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If Liferay Portal is anything, it’s configurable. As the core is shrinking due to its increased modularity, it’s important that all the applications in Liferay are also configurable.

Breaking it down, three types of applications must be configurable:

  1. The platform itself
  2. Liferay’s out-of-the-box applications
  3. Custom applications

To this end, Liferay’s engineers have made the platform and its applications configurable, and created a mechanism for developers to make their applications configurable.

Where Configuration Happens

Liferay’s configuration takes place in the following places:

User Interface: configuration through Liferay’s UI is stored in a database. The values set in the UI always override configurations set in properties files.

Properties files: properties files that set default behavior may be included in the platform or the modules. Keep in mind that these settings can always be overridden by a system administrator in the UI. To find what properties are configurable this way, visit docs.liferay.com.

The UI location where these configuration options appear depends on the scope you want to affect with the settings you choose.

Configuration Scope

Depending on the configuration scope of a setting you change, you’ll impact the platform and its applications with more or less granularity. At one end of the spectrum, you can affect the scope of the whole system. Configurations made at the system scope affect all virtual instances, Sites, and widgets. At the opposite end of the spectrum, configurations made at the widget level provide configuration settings only for that instance of the widget.

Take Language settings, for example. You can set the default language used by the virtual instance. You can also set the default language of a Site. Some applications even let you set the default language used by a specific piece of content.

Here’s an overview of the available configuration scopes:

System: Configuring Liferay and its applications through System Settings provides system scoped configurations and sets default values for all virtual instances, sites, or widgets.

Virtual Instance: Configuring in Instance Settings provides settings that act on the specific virtual instance for which they are made, including Sites and widgets in the virtual instance.

Site: Configurations made at the Site scope, where you select the Site to configure in the Site selector, provide settings that take place only in that Site. Alternate configurations can be made in different Sites.

Widget Scope: Configuring a specific widget only provides a configuration for that particular widget.

Scopes in Liferay are hierarchical so that one scope can set the default values for the underlying sub-scopes. For example, making a system-wide configuration sets the default values for all virtual instances, sites or widgets of the system. If a different configuration is set at a level with more granularity (for example, the widget scope), it takes precedence over the settings made at less granular scopes (for example, the virtual instance scope).

This section contains articles on configuring Liferay at the System and Instance scopes:

System wide configuration:

  • System Settings is the primary location for system configuration.

  • Server Administration contains some lower-level server configuration options, such as logging.

Setting up a virtual instance:

  • Virtual Instances is where virtual instances are added and edited.

  • Instance Settings is the primary location for a virtual instance’s configuration.

  • Custom Fields is where additional database fields are added to existing virtual instance entities.

All of these are accessed through the Control Panel. Start by learning to configure modules system-wide in the System Settings Control Panel app.

System Wide Settings

It can be hard to keep track of all the configuration interfaces. The Control Panel’s Configuration section houses a lot of the higher level (for example, system and instance scoped) configuration...

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Setting Up a Virtual Instance

Once Liferay Portal is installed, the configuration begins. Recall that configuration happens at different scopes. Here we’re covering configuration at the virtual instance scope. There’s an...

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Using Liferay’s Script Engine

Liferay Portal provides a robust script engine for executing Groovy scripts. You can execute scripts to perform maintenance tasks like data cleanup, user maintenance operations, bulk invocations of...

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