Book Review: Liferay Portal 5.2 Systems Development

This is a book review of Liferay Portal 5.2 Systems Development by Jonas X. Yuan. Having no previous experience with this platform, I bought this book to try to get an overview of Liferay. The book starts out by giving an overview of Liferay and an overview of JSR-286. The bulk of the book (90%) appears to document how the author built a customized Liferay portal for a client and the author uses this method to cover various HOW TO’s which describe how to customize features and functionality using Ext and the Plugins SDK. Personally I found the wording of the text in theses sections to be somewhat hard to follow as the author would flow together a long string of instructions (intermixed with code inline the sentences) rather than using bullets or ordered lists. That said, the examples do appear to be quite detailed and complete.

The last part of the book covers some more administrative and integration related issues such as staging/publishing, custom attributes (expando), OpenSearch, Spring overrides, WS, best-practices. Unfortunately, this is the material I was most interested in, however this book gives it very light treatment.

Lastly, I felt that the editing of this book was lax. There were many typos and some miss-spellings, in the code as well. Some of the grammar and semantics in the text/titles was oddly worded. Take this section titles as an example: “Enjoying the Web Content search portlet”. Huh?

Overall I think this book is worth the money if you need to get very deep into coding a customized Liferay implementation using Ext or the Plugin SDK. However if you are looking for a administrative guide, deployment guide, or deep details on integrating Liferay with other services etc, you could pass on this book.

Target audience: Intermediate to advanced Java developers.

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