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Oracle Composer
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What Is Oracle Composer?

Oracle Composer is an innovative component that enables any application or portal to be customized or personalized after it has been deployed and is in use. Oracle Composer 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. Oracle 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.

Software developers will be interested to learn that Oracle Composer can be easily added to their applications and portals during development at any time to enable this Web 2.0 style of operation, without writing a single line of code. As many applications require "portal-like" features, such as customization and personalization, Oracle Composer can simply be dragged and dropped onto a JSF page to enable this powerful capability.

Customizations change everyone's view of an application or portal and are typically required to "brand" a delivered application or portal for a specific customer or purpose. Customizations include simple changes such as inserting a logo or altering the colors to match those of your company. They can also involve adding items to a page, changing the layout of a page, altering a supplied process, and specifically tailoring the delivered application or portal to meet any business need. Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Composer 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, Oracle 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.

Personalizations change your view—and only your view—of a portal or application 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. Oracle Composer 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.

Oracle Composer is integrated with Oracle WebCenter Framework and WebCenter Services. You can add Oracle Composer components to your JSF application pages to enable users to edit those pages at runtime. You can add Oracle Composer components at any time during the development lifecycle, when the requirements of the application demand it. Additionally, you can use the Page service to enable users to create pages at runtime.

Oracle Composer has been leveraged extensively inside Oracle WebCenter Spaces to allow users to customize and personalize personal and group spaces. The Oracle WebCenter 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.