Liferay Portal’s Staging feature is an advanced publication tool that lets you create or modify your site before releasing it to the public. Most of Liferay Portal’s included applications (e.g., Web Content and Bookmarks) support Staging. Implementing Staging in your own application can be beneficial, but how do you know if it’s the right move?

Not every application needs to support Staging and Export/Import. The most important question to consider during the decision process is

What part of your application are you primarily focused on using Staging for?

When Staging is enabled in Liferay Portal, all pages and applications are staged automatically. Liferay Portal’s architecture separates the application and its configuration from the actual content, meaning that content can exist without any application to display it and vice versa. Although Staging and the Export/Import framework supports all applications and their configurations by default, not all applications’ content is supported by Staging.

Implementing Staging for your application means you’re defining the logic for how the Staging framework should process, serialize, and de-serialize your app’s content, and how to insert it into a database.

Therefore, if you want to track your application’s content, you should implement Staging in your application. Here are a few other scenarios where you should implement Staging in your application:

  • You’re using remote staging. When publishing to a remote live site, your content must be transferred to a different Liferay Portal installation. Therefore, Staging must be able to recognize the content to facilitate the transfer.
  • You want a space where you can freely edit and test your content before publishing it to a live audience.
  • Your content is being referenced from another content type that supports Staging.
  • You want to process your portlet’s preferences during publication (i.e., you might want to publish some content with it or complete extra steps).
  • You want to process the content during publication (e.g., writing validation for your content during the import process).

If none of these options are beneficial for you, implementing Staging in your application is unnecessary.

When content supports Staging and Staging is enabled, it is created in a Staging group and is only published to a live site when that site is published. When content is not supported by Staging, it is never added to a Staging group and is not reviewable during the Staging publication process; it’s added and removed from the live site only.

From a technical standpoint, publishing an entity or content follows the process below:

  1. The entity’s possible references are discovered and processed.
  2. The entity’s fields are processed.
  3. The entity is serialized into a LAR file.
  4. The LAR is transferred to the live site (local or remote live).
  5. After de-serialization, the entity’s fields are processed.
  6. The entity is added to the database.

Awesome! You should now have a good idea about whether you should implement Staging for your application.

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