One of the most useful features of Webcenter Portal is Data Presenter. Data Presenter allows developers/administrators to create data controls at runtime, and they are readily and immediately available for application usage, without any restart of servers. One more advantage of Data Presenter is ability to create task flows at runtime. Both data controls and task flows can be created at runtime in the Webcenter Portal PS7, with no coding needed in JDeveloper. These newly created data controls can be used in the task flows to create UI and these task flows can be reused wherever needed across the application.
This is useful for Developers, Technical Leads and Technical Architects as earlier, they need to take a decision to create custom task flows separately in JDeveloper and deploy them on Weblogic and use them inside the Webcenter Portal. This is highly useful for developers and Webcenter administrators due to easy learning, and saves significant effort. All this requires quite an effort and is little cumbersome to set it up at the beginning. Data Presenter marks this problem and provides solution to this in quite good way.This article provides an overview of WebCenter Data Presenter and hands-on instructions, steps to implement above functionality.
A common need that is consistently requested is to retrieve data from various data sources and display in an interactive format on a single page. Typically the data source could be Databases or Web Services. With the earlier versions of Webcenter (prior to PS7), developers needed to create a custom task flow in JDeveloper, with a page that displayed data from data controls created in JDeveloper. Next, this task flow needed to be deployed as shared library and made available to Webcenter Portal application. This was time consuming, and the intermediate steps needed a big learning curve. Additionally, there are requests from business to Webcenter administrators for creating/configuring simple pages. The need to use JDeveloper and go through the specific development process is difficult and really cumbersome.
In this article, Data Presenter framework of WebCenter Portal is used to create Data Controls and Task Flows. HR Schema is used and Data source is created on standalone Weblogic Server. Data Presenter uses the same Data Source to create Data Controls out of Employee table. This data control is used in a Task Flow, easily created using Data Presenter framework. The task flow and data control uses the filter option provided by the framework to filter out the employees based out of Departments.
Data Presenter Assets
Data Presenter comes up with Assets which will be building block of creating simple functionalities on WebCenter Portal. Below are the Assets provided by Data Presenter:
Data Controls: Data Controls are exactly the same data controls which we have in ADF applications. Their main job is to retrieve data from the Data Source. There are two types of Data Controls supported by Data Presenter. We will have a look at them.
Task Flows: The Data Controls created in the last step are of no use, if they are not consumed by the UI assets to create UI.