Implementing Configurable Portlet Preferences

Portlet Preferences are properties for storing basic portlet configuration data. Preferences are often used by administrators to provide customized views of a portlet to subsets of users or even all of a portlet’s users. Portlet preferences are sometimes made accessible to users themselves for configuring a portlet just the way they like it. Liferay simplifies making portlet preferences configurable in your portlet’s JSPs. In this section, we’ll show you how to create a default configuration JSP page and add a portlet preferences control to it.

We’ll use the Location Listing Portlet we developed in the Generating Your Service Layer chapter. We’ll create a configuration page and add a custom option to it, allowing administrators to hide the address portion of the locations. Let’s dive into portlet preferences by running through an example of creating a configuration page for the Location Listing Portlet and setting up a new portlet preference for it.

First, if your Location Listing Portlet doesn’t already have a setup tab in its configuration page, you’ll need to follow the steps below to create one. To check to see whether your portlet has a setup tab, click the portlet’s options icon in the upper right corner and select Configuration. If you already have a Setup tab, you can skip the next section. Otherwise we’ll show you how to create the default setup tab for your portlet’s configuration page.

Creating a Default Setup Tab in the Portlet’s Configuration Page

Open the liferay-portlet.xml file and add the element <configuration-action-class>com.liferay.portal.kernel.portlet.DefaultConfigurationAction</configuration-action-class> below your Location Listing Portlet’s <icon>...</icon> tag. Here’s a snippet to show you where it goes in the context of your liferay-portlet.xml file:

....
<portlet>
    <portlet-name>locationlisting</portlet-name>
    <icon>/icon.png</icon>
    <configuration-action-class>com.liferay.portal.kernel.portlet.DefaultConfigurationAction</configuration-action-class>
    <header-portlet-css>/css/main.css</header-portlet-css>
    <footer-portlet-javascript>
       /js/main.js
    </footer-portlet-javascript>
    <css-class-wrapper>locationlisting-portlet</css-class-wrapper>
</portlet>
....

Notice that we’ve listed the default configuration action class. We’ll update this tag with a custom configuration class later in the exercise. If you redeploy your portlet and open your portlet’s Configuration page, you’ll find the new Setup tab. It’s empty for now. But we’ll add a portlet preference control to it shortly.

portlet-default-configuration-jsp.png

Figure 3.13: Simply by specifying Liferay’s default configuration action class in your portlet’s liferay-portlet.xml file, you provide your portlet with a Setup tab for adding your portlet’s configuration setup options.

In order to add a configurable portlet preference to the portlet, we must do the following things:

  1. Specify a Configuration JSP in the portlet.xml
  2. Create the Configuration JSP for Displaying the Portlet Preference Options
  3. Create a Configuration Action Implementation Class for Processing the Portlet Preference Value
  4. Modify the View JSP to Respond to the Current Portlet Preference Value

Let’s specify a configuration JSP file, first.

Step 1: Specify a Configuration JSP in the portlet.xml

Your portlet will need a way to display configuration options to the user. Liferay checks to see if your portlet specifies a configuration JSP via a config-template initialization parameter in your portlet.xml file. Let’s specify one for the Location Listing Portlet.

Open the portlet.xml file and insert the following lines after the Location Listing Portlet’s <portlet-class>...</portlet-class> tag:

 <init-param>
     <name>config-template</name>
     <value>/html/locationlisting/configuration.jsp</value>
 </init-param>

Step 2: Create the Configuration JSP for Displaying the Portlet Preference Options

We’ll create a configuration JSP file and add JavaScript to let the user select a portlet preference value. For our example, we’ll provide a custom option in the configuration page’s setup tab, allowing administrators to show or hide location address information.

In the docroot/html/locationlisting directory, create a file named configuration.jsp, if you don’t have one already.

Now let’s begin creating our portlet preference for the configuration page’s setup content. Assuming that you began with a blank configuration.jsp file, add the following code to it:

<%@include file="/html/init.jsp" %>

<liferay-portlet:actionURL portletConfiguration="true" var="configurationURL" />

<%  
boolean showLocationAddress_cfg = GetterUtil.getBoolean(portletPreferences.getValue("showLocationAddress", StringPool.TRUE));
%>

<aui:form action="<%= configurationURL %>" method="post" name="fm">
    <aui:input name="<%= Constants.CMD %>" type="hidden" value="<%= Constants.UPDATE %>" />

    <aui:input name="preferences--showLocationAddress--" type="checkbox" value="<%= showLocationAddress_cfg %>" />

    <aui:button-row>
       <aui:button type="submit" />
    </aui:button-row>
</aui:form>

The showLocationAddress_cfg variable holds the current value of whether to show the location addresses or not. The input checkbox lets the user set the value of the showLocationAddress portlet preference key. In order for the value to be persisted, the input must follow the naming convention preferences--somePreferenceKey--. For our example, the input name preferences--showLocationAddress-- maps the input value to a portlet preference key named showLocationAddress.

