Q1 2016 uPortal Open Source Support Briefing

Benito Gonzalez , Senior Software Developer , May 5, 2016

On Thursday May 5, 2016 at 10:00AM PDT (1:00PM EDT) the Unicon Open Source Support (OSS) team held the uPortal Open Source Support Briefing summarizing OSS activities for Q1 of 2016.

The quarterly uPortal Open Source Support Briefing is an opportunity to share the contributions performed on behalf of the OSS program, highlight Unicon's perspective on contributions by and happenings in the community, and opportunities to engage further with Unicon. Discussions took place concerning maintenance development on uPortal, plans for further enhancement of the uPortal project, as well as solicit and discuss feedback on OSS and uPortal community future priorities.

Highlights of the Call:

uPortal released 4.2.2 and 4.3.0.  You can learn more about the uPortal 4.2.2 release and the uPortal 4.3.0 release on their respective release page.  uPortal 4.3.0 has some significant performance improvements and useful features not present in 4.2.2 so we encourage community members to upgrade to 4.3.0 rather than 4.2.2.  After 4.3.0 was released there was an issue found with the new Flyout Menu feature that affects iOS devices (perhaps others). Sites upgrading to 4.3.0 are encouraged to include the UP-4622 fix into their code base.  

uPortal 4.3.0 has many feature enhancements.  On the call I demonstrated some of the mobile web enhancements including move Portlet, and off-canvas menus. I also demonstrated the optional flyout menus that operate similar to Universality's flyout menus (require changing a property from false to true in navigation.xsl).

As always, much of the OSS effort included testing, improving, documenting, and incorporating contributions from the community.  This quarter is no exception.  There were some great contributions from the community we are pleased to assist with getting into the mainstream code base for the entire community to benefit from.

Numerous bug fixes, enhancements, and improvements were completed by uPortal OSS Sustaining Engineering since our last call. The changes primarily focused on completing Java8 and Tomcat8 support, performance improvements, providing support for the BROWSE permission in the Manage Portlets admin UI, and occassionally supplementing work being done for a client to make it a general solution that is useful for the entire community.  For details on a particular issue, look up the issue number in the Apereo Issue Tracking system. 

uPortal Improvements:

UP-4483: Poor SQL Performance for DB-based PAGS
UP-4566: Search fails when you have a lot of portlets
UP-4459: Manage Portlets Ad-hoc PAGS UI
UP-4610: Tenant Management data in quickstart
UP-4615: Tenant layout owners see other tenant’s portlets
UP-4626: Enhance import/export for <portlet>fname</portlet> for permissions
UP-4578: Portlet Manager option to disable portlet events
UP-4648: Performance: EntityPersonAttributesGroupStore caching the results of evaluating membership
UP-4644: Performance: Quartz task that pre-loads the cache with certain permissions evaluations related to portlets

uPortal Bug Fixes:

UP-4643: Security: Apache Commons Collections v3.2.2

Portlet Improvements:

EMAILPLT-173: Java 8 runtime support
EMAILPLT-179: ability to build using Java 8
EMAILPLT-186: Update dependencies to leverage new Spring Framework features
WIDGPT-76: App Launcher remove some default configs

Portlet Bug Fixes:

EMAILPLT-183: Security vulnerability in email previe
CAP-199: Portlet initialization failure

In-Progress Items:

UP-4075/UP-4553: Spring 4.0.5
UP-4652: Script to add BROWSE to portlet definition files to help users upgrading from 4.0, 4.1, or 4.2 to 4.3
UP-4649: Remove dead/unused code identified with tools

There were several notable Items not part of the OSS work during the quarter that were mentioned during the call to improve community awareness of the work and hopefully invite adoption of the work or additional community contributions to the effort:

  • uPortal 4.3.0 contains a number of performance enhancements not present in 4.2.2
  • Optional "flyout" menus (like Universality offered)
  • Fragment Owners can manage fragment layouts regardless of DLM layout restrictions such as dlm:canMove="false".
  • Single build: Portal and bundled portlets use property overrides files.  Can now run uPortal in a Docker Container.

Some other notable discussion that occurred during the call:

  • uPortal 4.3.0 supports Tomcat8 and Java8 (runs on Java8, still using Java7 language features, probably until UP-4075/UP-4553 are completed).
  • Regarding UP-4459: SUBSCRIBE permission operates differently on uPortal 4.2.2 and 4.3.0 from 4.2.0 and 4.2.1.  Details are on the appropriate release page.  The gist is that in uPortal 4.2.0 and 4.2.1, BROWSE automatically meant SUBSCRIBE.  With the addition of BROWSE in the Manage Portlets UI, and to address a few use cases where you want to grant BROWSE but not SUBSCRIBE, BROWSE no longer implies SUBSCRIBE.  This change means you might have some different (though likely more correct) behavior if upgrading a uPortal 4.2.0 or 4.2.1 database to 4.2.2 or 4.3.0.  Users might not be able to render portlets they did in the past (because they had BROWSE on the portlet or a category the portlet was in).
  • There will be an Apereo Community call on May 11th at 11:00pm EDT.  Information will go out via the uportal-users email distribution list shortly.
  • We look forward to seeing many of you at Open Apereo 2016.

Open Source Subscribers can vote on priorities for future work in Zendesk.   Some suggested priorities (see Zendesk issue and Apereo issue for more details):

UP-4075: Spring 4 support (for Java 8 language features)

Click here for a recording of the briefing.  Click here for the slides.


The next briefing will occur Wednesday July 13, 2016 1:00PM EDT.

Benito Gonzalez photo

Benito Gonzalez

Senior Software Developer

Benito Gonzalez joined Unicon in 2015. Benito has over 20 years of professional IT experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Benito has been active in web development since 1999. Benito spent six years prior to joining Unicon as the Enterprise Web Applications Manager at University of California, Merced, where he managed several campus-wide services, such as CAS, uPortal and Sakai CLE.