Developing Liferay Layout Template Plugins with Maven

You can create layout templates to customize the display of portlets on your page and to embed commonly used portlets. The introduction to the themes tutorial described a nice scene where you’re relaxing in a luxurious chair, computer in your lap, Lenore II (your cat) purring on the mantle above a dancing fire. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It would be, but the chair’s too small, so your knees are up in the air when your feet are flat on the ground, and your laptop is balanced precariously on top of them. The fire is also surprisingly large for that fireplace. In fact, its flames are already licking at the bottom of the mantle–which is made of wood! Remember Lenore II, softly purring on the mantle? She’s going to cook just like the original Lenore if you don’t do something! But it’s so hard to get out of this tiny chair. Someone save Lenore II!

In the words of Edgar Allen Poe (adapted from The Raven): “Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted kitten whom the angels named Lenore II–”

In memory of the late, now crispy Lenore II, it’s time to create a layout template plugin with Maven.

Creating a Layout Template Plugin

To create a Liferay layout template plugin project, follow the Creating Liferay Maven Plugins from Liferay IDE tutorial or the Creating Liferay Maven Plugins from the Command Line tutorial, making sure to select Layout Template as the plugin type.

Since it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the Liferay layout template plugin project’s anatomy, that topic is covered next.

Anatomy

A layout template project created from the com.liferay.maven.archetypes:liferay-layouttpl-archetype has the following directory structure:

  • layouttpl-plugin/
    • src/
      • main/
        • resources/
        • webapp/
          • WEB-INF/
            • liferay-layout-templates.xml
            • liferay-plugin-package.properties
            • web.xml
          • sample-layout.png
          • sample-layout.tpl
          • sample-layout.wap.tpl
    • pom.xml

There’s a directory structure difference between plugin projects created using Liferay Maven archetypes and those created using the Liferay Plugins SDK. The following table illustrates this difference:

Location Maven project Plugins SDK project
Web source src/main/webapp docroot

You’ve passed your trial by fire (your new cat, Lenore III, thanks you), developing yet another plugin type with Maven. Way to go!

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