Interview with Paul Hinz

The ‘Design with Liferay’ Program will Rally the Liferay Community

Jessica Thornsby

JAXenter spoke with Paul Hinz on Liferay’s new AlloyUI framework, and the company’s plan to help users of Sun web platform products, migrate to Liferay.

Liferay made several announcements this week. Not only did the company launch the AlloyUI framework, but it also announced a new ‘Design with Liferay’ program and a portfolio of onsite developer workshops. All of these announcements were made over Liferay Live, itself a new addition to planet Liferay. In light of these announcements, JAXenter caught up with Paul Hinz, to get more information on Liferay-related goings-on……

JAXenter: You’ve just announced a new framework, AlloyUI. What unique features does this framework have to offer?

Paul Hinz: AlloyUI provides a unique and robust way to develop applications ranging from small scale interactivity to large scale enterprise grade applications. It does this by providing the ability for developers to implement components and widgets using plain HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, or using server-side helpers to generate the code for users who prefer not to have that level of control. Also, being able to run Alloy as well as almost 200 other components helps, completely from the cloud, with simply the pasting of a word or two into their app.

It is important to note that Alloy UI components can be used in stand alone web apps/pages or in portals.

See more at the AlloyUI website.

JAXenter: AlloyUI was developed in collaboration with Yahoo’s YUI project. How did this influence the development of AlloyUI?

Paul Hinz: The YUI team was incredibly influential as they have been developing for very similar concerns as we have in Liferay, and have been true pioneers in front end development over the past decade. With their latest version of YUI3, they wanted to combine simplicity with robustness, and we wanted to follow in that spirit. Their focus on performance and stability also greatly influenced the project as well as the desire to continue to pursue elegant solutions to common problems.

JAXenter: You’ve also recently announced ‘Design With Liferay.’ Can you explain this program to us?

Paul Hinz: Liferay recognizes with massive consolidation in the Portal, Content, Collaboration market, there are thousands of customers faced with their current platform facing End of Feature Life (i.e. they can get future support, but their current platform may have few or no future feature releases) which is causing customers to look for migration strategies. ‘Design with Liferay’ is not just a migration program, recognizing that customers with existing deployments may want to progressively build new features and deployments on a new strategic platform, limiting the existing platform to the existing functionality only. The ‘Design with Liferay’ program will rally the Liferay community, partners and customers to work collaboratively to provide strategies, recommendations, utilities, and financial incentives for smart transition strategies. Today, Liferay has begun with a First Year Free incentive to help customers with the startup costs required for adding a new platform to their enterprise. Liferay has also created a Migration forum on, and Liferay has made available a new onsite workshop that helps customers build a formal plan. Liferay will continually expand the resources in this program. Keep up to date and learn more at the ‘Design with Liferay’ webpage.

JAXenter: ‘Design with Liferay’ targets users of Sun web platform products. Customers can still work with Oracle for long term support for their Sun Portal and Sun Web Space Server implementations — what could they gain from switching to Liferay?

Paul Hinz: ‘The Design with Liferay’ program will support customers from multiple platforms. However, the initial financial incentive and workshop are targeted to support customers currently using Sun Web Space Server and Sun Portal. Sun Web Space customers will benefit from Liferay support as the source for the current implementations – and will gain access to Liferay’s extensive eco-system and partner community. This migration will also open these customers to the simple upgrade to Liferay 6 EE (soon to be GA) which has a broad range of new features and capabilities, as well as open these customers up to the Liferay eco-system built on Liferay 6. Sun Portal customers will also benefit from the transition to Liferay as many of these customers were positioned for the last few years that their future strategy would be a transition to Liferay (albeit the Sun version of Liferay.) Many customers implemented plans to transition.

Given the end of feature life for Sun Web SpaceServer, it would be best for these customers to instead switch to Liferay. One of the main reasons Sun decided to EOL Sun Portal and partner with Liferay, was because Liferay has, out of the box, many of the features that the Sun customers were demanding. Liferay Portal 6 EE with such a broad range of new capabilities will be an excellent choice for their ageing portals, opening them up to being able to expand the use cases solved by their portal team.

JAXenter: You broadcast both of these announcements across the Liferay Live channel. What is the purpose of Liferay Live?

Paul Hinz: Liferay Live demonstrates a capability many customers were looking for with their Liferay deployments, which was the ability to do live collaborative or video broadcasting through a ‘gated’ or ‘role based’ page. Liferay proves this model with the simple implementation of Liferay Live. Liferay will leverage this channel to provide regular sessions with Liferay engineers and business leaders, with Liferay Partners, and with Liferay community members. Each broadcast will be either technical or business focused – always free – always concise and always valuable. We believe these sessions will help deepen the skill sets for individuals as well as expand the impact and availability of the Liferay Platform.

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