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Liferay Portal CE 7.1 launches new features for efficient, beautiful page design, along with an extensive upgrade to forms. The user experience has also been streamlined throughout the platform to help save time while managing sites. There are new tools to support data protection in accordance with the recent GDPR requirements. Finally, there are several significant technology updates that help you develop new competitive advantages with modern development tools for mobile and web.

Evolve your digital presence with new features to create stunning, personalized experiences for every audience.

Page Creation

Liferay Portal CE 7.1 introduces a powerful new way to design websites. From carefully designed page fragments to full control over page menus, Liferay Portal frees web developers and designers to execute web experiences exactly as they envision. This is an enhancement of the content management system that you can adopt as you see fit. To differentiate the two, the new pages are called Content Pages, while the existing system uses Widget Pages.

Content Pages

Users can now easily create and add unstructured content directly to pages. This is useful for site pages that don’t need to leverage structured web content, such as one-off landing pages for marketing campaigns.

When creating a new page, users can choose either the new content pages or widget pages, which use the traditional method of creating pages through adding and configuring applications.

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Figure 1: Users can now choose to create Content Pages.

Fragments

Fragments are a new way of creating and implementing content page designs. Web developers can now save page sections as Fragments and reuse them across a Site. Developers can now create a library of designed components for others to build pages quickly without having to touch code. Fragments are organized in collections and leverage familiar asset management features such as drafts, thumbnail previews, search, and permissions.

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Figure 2: Non-technical users can use Fragments as building blocks for pages.

Fragment Editor

Web developers can use the Fragment Editor in the browser to create or edit their Fragments. Alternatively, developers can create Fragments with their preferred tools and import the fragments into Liferay.

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Figure 3: The Fragment editor has a three-pane view for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with a preview pane rendering the final result.

Page Editor

The introduction of Fragments opens up new ways to create pages and templates through a visual page editor.

The new Page Editor is for laying out page designs visually and saving them as reusable templates. Users can search through collections and easily add, remove and position fragments on the page. Marketers can then customize text with in-line editing, swapping in new images and other elements. Fragments can display Liferay’s out-of-the-box applications, and you can configure them within the page editor.

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Figure 4: The Page Editor makes it easy to build pages out of Fragments.

Display Pages

Display Pages have been improved to make it easier to create standard templates for web content that must have a consistent look and feel, such as press releases. Use page Fragments to implement designs and map content sections without touching code. When web content is published with a display page template, it automatically gets its own page with a unique URL, replacing the default content in the template with the newly added web content.

Menus

Menus are now decoupled from page navigation. Now you have the freedom to create custom menus for sections of the site or remove marketing landing pages from menus. You can easily manage menu hierarchies and save different menu sets with a new drag-and-drop interface.

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Figure 5: Menus are now decoupled from page navigation, and can be edited independently.

Forms

Forms have extensive new functionality, including a set of conditional rules that make forms dynamic: if something happens in a field, an action elsewhere on the form can be triggered. This lets you create calculations, offer follow-up questions based on responses, and much more. Forms are now localized: they can be translated into any language. There are new fields and properties, form fragments, auto-saving of forms, and so much more it had to be described separately.

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Figure 6: Forms have many improvements.

User Experience

Liferay Portal CE 7.1 rolls out several user experience refinements for externally facing content such as blogs, as well as omni-channel support for how media is displayed and delivered on different devices. These integrated improvements help you deliver a better experience to your users out of the box.

Adaptive Media

Adaptive Media dynamically adjusts images to best fit the screen size of the device being used. It also offers deep control over how images are loaded and displayed, which helps you address performance issues across a wide variety of devices and varying network speeds between users and countries. Adaptive Media does most of the work in the background automatically, but developers can edit image resolutions and define devices that trigger various resolutions. This level of control enables consistent experiences that avoid poor page layouts and slow load times.

Blogs and Message Boards

Blog refinements make it easier to deliver experiences that are tailored to your blog audience. These include support for creating friendly URLs, displaying estimated reading times, unsubscribing from email notifications, a new cards design, and support for videos from external services. Message Boards now supports drag and drop for uploading attachments, section renaming, category and thread grouping, notification management, and a new design for comments.

