Oracle WebCenter Portal is part of the Oracle WebCenter Suite together with WebCenter Sites (previously FatWire), WebCenter Content (previously Oracle UCM and Stellent) and WebCenter Social Network. The Portal product itself consists of a number of different components. In a typical deployment you may well use all of them to varying degrees. Below is a diagram showing the main components and how they fit together:
These components are described below:
Framework is the basic building block of the Portal. It’s the piece which provides the core features of the portal such the ability to display pages, create navigation, consume portlets, apply delegated security, allow personalisation and provide access to Services.
Services provide functionality to the portal allowing you to add features such as Wikis, Comments, Discussions, email, Blogs, events and more. Sometimes the services are built-in to the Portal and just need to be enabled and sometimes they require a separate server which may be provided with the Portal or by an external server such as Exchange.
ADF stands for Application Development Framework. It’s a programming framework built on top of Java Server Faces. It’s used to provide much of the functionality in WebCenter Portal and is the key tool for developing Portal customisations.
Metadata Services, commonly known as MDS is the layer which supports personalisation in the Portal. It’s essentially a database where user and runtime settings are stored. When the Portal is operating it takes into account the basic configuration of the Portal and MDS settings.
Composer is the front-end tool which allows users and administrators to customise pages at runtime. It’s got an interface in which you can drag and drop different resources to make your page suit your needs and preferences.
Spaces is a pre-built Portal application designed for Intranets. It features many of the things you would expect to find on an Intranet such as discussion pages, collaboration, instance messaging and content management. It also provides a variety of pages not only for collaboration and team working but also areas for personal documents.