You’ve probably noticed some JSP compile errors and warnings with respect to the code we’ve added. We’ll address them by adding directives to the init.jsp that our configuration JSP includes. Adding the directives will allow the JSP to access the classes and taglibs we’re using.

In your init.jsp file, add the following directives:

<%@ taglib uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" prefix="c" %>

<%@ taglib uri="http://liferay.com/tld/portlet" prefix="liferay-portlet" %>
<%@ taglib uri="http://liferay.com/tld/theme" prefix="liferay-theme" %>

<%@ page import="com.liferay.portal.kernel.util.Constants" %>
<%@ page import="com.liferay.portal.kernel.util.GetterUtil" %>
<%@ page import="com.liferay.portal.kernel.util.StringPool" %>

<liferay-theme:defineObjects />

The tablib directives access the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL), Liferay’s theme taglib, and Liferay’s portlet taglib. Then, we added directives for importing the classes we’re using. Lastly, we inserted the <portlet:defineObjects /> tag to access implicit variables that we’ll need. It provides useful portlet variables such as renderRequest, portletConfig, and portletPreferences.

Your configuration.jsp is all set to display your portlet preference options. Let’s implement a custom class to handle the configuration action.

Step 3: Create a Configuration Action Implementation Class for Processing the Portlet Preference Value

Now let’s create a custom configuration action class for accessing the portlet preference. We’ll have it extend the DefaultConfigurationAction class.

Create a package named com.nosester.portlet.eventlisting.action in the portlet’s docroot/WEB-INF/src directory. In the new package, create a class named ConfigurationActionImpl, and specify DefaultConfigurationAction as its superclass.

Replace the contents of ConfigurationActionImpl.java with the following code:

package com.nosester.portlet.eventlisting.action;

import javax.portlet.ActionRequest;
import javax.portlet.ActionResponse;
import javax.portlet.PortletConfig;
import javax.portlet.PortletPreferences;

import com.liferay.portal.kernel.portlet.DefaultConfigurationAction;

public class ConfigurationActionImpl extends DefaultConfigurationAction {

    @Override
    public void processAction(
        PortletConfig portletConfig, ActionRequest actionRequest,
        ActionResponse actionResponse) throws Exception {  

        super.processAction(portletConfig, actionRequest, actionResponse);

        PortletPreferences prefs = actionRequest.getPreferences();

        String showLocationAddress = prefs.getValue(
            "showLocationAddress", "true");

        System.out.println("showLocationAddress=" + showLocationAddress +
            " in ConfigurationActionImpl.processAction().");
    }
}

Notice we’ve extended the DefaultConfigurationAction class and added a new processAction() method. The super-class’s processAction() method is responsible for reading the portlet preferences from the configuration form and storing them in the database. Usually, you’d add appropriate validation logic for the parameters received from the form. Our bare-bones example simply demonstrates accessing the preferences from the action request.

Another common method to include in a custom configuration action class is a render() method. The render method is invoked when the user clicks the configuration icon. For this example, we’ll stick with the original render method from the DefaultConfigurationAction class we’re extending.

Lastly, let’s specify our new custom configuration class in the liferay-portlet.xml. Replace the existing <configuration-action-class>...</configuration-action-class> with <configuration-action-class>com.nosester.portlet.eventlisting.action.ConfigurationActionImpl</configuration-action-class>. Here’s a snippet to show you where it goes in the context of the liferay-portlet.xml file:

....
<portlet>
    <portlet-name>locationlisting</portlet-name>
    <icon>/icon.png</icon>
    <configuration-action-class>com.nosester.portlet.eventlisting.action.ConfigurationActionImpl</configuration-action-class>
    <header-portlet-css>/css/main.css</header-portlet-css>
    <footer-portlet-javascript>
        /js/main.js
    </footer-portlet-javascript>
    <css-class-wrapper>locationlisting-portlet</css-class-wrapper>
</portlet>
....

Since your configuration action implementation is ready to process your portlet preference, let’s update the view JSP to respond to the portlet preference.

Step 4: Modify the View JSP to Respond to the Current Portlet Preference Value

Let’s add logic in our view.jsp to show/hide the location addresses based on the value of our portlet preference key showLocationAddress.

