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If Liferay Portal is anything, it’s configurable. As the core of Liferay is shrinking due to its increased modularity, it’s important that all the applications in Liferay are also configurable.

Breaking it down, three types of applications must be configurable:

  1. Liferay itself
  2. Liferay’s native applications
  3. Custom applications

To this end, Liferay’s engineers have made the platform and its own applications configurable, and created a mechanism for developers to make their own applications configurable.

In this article you’ll learn how to mix the usual (portal-ext.properties, anyone?) configuration options with some new ones (System Settings in the Control Panel, for example) to configure Liferay, Liferay’s applications, and any applications added by your enterprise’s developers.

Where Configuration Happens

Liferay’s configuration takes place in the following places:

Properties files: properties files that set default behavior may be included in the platform or the modules. Keep in mind that these settings can always be overwritten by a system administrator in the UI.

Database: configuration through Liferay’s UI is stored in a database. The values in the database always override the default configurations set through properties files.

So where in the UI do these configuration options appear? Well, that depends on the scope you want to affect with the settings you choose.

At what level do you want to configure Liferay and its apps? Find out about configuration scope next.

Configuration Scope

Scope is an important concept to understand when configuring Liferay. Take Language settings, for example. You can set the default language used by the portal instance. You can also set the default language of a site. Some applications even let you set the default language used by a specific piece of content.

Depending on the scope you choose, you’ll impact Liferay and its applications with more or less granularity. At one end of the spectrum, you can affect the scope of the whole System. Configurations made at the System scope affect all portal instances, sites, and portlet instances. At the opposite end of the spectrum, configurations made at the Portlet Instance level provide configuration settings only for that particular instance of the portlet. For details on configuring a scope for a particular application instance, visit the Application Scope article. Here’s an overview of the available configuration scopes:

System: configuring Liferay and its applications through System Settings provides default settings for all portal instances, sites, or portlet instances.

Portal Instance: Configuring Liferay in Instance Settings provides settings that act on the specific portal instance for which they are made, including sites and portlet instances in the portal instance.

Site: Configurations made at the site scope, where you select the site to configure in the site selector, provide settings that take place only in that site. Alternate configurations can be made in different sites.

Portlet Instance: configuring a specific portlet instance only provides a configuration for that particular instance.

Scopes in Liferay are hierarchical so that one scope can set the default values for the underlying subscopes. For example, it is possible to set the default values for all portal instances, sites or portlet instances at configuration at the system level. Think of the settings made at higher levels as being defaults. If a different configuration setting is made at a level with more granularity (for example, the portlet instance), it takes precedence over the settings made at less granular scopes (for example, the portal instance scope).

This section contains articles on configuring Liferay at the System and Instance scopes:

System wide configuration:

  • System Settings

  • Server Administration

  • Custom Fields

Setting up a portal instance:

  • Virtual Instances

  • Instance Settings

  • Integrating Existing Users

All of these are accomplished through the Control Panel. Start by learning to configure modules system-wide in the System Settings Control Panel app.

System Wide Settings

Liferay is so configurable it can be hard to keep track of where all the configuration interfaces reside. Fortunately, the Control Panel is most often the place to look, and there’s a tidy...


Setting Up a Liferay Portal Instance

Once you have a Liferay Portal installation, you’re going to want to configure it. Whether that means adding a virtual instance, setting up the initial instance to suit your needs, or integrating...


Using Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP)

The Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) specification defines a web service interface for accessing and interacting with presentation-oriented web services in the form of portlets. What are...


Using Liferay’s Script Engine

Liferay Portal provides a robust script engine that can be used to execute scripts in a variety of languages. Liferay Portal’s script engine was originally developed to allow developers to write...


Configuring Form Navigator Forms

Liferay Portal’s forms can be built to gather large amounts of data. These larger forms are organized into easily navigable sections and categories. This is possible thanks to the Form Navigator...


Custom Fields

Have you ever wondered why there’s no Head Circumference field in the form for adding users to Liferay Portal? Probably because most sites based on Liferay Portal don’t need it. However, as an...

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