Monday, July 6, 2009

Publisher and WebCenter Not Playing Well Together

Those of you who have taken the time to install and become familiar with the latest version of "ALUI" may have run into an issue with the integration of Publisher 6.5. I recently stood up the Oracle WebCenter Interaction 10gR3 suite of products on a virtual machine. For the most part, the products seemed to integrate properly with each other (Collab, Analytics, etc...).

Installing Publisher was as easy as usual but the product is not as fully integrated with the WebCenter framework. The main drawback is that Publisher is not configurable through the WebCenter Configuration Manager web-based interface. You do still need to go in and manually edit the Publisher config files on the server. This omission was most likely made due to the eventual shift to UCM (Stellent) in the next version of WebCenter. Even more annoying than dealing with the config files is the disturbing realization that the Published Content Portlets .pte server import package does not play nicely with WebCenter.

After installing Publisher, configuring the database and checking the diagnostics page (no issues reported), I tried to import the Published Content .pte file. The portal's import utility finished successfully but upon further inspection, several of the key files and publisher templates were not imported for each language. For example, the EN (English) News publisher template folder did not have an images folder whereas other language versions of the same publisher template folder did contain the folder. I tried re-importing the .pte file but was unable to get a full set of publisher files to import properly. The resulting templates were broken and the user is unable to use the out-of-the-box News, Announcement, Content Canvas, Community Directory, Header or Footer publisher portlets.

After much trial and error I found a workaround (what, you didn't think I was going to post something with out some sort of "solution" did you?). By extracting and editing the files within the file that is referenced by the .pte file during import, I was able to make modifications to get the import to work properly. The trick here is that I needed to eliminate languages other than English from the file. Once the files are edited and English is the only language being imported (no need to edit the .pte file), the import finishes properly for all EN portlets and all files and folders are available for the publisher templates. Now for those of you who need to support multi-language portals you may need to contact Oracle support to open a ticket for this issue. I was able to replicate this issue on a few machines (both .NET and Java portals) so I don't think it is machine specific.

If anyone has another solution they have come across to fix this issue, please post it as well. Rather than forcing you to make the language modifications to the ZIP file yourselves, I have posted my edited version here. Thankfully in release 11g of WebCenter we won't have to jump through these Publisher hoops anymore. I just hope Oracle has a good upgrade path in place to get content migrated from Publisher to UCM.