Posts Tagged richfaces

JSF 2 / RichFaces portlet in eXo (Part 2/3) : Content Management integration

eXoPlatform comes with powerful content management features and a large set of portlets to use these features. However you may want to use these content management capabilities in your own portlets.
This second tutorial will learn you how to use eXo Content Management API and portlets to create a sample store application. The first part about JSF / RichFaces integration is available here.
This application will expose a list of products with related pictures. Each product will be composed of a name, a description, a price, a thumbnail and some pictures. The thumbnail and the related pictures will be retrieved from the eXo Content Management.
The page will display the product’s thumbnail and the product’s caracteristics. The related pictures will be available by links. A Content Detail portlet will be used to display each related picture.

The source code of this tutorial is available here.

Adding contents

In order to easily retrieve the contents, they should be organized correctly. Under the root folder (let’s say repository:collaboration:/sites content/live/acme/documents/products), a folder will be created for each product, named with product’s id. All the product related contents will be stored in the corresponding folder. The thumbnail will also be stored in the product’s folder, but with the special name “thumbnail” to be able to distinguish it from the others pictures
So the contents tree will looks like this :

Instead of creating all these contents by hand, you can download this JCR export. To use it :

  • go to the Content Explorer
  • select the Sites Management drive
  • go to acme > documents
  • click on the System tab
  • click on the Import Node button
  • select the export file for the Upload File field
  • click on Import

 To be sure that all contents are in published state, you may need to republish them.

Adding eXo dependencies

The first step is to add the eXo dependencies that will be used in our portlet. Edit your pom.xml and add these lines :


Using eXo Content Management API

In order to manage data displayed in our page, we need a managed bean :

public class ComicsStoreBean implements Serializable {

    private static final long serialVersionUID = -6239437588285327644L;

    private ContentService contentService;
    private ProductService productService;

    private List<Product> products;

    public ComicsStoreBean() {
        PortletPreferences prefs = ((PortletRequest)  FacesContext.getCurrentInstance().getExternalContext().getRequest()).getPreferences();
        String contentsRootPath = prefs.getValue("contentsRootPath", "");

        contentService = new ContentServiceImpl(contentsRootPath);
        productService = new ProductServiceImpl();

    public List getProducts() {
        if(products == null) {
            products = productService.getProducts();

            for(Product product : products) {

        return products;

This bean instantiates 2 services : one for the products (ProductService), one for the contents (ContentService) which is initialized with the root folder in the content management system of the contents used in the store (retrieved from a portlet preference).

The bean exposes only one data, the products, via the getProducts method. This method calls the ProductService object to retrieve all the products. The ProductService class simply returns sample products :

public class ProductServiceImpl implements ProductService {
    public List getProducts() {
        List products = new ArrayList();
        products.add(new Product(1, "Ironman", "Ironman", 12));
        products.add(new Product(2, "Wolverine", "Wolverine", 15.5));
        products.add(new Product(3, "Spiderman", "Spiderman", 13));
        products.add(new Product(4, "Thor", "Thor", 10));
        products.add(new Product(5, "Hulk", "Hulk", 11));
        products.add(new Product(6, "Captain America", "Captain America", 15));
        products.add(new Product(7, "Human Torch", "Human Torch", 11));
        products.add(new Product(8, "Magneto", "Magneto", 17));
        products.add(new Product(9, "Dardevil", "Dardevil", 16.5));
        return products;

Then the managed bean calls the ContentService object to retrieve the contents related to the products. Here is the most interesting part as it deals with eXo Content Management.
ExoPlatform provides an API to interact with all content management capabilities (contents, taxonomy, links, publication, SEO, …). In our sample application we will use the WCMComposer API which allows to work with contents.

Exo Content Management provides an utility method to easily instantiate a service :

WCMComposer wcmComposer = WCMCoreUtils.getService(WCMComposer.class);

This service is used in the 2 methods of ContentService : getProductThumbnailPath and getProductPictures.
The getProductThumbnailPath method returns the path of the thumbnail of the product if it exists :

public String getProductThumbnailPath(int productId) {
    String thumbnailPath = null;

    // get wcmcomposer service
    WCMComposer wcmComposer = WCMCoreUtils.getService(WCMComposer.class);

    HashMap filters = new HashMap();
    //filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_LANGUAGE, Util.getPortalRequestContext().getLocale().getLanguage());
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_MODE, Utils.getCurrentMode());
    // take the last published version
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_VERSION, null);

    try {
        Node productThumbnailNode = wcmComposer.getContent(workspace, path + productId + "/thumbnail", filters,
        if (productThumbnailNode != null) {
            thumbnailPath = path + productId + "/thumbnail";
    } catch (Exception e) {
        thumbnailPath = null;

    return thumbnailPath;

The getContent method of the WCMComposer API is used here. It allows to retrieve a content based on its path. Some filters can be added to select the right content base for instance on its language, its version or its publication state.

