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Posted by Infomentum on 16 May 2014

In this post, we going to take a technical look at how a WebCenter Portal can enable effective collaboration throughout an organisation, starting with the simple integration of a discussion forum.

Forget stocks, shares and even bricks and mortar. In today’s information age, a company’s knowledge is its most important asset.

But if that knowledge isn’t shared – so everyone who needs it has access to it at all times – it can be next to useless.

Take when someone leaves for example. If what’s in their head hasn’t been distributed to the rest of the team, you not only lose the person’s skills, you lose their valuable knowledge too.

But that needn’t be the case with a WebCenter Portal.

Unlocking the power of collaboration

A WebCenter is a single point of access designed to share resources throughout a company. So every interaction a company has with its customers, partners, employees and suppliers can be recorded and evaluated via a single source.

Being an Enterprise Portal 2.0, WebCenter enables powerful collaboration tools throughout any organisation. As such, it includes out-of-the-box components for team collaboration and enterprise social networking that are ready to plug into your enterprise portal.

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on just one of those components: how to integrate a discussion forum.

A step-by-step guide to integrating a discussion forum into your WebCenter portal

Step 1:

Run the Managed Server WC_Collaboration. This is the server that allocates collaboration services as discussions and announcements.

Step 2:

Login in to: http://PortalURL:8890/owc_discussions/admin

Step 3:

Select Content from the menu and create the Categories and Subcategories you need. This will generate an ID for each category, making for simple integration later.

Step 4:

In JDeveloper, go to your Portal Application. In the Application Resources, right-click Connections then click Discussion Forums.

Step 5:

Type the name for your connection and ensure you select: Set As Default Connection.

Step 6:

In the next screen, type the URL of your Discussion Service, for example: http://PortalURL:8890/owc_discussions.

Note for admin user: if the security of your portal is set to default then set weblogic as the admin user.

Step 7:

Create a Page inside your Portal Project. This page is where you will integrate the Discussion Service.

Step 8:

Go to Resources Palette –> My Catalogs –> WebCenter Portal –> Service Catalog –> TaskFlows. Then drag and drop Discussion Forums to your Discussions Page.

Step 9:

You will need to set up at least one of the parameters shown in the taskflow property popup, for example:

  • categoryId: set the Category ID from the category you created at the beginning (recommended).
  • forumId: Setting this parameter will force the taskflow to show only the threads of this forum.

Step 10:

That’s it. You’re now ready to invite your colleagues to join the discussion.