Hooks are commonly used to override web resources, found in portal-web in the Liferay source. You can use a hook to override JSP files, JSPF files, JavaScript files, or images.

Important: A JSPF change takes effect only when you modify a JSP that includes the JSPF.

Replacing a portal JSP is a simple task with hooks. Let’s create and deploy a hook to modify your portal’s Terms of Use page.

  1. Use the hook project we created earlier or create a new hook project.

  2. Open the liferay-hook.xml file from your project’s docroot/WEB-INF folder in Liferay IDE. By default, it opens in Overview mode. This mode, gives you a graphical user interface for developing your hook. You can toggle between overview mode and source mode via their respective tabs for the liferay-hook.xml file’s editor.

  3. Select the Custom JSPs folder from the outline to bring up the custom JSP options. Select the checkbox Customize Liferay Portal JSPs and create the default custom JSP folder /META-INF/custom_jsps, by clicking the icon that has the three yellow diamonds.


    Figure 7.3: Liferay IDE lets you specify a folder for the custom JSPs you’re developing. Create the folder by clicking the icon that has the three yellow diamonds.

  4. Add to the listing of custom JSPs by clicking the plus icon and specifying Portal’s html/portal/terms_of_use.jsp file. Hint, the browse icon on the right-hand side within the custom JSP text field simplifies finding the JSP you want to customize. It lets you scroll through the JSPs that are accessible and lets you specify key words to narrow your search.


    Figure 7.4: Liferay IDE simplifies adding a custom JSP to your hook by providing a powerful overview mode for editing your liferay-hook.xml file.

  5. Open your hook’s docroot/META-INF/custom_jsps/html/portal/terms_of_use.jsp file and modify it as necessary.

  6. Deploy your hook and wait until it is deployed successfully.

  7. The original JSP stays in the cache until the cache is cleared or Liferay Portal is restarted. To clear the cache, navigate to Control PanelServer Administration and click on the appropriate Clear content … buttons in the Resources tab.

  8. Create a new user and log in. The Terms of Use page should include the changes you made above.

Now there are two Terms of Use JSP files in the liferay-portal-[version]/tomcat-[tomcat-version]/webapps/ROOT/html/portal directory. One is called terms_of_use.jsp and another terms_of_use.portal.jsp. terms_of_use.jsp is your hook’s version, while terms_of_use.portal.jsp is the original. To revert back to the original, undeploy your hook. Your replacement JSP is removed, and the .portal.jsp file is automatically renamed, taking its place. You can override any JSP in the Liferay core, while retaining thew ability to easily revert your changes. However, it’s not possible to override the same JSP from multiple hooks; Liferay won’t know which version to use.

Next, we’ll look at a different way to customize a JSP.

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