The getProductPictures method returns all the contents related to a product :

public List getProductPictures(int productId) {
    List pictures = null;

    // get wcmcomposer service
    WCMComposer wcmComposer = WCMCoreUtils.getService(WCMComposer.class);

    HashMap filters = new HashMap();
    // content of the currently selected language
    //filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_LANGUAGE, Util.getPortalRequestContext().getLocale().getLanguage());
    // live or edit mode (will respectively get draft or published content)
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_MODE, Utils.getCurrentMode());
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_VERSION, WCMComposer.BASE_VERSION);
    // order clauses
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_ORDER_BY, "exo:dateModified");
    filters.put(WCMComposer.FILTER_ORDER_TYPE, "ASC");

    try {
        // service call to retrieve the contents
        List picturesNodes = wcmComposer.getContents(workspace, path + productId, filters,
        pictures = new ArrayList();
        for (Node pictureNode : picturesNodes) {
            // exclude thumbnail
            if (!pictureNode.getProperty("exo:name").getString().equals("thumbnail")) {

                // In live mode, the last published version is a frozenNode, so
                // we need to get the node referenced by this frozen to get the real path
                String picturePath = null;
                if (pictureNode.isNodeType("nt:frozenNode")) {
                    String uuid = pictureNode.getProperty("jcr:frozenUuid").getString();
                    Node originalNode = pictureNode.getSession().getNodeByUUID(uuid);
                    picturePath = originalNode.getPath();
                } else {
                    picturePath = pictureNode.getPath();

                Picture picture = new Picture(pictureNode.getProperty("exo:name").getString(), picturePath, pictureNode.getProperty("exo:title").getString());
    } catch (Exception e) {
        pictures = null;

    return pictures;

We now use the getContents method, the equivalent of getContent but for multiple contents.
One really interesting point is that by using this API you can profit from all the eXo Content Management features. For example, by calling the getContents method with the filter WCMComposer.FILTER_VERSION set to WCMComposer.BASE_VERSION and the filter WCMComposer.FILTER_MODE set to the current mode (live or edit), only the link of the published pictures will be visible in live mode whereas link of pictures in draft state will be visible in edit mode.

As you can see, the node’s type is checked to distinguish the frozenNode case :

if (pictureNode.isNodeType("nt:frozenNode"))

In fact, a frozenNode is a published version of an original node. A frozenNode references the original node (in our case, the picture node) through its jcr:frozenUuid property. So we need to get this property to retrieve the original node and get its path.

The last part is to edit our JSF pages to display all the products. For so, a RichFaces data grid (rich:dataGrid) is used :

                <rich:dataGrid value="#{comicsStoreBean.products}" var="product" columns="3" elements="6" width="600px" border="0">
                    <rich:panel bodyClass="pbody">
                        <f:facet name="header">
                            <h:outputText value="#{}"></h:outputText>
                        <h:panelGrid id="product" columns="2" columnClasses="productThumbnailColumn, productDetailColumn">
                                        <h:panelGroup rendered="#{not empty product.thumbnailPath}">
                                                <img src="/rest/jcr/repository/collaboration#{product.thumbnailPath}" width="80px"></img>
                                <h:panelGrid columns="2">
                                     <h:outputText value="Description:" styleClass="label"></h:outputText>
                                     <h:outputText value="#{product.description}"/>
                                     <h:outputText value="Price:" styleClass="label"></h:outputText>
                                     <h:outputText value="#{product.price} €"/>
                                     <h:outputText value="Photos:" styleClass="label"></h:outputText>
                                     <ui:repeat value="#{}" var="picture" varStatus="status">
                                        <h:outputLink onclick="window.location = window.location.pathname + '?content-id=/repository/collaboration#{picture.path}'; return false;" value="#">
                                                <h:outputText value="#{picture.title}"></h:outputText>
                                        #{status.last ? '' : ' | '}
                        <div class="buyButtonDiv">
                                <h:commandButton value="Buy" styleClass="buyButton"></h:commandButton>
                    <f:facet name="footer">

The ui:repeat lists all links towards the product’s pictures. The link simply goes to the same page (because a Content Detail portlet will be added in this page) and pass the content-id parameter with the path of the content to display. The Content Detail will just look at this parameter and display the targeted content.

Adding Content Detail in the page

In order to display the products’ pictures we need to add a Content Detail portlet in the page :

  • edit the page (Edit > Page > Layout in the top bar)
  • in the portlet catalog, open the Contents category
  • drag and drop a Content Detail portlet on the page, under the first portlet
  • edit the portlet
  • select a default content for the Content Path field (products/Comics)
  • scroll down the preferences screen and click on the Advanced link
  • choose Enabled for the Contextual Content field
  • leave the other field as default (by content-id)
  • click on Save
  • click on Close
  • click on the Save icon (upper right) to save the modifications done to the page

Our store is open !

