For those unfamiliar with Liferay, the company offers a Java-based portal framework for building sites and web applications. The product is available in two levels, the free Liferay Portal Community Edition and the commercial Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition. Licensing is the LGPL v2.1 for the Community Edition and the Enterprise Edition is under a commercial open source license that allows paying subscribers access to the source code.
Recently Gartner (news, site) placed Liferay in their 2010 leader/visionary portion of the Horizontal Portals Magic Quadrant, making the company the only focused, open source, independent portal vendor in that portion of the quadrant among larger players who sprawl across numerous technologies.
CEO Brian Cheung stated during his keynote at the Liferay West Coast Symposium that Liferay 6 Enterprise Edition brings the company's portal product to the point they've been working toward for the last ten years. From here, he says they're entering the "next era" of Liferay development. Notable new features for this release include:
- Simplified UI development, especially in the case of offering personalized services, views and workflow around authenticated users.
- Enhanced Workflow APIs offer a framework for integrating with external workflow engines and let your development team interact with Liferay's workflow administration tools.
- The ability for users to create their own workflows and define approval paths.
- Role-based content delivery so you can control which types of users can reach which URLs with which unique views.
- KnowledgeBase provides for collaboration, more structured than a wiki but less formal than a workflow-based CMS or process.
- The ability to create teams specific to a particular community for roles and permissions.
- Simplified content creation and editing for users.
- Still standards-compliant, supporting CMIS and other standards to allow you to integrate with your existing infrastructure.
Tying content management, collaboration, social features and portal features together makes sense in today's increasingly complex enterprise environments. The new Liferay release definitely seems worth a look. If you check it out, let us know what you think.