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Downloading and Installing Apps

Once you’ve found an app you wish to download and install, click on the name of the app to display its detailed information screen.

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Figure 15.11: Click on an app to read a description and view additional details.

This screen offers a number of items to help you learn more about the app. You can find the primary information about the app on the left side of the screen, below the app’s icon. In the center display, you see a set of screenshots along with a description of the app. Beneath the screenshots, you can find a description of the app. Below that, you can read reviews and view the version history of the app. Each app provides at least the following information:

  • Author: The creator of the app. This can be either an individual or a company.

  • Rating: The average rating of the app on a scale from zero to five stars. The number of ratings is also shown.

  • Latest Version: The latest released version of this app

  • Total Downloads: The number of times the app has been downloaded

  • Supported By: Who to contact if you need support for this app

  • Developer Website: A link to the developer’s own website

  • Purchase/Free: The button to click on to purchase the app. You must purchase an app before you can download it.

In the lower section, you will find Reviews and Version History tabs for this app. Check this area to find out what other people are saying about this app. In addition, on a separate tab, you will find the history of versions for this app, where you can download other versions (for example, if you are using an older version of the Liferay Platform, you may need to download a specific version of this app that is compatible with the version of the Liferay Platform you are using).

Downloading and Installing

You’ve chosen an app, read the reviews and want to download and use the app! There are two ways to install the app. Ultimately, both methods result in the same outcome: the app you’ve chosen is installed onto your local running Liferay instance.

Liferay Hot Deploy

Apps on the Liferay Marketplace consist of individual Liferay Plugins (for example: a portlet, a hook, or a collection of multiple plugins). Ultimately, these apps must be installed on a running Liferay instance before they can be used. Deploying an app to a running Liferay instance is automatically done through the process of hot deploy. When using your Liferay portal’s Control Panel to install apps from the Marketplace, when you click Purchase or Install to download and use a given app, it will be downloaded and hot deployed to your local running Liferay instance.

For some Liferay installations, the hot deploy mechanism is disabled, in order for the site administrator to manage (or prevent) the deployment of plugins. In this case, the app will still be downloaded and stored in the hot deploy directory (with a .lpkg extension in its filename), but must be manually deployed using the custom process used for deploying other plugins.

Please see the later section Installing Plugins Manually to learn more about hot deploy, its behavior on various app servers, and how to manually deploy Marketplace apps in situations where hot deploy cannot be used.

Installing through the Control Panel

The easiest way to install an app is to do so from your Liferay Control Panel. This requires that you have already installed Liferay on your local machine and that you can log in as an administrator. Once you are logged in as an administrator, click the Admin menu from the Dockbar and choose Control Panel.

marketplace-control-panel-entries.png

Figure 15.12: As an administrator, you can access the Marketplace interface from the Control Panel of a running Liferay portal.

Click on either the Store or the Purchased links beneath the Apps heading. Before you can access Marketplace via the Control Panel, you need to associate your liferay.com login credentials with your local administrator account. Enter your liferay.com email address and password so your Liferay installation can connect to the liferay.com Marketplace.

marketplace-login.png

Figure 15.13: Before you can access Marketplace via the Control Panel you need to link your liferay.com credentials with your Liferay instance’s administrator account.

Once you’ve successfully linked the accounts, you will be presented with the same Marketplace screens that you’d see if you were accessing the Marketplace webpage via your browser. You will be able to browse, search, and install apps directly from the Marketplace. Click on the Store link under the Apps heading in the Control Panel to browse the apps available from the liferay.com Marketplace. Browse to the app you wish to install, click on the Purchase or Free button, and then click on the appropriate button to confirm your purchase on the next screen. The app will be downloaded and deployed to your local Liferay installation.

You can view and manage all the apps you’ve purchased by clicking on the Purchased link under the Apps heading in the Control Panel. Clicking on the Purchased link shows you a list of those apps which you’ve downloaded in the past, including apps you may have purchased/downloaded while using other Liferay installations.

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Figure 15.14: Purchased Apps

The apps which you downloaded and installed on the currently running instance of Liferay are listed as Installed. Apps which you have previously downloaded or purchased on other Liferay instances that are incompatible with the current one are listed as Not Compatible. You need to re-download/re-install the appropriate version of these apps if you wish to use them on your running instance of Liferay.

Downloading through liferay.com

The second way to install an app is to download it first, then in a separate step, deploy it to your running Liferay instance. This is especially useful in situations where you do not wish to deploy the app directly to your production environment, or in cases where the target Liferay instance that is to receive the app is behind a corporate firewall or otherwise does not have direct access to the Marketplace.

In this case, using your browser, you will find the app on the Liferay Marketplace. Once found, click on the Purchase or Free button when viewing the individual app. This will cause the app to be placed in your Purchased list on your personal Home page. Navigate to your Home page and click on Apps. Each app is listed; click on the one you just purchased, or whatever app you want to download. You’ll find a list of app versions and Liferay versions. Choose the version of the app you want, making sure the Liferay version corresponds to the version of the Liferay installation where you’ll install the app. Click App and the app is downloaded to your local machine in the same way any other file would be downloaded. This file can then be hot-deployed to Liferay by copying it to Liferay’s hot deploy directory.

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