Let’s play with it.
Click on a picture link, for instance the Photo 1 of Wolverine :

The picture is now displayed below.
Let’s now add a new picture. To do so :

  • go to the Content Explorer
  • go to the Ironman folder (acme > documents > products > 1)
  • click on the Upload FIles button
  • select your file
  • click on Save

The picture is now uploaded. Leave it in draft state and go back to the Comics store page. As you can see, your new picture does not appears in the Ironman’s pictures.
Now switch to edit mode by clicking on Edit > Content.

The picture link now appears and you can click it to display the new picture. Up to you now to publish it to make it available in live mode.

This tutorial showed how to use the eXo Content Management API to profit from all the eXo Content Management features inside your own portlets.
Don’t hesitate to take a look at the documentation to discover all the available APIs. Enjoy !


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JSF 2 / RichFaces portlet in eXo (Part 1/3)

eXoPlatform comes with a set of advanced portlets to quickly build rich applications. But you may want to develop your own portlets to fit your needs.
The development of portlet using the raw portlet API can be a bit painful. It is often interesting to use a higher level framework such as JSF. JSF is a request-driven MVC web framework based on component-driven UI design model, and is part of the JEE standard.

This article is the first part of a 3-steps tutorials which will learn you how to develop a portlet with JSF 2.0 and RichFaces 4, and leverage eXo Content and eXo Social capabilities.
RichFaces is a set a advanced JSF components which will allow us to add even more richness to our application.

The source code of this first part is available here.


  • Download the latest version of eXo Platform 3.5.
  • Install and configure Apache Maven.

To be able to run a JSF application in a portal context, we need a JSF Portlet Bridge. This technology is also part of the JEE standard, and thus several implementations are available. For this tutorial the JBoss implementation will be used, but you don’t have to install anything as it will be added as a library in your portlet via maven.

Creating the JSF Portlet Bridge project

The JBoss JSF Portlet Bridge project provides a maven archetype to easily create a fresh JSF Portlet Bridge project with JSF 2.0 and the last version of the Portlet bridge (3.0.0.Beta1 when this tutorial has been written). Type the following command :

mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeGroupId=org.jboss.portletbridge.archetypes -DarchetypeArtifactId=2.0-basic -DarchetypeVersion=3.0.0.Beta1 -DgroupId=org.exoplatform -DartifactId=exo-jsfportletbridge-portlet

Maven will prompt you to change the default value of the project’s properties. You can leave the default values by simply pressing Enter.

Your project is now created. However some little changes need to be done to make it fully operational.


  • change the portlet-app tag with the following :
<portlet-app xmlns=""
  • move the portlet-info tag under the supports tag


  • remove everything under the faces-config tag :
<faces-config xmlns=""


Optionnally, the pom.xml file can be updated to use the last available version of the JSF libraries by changing :


with the new value. For example :


Your project is now ready and can be built to be deployed in eXoPlatform. You can now build your project by launching the following command at the root of your project : mvn clean install

A war file should be available in the target folder of your project (JSF2RIPortlet.war by default).

Deploying the portlet in eXoPlatform

The next step is to deploy the portlet in eXoPlatform. For so,

  • start your eXoPlatform 3.5
  • once started, copy the war file of the portlet in the webapps directory. If the portlet deploys correctly, you should see the following lines in the console :

2 janv. 2012 14:00:37 org.apache.catalina.startup.HostConfig deployWAR
INFO: Déploiement de l’archive JSF2RIPortlet.war de l’application web
2 janv. 2012 14:00:38 com.sun.faces.config.ConfigureListener contextInitialized
INFO: Initialisation de Mojarra 2.1.2 (FCS 20110610) pour le contexte «/JSF2RIPortlet»
2 janv. 2012 14:00:39 javax.portlet.faces.GenericFacesPortlet init
INFO: Init GenericFacesPortlet for portlet riPortlet
2 janv. 2012 14:00:39 javax.portlet.faces.GenericFacesPortlet calculateBridgeClassName
INFO: Bridge class name is org.jboss.portletbridge.AjaxPortletBridge

The portlet has been successfully deployed in eXoPlatform. It should now be added in a page of the portal :

  • click on Portlets. The list of all the deployed portlets is available on the left side. We will now make the portlet addable in the portal’s pages.
  • Select our portlet (RiPortlet in the JSF2RIPortlet category).
  • in the right part, click on “Click here to add this portlet to a category.”
  • select a category, Adoption for example

