Providing the User Personal Bar

Liferay offers a touch of personability with the User Personal Bar. This navigation menu is used to display options that are unique to the current logged in user. By default, Liferay displays this menu as a simple avatar button that expands the User Settings sub-menu in the Product Menu.

user-personal-bar.png

Figure 1: By default, the User Personal Bar contains the signed-in user’s avatar, which navigates to the Product Menu when selected.

Although Liferay’s default usage of the User Personal Bar is bare-bones, you can add more functionality to the user bar to fit your needs. Unlike other product navigation menus (e.g., Product Menu), the User Personal Bar does not require the extension/creation of panel categories and panel apps. It uses another common Liferay framework for providing functionality: Portlet Providers. Be sure to visit the linked tutorial to learn about how the Portlet Providers framework works in Liferay.

The User Personal Bar can be seen as a placeholder in every Liferay theme. By default, Liferay provides one sample User Personal Bar portlet that fills that placeholder, but the portlet Liferay provides can be easily replaced by other portlets.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to customize the User Personal Bar. You’ll create a single Java class where you’ll specify a portlet to replace the existing default portlet.

  1. Create an OSGi module.

  2. Create a unique package name in the module’s src directory and create a new Java class in that package.

  3. Directly above the class’s declaration, insert the following annotation:

    @Component(
        immediate = true,
        property = {
            "model.class.name=" + PortalUserPersonalBarApplicationType.UserPersonalBar.CLASS_NAME,
            "service.ranking:Integer=10"
        },
        service = ViewPortletProvider.class
    )
    

    The model.class.name property must be set to the class name of the entity type you want the portlet to handle. In this case, you want your portlet to be provided based on whether or not it can be displayed in the User Personal Bar. You may recall from the Portlet Providers tutorial that you can request portlets in several different ways (e.g., Edit, Browse, etc.).

    You should also specify the service rank for your new portlet so it overrides the default one provided by Liferay Portal. Make sure to set the service.ranking:Integer property to a number that is ranked higher than the portlet being used by default.

    Since you’re only wanting the User Personal Bar to display your portlet, you’ll always have the service element be ViewPortletProvider.class.

  4. Update the class’s declaration to extend the BasePortletProvider abstract class and implement ViewPortletProvider:

    public class ExampleViewPortletProvider extends BasePortletProvider implements ViewPortletProvider {

  5. Specify the portlet you’d like to provide in the User Personal Bar by declaring the following method in your class:

    @Override
    public String getPortletName() {
        return PORTLET_NAME;
    }
    

    You should replace the PORTLET_NAME text with the portlet you want to provide Liferay when it requests one to be viewed in the User Personal Bar. For example, Liferay declares com_liferay_product_navigation_user_personal_bar_web_portlet_ProductNavigationPersonalBarPortlet for its default User Personal Bar portlet.

You’ve successfully provided a portlet to be displayed in the User Personal Bar. If you’d like to inspect the entire module used for Liferay’s default User Personal Bar, see product-navigation-user-personal-bar-web. Besides the *ViewPortletProvider class, this module contains two classes defining constants and a portlet class defining the default portlet to provide. Although these additional classes are not required, your module should have access to the portlet you want to provide.

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