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Liferay, providers of the increasingly popular open source portal, have announced their latest beta for their upcoming 6.1 here their annual West Coast Symposium. Along with this announcement, they have also introduced Liferay Marketplace, a channel for Liferay’s worldwide community of developers and partners to reach Liferay’s broad installation base with enterprise applications and plugins that augment Liferay Portal’s core portal, collaboration, and web content management (WCM) platform. With Marketplace offerings enhancing Liferay’s lightweight platform, customers will be able to build sites and web-based solutions at accelerated speeds.
First previewed at the Liferay East Coast Symposium in May, the Liferay Marketplace hits the first phase of its launch at the West Coast Symposium with a developer-ready release, which includes an SDK for app development. Liferay is already awaiting plugin contributions from several ISV partners, including Alfresco, Omegabit, ProfIT Software, Roambi, salsaDev, SocialEkwity, TandemSeven, Vaadin, and Xtivia.
“With Marketplace and Liferay Portal 6.1, there will be more situations than ever where enterprises will want to use Liferay as the foundation for their web applications,” said Paul Hinz, Liferay’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Marketplace makes it faster for users to deploy new features to existing websites and portals, and it gives the Liferay community access to the large market of Liferay users worldwide. Just as our open source development model has reduced costs for our core platform, we expect Marketplace to reduce the cost of enterprise software for our community.”
The new Liferay release introduces a number of new features to expand on the WCM facet of the product. Namely, it adds new features for document management and an improved user experience, which is fitting given the recent attention that has been placed on customer experience.
Liferay 6.1 also adds support for Data Lists and Workflow Forms, popular features for business users that allow them to build lightweight business applications without software developer intervention. Along with its new capabilities, Liferay Portal 6.1 maintains the same API-layers and architecture from Liferay 6.0 released in 2010.
The following are major highlights of Liferay Portal 6.1’s new features:
Powerful Document Management
- A revamped user interface simplifies management with unified document and image library, live document previews, and an Explorer-like interface.
- Custom document typedefinitions with extended meta-data allow end users to define business documents (e.g., Budget Proposal, Employee Review, Promotional Video).
- Administrators can define unique workflows per document type per folder.
- Support for mounting multiple simultaneous external CMIS repositories allows users to access all enterprise resources in a single location, including SharePoint and Documentum.
Business User Tools: Data Lists, Web Forms and Workflow
- User-defined Data Lists capture custom information (e.g., RSVPs, tasks, inventory, or issues) using a spreadsheet-like or forms-based view.
- Easy-to-build business forms with visual UI, which can then be assigned to predefined or custom workflows, can be built and modified by users as business processes change.
Enhanced Publishing and Site Management
- WCM branching allows users to work simultaneously on several variations of a site (e.g., seasonal or campaign-specific variations) and schedule publication dates for each.
- Enhanced stagingincludes automatic versioning with history and undo for sites and pages.
- Content displays based onuser profile attributes offer higher levels of personalization.
- Hierarchicalsite templates simplify site management by ensuring sites are automatically updated when its template is updated.
Liferay Web Platform Capabilities
- Support for OpenSocial 1.1 allows web-based social applications built from gadgets to be managed and deployed directly to pages and sites.
- Improved, validated scalability for high-volume business applications.
The beta release will be available for download October 14th, and community members can receive the latest build by contacting Liferay’s Community Manager. Liferay Portal 6.1 CE and EE GA will be available to the public in Q4 2011. For more information about Liferay Portal 6.1 and the Liferay Marketplace, listen live to our streaming webcasts from the West Coast Symposium at http://www.liferay.com/web-events.