In the view.jsp file, we’ll get the value of the showLocationAddress portlet preference key. If its value is true, we’ll display all of the location fields, including the address fields; otherwise, we’ll hide the address fields.

Below are the contents of the entire view.jsp file. We’ll point out the code that handles the portlet preference, after this code listing:

<%@ include file="/html/init.jsp" %>

This is the <b>Location Listing Portlet</b> in View mode.

<%
    String redirect = PortalUtil.getCurrentURL(renderRequest);
%>

<aui:button-row>
    <portlet:renderURL var="addLocationURL">
        <portlet:param name="mvcPath" value="/html/locationlisting/edit_location.jsp" />
        <portlet:param name="redirect" value="<%= redirect %>" />
    </portlet:renderURL>

    <aui:button onClick="<%= addLocationURL.toString() %>" value="add-location" />
</aui:button-row>

<%
boolean showLocationAddress_view = GetterUtil.getBoolean(portletPreferences.getValue("showLocationAddress", StringPool.TRUE));
%>

<liferay-ui:search-container emptyResultsMessage="location-empty-results-message">
    <liferay-ui:search-container-results
        results="<%= LocationLocalServiceUtil.getLocationsByGroupId(scopeGroupId, searchContainer.getStart(), searchContainer.getEnd()) %>"
        total="<%= LocationLocalServiceUtil.getLocationsCountByGroupId(scopeGroupId) %>"
    />

    <liferay-ui:search-container-row
        className="com.nosester.portlet.eventlisting.model.Location"
        keyProperty="locationId"
        modelVar="location" escapedModel="<%= true %>"
    >
        <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
            name="name"
            value="<%= location.getName() %>"
        />

        <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
            name="description"
            property="description"
        />

        <c:choose>
            <c:when test="<%= showLocationAddress_view == true %>">
                <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                    name="street-address"
                    property="streetAddress"
                />

                <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                    name="city"
                    property="city"
                />

                <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                    name="state-province"
                    property="stateOrProvince"
                />

                <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                    name="country"
                    property="country"
                />
            </c:when>
        </c:choose>

        <liferay-ui:search-container-column-jsp
            align="right"
            path="/html/locationlisting/location_actions.jsp"
        />
    </liferay-ui:search-container-row>

    <liferay-ui:search-iterator />

</liferay-ui:search-container>

Let’s breakdown the above code. We start by getting the value of the showLocationAddress portlet preference key and assigning it to a boolean variable showLocationAddress_view:

<%  
boolean showLocationAddress_view = GetterUtil.getBoolean(portletPreferences.getValue("showLocationAddress", StringPool.TRUE));
%>

If no showLocationAddress key is found, the value will default to true based on the StringPool.TRUE default value we pass to the method portletPreferences.getValue(key, default). Then, we wrap the street address, city, state, and country column text elements in a conditional code block using <c:choose ><c:when test="..."> ... <c:when></c:choose> tags:

<liferay-ui:search-container-row ... />
    ...
    <c:choose>
        <c:when test="<%= showLocationAddress_view == true %>">
            <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                name="street-address"
                property="streetAddress"
            />

            <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                name="city"
                property="city"
            />

            <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                name="state-province"
                property="stateOrProvince"
            />

            <liferay-ui:search-container-column-text
                name="country"
                property="country"
            />
        </c:when>
    </c:choose>
    ...
</liferay-ui:search-container-row>

If showLocationAddress_view is true, all of the location’s fields are displayed. If it is false, then the address fields are omitted.

That’s it! You’ve created a custom configuration page and added a portlet preference to your portlet. Let’s see the configuration page and portlet preference in action! Navigate to your Location Listing Portlet’s Configuration page. You now have the show-location-address checkbox available.

show-location-address-pref.png

Figure 3.14: Your new portlet preference is available in the Configuration page.

Each time you click Save after modifying the show-location-address checkbox, the ConfigurationActionImpl.processAction(...) method of the ConfigurationActionImpl class prints out the value of the showLocationAddress portlet preference key:

showLocationAddress=true in ConfigurationActionImpl.processAction().

By unchecking the checkbox, the location addresses are hidden from view in the Location Listing Portlet.

portlet-preferences-modifying-view.png

Figure 3.15: Liferay Portal makes it easy to customize a portlet UI. Privileged users can adjust the preference settings within the portlet’s configuration page.

Great job! Now you know how to use Liferay’s portlet preferences in the portlets you develop.

Next, let’s use the Plugins SDK to create a plugin that extends another plugin.

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