Introduction to Liferay

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Liferay contains several frameworks that give you all the tools you need to perform various everyday tasks. Such as handling permissions, and letting users enter comments, categories, and tags. And other everyday tasks that Liferay doesn’t make you have to write yourself.

Liferay is an open-source enterprise portal that is free and mainly used to enable corporate extranet and intranet.

It is a robust web application platform written in Java. Offers a host of features useful for the development of portals and websites.

With its built-in web content management system. It allows users to create websites and portals with the integration of themes, portlets (pluggable UI software components), and pages.

Liferay Portal

Portlet technology is similar to servlet technology but portlet is a small part of dynamic content on web pages.

In a normal web application when we send a request the server serves the response to the client or browser. Here entire page will be served by one response.

Coming to portlet technology in one web page there may be many portlets. Each portlet has its own request and response.

Each portlet can send a request and get a response from the server. Then the response belongs to only the portlet which sends the request.

We can say a portlet is a small fragment of dynamic content on the page.

A page is an aggregation of multiple fragments of dynamic content. And each dynamic fragment is managed by one portlet on the web page.

On one page we can accommodate multiple portlets and each portlet is responsible for generating dynamic content for the page.

Multiple portlets together generate the dynamic content. All the portlet dynamic content aggregation will be generated as one web page.

Portal is available in two editions

  1. Community Edition.
  2. Enterprise Edition.

Community Edition:

The Community Edition, free and licensed under the LGNU public license, is a very popular choice for building company portals.

 It is available to the public and anybody can get source code and then can add or customize it.

The very good working group and community people working for this. We can also contribute our effort to the Liferay community.

Enterprise Edition:

It is paid portal which has an enterprise license from Liferay Inc.

Liferay Enter Price Edition has support from Liferay Inc and it has more benefits than the Liferay Community Edition version.

Liferay SDK

If we need custom functionality. We can use Liferay SDK (Software Development Kit). It provides Liferay development to create the following types of plugins.

1) Portlet:

Its web component just like servlet provides specific functionality. It is rendered a small portion of the page to form a complete composite web page.

2) Hook:

This plugin is used to override mainly JSPs of portal source/out-of-the-box portlets.

The hook can be useful when we need just a small amount of code (mainly JSPs) change.


As its name suggests, it provides the look and feels of the site. The Liferay portal comes with a default theme called a classic.

With the help of Liferay SDK, we can create our own theme. For each theme, we can define various color schemes.

4)Layout Templates:

This plugin will be used to define various layouts of the pages.

5)Web Modules :

The type of web application that will be integrated into Liferay like Enterprise Service Bus, and Search Engine web applications.


If we want to customize the specific behavior of the Liferay portal then EXT can be useful.

This type of plugin is not hot deployable, which means after deploying EXT, we need to restart the server.

Liferay CMS and DXP

CMS (Content Management System)

Sharing information is probably the key part of every portal solution, and it is not any different with Liferay.

It is the main tool where you can not only share but also create. And edit new content right from your web browser.

The great thing about Liferay CMS is that even if you are a non-technical user.

You can still create and publish web content without having knowledge about web technologies or programming.

This includes working with media files that are stored in the Documents and Media Library in Liferay Portal.

The library is much more powerful than just a simple file manager.

Each document can be described with metadata such as description, location, participants, and more.

DXP(Digital Experience Platform )

A DXP is an emerging category of enterprise software seeking to meet the needs of companies undergoing digital transformation.

As an organization streamlines operations using technology and starts to harness data more effectively. The ultimate goal of a DXP is to provide better customer and employee digital experiences.

DXPs can be a single product. They are often a suite of products that work together to deliver optimized experiences.

DXPs provide an architecture for companies to digitize business operations, deliver connected customer experiences, and gather actionable customer insight.


Easy of Use

Liferay offers an extremely intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

Changing the look and feel, theme, or page layouts is a matter of a few clicks.

The repositioning of tools and elements of the portal can be easily done through simple drag-and-drop.


One of the biggest advantages of Liferay is security.

It uses industry-standard, government-grade encryption technologies.

Developers Friendly

With features like easy integrations. Support for major infrastructure solutions, and compliance with major industry standards.

Support for tools written in other languages, Liferay is extremely popular amongst the developer community as well.

The lowest total Cost of Ownership

The built-in features help companies address most of their common needs including web publishing, collaboration, social networking, administration, etc.

Organizations hugely benefit from such a low total cost of ownership.

Ready to use with easy customization

Developers can simply download it and get started instantly.

Its lightweight nature makes configuration and implementation easier.

With the plugin mechanism, developers can customize and add new features to their portals according to the business needs.


  • Liferay is ready to use web application
  • Liferay has many portlets to full fill dynamic web application functionalities
  • Very Good Enterprise Web Content Management System
  • Sites, Organization, and User Groups
  • Social Network Portlet
  • Document Library Management
  • Collaboration (Blogs, Wikis, and Forums)
  •  Service Oriented Architecture Support.
  • Dynamic Look and Feel from Themes
  • Changing page layouts
  • Good Portal Administration User Interface.
  • Roles and Permission System
  • Easy Customization and Development
  • Support Many Integrations
  • Different Application Servers Support.
  • Device-based Page View
  • Liferay Market Place


With Liferay, you can easily start creating your feature-rich and secure portal without building everything from scratch.

 The development and content management in Liferay is very easy. You can develop beautiful websites using this portal. 

Written by 

Pratibha Yadav is a Software consultant at Knoldus and started her beautiful journey of a career in an environment where she able to sharp - up her skills day by day by learning and earning new opportunities. She completed her Post-graduation from Sharda University, Greater Noida. She is passionate about her work and has knowledge of various programming languages. She is recognized as a quick learner, problem solver, public speaker, dedicated and responsible professional employee. Her hobbies are Writing, Reading, and spending some time with nature.