6.1 Understanding Pages in Oracle Portal

In Oracle Portal, a page is an object that has a user-defined layout, contains portlets and items, and carries additional attributes that store information about the page (the page's metadata). Each time you display a page, it is dynamically assembled and formatted according to the content and layout associated with that page.

Much of this guide goes into detail about the underlying structure of pages and content. This section takes a high-level look at pages and provides information about putting them to best use. It includes the following subsections:


For information on how to publish a page as a portlet, see Chapter 8, "Performing Actions on Pages".

6.1.1 Pages and Page Types in Oracle Portal

In Oracle Portal, pages are created from base page types. Page types define the allowable content of a page and the information that is stored about a page. Depending on the page type, page content might be portlets, items, URLs, PL/SQL, or standard Web encoding languages, such as HTML and Java. Page information is gathered through attributes that accept values. When users create a page, they enter or select values for the page's associated attributes. Some attribute values are required, and some are optional.

The different page types have attributes in common as well as attributes unique to their types. Examples of attributes associated with base page types include the page's internal name, display name, description, and associated procedures.

Base page types include:

  • Standard—These contain and manage items, portlets, tabs, and sub-page links.

  • URL—These provide a route to another Web page, identified by its URL. When a user clicks the page link, the Web page referenced by the link is displayed.

  • PL/SQL—These consist of PL/SQL code that executes when the page URL is accessed.

  • JavaServer Pages (JSPs)—These are an extension to servlet functionality that provides a simple programmatic interface to Web pages. JSPs are HTML pages with special tags and embedded Java code that is executed on the Web or the application server. JSPs provide dynamic functionality to HTML pages. They are compiled into servlets when first requested, and they run in the servlet container.

Custom page types are extended base page types. That is, they are page types that carry attributes in addition to the ones provided with a base type. You can create custom page types from the base types standard, URL, and PL/SQL.

The standard attributes that come with these page types are fixed and unalterable. This means that you can build custom types with attributes additional to the standard attributes; but you cannot build custom types that omit any of the standard attributes.

Additionally, there are Mobile pages and Navigation pages:

  • Mobile pages enable page creators to produce pages specifically for mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones.

  • Navigation pages are special page types for providing standard navigational objects across multiple pages. For more information about navigation pages, see Chapter 13, "Designing Your Portal's Navigation".

6.1.2 When To Use Each Page Type

Oracle Portal provides different page types to accommodate different needs:

The Standard Page Type

The Standard page type is provided for building portal pages declaratively, using a page creation wizard. This is the most commonly used page type.

The URL Page Type

The URL page type is provided for cases where the portal page/sub-page hierarchy will include content (typically) outside the portal. Because pages that use the URL page type have properties, like standard pages, the page designer can set access controls, assign attributes, and set attribute values.

The PL/SQL Page Type

The use case for the PL/SQL page type is much like that for the URL page type. That is, its purpose is to support building a hierarchy of pages that are accessed in a uniform way. But instead of a page that accesses content through a URL, the page designer creates a page that accesses content through a PL/SQL procedure that executes when users click the link to the page.

The JSP Page Type

JSPs are provided for the inclusion of dynamically executed Java code within the framework of an HTML page.