The Benefits of Integrating a Google Search Appliance with an Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal

This month, the Fishbowl team presented two webinars on integrating a Google Search Appliance with a WebCenter or Liferay Portal. Our new product, the GSA Portal Search Suite, makes integration simple and also allows for customization to create a seamless, secure search experience. It brings a powerful, Google-like search experience directly to your portal.

The first webinar, “The Benefits of Google Search for your Oracle WebCenter or Liferay Portal”, focused on the Google Search Appliance and the positive experiences users have had with incorporating Google search in the enterprise.

 

The second webinar, “Integrating the Google Search Appliance with a WebCenter or Liferay Portal”, dove deeper into how the GSA Portal Search Suite and how it improves the integration process.

 

The following is a list of questions and answers from the webinar series. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to the Fishbowl team!

Q. What version of SharePoint does this product work with?

A. This product is not designed to work with SharePoint. Google has a SharePoint connector that indexes content from SharePoint and pulls it into the GSA, and then the GSA Portal Search Suite would allow any of that content to be served up in your portal.

Fishbowl also has a product called SharePoint Connector that connects SharePoint with Oracle WebCenter Content.

Q. Is Fishbowl a reseller of the GSA? Where can I get a GSA?

A. Yes, we sell the GSA, as well as add-on products and consulting services for the GSA. Visit our website for more information about our GSA services.

Q. What is the difficulty level of customizing the XSLT front end? How long would it take to roll out?

A. This will depend on what you’re trying to customize. If it’s just colors, headers, etc., you could do it pretty quickly because the difficulty level is fairly low. If you’re looking at doing a full-scale customization and entirely changing the look and feel, that could take a lot longer – I would say upwards of a month. The real challenge is that there isn’t a lot of documentation from Google on how to do it, so you would have to do a lot of experimentation.

One of the reasons we created this product is because most customers haven’t been able to fully customize their GSA with a portal, partly because Google didn’t design it to be customizable in this way.

Q. What versions of Liferay does this product support?

A. It supports version 6.2. If you have another version you’d like to integrate with, you can follow up with our team and we can discuss the possibility of working with other versions.

Q. Do you have a connector for IBM WCM?

A. Fishbowl does not have a connector, but Google has a number of connectors that can integrate with many different types of software.

Q. Are you talking about WebCenter Portal or WCM?

A. This connector is designed for WebCenter Portal. If you’re talking about WCM as in SiteStudio or WebCenter Content, we have done a number of projects with those programs. This particular product wouldn’t apply to those situations, but we have other connectors that would work with programs such as WebCenter Content.

Q. Where is the portlet deployed? Is it on the same managed node?

A. The portlets are deployed on the portlet server in WebCenter Portal.

Q. Where can we get the documentation for this product?

A. While the documentation is not publically available, we do have a product page on the website that includes a lot of information on the Portal Search Suite. Contact your Fishbowl representative if you’d like to learn more about it.

Q. What are the server requirements?

A. WebCenter Portal 11g or Liferay 6.2 and Google Search Appliance 7.2.

Q. Does this product include the connector for indexing content?

A. No, this product does not include a connector. We do have a product called GSA Connector for WebCenter that indexes content and then allows you to integrate that content with a portal. Depending on how your portal is configured, you could also crawl the portal just like you would in a regular website. However, this product focuses exclusively on serving and not on indexing.

Q. How many portals will a GSA support? I have several WebCenter Content domains on the same server.

A. The GSA is licensed according to number of content items, not number of sources. You purchase a license for a certain number of content items and then it doesn’t matter how many domains the content is coming from.

Fishbowl’s ShipIT Hackathon Event Produces Four, New, Value-Add Components for Oracle WebCenter Content

The weekend of November 10th was known as Innovation Weekend at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl’s development, sales and marketing teams participated in a “ShipIT Hackathon” event to develop new Oracle WebCenter Content-based products. If you aren’t familiar with hackathons, just imagine a very intense software programming session where the end goal is to develop usable software within a set period of time – here is Wikipedia’s definition, and you may remember that Fishbowl participated in a similar hackathon at Oracle OpenWorld. Anyway, Fishbowl’s WebCenter UI and UX design extraordinaire, John Sim, was visiting from London and he was the catalyst for Fishbowl’s internal hackathon. Here were the rules that he helped establish:

  1. The new software/functionality should either support one of Fishbowl’s current products or provide new ways to interact, utilize, or provide an integration with Oracle WebCenter Content.
  2. The finished product should be deployable to Fishbowl’s internal WebCenter Content system and be usable by Fishbowl employees.
  3. Teams will have only 24 hours to complete their product.
  4. The winning team would be decided by votes from all participants, but participants could not vote for their own team.

