 Publisher Task Flow"

See Also:

For information about the Publisher task flow at runtime, see the "Sharing Messages, Files, and URLs" section in Oracle Fusion Middleware Using Oracle WebCenter Portal.

37.1.2 People Connections Service Requirements

For a successful integration of People Connections with your WebCenter Portal Framework application, ensure that the following steps have been taken:

  1. Create a WebCenter Portal Framework application (for more information, see Section 6.1, "Creating a New WebCenter Portal Framework Application").

  2. Set up the WebCenter schema, and create a database connection to it (for more information, see Chapter 4, "Preparing Your Application for WebCenter Portal Tools and Services").

  3. Create a JSF (.jspx) page (for more information, see Section 15.2, "Creating Pages in a WebCenter Portal Framework Application").

  4. Secure your application and create some test users (for more information, see Chapter 74, "Securing Your WebCenter Portal Framework Application" and Section 22.2.2, "How to Define Roles and Grant Privileges in the jazn-data.xml File").

  5. Drag and drop a People Connections task flow onto your page (for more information, see Section 38.2, "Adding People Connections Task Flows to a Page").

  6. Provide required values for task flow bindings (for more information, see Chapter 39, "Working with People Connections Task Flow Binding Parameters").

  7. Run the page.

  8. When required, provide the user name and password of a test user you created at Step 4.

37.2 Troubleshooting the People Connections Service

This section provides information to assist you in troubleshooting problems you may encounter while using the People Connections service.

People Connections Task Flows Take Up the Full Browser, Even When Empty

This problem might arise if you are using Internet Explorer, version 8 (IE8). In IE8, go to Tools, Compatibility View Settings. In the Compatibility View Settings dialog, clear the following check boxes:

New Profile Image is Not Shown

Changes to a Profile image may not be rendered immediately due to a stale WebCenter Database cache. Clicking the Refresh icon under the stale image will cause the image to update.