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Q1 2018 uPortal Open Source Support Briefing

The quarterly uPortal Open Source Support (OSS) Briefing is an opportunity to share the contributions performed on behalf of the OSS program, highlight Unicon's perspective on contributions, and share happenings in the community along with opportunities to engage further with Unicon.

Discussions for the Q1 Support Briefing focused on Sustaining Engineering, uPortal 5.1, and Web Components.

On Wednesday April 18, 2018 the Unicon OSS team held the uPortal OSS Briefing summarizing uPortal OSS activities for Q1 of 2018.

Community News

We kicked off the briefing by reminding folks about Open Apereo 2018 in Montreal, Quebec from June 3 - June 7. The conference will be held at the Delta Marriott; attendees are encouraged to stay at the hotel to facilitate better networking. The event will include workshops, presentations, keynote addresses, and uPortal Collaboration Days. At the uPortal Collaboration Days, there is typically a significant amount of planning for the direction of uPortal, so we encourage those interested in uPortal to attend and participate.

Community Spotlight - Cal Poly Pomona UI Refresh

Jonathan Tran from Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) provided a review of their UI refresh. CPP recently upgraded to uPortal 5. Some key UI components they are focused on include carousels for highlights, recommended content, and favorited content as well as a hamburger menu, waffle menu, and utilization of the new Notifications portlet as a Web Component.

Sustaining Engineering

Several areas of sustaining engineering efforts were discussed including Docker, Swagger, a refactor of the Notifications portlet as a Spring Boot project with a Web Component frontend, and several projects in the uPortal eco-system having releases. 246.5 hours of sustaining engineering hours were used.

To utilize Docker, uPortal-start now comes with the ability to build 3 different uPortal Docker images: uportal (the uPortal web server only), uportal-cli (includes the uPortal CLI tools), and uportal-demo (a configured demo / quickstart version of uPortal).

To explore the Swagger UI documentation for your uPortal 5 install, you need to enable it via the guide located at GitHub

Additional items were discussed that touched on highlights of recent releases of uPortal projects.

uPortal 5.1

uPortal 5.1 is the first minor release of the platform since uPortal-start entered the scene. Upgrading to the next uPortal release is now controlled via uPortal-start, and is straightforward to configure. Features of uPortal 5.1 are layout options based on CSS Flexbox, an updated REST-based sitemap portlet, API documentation via Swagger, and a new REST endpoint for userinfo. The userinfo endpoint returns a JWT (JSON Web Token). This JWT can be used in development of new uPortal content to identify the current uPortal user.

uPortal and Web Components

Web Components allow the creation of custom, reusable, encapsulated HTML tags for use in web pages and apps. When built on the Web Component standards, these building blocks will work in modern browsers and can be used with any Javascript library or framework compatible with HTML.  uPortal's first Web Component is the Notifications Icon which is included in uPortal via the HTML tag <notification-icon> . This and other Web Components can be configured through standard HTML attributes. uPortal builds the Notifications Icon Web Component through Node.js and is hooked into Gradle. It uses React as the frontend display technology, and has zero JSR-286 portlet components. To populate it's content, it uses JWT and REST calls.


We appreciate folks taking time out of their schedules to join us. We are getting excited for Open Apereo 2018 and look forward to the uPortal Collaboration Days. Please continue to be active in the community channels, and if you are a Unicon OSS subscriber, feel free to open an S5 ZenDesk ticket to help shape Unicon uPortal Sustaining Engineering efforts.

Click here for the video recording.

Chris Beach

Chris Beach

Software Developer
Chris Beach is a Software Developer at Unicon, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Chris is currently involved in the support and development of open source software, focused on openEQUELLA and uPortal. Chris was previously a Senior Support Analyst for EQUELLA at Pearson, where he was involved with hosting support and escalated client support for EQUELLA.