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Figure 7: The new cards design for blogs displays entries in a visual grid.

Administration Improvements

In addition to its new features, Liferay Portal CE 7.1 is easier to administer. Streamlined administration tools mean less time managing sites, while still offering granular control.

OAuth 2.0

OAuth 2.0 has become a de-facto standard that allows users to authorize access to parts of their accounts without giving up authentication credentials. With Liferay Portal CE 7.1, now users can “Sign in with [insert your site here],” granting mobile and web applications secure, token-based access to user profile information they have complete control over and can revoke at any time.

Data Protection

Liferay Portal CE 7.1 introduces new data protection tools to help companies address GDPR regulations and maintain control over how their platform manages user data.

You can now erase a user’s personal data and export a user’s personal data in a machine-readable format upon request. For data erasure, administrators can review content that potentially contains personal information and edit or delete as needed through a simple interface. Both tools include APIs for third-party apps to implement this feature or override the default behavior for out-of-the-box apps.

Search

Liferay Portal CE 7.1 improves search administration and uses Elasticsearch 6 as the default search engine, giving users more options for implementing and managing enterprise search for their sites.

A new Control Panel makes it easier to take care of all administration tasks with the click of a button. Users can configure the search engine, start and monitor re-indexes, and much more.

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Figure 8: Search administration is now separated from server administration.

Page Management

A new interface for visualizing and managing complex page hierarchies makes page management easier. Page templates and display pages are now integrated nicely, bringing page management into one central location.

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Figure 9: The new page management interface puts all page functions in one place.

Workflow Management

Workflow management has received a complete UI overhaul, with all configuration consolidated under one area in the Control Panel. Existing workflows can now be duplicated, definitions are versioned, and you can save drafts and restore previous versions.

Developer Improvements

Liferay Portal CE 7.1 includes an updated collection of tools to facilitate the support and development of Liferay projects.

Targeting a Liferay Platform

Liferay Workspace helps target a specific release of Liferay Portal, so dependencies get resolved properly. This makes upgrading your applications easy: specify your target platform, and Workspace points to the new version. All your dependencies are updated to the latest ones provided in the targeted release.

Resolving Modules Before Deployment

Avoid the painful process of deploying modules only to be met with console errors or mysterious problems by resolving modules before deployment. This can be done by calling the new resolve Gradle task provided by Liferay Workspace.

7.1 Code Upgrade Tool

The Code Upgrade Tool in Liferay Developer Studio helps you upgrade your legacy application code to Liferay Portal:

  • Identifies code affected by the API changes
  • Describes each API change related to the code
  • Suggests how to adapt the code
  • Provides options, in some cases, to adapt code automatically.

IntelliJ Support

Liferay development is now officially supported on IntelliJ IDEA which offers wizards to

  • Create a Liferay Workspace
  • Create projects leveraging Liferay’s project templates
  • Create a Liferay server runtime for project deployment and debugging

Maven Support for Blade CLI

Create Maven projects and Maven Liferay Workspaces using Blade CLI.

Hybrid Mobile App Development

Liferay Screens 3.0 enables software developers to use Apache Cordova or Xamarin to build cross-platform applications from one codebase designed for the web and embed that content into a Screens app for mobile use. Sites and applications designed for PC can be rendered in screenlets with no additional code. The resulting apps allow native mobile capabilities and navigation to be mixed with HTML content seamlessly.

Modern JavaScript Frameworks Compatibility

Liferay Portal leverages its own npm bundler so developers can manage dependencies between applications. Liferay Portal CE 7.1 provides support for popular JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, Vue.js, React and modern JavaScript workflows, so that npm modules can be deployed inside of Liferay Portal.

Modularity Update

New search applications such as Search Results, Search Bar and Category Facets allow for greater flexibility in page construction. These applications come from the previous Search application, but have been divided into more useful components.

The message boards services have also been modularized and extracted out of the core, making it easier to manage and update Message Boards independently.

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