  • click on Save
  • come back to the acme site’s home page (My Sites > acme in the top bar)

The next step is to create a page to place our portlet :

  • in the top bar, click on Add Page in Edit > Page

  • in the left side, click on the up arrow to add the page at the root
  • in the right side, enter “comics-store” as the name and “Comics Store” as the display name (guess what this tutorial will deal with ? ;-)). Leave others fields as is. Note than you can easily define title in others languages.
  • click on Next
  • we will use the default empty dashboard, so click on Next
  • in the portlet catalog, find the RiPortlet and drag&drop it in the page

  • click on the Save icon (upper right)

The portlet is now available on our new page :

Adding RichFaces

RichFaces is a set of advanced JSF components. To use it in your project, edit your pom.xml file to add the following dependencies :


then, add the following lines in your web.xml :



finally, in your JSF views, add the following namespace :

xmlns:a4j="" xmlns:rich=""

You can now use all the RichFaces components in your pages.
As an example, we will add a tabPanel component to the page. The code is simply taken form the RichFaces demo website. Just edit the src/main/webapp/home.xhtml file and add these lines before </h:body> :

<rich:tabPanel switchType="client">
  <rich:tab header="Overview">
    RichFaces is a component library for JSF and an advanced framework for
    easily integrating AJAX capabilities into business applications.
      <li>100+ AJAX enabled components in two libraries</li>
      <li>a4j: page centric AJAX controls</li>
      <li>rich: self contained, ready to use components</li>
      <li>Whole set of JSF benefits while working with AJAX</li>
      <li>Skinnability mechanism</li>
      <li>Component Development Kit (CDK)</li>
      <li>Dynamic resources handling</li>
      <li>Testing facilities for components, actions, listeners, and pages</li>
      <li>Broad cross-browser support</li>
      <li>Large and active community</li>
  <rich:tab header="JSF 2 and RichFaces 4">
    <p>We are working hard on RichFaces 4.0 which will have full JSF 2 integration. That is not all though, here is
    a summary of updates and features:</p>
      <li>Redesigned modular repository and build system.</li>
      <li>Simplified Component Development Kit with annotations, faces-config extensions, advanced templates
support and more..</li>
      <li>Ajax framework improvements extending the JSF 2 specification.</li>
      <li>Component review for consistency, usability, and redesign following semantic HTML principles where
      <li>Both server-side and client-side performance optimization.</li>
      <li>Strict code clean-up and review.</li>

Build your war and copy/paste it in the webapps directory of eXoPlatform. No need to restart, the portlet is hot redeployed !
You should see the following message in the console :

2 janv. 2012 14:24:01 org.apache.catalina.startup.HostConfig deployWAR
INFO: Déploiement de l’archive JSF2RIPortlet.war de l’application web
2 janv. 2012 14:24:02 com.sun.faces.config.ConfigureListener contextInitialized
INFO: Initialisation de Mojarra 2.1.2 (FCS 20110610) pour le contexte «/JSF2RIPortlet»
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 org.richfaces.cache.CacheManager getCacheFactory
INFO: Selected fallback cache factory
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 org.richfaces.cache.lru.LRUMapCacheFactory createCache
INFO: Creating LRUMap cache instance using parameters: {facelets.DEVELOPMENT=false, org.richfaces.resourceMapping.enabled=false, javax.faces.FACELETS_VIEW_MAPPINGS=*.xhtml,, javax.portlet.faces.RENDER_POLICY=ALWAYS_DELEGATE, javax.faces.STATE_SAVING_METHOD=server, javax.faces.DEFAULT_SUFFIX=.xhtml}
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 org.richfaces.cache.lru.LRUMapCacheFactory createCache
INFO: Creating LRUMap cache instance of 512 items capacity
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 org.richfaces.application.InitializationListener onStart
INFO: RichFaces Core Implementation by JBoss, a division of Red Hat, Inc., version v.4.1.0.Final
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 javax.portlet.faces.GenericFacesPortlet init
INFO: Init GenericFacesPortlet for portlet riPortlet
2 janv. 2012 14:24:04 javax.portlet.faces.GenericFacesPortlet calculateBridgeClassName
INFO: Bridge class name is org.jboss.portletbridge.AjaxPortletBridge

Just reload your portal page, the tabPanel component appears :

Your JSF/RichFaces Portlet is now fully working !

You can notice that the style of the elements on the page has changed. This is due to the skin capabilities of RichFaces. You can easily change the style by changing the value of the context param in the web.xml (you have set ‘ruby’ for this example). RichFaces comes with a set of ready-to-use skins, and you can of course create your owns.

This tutorial showed how to simply create your own portlets using JSF, a standard java web framework.
The next tutorials will show how to leverage eXoPlatform features in your business portlets.

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