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Other pages can share the content of this page. Check box
indicating whether the page can be shared (see discussion below).
This check box is unchecked by default.
This page supports: WML, cHTML, HTML. Markup language
support. The default markup language for all pages is HTML, and
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De¬ning Portals and Pages 137

a markup is only available for selection if supported for the parent
node of the page.
This page has a list of allowed portlets. If this check box is clicked,
the set of portals allowed within the page is limited. To set the list
of allowed portlets, click the text beside the check box. This check
box is unchecked by default.
I want to set titles and descriptions. Allows you to set the title and
description for this page in each of the locales de¬ned (24 of them
by default).

Page Inheritance with Shared Pages
When adding a new page, Advanced Options (shown in Figure 7-10) allows
choosing the page content based on one of the six default layouts or based
on another page. In the latter case, the other page must be one that was
de¬ned as a page that can be shared. When content of a new page is based
on another page, the new page is essentially the aggregation of the existing
page with a new specialized layer on top of the latter. This implies that a
prerequisite for accessing a page using a shared page is that both the page
and the shared page must be accessible by the user.
Shared pages essentially implement a form of inheritance. A page based
on a shared page inherits the layout and content of the latter. An important
characteristic of shared pages is that any changes made to the shared page
are re¬‚ected on all the pages referencing it. For example, the addition or
removal of a portlet from a shared page is immediately re¬‚ected in all refer-
encing pages. This makes shared pages useful for implementing cascading
Cascading portals are used in environments where the portal needs to
meet the requirement of a central organization as well as those of units
within the organization. For example, a portal for a certain department
might share the structure of the basic portal of the whole company but add
on department-speci¬c content. In this case, one would like to share the
page layout as well as visual elements re¬‚ecting the company identity.
WebSphere Portal provides a powerful paradigm for building cascading
portals through the shared page mechanism. A shared page can reference
another shared page, thus creating a chain of page references. From a practi-
cal standpoint, this means that top-level administrators may de¬ne a certain
set of pages, and allow lower-level administrator to further re¬ne and en-
hance the layout and content of pages as required to implement the needs
of users within their respective subunit in the organization. This customiza-
tion process can continue for a number of levels until end users are reached.
End users may also customize pages, based on the permissions assigned to
them by administrators.
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138 Chapter 7

Figure 7-10 Editing Advanced Page properties.

Advanced Layout Editing
WebSphere Portal allows six different page basic layouts. While these might
cover most simple cases, a real portal usually aggregates a variety of infor-
mation sources, and ¬ne-tuned control of layout is needed. To this end,
WebSphere Portal provides layout tools. Layout tools are invisible by de-
fault. To enable them (for example, in our new page created earlier) follow
these steps:
1. Go to Manage Pages under Administration.
2. Navigate to the Sample Page under My Stuff.
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De¬ning Portals and Pages 139

3. Click Edit Page Layout (second icon from the left following the page
4. Click the Con¬gure button in the top-right corner of the window
(that is, the leftmost button in the title bar).
5. Check the box reading Show Toggle Link for Show Layout
Tools/Hide Layout Tools.
6. Click Done.
In the same con¬guration window you may also select whether users
may modify the page layout, and if so what layouts (out of the six default
ones) are allowed.
Once you have the Show Layout Tools link available in the layout editing
window, you can click it. Once you do this, the six layout patterns are
no longer visible and you may customize your layout by adding as many
containers as you want. For each column container you may set its width,
as well as add row containers within it. You may add column containers
within a column container, and of course you may add portlets in both. This
allows you to create a complex nested structure, which would provide the
exact layout you are interested in.

In the page customization mode, where we edit the layout, there are two
tabs in addition to the Content tab that opens by default. The Appearance
tab can be used to customize appearance and will be discussed in the next
chapter, and the Locks tab allows the administrator to limit the ¬‚exibility
of a user in editing the page layout and content. For each container (row
or column) you may lock or unlock the container and the content of the
container. Locking the container prevents users from removing this con-
tainer from a page, whereas locking the container content prevents users
from adding or removing portlets and subcontainers from the container.
You may also lock speci¬c portlets, preventing the user from removing
Locks are applicable to shared pages, and allow top-level administrators
in cascading portals to de¬ne content that is mandatory in a page, as lower-
level administrators and end users cannot override the decisions of top-level

Removing Nodes
Removing nodes is a straightforward process. You just navigate in Manage
Pages to a location you can see the node (to do this you navigate to the node
or to its parent), and click the Delete button.
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140 Chapter 7

Note that removing a node implies removing all children nodes of that
node, so a delete operation can have far-reaching consequences (just like
deleting a folder in a ¬le system). Furthermore, removing a shared page
removes all reference pages.

Creating a New Portal
As previously mentioned, there is no built-in notion of portal within Web-
Sphere Portal. Usually you can think of a portal within WebSphere Portal as
a high-level label, available from the topmost navigation bar. In this section
we will guide you through the process of addition of a new such label. This
process is essentially identical to the process we went through earlier in this
chapter, but it will allow us to de¬ne a structure we will use in the following
In order to de¬ne a new label, follow these steps:
1. Enter the Administration section.
2. Select Manage Pages.
3. Make sure you are viewing Content Root.
4. Click the New Label button.
5. Enter New Portal in the Title ¬eld.
6. Select OK.
7. Select OK in the con¬rmation window shown next.
To add a new label under this portal, follow these steps:
1. Select the New Portal entry.
2. Click the New Label button.
3. Enter Company in the Title ¬eld.
4. Select OK.
Now, follow the same steps to add two other labels named “Work” and
“Personal.” The following sequence of steps places some pages within these
labels. We start with the Company page:
1. Select the New Portal entry.
2. Select the Company entry.
3. Click the New Page button.
4. Enter Welcome in the Title ¬eld.
5. Select OK.
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De¬ning Portals and Pages 141

Similarly, you add Transactions under Company; Mail, Calendar, and
Contacts under Work, and My Page under Personal. Next we proceed to
putting some content into these pages:
1. Select the new Welcome page.
2. Click the Edit Layout button.
3. Click the One Column button.
4. Click the Add Portlet button.
5. Select Interesting Links.
6. Select Breaking News.
7. Select Welcome to Your Co.
8. Select OK.
9. Click twice the Move Portlet Down button on Interesting Links.
10. Click the Move Portlet Up button on Welcome to Your Co.
11. Select OK.

My Portal

Company Work Personal

Welcome Transactions Mail Calendar Contacts My Page

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Exchange
page component My News
YourCo Mail Contacts

Microsoft Exchange
Breaking News My Weather

Microsoft Exchange
Interesting Links My Stocks

IBM Internet Mail

Figure 7-11 New Portal structure.
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142 Chapter 7

Note that after choosing the portlets to be placed within the page, they
were ordered according to their ordering within the list of available portlets.
In steps 9 and 10 we customize the ordering.
To complete the construction of our portal, we need to place content in all
pages. To do this you need to follow the same sequence of steps choosing
different portlets for each page. Figure 7-11 summarizes the structure and
content of this portal.
Once you have ¬nished the other ¬ve pages ¬nished, you might want to
see how this new portal looks like. Unfortunately, the default behavior of
WebSphere Portal prevents users from accessing new label New Portal, as
the set of top-level labels is ¬xed. In the next chapter we will see how to make
this portal accessible, and we will continue the process of customizing it.

In this chapter we saw how the structure of a portal is de¬ned and modi¬ed.


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