At 3:00 PM on Friday, November 9th the hacking commenced. Fueled by Red Bull, pizza, coffee and sugar, four teams of Fishbowl employees developed the following WebCenter-based programs by 3:00 PM on Saturday, November 10th where they were presented and voted on. Here they are in order of finish:

  • 1st Place – WebCenter Content Multi-Checkin
    • Enables users to drag and drop content items directly into Oracle WebCenter Content from desktops or file shares and be tagged with keywords.
    • Checked in content bypasses the check in metadata screen and instead is grouped within a user’s “workspace”.  Users can return to their workspace at a later time to add metadata.
    • Integrates with Fishbowl’s Duplicate File Checker to ensure that duplicate content items do no enter the system.

    (The winning hackers – left to right: Paul Heupel, John Sim, Tom Jaede)

  • 2nd Place – Filtered Search Results and Grid View Metadata Updater
    • Update metadata on multiple items at once using a simple grid format.
    • Content Server query defines items to display in grid view with configurable sorting and result count.
    • Easily configure columns to view and update both standard and custom metadata values.
    • Uses Excel-like functionality within the browser such as copy, paste, drag, and fill-down.
  • 3rd Place – Duplicate File Checker Desktop Application
    • Lightweight desktop application can detect and remove duplicate content items from user desktops or network file shares.
    • Users simply browse to a folder or item and select the content they want to check against already existing in Oracle WebCenter Content. Any duplicate items are returned to the user in a grid view, and the user can select any duplicates for deletion.
  • 4th Place - WebCenter Content and Google Drive (Docs) Synchronization & Contribution
    • Provides ability to import content stored in Google Drive to Oracle Webcenter Content.
    • Google Drive files can be batch imported and their metadata can be mapped or the files can be published directly to WebCenter Content.
    • Includes ability to also link to Google Drive document directly from WebCenter Content.

Aside from some mild cases of indigestion, carpal tunnel, and weariness; the participants in Fishbowl’s ShipIT hackathon all agreed that it was a great event to be a part of. It was really exciting to see what could be developed in a limited amount of time when a group of people worked together and were driven by a deadline. The best part was ending up with four new WebCenter-based products that solve real-world problems and add immediate value. If any of these products interest you, feel free to contact us at 952-465-3400 or info@fishbowlsolutions.com.

You can see more pictures of Fishbowl’s ShipIT Hackathon here.

As always, your comments on this blog are appreciated.

Marvel and Oracle – Success and the unsung heroes

Iron Man 2

You have probably seen the Iron Man 2 trailers and maybe even the movie by now.

If you have been paying attention you may have seen the Larry Ellison cameo in the movie.  If you haven’t been paying attention then let me tell you that Oracle and Marvel have been doing a nicely successful business together for some time.  And they have not been shy about telling everyone about it.  Marvel has been a long time Oracle customer, successfully using many different parts of the Oracle technology stack including Oracle Enterprise Content Management.

But for all the ads, for all the bally-hoo around the movie(s), around the Larry-as-Stark comparisons, around the general coolness that goes with a company that creates super heroes, their IT success comes from a number of factors.

oracle and marvel ad

oracle and marvel ad

1) They have an executive management and core IT team who champion the IT projects, technology as well as the human processes that are necessary to effectively use the software and keep operations running at maximum efficiency.

2) They have the vision to take advantage of what the Oracle platform offers, especially as it pertains to interoperability of all the parts.

3) They rely on experts like Fishbowl Solutions to work with their teams to take their vision, combine it with the technology and produce success.  Here’s what they recently said about working with us: “Working with [the people] at Fishbowl is always a pleasure. [They] respond very quickly and the solutions are right on target with what we need.”

Want to know more?  Send us an email

The Changing Face of Enterprise Content Management

Content management systems are increasingly becoming back end “black box” content stores. This trend towards commoditization puts a decreasing importance on the system and an increasing importance on the ways in which the system capabilities are surfaced. There are several trends that I have observed and continue to see manifest though customer interactions, blog chatter and market awareness.

I am seeing a resurgence in portal fronted web applications. The difference between these and the all-or-nothing portals that were popular 5-10 years ago is that these that leverage rich ECM capabilities on the back end to provide versioning, document libraries, digital asset management, conversion, transcoding, workflow and other “rich” ECM features.

I am seeing WCM systems that are splitting into two camps -
1. Rich WCM that is fully integrated with and takes advantage of sophisticated ECM capabilities
2. Light-Weight WCM that is more like free public blogging software that is quick, cheap and easy but lacking sophistication of top-end systems.

I am seeing “in application” ECM capabilities surface in back-office and process applications like PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel. It is noted that EMC/Documentum’s recent announcement about their change of direction alludes powerfully toward a deeper relationship with SAP.

I am also seeing something of a retrenchment in the pure-play content management space. Basic capabilities are being re-discovered, often to the exclusion of other, more advanced features. This seems to be due, in part, to three factors:

  1. The SharePoint effect: basic content management catching on with the average worker rather than just the content management professional.
  2. The rise of niche web 2.0 capabilities in the office setting that do one thing well: for example Yammer does micro-blogging in the enterprise well but is disconnected from other information management strategies
  3. The continued consolidation of software and features from the big enterprise vendors: Oracle boasts massive storage capacity and ingestion speeds when their ECM system is combined with RAC database clusters, Exadata machines, SUN servers etc.

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